John Redwood

Do you really want to be trapped on an island with these people?

So, we’re halfway into the second week of what’s going to be a tedious and depressing EU referendum campaign. I wouldn’t be surprised if half the country has already become bored and irritated by it all.

I’ll come straight out and say that I’ll be voting to stay in. There’s a lot wrong with the EU, and the only way to fix the problems is by staying in and arguing more effectively for reform*. Also, it’s naive to think we won’t be affected by EU policies if we leave. We’ll still have to meet the standards they set if we want to trade with them, and there’ll be a load of new restrictions on travelling, living and working on the continent.

My stance puts me in the unsavoury position of being on the same side as David Cameron, George Osborne and Tony Blair. I’ll live with that. Not least because of the incredibly low quality of so many of the Brexit supporters. A short list, off the top of my head-

Nigel Farage A caricature of the worst stereotypes of England made flesh. The only good thing I can say about Farage is that, whichever way the vote goes, he’s going to be even more irrelevant after June.

Boris Johnson A man who plays the buffoon in the hope that we’ll not notice all his cheap political game playing. And the fact that he is a bit of an incompetent. It’s hard to take seriously any claims that Boris’ stance is for anything other than the chance to be leader of the Tory party and possibly PM.

Michael Gove Gormless, useless little man, who has only got as far as he has by taking advantage of the friendship he has now betrayed with the Prime Minister.

Iain Duncan-Smith Let’s face it, Duncan-Smith wants out of Europe to save his own skin. He’s scared that a European court might one day hold him to account for introducing policies that have driven thousands of the most vulnerable to early deaths and pushed people to suicide.

Nigel Lawson Walnut faced former Chancellor who now makes millions of pounds conjuring up weak arguments for gullible climate change deniers to keep spouting, thus slowing down progress on fixing the greatest imminent threat to everyone’s way of life.

John Redwood Supposedly hyper-intelligent former minister, who was once known as the Vulcan, but now looks more like Dobby the house elf. Redwood’s highly intelligent and deeply considered opinion on matters of climate change and energy policy somehow always sounds like the sort of thing Nigel Lawson’s group has dreamt up for gullible climate change deniers to repeat endlessly.

David Icke Really. David Icke supporting something is the equivalent of having it stamped “100% guaranteed bullshit”.

These are the people who will be running this country if the referendum results in us leaving (well, apart from Icke, he’ll probably say something incoherent about lizards, then disappear back to wherever it is he hides). They are scum, and they’ll be even harder to escape from, because they’ll trash your chances of going to live and work in Europe.

A vote to stay could be the first part of a double whammy. First, do serious damage to the careers of the would-be leavers by rejecting their campaign. This will have a knock-on effect of destabilising, maybe even splitting, the Conservative party**, offering an opportunity for more sensible parties to sweep in and kick them out at the next election.

It might not happen, but I’m an optimist.

*And kicking out all the UKIP MEPs. Really, is there anything less useful than a UKIP MEP? They’ve been elected to something they want the country to leave, and their constant refrain is how terrible the EU is for Britain. They could use their positions to fix those problems, and make things better for thr UK. But then, that would show that the EU is capable of doing good things for Britain, making the case for staying in. So UKIP MEPs must just sit on their hands and make things worse, because it’s the only way they can achieve what they want. They’re actively making things worse for us, under the pretence that they’re working to make things, somehow, better.

**Actually, either result could have this effect. But In is the best for the majority of us.

The deniers’ little brains are overheating

Wednesday was Britain’s hottest July day on record, and got a lot of prerss coverage because it was a record breaker, and because we’re British, and love to talk about the weather.

It’s also a pointer to the way this year is shaping up to be the hottest year on record*, so the deniers need to make themselves feel better by pretending it, somehow, didn’t happen.

Take John Redwood, the Tory MP who looks like a house elf and is supposedly rather clever. In a post entitled What a scorcher?, he desperately tries to insinuate that the media is putting out climate change propaganda, by pretending they reported it as the hottest day ever. It appears that many of his readers are gullible enough to fall for his dim trick.

Britain’s hottest day on record was in August 2003**. What desperate lies are Redwood and the like going to come out with if we have a day this year that tops it?

*Beating out last year, isn’t it odd how the ten hottest years on record have happened during the eighteen years when the climate change deniers like to claim there’s been no warming.

