Trump, climate and the future of the world

trump-election-tv


Some thoughts from the Cliscep team on this morning’s news. This post may expand and develop during the day.

Paul:

So, it’s happened again. The “experts” and the pollsters have got it wrong, just as they did with the UK election of 2015 and the Brexit vote in June.  Probably the reasons are similar — the out-of-touch, left-biased chattering classes, the failure to understand ordinary people, the ‘shy conservative’ factor, and the protest vote factor, with those who normally don’t bother to vote coming out to express their feelings towards the establishment. No doubt the reasons will be analysed by pointless “expert” academics in The Guardian and The Conversation.

Of course, we should have predicted this. I was slightly tempted to put money on Trump yesterday at odds of 4:1, but regrettably I didn’t, despite having noted the Brexit analogy in a tweet.

In case anyone is wondering, no, I didn’t want Trump to win. But there is a certain Schadenfreude in the so-called experts being wrong again and in the over-the-top wailing and ranting that we will inevitably see today from the left. In his speech, Trump called for unity (and said some nice things about Hillary) but this is unlikely to be heeded.

The climate policy consequences will be interesting of course. Trump has said he will pull the US out of the Paris climate agreement.

Ian:

The calamity! You could sense even by 4am UK time that many people were shaken to the core by what was emerging. The BBC’s coverage dipped significantly in mood. Emily Maitlis, who was admittedly tired, became positively funereal in her pronouncements about the shifting numbers. The left only has itself to blame. As many climate sceptics have argued, allowing fears about climate change (and other things) to dominate left-wing politics has hollowed-out politics over the last 30 years leaving vast swathes of people turned off and disenfranchised – people who now have put Trump in the Whitehouse. The philosopher Slavoj Zizek recently argued in a Channel 4 News interview that Trump winning would be a necessary jolt to the system, allowing, or forcing, the priorities of the left to reconfigure. It can’t do anything else. We are gonna have a left so great, so beautiful, it’ll be a left like you’ve never seen before. Truly. And by the way, tremendous potential will be unleashed.

(Unlike Paul I gave in to the temptation to put money on Trump, at 5-1, two weeks ago. I won’t mention this again.)

Edit: there’s been endless wailing about this being a shock, unpredicted, coming from nowhere. I find this odd. Thinking about why I was prepared to put a bet on Trump, the answer is: Wikileaks; The FBI investigation; the extraordinary way Trump overcame, again and again, his Republican competitors and detractors; The huge crowds that were turning up to see him compared with the modest crowds for Hillary; the online excitement about Trump. This unexpected, shocking, weird turn up for the books must be the most in-plain-sight hidden revolution in years. Those saying they’re bewildered by the result just didn’t want to see what was there in front of them. The evidence was just too distasteful.

Geoff:

Did anyone see CNN’s coverage? I thought it was brilliant psychodrama. Their panel of two Democrats and two Republicans were lined up. One of the Democrats, a rather arrogant but very perceptive and often funny black guy turned to the two Republicans (one, looking like Bela Lugosi after a long night, was the sacked Trump aide Lewandowski – really) and said words to the effect: “we were wrong and you were right. I congratulate you.” And the saner of the two Republicans replied “Thank you sir.” When it came to the black guy’s turn to analyse the results he started off brilliantly, though seemingly close to tears, then suddenly said “…and Climate” and went to pieces. If anyone could find that clip…

[The guy is called Anthony Van Jones and he’s Obama’s special adviser on green jobs and author of a NYT best seller called “the Green Collar economy”. The clip is all over the internet with a quarter of a million hits in some cases, but the versions I’ve seen all stop before he says the word “climate”. I found his tears about explaining the election to his children genuinely moving, but maybe he was crying for those lost Green Collar jobs.]

Richard:

In the lead up to the election my favourite commentary was by Thomas Sowell: Choose Trump, he’s much easier to impeach. The central point:

How impeachable is Hillary Clinton? Since she would be “the first woman president,” any criticism of her, much less any impeachment, would bring loud howls from the media across the country. Hillary in the White House would have a blank check, and she would not hesitate to use it.

So I see today as a significant victory for constitutional government, under the rule of law, against totalitarian identity politics. That doesn’t of course mean that I think highly of Donald Trump. Nor does Sowell.

I have mixed feelings about Trump. His acceptance speech was gracious, emphasizing he would be there to represent the interests of Americans of all stripes. Conrad Black, who knows Trump personally, has said he will be far more sensible than his campaigning rhetoric has led some to believe. But how good will he be under pressure? On that I fall back on the Welby approach.

No CliScep analysis of Trump can be complete without this

As conspiracy theories go it’s not as crazy as many, at least in the cui bono sense. But how did these clever, inscrutable people create such a concept, that has had such deep impact on the politics and sociology of the West? I’d like some of that!

I decided not to stay up for the night but have listened on BBC radio a little this morning to US and UK reaction. The comments that stand out are all from women. Anne Applebaum thought it was the end of the West as we know it: the end of Nato, the end of free trade. Then she wondered aloud about the Conrad Black effect: maybe he didn’t really mean it. Who knows.

Then it was into Woman’s Hour. Gnashing of various feminist, black and leftist teeth but some interesting stuff. The representative of Women for Trump in New York was deeply impressive to this libertarian-leaning listener: Trump for her is all about lower taxes, less regulation and parents having real choice in schooling. (The latter being a big reason Sowell started to warm just a little to Trump.) The defeat of Hillary was nothing to do with identity politics, either way, but a matter of basic policies and economics.

It was left to a Tory MP, Sarah Wollaston, to mention climate, as part of her woe-is-all-of-us lament. Trump does deserve some of this opprobrium in my view but, who knows, maybe he really meant it about climate – but not about that Mexican judge. Only time will tell.

Alex:

Well, I called it wrong for both the EU Referendum and the US Presidential Election, so clearly I have the political nous of a goldfish. But anyway, moving swiftly on, here is the future that I now foresee. You will recall that quite a few years ago, before the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal, there was another guy called George W Bush, who was basically responsible for most of the awful things that were happening in the world. Oh, he was such a baddie. He was an American, he was male, he was white and Republican and not very young and he wasn’t all that fussed about saving the planet from climate change. Remember him? So whenever climate talks were stalled or gaseous emissions were on the rise, you could be sure that, whatever he actually said, Bush! was somehow to blame. In that way, Bush! was such a wonderfully convenient symbol for all the things that correct-thinking progressive folks felt were bad about America and the world.

But Bush! was only the precursor. Now we have Trump! – male, white, American, Republican, not very young, and also in every way bigger, badder, blonder and more outrageously not believing in climate change than his earlier incarnation. I foresee an endless stream of dirge-like outpourings on sites like the Guardian and HuffPo, proclaiming that Trump! is none other than the Climate Satan. He will reverse the Paris Agreement, join with cartoon villains the Koch brothers in casting scorn and doubt on science itself, dissuade the Chinese from the path of renewable righteousness. These articles will be accompanied by photos of the darkest ever carbon fumes, backlit by the setting sun and belching from a thousand horrid Appalachian smokestacks. Trump! will – from now on and forever – become a synonym for everything that correct-thinkers feel has gone wrong with the planet.

I will end with a prophetic song (and with apologies to South Park):

Times have changed
Awful rednecks are getting worse
They won’t obey their betters
They just want to pollute and curse

Should we blame the political class?
Or blame un-civil society?
Or should we blame the images on TV?

No, blame Donald Trump, blame Donald Trump
With his beady little eyes
And strangely-coiffed head so full of lies

Blame Donald Trump, blame Donald Trump
We need to form a full assault
It’s Donald Trump’s fault!

Brad:

I’m not normally one to express my opinion on a topic, but a couple of people have been begging for my reaction to the seismic events they’re calling Clexit, so OK, fine, if you care that much, here goes. (Hi Mum, hi Dad.)

First, it’s hard to believe the normally-reliable expertocracy got this one so ass-forwards. Perhaps we’re just so used to our pundits, mavens and boffins having their asses facing the correct, backwards direction whenever they opine on national television that the moment they make a slight miscalculation it can be quite a disorienting trauma. Do you really blame Rachel Maddow for derealizing in real time? Don’t answer.

It’s hard to overstate just how fundamental to human civilization is the institution of predicting election results, but I’ll give it a shot: the day we can no longer trust pre-election prognostications is the day we literally have to hold an election every time we want to figure out who’s going to lead us. Like savages.

It Doesn’t Make Sense™! I mean, we’ve got supercomputers that can accurately anticipate trends in the Earth’s temperature decades in advance, so why the hell couldn’t someone manage the vastly, exponentially, orders-of-magnitude simpler task of extrapolating the results of a two-party straw poll? Oh, wait…

Seriously though, even Ian Woolley managed to pick the winner of Election ’16 (and made a tidy profit betting against The People Who Are You Know Actually Like Paid To Know What They’re Talking About). Don’t get me wrong. Ian, who’s a friend of mine, is a comic genius and I like him like a friend, but come on: the guy doesn’t even believe in catastrophic anthropogenic global warming. We’re not exactly talking here about someone known for being plugged in to the future reality on the ground, as agreed by an overwhelming vote of the scientific community! You know, the people who are, like, paid to actually know what they’re talking about.

