As some of us had known for a couple of days – don’t ask – Nicky Campbell’s The Big Questions today, which came from Cardiff, included James “saviour of Western civilisation” Delingpole among its guests. Yes, the same BBC that Del Boy routinely derides for not giving a voice to folks like him was, er, giving a voice to folks like him. And he was given a generous amount of airtime to spout his propaganda.
Del Boy sends George Monbiot to sleep
Things did not begin well, though, as Del asserted that the closure of the Murdoch Screws had been because of some kind of concerted campaign by the same BBC, which was in league with the deeply subversive Guardian. Brian Cathcart was on hand to deliver the slapdown, reminding Del Boy that the paper closed because of its own disgraceful behaviour and that the decision was made by its proprietors.
Sadly for those of pragmatic and reasoned disposition, this did not prove a mortal blow, and Delingpole came sneering back towards the end of the programme as the issue of climate change hove into view. In this, Del Boy was ably assisted by UKIP MEP John Bufton, whose website claims that in 1997 he was “Selected as a candidate UK Independence Party in the Westminster”. Deep joy!
Bufton is a fully paid-up member of the denialist tendency, and so he told that renewable energy was a scam, that scientists at the University of East Anglia had fiddled their figures (bodyswerving the enquiries that have since absolved all concerned of any wrongdoing), and that warming temperatures were part of a natural cycle, with human activity playing no part.
The thought that human appetite for mobility and movement of goods over the recent past might be playing a part was not allowed to enter. This softened the audience up – if only a little – for the return of Del Boy, who asserted that, as millions of refugees were not turning up on our doorsteps, climate change was not happening. He sneered again and rambled momentarily about Gaia worship.
Then he got his opening and ranted to some effect about the recent appearance of Richard Lindzen at a meeting at the Commons. Lindzen was hailed as one of the most wonderful scientists ever to walk the earth, though in fact he is a physicist who has held a contrarian view on climate change consistently for more than a decade and a half. This proves merely that he is of dissenting view.
But kudos to Del Boy for battling on and making his points, despite the programme airing on the hated BBC, which means that there was by definition some evil and malign leftist force that stopped him looking even more wonderful, and which he will reveal to the world as soon as he is able to fire off another suitably restrained missive to his bully pulpit at Telegraph blogs.
It won’t explain, though, why the audience wasn’t buying his product. As usual.