**Oddly enough, a year that fell in those eighteen years when the deniers claim the world’s not been getting warmer.

Don’t talk about Tory policies, you never know what it’ll make them do

John Redwood doesn’t want businesses to speak about the positives of staying in the EU. Apparently, they’ll suffer some sort of payback after a referendum, though it’s not clear what form it will take.

I’m worried about what parts of his anatomy Redwood’s going to be sending pictures of to people he meets online. Brooks Newmark said charities should “stick to their knitting” last month, and now he’s had to go because he sent a reporter pictures of his penis when they asked. Is John Redwood’s bum-crack going to be landing in someone’s inbox? Given his cluelessness, someone will have to ask to see his elbow if that’s what they want.

John Redwood is a troll

He may look more like a house elf, but John Redwood MP is that far too common online animal- a troll. In particular, he’s a climate change denying troll. Fantasising about what he was going to say whilst debating the floods with George Monbiot, he trotted out enough tired old lies that anyone playing climate change denier bingo would have shouted “House!” before they were even half way through. From “It’s cold in winter!” to “But weather forecasters get tomorrow’s forecasts wrong sometimes!”, they’re all there. The post is like a retirement home for debunked talking points.

Not only is Redwood wrong about climate change, he’s tilting at the wrong windmill. Asked about the direct causes of this year’s floods, George Monbiot is more likely to repeat his strongly argued, coherent and intelligent attack on the failings of the Common Agriculture Policy and subsidy-seeking farmers from last month.

The question is, does John Redwood really believe in his rambling collection of outdated arguments, or is he so cynically arrogant that he thinks the electorate is too stupid to see through them? He’s a politician, so I suspect it’s the latter.

John Redwood is still wrong

I followed John Redwood’s blog before the last election and found his arguments repetetive and dumb. I haven’t visited much since then, but thought I’d go back and have a look again. He’s still making dumb arguments.

In a post titled Rebalancing the Economy Redwood laments the lack of growth of UK industry. Amongst the reasons he cites for this happening is

Industry needs cheap energy in abundance. The UK is taxing and testing high energy using industries by its dear energy policies, partly required by its consent to EU carbon dioxide policies.

Because Europe’s industrial powerhouse, Germany, didn’t get where it is today by consenting to EU carbon dioxide policies. It did it by exceeding the targets, and building a world leading renewable energy industry to do it.

The Vulcan grinds out his climate change denial nonsense in Open Letter to the new DG of the BBC, pretending to be all high minded and scientific with the non-argument that science is always finding out new stuff so we shouldn’t act on what we already know in case we know other stuff in the future. He also whines that deniers don’t get as much time on air as people who know what they’re talking about. In reality, the “skeptics” probably get more time- relative to their credibility- than they deserve.

If Redwood really cares as much as he claims about energy poverty and rebuilding the country’s industrial base he should put aside the denial dogma and take a leaf out of Germany’s book, or give some support to his deputy leader’s old idea of rejuvenating old shipyards to build wind turbines.

But he won’t do that, will he.

Update And just when I thought Redwood couldn’t make himself look any dumber I found his reply to a comment

There are also problems with Darwin’s theory that need further work. If life came from the primeval slime, why can’t we make it from slime ourselves?

It would appear the Vulcan is a Creationist too, or so stupid he’s swallowed their nonsense. I admit I didn’t have much respect for him before, but if this guy was once held up as the great intellectual of the Tory party you can see how we got this deep in the shit.

Who’s afraid of the big bad Nick Clegg 1

I listened to the leaders’ debate on Radio 4 last night, so I didn’t get to judge any of the body language. And I’m easily distracted, so I kept reading stuff at the same time and not paying total attention. With those provisos I, like so many others, am going to declare Nick Clegg the winner. His constant referrals to “Sheffield, where I’m MP” grated a little, but it wasn’t as painful as Brown’s laboured attempts at jokes or Cameron’s smarm.

So the Lib Dem leader has gone from “Who?” to a refreshing alternative to the tired other two. Therefore his performance is being attacked by MPs from Labour and the Tories. Tom Harris- whose online persona I quite like, even if he has now slipped into bitchy campaign mode- tries to tell us the debate wasn’t that important after all. Meanwhile John Redwood- who’s unlikeable online or off- tries to throw some mud.