Speaking about climate, I know you shouldn’t speak about climate or religion unless you want to ruin a perfectly pleasant discussion of politics, but Vishnu dammit, I’ve spent my whole life keeping my views to myself and where’s it gotten me? No place. No place at all (leaving aside here, obviously). Sue me.

Anyway, Joe Romm has a characteristically nuanced article out today that poses the question we’re all wondering: will President Trump pull the plug on a livable climate?

Alas, mesuspects even Joe may have allowed the prevailing mood of national drama to get the better of him just a little—which ought to tell you just how emotional this issue has been for Americans! The starting-point for his thesis is that

The fate of humanity is in the hands of a denier who pledged to kill domestic and global climate action

And yes—technically, this is a fair, objective paraphrase of the President Elect’s climate platform. But let’s be sober about this: every political candidate in history has made grand promises, and Donald Trump (whatever his protestations to the contrary) is just that. A politician.

Trump threatens to disembowel climate science, he threatens to turn off the torrential knowledge-spigot that is the Global Earth Systems Change sciences, but where have I heard that rhetoric before? Here. Where I live.

In Australia, it was Tony Abbott who once vowed to dissolve the gangrenous monasteries of climatography. And to his credit, he did have a handful of the fatter klepto-clerics abducted and desaparecidos, presumably to be sold off for slaughter in the debating pits. But last I checked, my local Climate Ethics Centre for Excellence was still standing, not a brick out of place. So much for Team Abbott’s famous slogan (CLIMA DELENDA EST)!

Does the Latin gerundive of obligation mean nothing any more?

So it’s all very well for Mr Trump to say he’s going to take the world back to a pre-Inconvenient Truth Dark Age of climate ignorance, incuriosity and insouciance. Call me a skeptic, but I’ll start celebrating when he does it. I want to see the leader of the free world, on free-to-air TV, telling Michael Mann straight upside his face: ya fired.

89 thoughts on “Trump, climate and the future of the world

  1. I had occasion to visit Pontypool the other day.

    When you walk around the decrepit remains of a once-proud industrial/commercial town, see the fine old Victorian buildings crumbling among the tatty charity shops, betting shops & tatoo parlours and look at the sad people hanging, hopelessly, around – you get a sense of what Brexit & Trump are all about.

    Like many depressed former industrial areas, this town has had decades of hard-left local politics, Thatcherite neglect & moist-eyed Blairite good intentions – which have produced exactly nothing for its people.

    I’m a Thatcherite right wing entrepreneur by instinct & background, but it’s clear to me that a system which leaves large parts of its populace to rot for decades is unsustainable.

    How can the establishment who have presided over it refuse people at least a crack at radical alternatives?

    Liked by 5 people

  2. I’m tempted to say, this is huge, so, here goes: this is huge.

    Brexit was not just a flash in the pan, mere grumblings from the English (and Welsh) shires; it stretches right across the pond. To the east, countries like Hungary, on the fringes of Europe, who were already disaffected by EU federalism, are now going to be chomping at the bit. They see the Old World of corporate elitism and supranational control structures starting to fall apart and they are going to want to be in there, doing their bit for themselves to bring down what they see as the whole rotten edifice, thereby protecting their own national identities. Rightly, or wrongly, climate change worriers are going to be drowned out in the hubbub, in the clamour for political change. If climate change was way down the list of people’s concerns before, it’s now going to drop off the edge.

    We really did wake up to a different world this morning and I think 11 supreme court judges presiding over an appeal by the UK government in early December are going to have to think very carefully whether to stick their heels in and uphold the High Court Article 50 ruling or honour the democratic will of 17.4m Brits who now have the tacit support of millions of triumphant voters across the pond, plus the explicit support of a new US president.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I didn’t say it in my contribution above the line but I think Ian’s:

    As many climate sceptics have argued, allowing fears about climate change (and other things) to dominate left-wing politics has hollowed-out politics over the last 30 years leaving vast swathes of people turned off and disenfranchised – people who now have put Trump in the Whitehouse. The philosopher Slavoj Zizek recently argued in a Channel 4 News interview that Trump winning would be a necessary jolt to the system, allowing, or forcing, the priorities of the left to reconfigure. It can’t do anything else. We are gonna have a left so great, so beautiful, it’ll be a left like you’ve never seen before. Truly. And by the way, tremendous potential will be unleashed.

    is really huge. As they say. I don’t know how Trump will pan out in other ways but this strikes me as both credible and hopeful.

    And, strangely, I too was in Pontypool the other day, looking for some breakfast on the way to the Brecon Beacons. My only visit to Wales since bothering Ian himself at his Mac workstation prior to the launch of this site. I don’t think the problem included Thatcherite neglect. I think Ian’s got the answers in the renewal of the Left above. But on all that we can disagree. We agree that we care.

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  4. So many of the articles by tearful losers echo the notes of the Remoaners. They don’t recognise the country that they live in. They are so caught up in their metropolitan elite bubbles that they literally cannot conceive that other people may have different, even shockingly different, views. And then they attempt to gain the moral highground by calling Brexiteers xenophobic and racist or by claiming that Trump voters are misogynistic, xenophobic, racist. They just do not get it. Insulting the voters is not a clever way of earning their respect.

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  5. Ian/Jaime/ Richard

    I’m not entirely convinced that a resurgence of a new & beautiful left is going to solve the problem. Sounds a bit like son-of-Corbyn.

    I sense a good measure of agreement though – on the political class forgetting who exactly the are paid to look after.

    I blame a lot of it on the ’60s. Although I campaigned for Wilson in ’64 and availed myself enthusiastically of the new freedoms offered at the time – cynical old age has persuaded me that a lot of political rot set in then.

    It was the era when national (& even local) politicians started posturing about abstract global issues like civil rights, human rights, world peace, the environment – and ultimately of course Climageddon.

    All perfectly worthy objectives, of course, and impossible for civilised folk to criticise – except that a lot of politicians found that basking in the glow of these righteous objectives was rather more congenial than the difficult & messy business of repairing defects in the societies they were elected to serve.

    Eventually we ended up with local authorities in deprived London areas spending scare resources on “nuclear free zones”, governments taxing old age pensioners into poverty to make life bit easier for our descendants a couple of centuries hence and US society torn apart by issues like gay marriage & transgender bathrooms – while people in the rust belts queue for food stamps.

    If any good comes out of the extraordinary political revolution we are seeing – I hope it be a return of a more simple nation-state democratic model with the emphasis on protecting local development and citizenship – rather than global corporatism and unaccountable supranational institutions.

    IMHO global social & development objectives would be better achieved by treaty agreements, supervised by seconded staff from the principals – rather than autonomous institutions which run the risk of developing political cultures at odds with the interests of their founders’ citizens.

    It’s all about basic democracy really.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. As a progressive Democrat I am saddened by the result. However, the gnashing of teeth and rending of garments is a bit much. We survived 8 years of Ronald Reagan and 5 years of Richard Nixon. We Democrats will be back. Hopefully we will lose some of the baggage we brought to this electoral cycle, perhaps even the Climate Madness that has done neither the world nor progressivisim any good at all.

    Liked by 5 people

  7. FOXGOOSE
    “I had occasion to visit Pontypool the other day […] I’m a Thatcherite right wing entrepreneur by instinct & background, but….”

    ..but you’ve been to Pontypool.

    Post Brexit, post-Trump, post years of being typecast as a raving Tea Party racist on Guardian blogs, I’m coming to see that the real political division is not between left and right, but between those who have – metaphorically or physically – been to Pontypool, and those who haven’t.

    Liked by 2 people

  8. +100 to you all.

    I’ve said before that the likes of Russell Brand have called for a revolution – funny how they don’t recognise it when they get one and a relatively bloodless one too. There’s no guaruantee that Brexit or Trump will deliver but then what’s new?

    One of the rueful admissions has been that more of the city success should have trickled down to the public outside London. Ya think? But more important is that the views of those areas need to recognised as valid as those who live in London. In fact it’s past time they got priority.

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  9. THOMASWFULLER2″ “We survived 8 years of Ronald Reagan and 5 years of Richard Nixon”

    This is different, they were both politicians and thus beholden to the rules of the political establishment, so entirely unable to think and act outside the box.

    Trump isn’t, he is a successful entrepreneur and leader of teams of management who he is clearly capable of motivating. If he can tame the House and the Senate and bend them to his will, he is in a position to sweep away a massive amount of dead wood that has been clogging the system since WWII.

    I predict that if he is able to survive for his first term and significantly improve matters so much that he is re-elected for a second term, in that term he will be able to be far less restrained in his clearance of decades’ worth of pettifogging bureaucracy and the jobsworths that originate and nurture it.

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  10. Ahh Geoff

    I’m hurt.

    I reached out my olive branch across the yawning political divide – & you did the CIF “out of context cut’n paste job” om me 😦

    I thought we kept that for the opposition 🙂

    Pontypool was just a recent observation, not a road to Damascus moment for me – I grew up in a Durham coal town.

    Anyway, I agree with you in principle.

    Left & right is obsolete. It should be localism versus globalism and political managerialism versus supranational posturing.

