Yet more Monckton

The House of Lords has taken ‘unprecedented’ action to stop Lord Monckton claiming that he is a member (his closest approach was receiving zero votes in an election among hereditary peers). That’s typically the opening lie in a Monckton presentation that misrepresents everything from the United Nations to the laws of arithmetic. It’s hard to imagine how many cease and desist letters would be required to stop all the falsehoods, or what would be left of his presentation if they were removed[1].

But, as I said previously, the real point here relates to the Australian political right, who have embraced Monckton with universal (if sometimes feigned) enthusiasm. And not just Monckton, but a long string of conpsiracy theorists, charlatans and cranks, who keep on repeating the same lies despite being repeatedly refuted (Ian Plimer on volcanoes can stand in for a multitude of examples).

As I said previously, it’s hard to tell who is most blameworthy here. Is it the’crazy uncles’ represented by people like Nick Minchin and encompassing the majority of conservative supporters, who actually believe this stuff, the weathervanes like Tony Abbott who will happily say 2+2 = 4,5 or 73 according to what their listeners want to hear, or supposedly serious conservatives/liberals who know it’s nonsense but keep their mouths shut.

In the short term, and aided by some spectacular own goals on the Labor side, this intellectual catastrophe hasn’t had any political costs for the right. But that won’t be true forever. And for any intelligent person of conservative inclinations, the knowledge that political activity on their preferred side requires (at a minimum) tacit acquiescence in this kind of thing must be pretty appalling.

fn1. Indeed, bearing in mind Mary McCarthy’s famous remark about Lillian Hellman, it’s hard to imagine that even prepositions and conjunctions would remain.

39 thoughts on “Yet more Monckton

  1. The government and the monarch are locked together; the power of the sovereign is by leave of the government.

  2. @TerjeP

    The UK has no constitution.

    The UK parliament can do anything it determines according to its rules, subject to popular outrage.

    An outrage population can displace a parliament or a monarch.

  3. @TerjeP
    “Can the UK parliament demote the Queen?”
    Actually yes. Britain has no formally written constitution, and parliamentary sovereignty is the bedrock of the law. Parliament has in fact been steadily stripping monarchs of their powers since Charles the second. For recent legal precedent see “Manuel v Attorney General 1982.” If you’re looking for a rigorous system of checks and balances like in the US, you won’t find it in Britain. In fact, the US model was established in response to the perceived British deficiencies.

  4. JQ’s point about the longer term consequences of the trashing of reasoned debate is important. A nasty stink has been created that will make reasoned use of the results of scientific analysis and expert advice more difficult for any government in the future.

  5. @Chris Warren

    If he has no right to expect himself to be referred to as a Lord, then that would be another issue that he would be being criticized about. He is the third Viscount of whatever, which makes him an hereditary peer, and peers are customarily referred to as Lords, as in “House of Lords”. Historically, the hereditary peers did sit and were members of the “House of Lords”, but this is no longer the case as of right. Some still do sit and are members, by election. I don’t think that there is any British legislation that has, or was intended to, take away the custom of referring to a peer as a Lord. However, legislation did remove from hereditary peers, membership of, and the privilege to sit in, the House of Lords as an automatic right of their inherited peerage. Anyway, I will leave you to check this out and will not comment further on this.

    More generally, following on from JQ and Doug’s comments, reasoned debate is important and valuable, but has never been fashionable. Sadly, over the last thirty years or so, reasoned debate has become even less fashionable, even in circles where it was, once fashionable. Included among where it had been fashionable were some influential right wing circles. But those days seemed to disappear with Nixon.

    On the denial theme, I just read a review of a book by Francis Fukuyama in the Australian Literary Review, July 6th. The review written by Geoffrey Blainey quickly morphs off topic onto the issue of Global Warming. Blainey skirts around teasing and threatening to come out of the closet as a climate change denier (without fully doing so), with the usual trite climate is always changing “there is a long history of global warmings”, mention of the Club of Rome, and then, even seems to suggest that there would not be a ‘debate’ (with the implication that we would all agree there is no global warming) if the Cold War hadn’t ended, and, implied in some of his further comments, that free market triumphalism hadn’t resulted and the looney left had therefore no need of another hobby horse. (I suppose his thesis was somewhat toned down as the ALR is, after all, not QuadRant). I really hope that someone like Tim Lambert puts the boot into this further example of the emeritus afflicting disease that JQ referred to. Best to stomp on the afflicted as quickly as possible, least the affliction spreads.