Congratulations to Nick Clegg. He’s got the two main parties worried. Certainly, he’s not going to be Prime Minister, but he could end up holding the balance of power and that’s got Labour and the Conservatives worried.

Only the deniers are allowed to exaggerate, it’s the rules

Two of the Government’s climate change adverts have been banned by the Advertising Standards Agency. To be more effective they presented possible effects of climate change without waffling that there’s only a 90+% chance that manmade CO2 is affecting the climate in potentially catastrophic ways. The lack of this, frankly irrelevant, caveat means that the Government ads made “exaggerated claims” according to the ASA. Silly Government, didn’t they know that only the people with no evidence to back up their denial are allowed to exaggerate?

In an ideal world there would be no need for these emotive adverts, people would simply be presented with the facts and statistics and allowed to make up their own minds. In this ideal world the denial lobby would be stumped because they have so little evidence, and we could get on with doing something about the problem. But we don’t live in an ideal world, and the tiniest scrap of misunderstood data which appears to support the denial lobby gets orders more coverage than the reams of evidence which says they’re wrong.

I had issues with the Government ads. I didn’t think they were radical enough. Telling people thay can turn off a light and save the planet is nonsense. Far much more than that is needed, but that’s a different post.

John Redwood’s delighted by the ruling, of course. But then, he’s shown he either doesn’t know what he’s talking about or is feigning ignorance to curry favour with denial vote.

John Redwood’s climate change dog whistle 3

One of the phrases I’ve learnt through folowing US politics is “dog whistle”. A dog whistle is a phrase or turn of speech deployed by politicians in front of like-minded crowds, the true meaning of which is supposedly only heard by fellow believers. Most often I’ve heard of them being used by right wingers in lieu of the sort of language that’s frowned upon these days. A recent example is Tom Tancredo, who made a failed bid to be the Republican presidential candidate in 2008, telling a conference of Teabaggers that there should be a “civics-literacy” test before allowing anyone to vote. What sounds like an innocuous phrase was almost certainly meant to allude to the days of segregation in the southern states, basically suggesting that Obama only got in because blacks voted for him and everything would be better if they could go back to the good old days when various tricks were used to keep non-whites off the voting register.

John Redwood, the supposedly super intelligent MP for Wokingham, has a dog whistle which isn’t as offensive. In fact it’s becoming a bit pathetic the more times I see him use it. In any post on his blog about climate change he has to throw in something along the lines of “remember, it’s climate, not weather”. This is a smug attempt at a jibe at climate scientists, who regularly have to explain day to day weather and the long term climate are not the same things. The sort of climate change deniers attracted to Redwood’s blog don’t want to think too hard, so can’t imagine that there’s a difference between data and a datum. Today it’s cold, they reason, so the world can’t possibly be warming up over time.

A variation on the phrase was deployed today in a post that’s even more wrongheaded than normal. The Centre for Ecology and Hydrology released a report on how plants and animals have shifted their rhythms earlier in the year and in Redwood’s muddled thinking this somehow became meteorologists getting weather forecasting wrong. So he made fun of them for predicting the start of spring at the wrong time, when they did nothing of the sort.

Every time John Redwood writes about climate change he gets it all wrong. Neither of the reasons I can think of for his doing so say anything good about his ability to represent his constituents, let alone make decisions that affect the rest of us (should the Tories win the election and he gets a cabinet position). Either he doesn’t do any research and just goes with what his idealogy tells him, or he has such a low opinion of us that he thinks he can keep on lying and he’ll get away with it.

Update It seems the Vulcan has a thin skin. Apparently “The comments on this link are offensive and wrong. Clearly the author has no sense of humour about this subject.” And the comment I left on his blog, which was a variation on the last paragraph above, hasn’t been approved.

I’ve left another comment, which also may not be approved so I’m going to reproduce it here-

Humour is subjective. Your repetitive catchphrase is dull and nowhere near as clever as some think it is. And the attempts to poke fun at climate scientists that it appears in are plodding and, crucially for someone making himself out to be informed on the subject, invariably based upon arguments which have been shown to be wrong.

If you don’t like my honest and forthright assessment of what I think you’re doing then you need to put a bit more effort into researching the subject before writing about it. Jumping on the denial bandwagon may appeal to some of your readers but I expect better from someone who may have a say in running the country after the election.