    Mr & Mrs Kinnock should have been tending the needs of their flock in the valleys – instead of drooling after matching chauffer-driven BMW 730’s in Brussels.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Foxgoose
    “you did the CIF “out of context cut’n paste job” om me”
    Sorry. I thought I was just saying that I agree. And I did give you a Like.

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  12. JAIME JESSOP
    “…this is huge […] climate change worriers are going to be drowned out in the hubbub, in the clamour for political change.”

    Absolutely. And if you look at the GWPF’s selection of reactions
    http://us4.campaign-archive1.com/?u=c920274f2a364603849bbb505&id=5457950ad3&e=6c1e6d4b54
    it’s evident that the question of “the science” has overnight become irrelevant, and so have we, which suits me fine, since it means I can give up this foolishness and go back to leading a normal life.
    COP21, fracking bans, windfarms, carbon footprints have gone the way of phrenology and flared trousers. Why should I waste another minute arguing with obtuse astrophysicists about the size of the error bars around their brains?

    “..I think 11 supreme court judges presiding over an appeal by the UK government in early December are going to have to think very carefully whether to stick their heels in…”

    Here I disagree absolutely. Digging their heels in is what supreme court judges are for. They are NOT there to sign off on our popular whims. Let them establish what is the Law, and then let Theresa May find a way round it. If she can’t she’ll be un-elected.

    Liked by 2 people

  13. Geoff

    “Digging their heels in is what supreme court judges are for”

    That would be fine if they really were a “supreme” court.

    Since they’re just a franchise of the EU’s ECJ – not so much. Especially bearing in mind the particular issue.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. catweazle666 says: 09 Nov 16 at 9:43 pm ”

    “I predict that if he is able to survive for his first term and significantly improve matters so much that he is re-elected for a second term, in that term he will be able to be far less restrained in his clearance of decades’ worth of pettifogging bureaucracy and the jobsworths that originate and nurture it.”

    De-fund NOAA, NASA Goddard, NSF, and NCAR/UICAR before the end of January 2017. All the other 3 and 4 letter agencies, Homeland Security, Interior Dept., Commerce Dept, and the FED: all get reduces in staffing to one Home Secretary, and two typing secretaries each; later in 2017! Congress can then increase those budgets, if they are willing to get thrown out on their ear in 2018! Mid terms will matter this time ’round! Da Donald gets one short chance!! The world will be better for it!
    All the best! -will-

    Liked by 2 people

  15. I’ve been profoundly depressed all day at this result. And amazed that 50 million people can vote for someone who sometimes can’t seem to open his mouth without lying or being offensive. My only consolation is that there are still a small number of Republicans in Congress who are not batshit crazy and who might put up some opposition to Trump.

    As for supreme court justices being slagged off for upholding the law and the right of parliament to hold the government to account, that stinks too.

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  16. They’re now talking about trying to analyse if there was a ‘secret’ Trump vote. Think about that. A massive section of the public is ‘secret’. Secret to who? Not to themselves. What does this word secret mean, actually? Looked over? Ignored? Come the fuck on, Stephan Lewandowsky, get to grips with this stuff. Analyse the nature of bias, of disconnection by the elites from the people. THAT’S YOUR JOB.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Ron,
    Election ’16 aside, I’ve always said it’s the explorers, not the deplorers, who will KAG (Keep America Great).

    Liked by 1 person

  18. Brad, your contribution made me laugh. Please stop that.

    But let’s be sober about this: every political candidate in history has made grand promises, and Donald Trump (whatever his protestations to the contrary) is just that. A politician.

    Bottom line: it’s all very well for Mr Trump to claim he’s going to take the world back to a pre-An Inconvenient Truth Dark Age of climate ignorance, incuriosity and insouciance. Call me a cynic, but I’ll start celebrating when he does it. I want to see the leader of the free world, on free-to-air TV, say straight to Michael Mann’s face: ya fired.

    Insouciance. What a great word for what we’re aiming for. This is exactly the point.

    Liked by 3 people

  19. Geoff:

    Here I disagree absolutely. Digging their heels in is what supreme court judges are for. They are NOT there to sign off on our popular whims. Let them establish what is the Law, and then let Theresa May find a way round it. If she can’t she’ll be un-elected.

    But she wasn’t elected! Other than that I agree with you.

    There is a syndrome I’m going to call Dumb Leavers. Thinking Andrea Leadsom was ready-made, proven material to be PM. Attacking the judges in this case. Overconfidence combined with ignorance: the dark side of successful populism. One thing I liked about Donald Trump’s tone yesterday was that he didn’t sound overconfident. He’s got a lot to learn. But then so have I:

    The last time I saw Myron he compared my dress sense unfavourably to that of my son – before a GWPF meeting almost a year ago. Unlike most big shots in to speak at the House of Lords he was wandering round the room to meet people. He was dead right. There’s real hope if Trump sticks with this appointment.

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  20. Ian, I’m surprised you’ve learnt nothing from Dr Lew. You should know that climate science scepticism is conspiracy theorising and secret Trump voters is a reasoned concern 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  21. “Never has the world needed fearless, independent journalism more” the Guardian advertises today in a bid for funding from readers. During the campaign they ignored James O’Keefe exposing corruption and dirty tricks going on in the Democratic Party (actually didn’t just ignore his revelations, but smeared O’Keefe and said he was discredited). So what will they do now? Some soul-searching about their own journalistic standards? Ponder on where they went wrong and be honest with themselves? What a great thing that would be, to see the Guardian restored and strong again. Can’t see it happening though, sadly.

    Liked by 3 people

  22. Nino raises a persistent theme of US elections. (or at least their aftermath).

    I’ve been profoundly depressed all day at this result. And amazed that 50 million people can vote for someone who sometimes can’t seem to open his mouth without lying or being offensive. My only consolation is that there are still a small number of Republicans in Congress who are not batshit crazy and who might put up some opposition to Trump.

    Who hasn’t been disappointed by the results of US elections? Which is odd, firstly because most of us aren’t Americans, and Armageddon seems never to show up. And its odd because, in spite of the endlessly-recycled fears that the stupid, white, fat, racist, hateful vote will return a near-fascist president whose finger will rest heavily on The Button, there hasn’t been much between the economic doctrines of Republican and Democratic presidents from a European perspective, and even less difference with respect to foreign policy. Arguably, the leftish, anti-war commentator in the UK should have been more disappointed by Democrat presidents than by republicans.

    The difference is only one of style, the corollary of which is merely perception — Democrats have effected better PR campaigns. This amounts to nice words about black and gay people, but no less shitting on poorer people, black, white, straight or gay, from a greater height than their predecessors. Europeans’ perspective on US presidents has been even more constrained by the Culture Wars than the average US voter’s choice has been. Perhaps because there was no culture war here; the tanks just rolled on in and over, and built themselves a shiny new parliament. Two, in fact — just to rub our noses in it. So we accept higher body counts from Democrat presidents because gay marriage. This is nice warmongering, not bible-bashing, homophobic war-mongering!

    The affectations of nominally ‘progressive’ candidates could only convince so many people for so long. Hillary’s attempt to shatter the ‘glass ceiling’, and Obama’s symbolic overcoming of the racial divide, and their party’s distaste for ugly, polluting heavy and old industry belies the truth that they presided over a deepening of inequalities.

    There have been three presidents so far in my adult lifetime. Memory plays tricks on us, bit I think my conversion from green to climate sceptic coincided with the Gore-Bush contest, and my hankering after superficially-progressive politics even lasted until the Kerry-Bush contest, such that I too was disappointed in 2000 and 2004.

    It would be selfish of me, and to be preoccupied with climate change, to thank Gaia for my disappointments. Nonetheless, I think the world would be much poorer for a political consensus on climate change that Kerry and Gore could have embraced and enforced (to the extent that other political institutions and the US public would have allowed it). That is to say to Nino, in retrospect, I do not believe that either Kerry or Gore to be any less ****ing insane than he believes Trump to be. In fact, I think they have shown themselves to be sociopaths, the former, in particular, bent on a course of action that might well have provoked a hot war in his last months in office that Trump seems to have in fact decided to pour cold water on, being unwilling — rhetorically, at least — to commit any lives or dollars to.

    Which leaves us where we always are, with Nino’s sense of disappointment. His emotions. And it is telling that the response to Trump’s victory has been emotional. That is the level of the competition established by the opposing camp, in spite of the Clinton campaign’s claim that Trump merely mobilised hateful impulses. In fact, there has been a distinctly (albeit often crudely expressed) political dimension to Trump’s campaign, in which he has been able to identify a class that has been left out of politics for generations, and to channel their frustrations. It is simply no use, merely suggesting that the rejection of superficially progressive ‘policies’ is owed to misogyny, racism, homophobia — hateful emotions, vs the Dem’s emphasis on nice emotions. What counts for most people is their wages, their houses, their families, not token attachment to abstract quantities like identity. Put crudely — and taking the HRC’s campaigning points at face value — even for a black, gay woman, the prospect of some degree of racism, sexism and homophobia might not be enough to encourage her to vote against her material interests.