  6. I post my support for Sam’s views of “Background Briefing” at:

    [audio src="http://mpegmedia.abc.net.au/rn/podcast/2011/07/bbg_20110717.mp3" /]

    Outstanding work by ABC radio in outing the fraud Monckton and disclosing the role of the truely deceptive and evil Galileo Movement and their prince Allan Jones. They are all there in the background – Bolt, Nova, Singer, et etc.

    By the way lefties – including John on occasion – be careful of attacking the ABC for its conservative political biases. There remains value in this institution and a substantial commitment to telling the truth.

  7. @Freelander

    This is the problem. You say;

    peers are customarily referred to as Lords, as in “House of Lords”.

    This is precisely the point the House of Lords, the UK Parliament, and the UK Passport Office reject.

    Anyone can claim a title as a courtesy, but not as a recognised formality. You can find examples in the writings of Dickens and Shakespeare.

    See for example: UK Passport Standards

    Bunyip Monkton’s passport does NOT say “Lord”.

    So all authoritative sources completely contradict your position.

  8. Club Troppo ( or at least one of its denizens) seems to have fallen victim to the charms of the fraudulent Monckton

    The post is by Rafe Champion who, although otherwise a quite interesting chap, is a Libertarian and has fallen into the usual Libertarian follies of reflexive anti-environmentalism and climate change denial.

  9. Rafe’s claim in the Troppo that “the increase in CO2 … will tend to green the planet and increase our production of food” has been demonstrated, by research, to be false. First, this assumes that the area available for growing food will not be decreased by the impacts of climate change (unfortunately, it will). But, more importantly, CO2 will reduce the production of (safely edible) food other things being equal.

    Research which looked at the impact of raising CO2 levels on plants found that the additional energy production that the greater availability of CO2 provided, tended to make plants less edible because plants tended to use the extra energy to enhance their defenses against being eaten, by insects and others, for example, by becoming more toxic or stringier and woody.

    A good example, already providing problems is cassava, the staple for 500 million of the poorest. Because CO2 has risen, and the cassava plant has been able to strengthen its defenses, cyanide poisoning is becoming a growing problem.

    A better claim might be that CO2 will cure world hunger. (And maybe overpopulation as well, as eating becomes increasingly fatal.)

  10. Not only will Monckton have to stop referring to himself as a member of the House of Lords, he will also have to change his logo, which is a direct ripoff of the House of Lords and which forms part of his deception. One has to wonder what effect this exposure of Monckton’s identity fraud will have on the already climate deluded. However, it has already had a large effect on the press gallery.

  11. @TerjeP
    Terrific to find you still working away on these issues Terje. You offer a reference which has Monckton calling himself, inter alia

    … a member of the Upper House but without the right to sit or vote, and I have never pretended otherwise.

    Here is a list of “Members of the House of Lords” from the UK parliament’s own website: http://www.parliament.uk/mps-lords-and-offices/lords/

    Terje could you point me to Monckton’s name on that list of 827 members? – no, I can’t see it either.

    Can you find for me a learned reference Terje that would explain how one is able to “bring fraternal greetings from the Mother of Parliaments to the Congress” when one is not a member of the “Mother of Parliaments”, neither sitting nor voting in it?

    I BRING fraternal greetings from the Mother of Parliaments to the Congress of your “athletic democracy”. I pray that God’s blessing may rest upon your counsels.

    As a Prime Ministerial policy advisor to Margaret Thatcher, inter alia I modeled the economic interactions of taxes and benefits on low-income households, and investigated scientific frauds. I have written and lectured on climate sensitivity. I
    advise institutions on climate change.

    The right response to the non-problem of “global warming” is to have the courage to do nothing. There has been global cooling for seven years.

    Terje you will find the source of that quote particularly to your liking because, of the 70k hits on Google, I chose for your delectation this one: heartland.org/full/24952/The_Right_Honorable_Christopher_Walter_Monckton_Third_Viscount_Monckton_Of_Brenchley_Before_The_Energy_Commerce_Committee_Of_The_House_Of_Representatives.html
    (you’ll need to add the http://www. yourself sorry – I’m not willing to add a web link directly to them).

    Championing frauds, fools and liars is great fun of course but what other useful work have you been up to Terje?

  12. @sam

    Wendy Carlisle did a fantastic hob standing up to Moncktton and his supporters. The response of listeners in support of BackGround Briefing (354 comments) was fantastic.

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