Yesterday finally brought the much-anticipated speech by campaigner Greta Thunberg to the United Nations. And when that speech came, it was an unforgettable moment, an impassioned denunciation of those countries around the world that had not done enough, that were taking her future, and that of those like her, away. Why should it fall to those like her, who would like nothing more than to be in school, rather than world leaders?
The raw emotion in her voice was palpable. So was the difficulty she had, as someone who has Asperger’s, to deal with standing before such a large gathering. But there can be no doubt that she wanted to make that speech, and meant what she said. That, though, mattered not a jot to the Venn diagram of climate change deniers and Brexiteers, where the circles are so close to coinciding that it makes little difference.
Those people were well and truly triggered by Ms Thunberg’s words, not least James “saviour of Western civilisation” Delingpole, who engaged auto-sneer before responding “It’s probably the most extreme cringe we’ve had since the Medieval cringe period, the Roman cringe period or the Minoan cringe period. We’re experiencing a cringe crisis”.
Meanwhile, the loathsome Toby Young retorted “Cheer up Greta! Someone should tell the furrowed-browed little soothsayer that the number of mammals to become extinct in the last 500 years is 1.4% and no bird has gone extinct in Europe since 1852. Not bad, given the amount of economic growth there’s been since then”. He lied (see HERE).
But then came those suggesting that Ms Thunberg was being exploited. Those who have no idea about the condition she experiences: if she did not want to do it, there would be no moving her towards doing it. There is no exploitation. That did not trouble Arron Banks’ oily sidekick Andy Wigmore. “Sorry this is just wrong - this child is being exploited - am I the only one who is concerned about this? This is not a Climate Change campaign, this is exploitation. Just me that in [sic] uncomfortable with this??”
And right on cue came (yes, it’s her again) Nadine Dorries (by inference approving Wiggy), with “This is very, very wrong and disturbing too. Where are her parents?”. Peter Walker of the Guardian was there with some reassurance. “When I saw her walking to the UN earlier, her mother was with her. I think she's probably fine. She's also 16. At that age you can serve in the British Army”. Well, quite. But the climate denying right wasn’t finished.
There just had to be the obligatory patronising remark from Julia Hartley Dooda: “It turns out I’m not the only one thinking 16 year old children shouldn’t be exploited and used for political campaigning by their parents. Fancy that”. But she didn’t understand, either.
Nor did professional idiot and amateur human being Maajid Nawaz: “At 16, if Greta Thunberg is old enough to testify before the world’s Parliaments on a (albeit unfairly) contested issue, then she is old enough to be challenged with civility (even if I’m on her side)”. You want to debate the issue with her? You wouldn’t last five minutes.
Behold a sad collection of nonentities, unable to concede that Ms Thunberg has achieved more in the past year than they will ever do. And oh, does it hurt.
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