    And that speaking to demographic categories and identities should send the biggest message to future campaigners hoping to capitalise on ‘wedge’ issues: be careful what you wish for. Democrats who had hoped to divide the voters on the issue of climate change must now be kicking themselves. Having so divided the population (if that is how they have divided), now a climate change denier is at the Whitehouse, and is set to overturn a great deal of domestic policy, with implications for global climate politics.

    All of this is to say to our disappointed visitor that his disappointment stems from his failure to understand the arguments that motivate other people. Politics is disappointment, one way or another. Not enough people shared his view of what is disappointing. He could carry on shouting — like so many histrionic democrats have been this last 24 hours. Or could listen. If I were to sum up the character of the politics espoused by the HRC campaign, and those attached to the broader climate issue is, it would be precisely: intransigence, entitlement and indifference. More of the same isn’t going to win any friends for Consensus Enforcement tag teams in the new era of climate change politics that begins on January 20, 2017. But you know, Nino (And Ken, if you’re still reading), keep it up, because it’s going to be an interesting spectacle. I suspect that the shriller end of the climate debate will be the first to get chucked under the bus, with the money and muscle regrouping on more sensible ground.

    Liked by 4 people

  23. Speaking of the Guardian, yesterday’s edition was conclusive proof that it has become irrelevant to UK readers. At 6am a tram came off the rails near Croydon, causing 7 deaths and 50 serious injuries. There was one story in the Guardian, one also on the BBC, while the rest of the paper /website was full of stories from people who believe that the US election has caused the world to end. Real news was ignored in favour of self-indulgent virtue signalling. I found it disgusting.

    Liked by 2 people

  24. So it’s Enoch Powell:

    All political careers end in failure.

    And Ben Pile:

    Politics is disappointment, one way or another.

    I say let’s join the Samaritans and make a difference 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  25. Andrew Orlowski revisits his interview with Joel Kotkin in the Register, on ‘why Trump won’.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/11/10/kotkin_why_trump_won/

    (For Nino’s benefit, ‘middle class’ means something different in the US, whereas it stands for everything south of the Aristocracy in the UK).

    ————
    If you want crony capitalism in all its glory, Hillary Clinton was the most crony capitalist candidate of all time.

    Hillary had the oligarchs’ vote. No one, not even Obama, ever had this degree of support from the bourgeoisie. She won the billionaire primary 20 to 1. The big money in this country – the tech oligarchs, Hollywood, Wall Street – were all for Hillary. So how could she run as a populist? She had to run on gender, on race, as a Green candidate… and that probably isn’t enough.
    ————

    The older interview referred to is at http://www.theregister.co.uk/2016/07/11/kotkin_on_who_made_trump_and_brexit_look_in_the_mirror_its_you/

    And here’s a passage which may help Nino and others understand why their view of climate sceptics as deplorable, goose-stepping crypto-fascists fails to understand the context of political change.

    ———-
    “I’m one of those displaced old Democrats. I’m not an ideological Conservative at all, I see a decent role for government. But I think that what’s happened to the Democratic Party is that it’s become the Downton Abbey party – of the very rich and the very poor. You have these very powerful, very wealthy people who for whatever reason subscribe to a particular worldview. As the working class are deserting the Democrat Party, it becomes less responsive to them.”
    ———-

    Liked by 2 people

  26. Ben, my concern over the election is only weakly related to climate policy, but more with the wider implications. The likely repeal of the ACA means 20 million once more without medical insurance. Broader Republican opposition to environmental protection looks likely to be indulged leading to unrestrained extraction and distruction. The supreme court (with a Trump nominee) may well unwind things like abortion rights and minority protections and allow states’ further infringement of voting rights. If he follows through with some of his trade rhetoric we may end up with a trade war, and if he were to let Russia off the leash we could end up with worse.

    Bad things in history often coincide with nutters getting hold of power. Trump’s nuttiness may only be an act, underneath lying a more serious person, but the evidence for the latter is thin at the moment. The worst fears may not come to pass, but then they might…

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  27. Nino, are you American?

    The likely repeal of the ACA means 20 million once more without medical insurance. Broader Republican opposition to environmental protection looks likely to be indulged leading to unrestrained extraction and distruction. The supreme court (with a Trump nominee) may well unwind things like abortion rights and minority protections and allow states’ further infringement of voting rights. If he follows through with some of his trade rhetoric we may end up with a trade war, and if he were to let Russia off the leash we could end up with worse.

    Though you raise legitimate concerns — far more real to most people than climate change, aside the ‘extraction and distruction’ {sic} thing — there’s not one of them that I can take at face value, or explain very differently, and that fit any conventional left-right narrative corresponding to any political dynamic. There might be good reasons why working and middle class people might want to object to the ACA, and that notwithstanding the freedom I think women should have over their own bodies, voters may have decided that deciding the issue on a state-by-state basis might be a political compromise worth tolerating for the broader benefit of dismantling a political establishment whose service to the working and middle classes has not matched their rhetoric.

    — if he were to let Russia off the leash we could end up with worse. —

    Y’see, your own language reveals too much about your presuppositions. Russia off the leash? It is as if there was no history of shock treatment dished out to Russia by Western technocrats (such as that delivered by the now champion of climate change, Jeff Sachs), and no interference in Russian political affairs and relations from either NATO or the EU. And it is as if there is not already an economic war, with sanctions against Russia having been imposed. One doesn’t need to be a fan of Putin to recognise that the notion of putting a “leash” on Russia is the surest way of antagonising relationships with that country — the rank hypocrisy of such a sentiment being perhaps the least offensive thing about it, given the almighty clusterfuck our own leaders have caused, leaving hundreds of thousands dead, and the emergence of IS into the vacuum.

    You need to reflect on why you lost (or why that loss seems to be the tendency of politics across the Western hemisphere), not grieve for what you believe you have lost.

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  28. Richard

    “There is a syndrome I’m going to call Dumb Leavers…”

    I can’t believe anyone who’s fought in the Climate Wars could emerge with such a completely deficient sense of irony. “Dumb leavers” is just “Climate deniers” revisited.

    The novel notion that there’s something wrong with “attacking judges” is equally bizarre. Social commentators have been attacking & mocking the judiciary (when they could get away with it) since at least the Norman invasion.

    Chaucer, Shakespeare & Dickens all had a go – and the 18th century cartoonists like Rowlandson & Gilray developed it into an art form.

    Having come to adulthood in the ’60s, I can clearly remember the shock I felt when I first saw judges openly mocked on the BBC – in David Frost’s pioneering satirical show “That Was The Week That Was”.

    The sketch was so shocking I can just about remember the script. It was at the time when homosexual acts were still criminal:-

    Two fully robed & bewigged High Court judges (one may have been Willie Rushton) walking down the court steps discussing sentencing:-

    First judge: “What do you give those homosexual chappies Charles?”

    Second judge (after reflection) “Oh. I dunno….. half a crown & an apple usually”

    So, on Aunty BBC c1963, newly liberated satirists were laughing their heads off at a sketch implying that senior judges were not only corrupt hypocrites – but probably child abusers as well
    …… and 50 years on you’re seriously suggesting that mocking judges is beyond the pale?

    The difference of course is that the particular current judges have (for now) come out on the side of the metropolitan liberal consensus.

    If the appeal court reverses the Brexit Article 50 decision – expect those judges to be roundly mocked on the front page of the Graun as out-of-touch, geriatric reactionaries.

    Liked by 4 people

  29. I repeat what Geoff wrote, with which I was agreeing:

    Here I disagree absolutely. Digging their heels in is what supreme court judges are for. They are NOT there to sign off on our popular whims. Let them establish what is the Law, and then let Theresa May find a way round it. If she can’t she’ll be un-elected.

    No criticism of the pioneering role of TW3 in UK satire can be deduced.

    Due process, my dear boy, due process.

    (Thinking of Supermac there and Peter Cook’s needless cruelty to him. But I digress, as have you.)

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  30. Ben, how can Trump dismantle the political establishment? I’ve seen that written but I don’t understand how he is supposed to achieve it, short of changing the constitution and the electoral system.

    As for Russia, what I meant be off the leash was the ending of current sanctions and the withdrawal by the US of its security guarantees to western Europe. The first were imposed because of unacceptable actions by Russia in Ukraine. Both would possibly destabilize Europe and be dangerous. Does Trump understand this?

    Foxgoose, mocking of the judiciary by comedians, authors and playwrights are rather different from those promoted noisily on the front pages of national newspapers or by presidential candidates. Just like jokes about minority groups differ from standing in front of a nation proclaiming that Muslims (or Jews, Christians, gays, people with Down Syndrome, etc) should be excluded from entry.

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  31. Geoff,

    “They are NOT there to sign off on our popular whims. Let them establish what is the Law, and then let Theresa May find a way round it.”

    I would think that ruling whether – in the case of a referendum mandated by an Act of Parliament, in which the people voted decisively to leave the EU, where the result was advisory on the GOVERNMENT (not Parliament), where the government expressly stated that they would implement the result of the vote, “no matter what the result” – the electorate or parliament are sovereign, amounts to rather more than entertaining a “popular whim”.

    Judges can never be more than experts whose interpretation of the law we habitually interpret to be the law. As such, they should not be immune from scrutiny and criticism, especially with respect to their supposed ‘independence’. If, in Richard’s view, that makes me and all the rest of those people out there having a go at the judiciary ‘dumb leavers’ then so be it. Better dumb than half-blind I say.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. For “mocking of” read “attacks on”. Sorry.

    Thank you for doing the right thing and self-correcting there.

    Folks, we speak Climate English at this site. If you don’t like it, go back to Mexico / the Arabian Desert / 1993.

    Like

  33. Some of course would argue that three High Court judges DID sign off on a popular whim – that of an ex-model turned fund investment manager and her hairdresser, who “felt sick” at being on the losing side of a democratic vote.

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  34. Richard

    Out of context quotations must be catching.

    The quotation of yours I was objecting to was this one:-

    “There is a syndrome I’m going to call Dumb Leavers. Thinking Andrea Leadsom was ready-made, proven material to be PM. ‘Attacking the judges in this case’. Overconfidence combined with ignorance: the dark side of successful populism”.

    I don’t think any criticism of TW3 was implied or deduced by anyone – I simply used it to point out the hypocrisy of those who are currently swooning like maiden aunts over criticism of judges.

    If you think the Mishcon Brexit action is “due process” – I’ve got a lovely big clock by the Thames for sale 🙂

    It was a naked attempt by activist lawyers to interfere in a democratic political process.

    It was first press released by Mishcon’s 10 days after the referendum as an action on behalf of an anonymous group of “business clients”.

    Later the glamorous Ms Miller was unveiled as the primary plaintiff. Sadly she spilt the beans somewhat when she told the FT that a Mishcon partner had approached her after hearing her speak at a diversity conference and asked her to front the action. “Next day I spent five hours at their offices”.

    She also announced widely to the press that “the referendum result made me physically sick” – but put her name to a claim on a narrow point of parliamentary procedure. When I used to get involved in litigation I was always told that litigating with an ulterior motive was abuse of process.

    High Court judges worth their salt should have declined jurisdiction on the grounds that:-

    1. It would be judicial interference in a democratic decision.
    2. The fact that our courts are ultimately subordinate to the EU ECJ is an insurmountable conflict of interest.
    3. The plaintiffs were frivolous & litigating with a widely advertised ulterior motive.
    4.The senior judge involved had a massive personal conflict of interest through his founding and ongoing role in the European Law Institute. An organisation which, although ostensibly independent, was set up at the behest of the EU, flies the EU flag on its website, receives EU funding and acts as a legal adviser to the EU.

    Any doubts about how political the ELI is can be dispelled by watching its current president (ex Lib Dem MEP & EU Parliament Vice-president Diana Wallis) speaking at a rally demanding that Brexit be overturned:-

    “Due process, my dear boy” ….. indeed.

    Liked by 2 people

  35. Jaime/Foxgoose

    Richard North doesn’t have his knickers in a twist over all this and what he wrote made sense to me. You may well be right about how the judges should rule on appeal. Why don’t we wait and see on that?

    This thread is about Trump and I did, if you read the whole of my post in question, tie the ‘overconfidence with ignorance’ syndrome back to what’s happening in America. I agree with Richard there was some ignorance in the vitriol aimed at the judges in the UK in this case. But why don’t we look for some common ground? Do you see any dangers in the populism represented by Donald Trump and his followers in the last 18 months? If not, you’re living in a much happier world than I am!

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  36. Richard,

    I don’t agree with North that the High Court ruling was merely a “warm up”. It was defining. It makes it less likely that any subsequent ruling will be different.
    http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/729666/supreme-court-appeal-brexit-high-court-ruling-article-50-michael-mansfield
    Some of the media reaction was over the top but it remains a fact that the most senior of the three judges has a demonstrable conflict of interest with regard to EU membership and from the point of view of most people who voted in good faith to leave the EU, though this may be ‘due process’, it sure as hell looks, smells and sounds like an establishment stitch up to thwart the result of a democratic vote. It will be extremely hard to dispel that notion if the Supreme Court upholds the original ruling and MPs – a majority of whom clearly do not want to leave the EU – get to decide the terms of our withdrawal and when Article 50 is to be triggered.

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  37. Nino: “I’ve been profoundly depressed all day at this result.”

    I haven’t, I’ve been very happy, and this is why:

    Kremlin: Clinton Victory Would Have Led to World War 3 Between Russia and the US

    http://heatst.com/politics/kremlin-clinton-victory-would-have-led-to-world-war-3-between-russia-and-the-us/

    Fancied a nuclear war, did you?

    Weird!

    Having lived through the Cuban missile crisis, when at a British public school we were excused lessons on the 23rd October 1962 because no-one knew if there was any further need for them and the World came within 20 minutes of mutually assured destruction, hence being aware of just how fast and how hard the shit can hit the fan, personally I think I’d rather give it a miss.

    But there again, I’m not a “Liberal” Leftist, so I haven’t a clue why you lot may prefer a warmonger with a nice safe underground bunker to hide in to someone who prefers peace between nuclear armed states…

    As a secondary consideration, a Trump presidency appears likely to utterly defuse the crazy Warmist scam, and that can only be a good thing for everyone but subsidy farmers, AGW delusion dependent academics and all the other ten thousand or more parasites who fly round the World in private jets, first class and business class – de-planing into huge fleets of limousines – to spend two weeks all expenses paid at five star resorts, thus creating a carbon footprint the size of an average Third World nation, to pass laws making my life more expensive.

    Again, you apparently feel different for some inexplicable reason.

    Ah well, it takes all sorts…

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Jaime:

    Some of the media reaction was over the top

    And that’s all I meant by dumb leavers. Let’s wait and see what the Supreme Court says. I think we have bigger fish to fry on this thread, based on what Geoff is reporting in the next one.

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  39. Richard

    Richard North may be right – but many of us have no confidence that the Supreme Court will be any less subject to conflict of interest than the High Court. At least one of the justices is a fellow member of Lord Thomas’s ELI.

    You don’t have to read many recent court proceedings to realise how thoroughly enmeshed our legal processes now are with EU norms. In any case, the Supreme Court will concern themselves only with the legal minutiae of the High Court’s arguments – not the overarching question of whether the matter should ever have been litigated.

    The thing that depresses me deeply about this affair is the gross dishonesty of those on your side who keep pretending this is “just about process”. We may be “overconfident, ignorant dumb-leavers subject to the dark influences of populism (AKA referenda)” – but we’re not quite that stupid.

    It hasn’t escaped our notice that those who have suddenly developed an obsessive interest in the arcanities of parliamentary procedure are exactly the same people who fought against Brexit during the referendum campaign and opposed the result afterwards. The people carrying the fragrant Ms Miller shoulder high and proclaiming her “woman of the century” are not Parliamentary procedure anoraks – they are people who want to stay in the EU and see her action as a step in that direction.

    Lord Thomas’s ELI colleague Diana Wallis spells out the game plane quite clearly in the video I posted above – stalemate Article 50 in Parliament & demand a further referendum or General Election in the hope of reversing the original democratic referendum decision.

    I don’t know whether you are aware, but the subject of UK referenda in general was extensively discussed by a Select Committee in 2012, before the Scottish independence vote. After taking advice from eminent constitutional academics, they decided unanimously (and minuted) that all referenda (technically binding or advisory) had always been and must always be implemented in full, without interference by government or opposition, in order to keep faith with voters. If this good-faith commitment is broken by the legal maneuverings of Mishcon de Reya & the judiciary – the effect on our democracy will be profound & lasting. Because we don’t have a written constitution, we rely on good faith and the consent of the governed. Absent those – we no longer have a functioning democracy.

    I take your point that this thread is primarily about Trump – but you brought up the Brexit issue, with fairly insulting rhetoric to boot, so I don’t really think you can complain at Jaime & I responding.

    On the subject of Trump – yes would definitely have voted for him; for the reasons I tried to explain earlier. It’s time politicians were made to remember that their primary responsibility is to the people who elect & pay for them and that their first concern ought to be repairing problems in their own societies rather than posturing about abstract global issues.

    Liked by 3 people

  40. If the day’s average Tweet could be summarized computorially, I suspect the output would be:

    “Love must trump Trump! We—all Americans—must stand together against the Fifty-One Percent who misvoted!”

    Liked by 1 person

  41. “…get to decide the terms of our withdrawal and when Article 50 is to be triggered.”

    Well, you *would* have to give Article 50 a trigger warning first. As the Japanese would say: O tempura! O mores!

    Liked by 1 person

  42. Completely agree with Foxy: “Chaucer, Shakespeare & Dickens all had a go – and the 18th century cartoonists like Rowlandson & Gilray developed it into an art form.”

    Those 18th century cartoonists developing Shakerz into an art form is a great reminder of how today’s cartoonists are developing climate change into The Science.

    This is basic Grade School cartooning people, pay attention. Goes all the way back to Arrhenius’ cartoonuensis.

    Liked by 2 people

  43. Ian Woolley’s comment about Trump’s victory being a jolt to the left (and commented on by Richard Drake 09 Nov 16 at 8:03 pm) indicates something about the present. The liberal left have no positive vision to sell to the voters. Hilary Clinton’s policies were like many of the proposed GHG emission policies – vague platitudes, which will cost loads of money, but make very little actual difference. People saw through the spin. The biggest reason to vote Democrat was that Hilary Clinton was not as bad as Donald Trump. This showed in the voting figures. Mike Smithson at UK blog PoliticalBetting has pointed out in terms of the popular vote, Donald Trump received 1.5 million less votes than Mitt Romney in 2012. But Trump won due to Hilary Clinton receiving 6.3 million less votes than Barak Obama. Democrat voters may have disliked Donald Trump, but they had no positive alternative.

    Liked by 2 people

  44. It is worth reading Joe Romm’s post Will President Trump pull the plug on a livable climate? that Brad Keyes references in full. As a (slightly manic) beancounter I like to check behind the figures. Like last year, when criticizing Bjorn Lomborg, Romm used a graph produced by a group called ClimateInteractive to show that all the INDC policy proposals will result in emissions in 2100 more than a third lower than without policy. Translated by climate models, rather than 4.5C of warming in 2100 for the “No Action” scenario there would be 3.5C – now revised to 3.6C. At the back end of last year I tried to reconcile this 1C policy difference to Bjorn Lomberg’s estimate of about 0.1C. Looking at the just the CO2 emissions (about three-quarters of total emissions) I found that
    – For the USA and the EU emissions per capita are forecast rise without policy despite falling for over 35 years. Result is that empty policy proposals make a huge difference.
    – For China emissions per capita are forecast to continue rising through to 2090, when they would be twice the level peak US emissions in 1973. This despite quite large technological efficiency advances. So when China says their emissions will peak by 2030, the proclamation alone make a huge difference!
    – Poor India, on the other hand, is forecast for economic growth to collapse and emissions growth along with it. So the fact that India has made no forecast about when emissions will peak makes no little difference to the global forecast.

    The key graph that shows the manipulation of the CO2 emissions forecast is below.

    Like many other climate change believers, Joe Romm swallows whole the biased opinions of fellow believers, and rejects out of hand the opinions of any he disagrees with. It is the conformity to his ideological views that is the measure of acceptance or rejection of others views, not some more objective standard like the strength of the evidence in support of hypotheses, or demonstrated expertise of the scientists and policy-makers. Climate believers are just an extreme example of the liberal left, which is why they had no answer to the tsunami of Donald Trump’s Presidential race.

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  45. “I personally feel more dedicated than ever to climate change — I have a personal stake in it like everyone else, but now I have an emotional connection. This is my calling, and the threat of someone taking that away from me made me scared, angry, and determined to protect it.”

    “My marginalization as a woman has been very real. At some points in my life it has been traumatic — but I do not think it can even be compared to the marginalization and violence experienced by people of color, LGBTQ people, people from “English as a second language” homes. I have always assumed (here is my privilege) that I had a right to a seat at the table in this culture. I am ashamed that I have not worked harder to make space for marginalized people. I feel a deep weight of responsibility. We have so much work to do — to take responsibility for our own biases, implicit and explicit. To take responsibility for the privilege that we can unwittingly wield. To really listen with open hearts and to ensure that Science — and I mean capitol S, Science — is a safe, inclusive home for everyone.”

    Safe? Why in multiple Gods and Goddesses names should science ever be ‘safe’? For ANYONE? You want safe; get a job in a creche. This is the spectacle of young academics studying climate science, crying into their coffee over the prospect of the imminent collapse of their cosy academic world – and it is very, very unedifying. These are the type of people in the driving seat of climate ‘science’ research. Thank Christ they will hopefully be out of a job is all I can say.

    Liked by 3 people

  46. FOXGOOSE (10 Nov 16 at 5:06 pm) JAIME JESSOP (10 Nov 16 at 6:48 pm)
    Sorry for not replying before. Of course we should be free to mock and criticise judges. But not because they’ve gone against a majority decision in a referendum. It’s agreed by everyone that the government is not legally bound to obey the results of the referendum. They’d just be crazy not to, because of what people would say. (And this is a key difference between the UK and e.g. the USA with its written constitution and its philosophy of “I can do it if it’s not illegal” as seen in the Republican position on the appointment to the Supreme Court.)
    I have no idea if the judges’ decision was right or wrong. But I’m sure that criticising them because they weren’t in accoord with what was only a glorified opinion poll is wrong.

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  47. NO OFFENCE JOSH (11 Nov 16 at 2:02 pm) FOXGOOSE (10 Nov 16 at 10:04 pm)
    Agreed. It was Foxgoose’s mention of Rowlandson and Gilray as much as his erudition that persuaded me I was wrong. There was a great exhibition recently at the British Museum of anti-French cartoons at the time of Napoleon. The Sun’s editor could have learned a thing or two.

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  48. My comment of 10:36pm might appeal to fellow beancounters and other empiricists, but of less interest to many others here. Another illustration of Joe Romm’s distance from the real world, that will appeal to a wider audience, is contained in his concluding paragraph.

    But while the world needs the climate change equivalent of Winston Churchill, we just elected Neville Chamberlain. And that may well be exactly how future generations will remember him if he leaves behind a world of ever-worsening climate impacts.

    So Donald Trump will be like the Britain’s Prime Minister from May 1937 to May 1940?
    The late Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother, and Queen Consort to King George VI (1936-1952) was a personal friend of Prime Minister Chamberlain. In a letter to Chamberlain of 2 July 1938 from Buckingham Palace the Queen wrote:-

    My dear Mr Chamberlain
    I write to send you my heartfelt thanks for your kind and sympathetic letter of condolence on the death of my mother. I was deeply touched by what you said, and thought it so wonderfully kind of you to write as you did, so understanding & so calm, when you were being harried in such a debate that evening […..]
    …… You must forgive me for writing to you like this, but you have been such a kind friend and counsellor to us during the last year, that I address you in the most friendly & grateful spirit. …..

    The editor, William Shawcross, puts this letter into context

    In September 1938 the Prime Minister, Neville Chamberlain, made several flights to Germany to try to make a settlement with Hitler. The Munich Agreement of September 1938 allowed Hitler to dismember Czechoslovakia and expressed the desire that Germany and Britain never go to war again. Chamberlain declared that this brought ‘peace in our time’.

    So is Joe Romm effectively saying that President elect Donald Trump is a thoroughly decent sort of chap, who would be walked all over in negotiations with a ruthless dictator?
    In another letter of 17 May 1940 Queen Elizabeth wrote

    Dear Mr Chamberlain
    I must write you one line to say how deeply I regretted your ceasing to be our Prime Minister. I can never tell you in words how much we owe you. During these last desperate and unhappy years, you have been a great support and comfort to us both, and the knowledge that your wisdom and high purpose were there at hand. […..]
    Your broadcast was superb. My eldest daughter told me that she and Margaret Rose had listened to it with real emotion. In fact she said ‘I cried, mummy.’ […..]

    Can anyone imagine that any fourteen year old girl would be so emotional from the sentiment of a Donald Trump speech that they would cry, let alone a well-adjusted one who 76 years later is Britain’s longest-reigning monarch?
    My, alternative, explanation is that the liberal left (of whom the climate alarmists are an extreme subset) do not seek to understand their opponents. Doing so would be an act of apostasy. So they cherry-pick quotes and make false analogies so they can view their opponents as lesser beings than themselves. Stephan Lewandowsky does this with his “conspiracist ideation” smears. In reality the USA has elected someone who is more akin to Winston Churchill – at his worst – than Neville Chamberlain. It is someone who sticks to their guns regardless of what others think (with Churchill in the 1930s he went against consensus opinion in favouring rearmament and opposing Indian Independence) and will bounce back from setbacks that would sink the political careers of lesser men (Churchill = Gallipoli, Trump = in 2005 bragged about kissing and groping women while chatting with “Access Hollywood” host Billy Bush).

    Liked by 2 people

  49. Geoff

    “It’s agreed by everyone that the government is not legally bound to obey the results of the referendum. They’d just be crazy not to, because of what people would say. (And this is a key difference between the UK and e.g. the USA with its written constitution and its philosophy of “I can do it if it’s not illegal” as seen in the Republican position on the appointment to the Supreme Court.)”

    That’s simply not the case. I wasn’t making it up when I said a 2012 Parliamentary Select Committee had debated the treatment of referenda in detail and agreed that, whether technically binding or advisory, they must be implemented.

    Here’s the extract from the minutes:-

    The reason our democracy has survived for around 500 years without a written constitution is precisely because our parliamentarians have discussed and agreed protocols and understandings on handling issues which are observed as a matter of good faith.

    Almost all our parliamentary procedure and much of election law are simply conventions (often unwritten) which all parties observe unquestioningly.

    It’s clear from those minutes that the politicians of all parties, and the constitutional academics advising them, agreed that both types of referendum have always been and should always be implemented as voters intended – to preserve good faith.

    In the absence of a written constitution these agreed understandings form the bedrock of our system of governance – and to try & wave them away with airy comments like “It’s agreed by everyone that the government is not legally bound to obey the results” and “what was only a glorified opinion poll” is just a distraction attempt.

    If the government, parliament or the judiciary monkey around with a clear & unambiguous referendum vote, it will be a monstrous betrayal of our democracy – the like of which I haven’t seen in my fairly long lifetime.

    I, for one, will be out on the streets.

    Liked by 2 people

  50. Foxgoose: I don’t disagree about the referendum being binding. But all the judges can do, at worst, is throw it back at Parliament. Are our elected representatives going to ignore the protocol? Do they wish to retain their seats in the next general election?

    I’ve departed from my self-imposed silence on Brexit. But I will repeat a question to you, which you chose to ignore last time:

    Do you see any dangers in the populism represented by Donald Trump and his followers in the last 18 months? If not, you’re living in a much happier world than I am

    My original (and clearly very offensive) comment about some (certainly not all) Leavers being Dumb was also illustrated by the great surge of support from Leave-aligned Tory MPs for Andrea Leadsom as a credible PM. There’s been no comment on that part either.

    You seem to feel that the decision of the Supreme Court is supremely important. I don’t. But my point was a broader one about the dangers of “overconfidence with ignorance” given the populist uprisings of the last year in the UK and now the US. I still wonder if we can find any common ground.

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  51. FOXGOOSE
    Yes, you’re right. I corrected my comment in accordance with one of yours and then said something silly because I hadn’t seen your later comment. That’s what I meant about your erudition, and why I prefer to discuss Rowlandson and Gillray. I think I accidentally agreed with you about how an unwritten constitution works, without knowiing what I was talking about. I’ll shut up now

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  52. Geoff, again, designating Trump’s victory as simply an outbreak of populism derogates the motives of the electorate. I think you will find, looking at the voter figures, that the situation was rather more complex than that.

    Re. Andrea Leadsom, we will never know if she would have made a credible PM because she resigned following a mini coup amounting to a storm in a tea cup initiated by more lies in the main stream media. One thing is for sure, if she did become PM and held good on the promise she made to trigger A50 immediately, we probably would not be in the mess we are in now, with the UK possibly facing years of damaging uncertainty and a rebellious populace convinced that Parliament has contravened their democratically expressed will, aided by the courts.

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  53. JAIME
    I think your comment is meant for Richard. I don’t have a fish in this race, or a dog in this barrel, since, being a UK citizen living in Europe, no-one asked my opinion. But I’ll give it anyway.

    The bits of the campaign I saw were as depressing as a Trump speech. The £300 million thing wasn’t a lie, as the remainers keep saying, but simply a bit of 3rd rate propaganda that backfired. The way to argue the case is the way Foxgoose does here, treating the voters as adults. It won’t happen as long as the political discourse is in the hands of the marketing men who want to bring the discussion down to the level of the dimmest voter.

    It wasn’t always so. The popularisers of political thought in the early 20th century, Russell, HG Wells, Shaw, Orwell, etc. wrote for the curious reader who left school at 15 but still had a mind of his/her own. Sanders and Corbyn seemed to be wanting to go there, but it’s a long road back.

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  54. Sorry Geoff; yes, that was meant for Richard. Senile dementia making an early showing or lack of sleep from being up half the night looking after two very old dogs, I’m not sure!

    Richard,

    Again, designating Trump’s victory as simply an outbreak of populism derogates the motives of the electorate. I think you will find, looking at the voter figures, that the situation was rather more complex than that.

    Re. Andrea Leadsom, we will never know if she would have made a credible PM because she resigned following a mini coup amounting to a storm in a tea cup initiated by more lies in the main stream media. One thing is for sure, if she did become PM and held good on the promise she made to trigger A50 immediately, we probably would not be in the mess we are in now, with the UK possibly facing years of damaging uncertainty and a rebellious populace convinced that Parliament has contravened their democratically expressed will, aided by the courts.

    Liked by 1 person

  55. Foxgoose, you confuse parliamentary tradition (upheld by parliament) and the law (upheld by the courts). The court has no right to interpret the law accoring to the former.

    Also people you want to treat the referendum result as a binding instruction, the only instruction it gave was to leave the EU. It gave no instruction on what form the relationship with the EU should then be, whether single market access should be retained, whether immigration should be reduced from EU countries or increased from India. It certainly didn’t give a small clique the right to answer these fundamental questions without parliamentary oversight.

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  56. Nino, not that old chestnut about how the referendum didn’t give any idea of what ‘form’ Brexit might take. How many times does it have to be exhaustively repeated that the British public were well aware that a vote to leave meant a vote to leave the European single market – they were made fully aware of this by no less than David Cameron, Michael Gove, and Boris Jonson to name but a few. OUT meant OUT of the Single Market, OUT of freedom of movement and this is what people voted for, not some wishy-washy ‘soft’ Brexit = no Brexit at all really, which parliamentarians are now conspiring to foist upon the British public against the majority will.

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  57. Jaime, you know what people understood about EU exit no better than I do. I imagine there is a multidimensional spectrum of understanding covering all possible positions and including yours and mine. There’s no mandate for any specific post-EU policy in that, beyond what the question on the ballot said – should we leave the EU.

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  58. Jaime,

    what the hell do people mean when they go out of their way to say the abstract noun they’re using should be understood to have a capital letter? Are they really not aware that, to normal people, it sounds as if they’re trying to disclaim its usual definition and suggest that it’s the thing-in-name-only?

    “As a Feminist of No Color with a big F, I am continuously ashamed of the way my Privilege, or PONC, makes lgbqt colleagues feel Lesser Than. Science—with a capital S, not just because it’s at the start of a sentence but for other unstated reasons as well—should be big-S Safe for all americans, with the A lowered to half-mast in mourning over the election of a Denier as president. Sorry, but I won’t dignify him with a capital P.”

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  59. JAIME
    “Sorry Geoff; yes, that was meant for Richard. Senile dementia making an early showing or lack of sleep from being up half the night looking after two very old dogs, I’m not sure!”

    I’ve met Richard, he’s not that old.

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  60. To lighten the mood: in psychiatry there’s a well-documented paraphilia (sexual unusualness) in which the typically white, male patient is attracted only to “subaltern” partners, that is, persons Othered by prevailing power relationships. Ah, but I’ve pretty much given away the punchline haven’t I? D’oh!

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  61. Brad, it was science with a “capitol S”, not a mere capital. So we must presume that this Science would be done only in the rarefied and utterly “safe” space of a government building or maybe a temple dedicated to Jupiter.

    Liked by 1 person

  62. Nino,

    Your argument is absurd and irrational, basically an insistence that we ignore or effectively nullify the result of a national democratic vote based upon the supposed dubious semantics of the referendum question, thence implying that because of this ‘lack of clarity’ due to semantic deficiency we should not therefore assume that the electorate were aware of the implications of voting IN or OUT. It’s mental. The fact is, whether or not the message that ‘leave = exit from single market’ actually made it into the semi-permanent cognition/memory synaptic pathways of the electorate’s grey matter, the message was there for all to see, in glorious BBC/ITV/Channel 4 MSM HD technicolour.

    To argue that the electorate were unaware of the practical and political significance of their IN or OUT vote is to argue that your average voter has the attention span of a gnat and the memory of a goldfish.

    Like

  63. Richard

    Brexit

    “Foxgoose: I don’t disagree about the referendum being binding. But all the judges can do, at worst, is throw it back at Parliament. Are our elected representatives going to ignore the protocol? Do they wish to retain their seats in the next general election?”

    I think your question is best answered by Lord Chief Justice Thomas’s ELI colleague Diana Wallis in the video I posted above. She makes it quite clear that the Remainer parliamentary game plan is to 1. Demand assurances & conditions that are impossible to give at this stage 2. Achieve a parliamentary impasse while claiming the moral high ground of “protecting rights” 3. Sorrowfully announce that the impasse can only be resolved by a further referendum or a general election.

    In other words, following the same game plan employed by Europhiles in every other referendum where a majority of citizens have opposed them. “We don’t like your decision – please vote again”.

    MPs who vote against Art 50 will hope to hang onto their seats by pretending that “it’s just about protecting citizens rights” and “giving them another chance”.

    I have no confidence at all in the Supreme Court decision since I believe the whole legal challenge is Europhile establishment plot. From the funding by anonymous Mishcon clients to the weird fake plaintiffs and tortuous & contentious legal arguments – it smells like a complete contrivance.

    I have read at least a dozen contrary opinions now, by law academics & senior lawyers, which make the High Court’s decision look very shaky. I don’t understand all of them – but two shine out as beacons of common sense:-

    1. If the European treaties and associated acts of parliament have permitted the adoption of thousands EU directive & regulations into UK law without parliamentary assent – how can the delivery of a simple notice, mandated by the same treaties, require it?

    2. Article 50 mandates that a country wishing to leave is required to make the decision under its own constitutional arrangements and then “A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention”. No one is contesting that the decision has now been made – in which case the issue of the notice is necessary to comply with the treaty. A legal argument which admits that the decision is made but tries to prevent the notification is an obvious contrivance IMHO.

    Populism

    I’ve noticed the word enjoys a surge of popularity whenever a particular group encounters a democratic decision it dislikes.

    The Cambridge Dictionary definition is – “political ideas and activities that are intended to get the support of ordinary people by giving them what they want”. Which sounds like a pretty fair definition of democracy to me.

    I sense that people of your opinion have a much darker interpretation of the word – where giving the great unwashed too much of what they want might result in some sort of “Lord of The Flies” dystopia where the power-drunk mob turns on its weaker members. My problem with that is I really can’t think of convincing historical precedents for it (Geoff probably can, since he’s much better educated that me – in which case he’ll no doubt let us know).

    Their are only two principles I would personally elevate beyond democratic decision 1. The death penalty – because it’s irrevocable and justice is fallible & 2. Equality under the law – which IMHO is the only “human right” we can guarantee.

    The most populist country I know is Switzerland, because of their penchant for national & local referenda – and a place less likely to succumb mob rule I find hard to imagine.

    In short, I hope that Trump is just a loud-mouthed, unsophisticated businessman (of which I’ve met many) who might adopt a simple managerial approach to his country’s problems and surprise his critics (as Reagan did) by succeeding better than his “truth, peace & goodwill to all” rivals ever have.

    If he turns out to have a darker side – I’m quite confident that the people and their US Constitution will prove powerful enough to put him back in his box.

    Liked by 2 people

  64. Jaime, all the referendum gave was a mandate, of sorts, to leave the EU. There are numerous possible configurations for the UK relationship with the EU post-exit, none of which would be specifically endorsed by the election even if the whole electorate had read articles on Politico by Cameron instead of the sports pages of The Sun. Arguing that everyone who voted to leave the EU approved of exit from the single market is like arguing that everyone who voted for Trump approved of grabbing women by the pussy.

    Like

  65. Nino

    “Foxgoose, you confuse parliamentary tradition (upheld by parliament) and the law (upheld by the courts). The court has no right to interpret the law accoring to the former.”

    I don’t think I confuse them, but I am slightly confused by your final sentence – which seems to confirm succinctly exactly the point I’ve been trying to make with several more long-winded witterings.

    The courts should never have accepted jurisdiction of an issue based on a political argument which has already been properly resolve in line with agreed parliamentary protocol.

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  66. Nino,

    “Arguing that everyone who voted to leave the EU approved of exit from the single market is like arguing that everyone who voted for Trump approved of grabbing women by the pussy.”

    But I was not arguing that all Brexit voters APPROVED of leaving the Single Market, only that they were fully aware that their vote almost certainly meant leaving the single market. As it happens, I think a majority of Brexit voters probably DID approve of leaving the single market because that forms a cornerstone of leaving the EU – ending permanently its control over our economy, our laws, our borders, our sovereignty, while also putting a stop to UK contributions for the ‘privilege’ of access to the single market. This is in contradistinction to the very real possibility that only a tiny minority of people voting for Trump approved of grabbing women’s vaginas and even less probably were convinced by the notion that voting for Trump would mean open season for pussy-grabbers all across America.

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  67. Jaime, you see things in very black and white terms where I see gray. I don’t think all Brexit voters were aware that their vote meant leaving the single market any more than I think all or even a majority of such voters had much idea of the difference between the Single Market, the Common Market, the EEC and the EU.

    Foxgoose, if the government is subject to the rue of law, then the courts have jurisdiction. If it is above the law, then the courts have no competence in the matter. I hope and suspect that the former is mostly true, although there may be exceptions (as with my answer to Jaime, it is probably gray, not black and white).

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  68. Nino: “Arguing that everyone who voted to leave the EU approved of exit from the single market is like arguing that everyone who voted for Trump approved of grabbing women by the pussy.”

    Bollocks.

    It was clearly stated that leaving the EU entailed curtailing freedom of movement, withdrawing from the Single Market, withdrawing from the European Court of Human Rights, re-establishing our sovereignty and ceasing to pay contributions to the EU.

    That we voted for, that’s what we’ll get. Always supposing the EU doesn’t collapse in the meantime, of course – given that the anti-EU movement is growing in strength throughout Europe – even in Germany, take the rise of the AfD for example, Merkel’s over-enthusiastic adoption of the EU’s immigration policies has irrepably damaged her party and her reputation, to a great extent encouraged by the result of the British referendum

    For example, there is a high probability that Marine Le Pen will become President of France next year, and she makes no secret of her hatred of the EU – indeed, it is one of the planks of her manifesto. See, the French aren’t enamoured of losing their sovereignty either, they had no problem with the Common Market, they have serious objection to being press-ganged into a federal state. Then there is Wilders in Belgium, Orban in Hungary and Rasmussen in Denmark, all of whom are agitating a referendum too. I have travelled extensively in Europe – and not in association with the relatively uninfluential snowflake class mostly amongst the exact same demographic groups that gave victory to Brexit and Trump, and I assure discontent with the EU is much, much more prevalent than is reported in the media, especially on the likes of the BBC.

    Then there’s the euro and the Eurozone, which is a busted flush. Once again, the losing members – practically every state except Germany and France – have been encouraged by the British action seriously to reconsider their membership of the currency union, withdrawing from which will in all probability be the prelude to pulling out altogether. It is impossible to continue to prop up Greece’s economy, and certainly Italy and Spain are rapidly heading in the same direction. Both Brexit and Trump’s success are symptoms of a deep distrust of the professional political self-elected elite, and I assure you, it’s contagious.

    Within two years – approximately the time it will take for Brexit to approach conclusion, more European states are going to commence action to pull out of the EU. And in a decade, the EU – if it exists at all – will be very different indeed to its current form. The types like Junker, van Rompuy and many other “untouchables” will cease to exist, replaced by a group of much more experienced organisers with far less kinship with the self-elected pseudo-intellectual self-elected unaccountable elite currently in charge in Brussels.

    Live with it.

    Liked by 2 people

  69. Lots of things were “clearly stated”. Some of them were true, many were false, some were just wishful thinking. What people actually heard, understood or ignored among all the noise you cannot say. People voted for various reasons. You might like to claim uniformity, but there was none, with EU exit or with Trump.

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  70. Nino: “You might like to claim uniformity, but there was none, with EU exit or with Trump.”

    Oh, there was uniformity all right, in both cases, it’s just that you have your head so far up your posterior orifice that you are incapable of perceiving it. We wanted out of the EU – unconditionally, and as a side effect to give Cameron, the EU Kommissars and all the other parasitic bureaucracy the finger, and the US electorate wanted to break the stranglehold of the totally corrupt political system epitomised by Obama and Clinton – again unconditionally. It’s called desperation, something you haven’t suffered from – yet.

    There has come a time when the number of citizens who have become totally pissed off by being patronised, condescended to, insulted and having their wants and needs ignored by the pseudo-intellectual self-elected elites with inter alia their PeeCee BS, cultural relativism, multiculturalism, uncontrolled indiscriminate immigration and participating in foreign wars to apparently support an odious, barbaric, misogynistic pre-medieval regime – and when our soldiers do their job and kill the enemy, coming home to be hounded by shyster solicitors for “Human Rights Abuse” and imprisoned for killing an armed enemy on the battlefield with no intervention from the Government who placed in an insupportable position and sent them to war with inadequate, outdated equipment that got dozens of them killed.

    There comes a time when the devil you don’t know appears to a better option than the devil you do know, and that time has come, not only in the UK and USA, but increasingly amongst the continental EU states too, as will become very clear come the French Presidential elections next year, for example.

    You lot had your chance, but you were more concerned with inflicting your fantasy La-La land ideological bullshit notions of guilt-driven moral superiority on the population, and despising, sneering at and demonising the people who disagreed and had to carry the can for them – even though they were the productive element of the population that kept the whole show on the road, and without whose diligence at driving the trucks that take the food into your cities, operate your power stations and sewage and water utilities, mend the roads, clean the toilets and generally get their hands dirty you would be dead within the week.

    Now, we’ve turned on you so beware, we have lost patience.

    You lost. We won.

    Tough titty, live with it.

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  71. Trump is not going to reform the system. That would take many things, among them maybe campaign finance reform, term limits on the Congress, an end to gerrymandering – politicians being in charge of changes to electoral districts, a truly proportional electoral system to allow 3rd party candidates some chance, an end to intentional disenfranchisement of minorities, etc. None of these is in his power and Congress and a Trump Supreme Court are unlikely to approve.

    All the same, you should maybe be looking for a position with Trump. You seem unpleasant enough that you would fit in well with his white-supremacist friends and his/their prejudiced, misogynistic, racist views.

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  72. “You seem unpleasant enough that you would fit in well with his white-supremacist friends and his/their prejudiced, misogynistic, racist views.”

    Is that so, you snivelling, puling little pre-adolescent special snowdrop POS.

    And what would you know about it, how long have you been potty-trained?

    You really pleases me that the likes of you – a non-productive little Lefty “Liberal” AKA Fascist parasite who has created nothing useful and never will – hate the likes of me. So shriek and squeak and impotently wave your little arms and stamp your tiny feet, we’re all laughing at you.

    We don’t rate you losers high enough to merit such a powerful emotion of hate, we simply despise you.

    It’s precisely because of the likes of you with your holier-than-thou sneering, condescending attitude to the people who really matter in our society that we have had Brexit and are getting Trump. We don’t want your Soros-financed UN/NWO/Moslem Brotherhood destroying Western socially liberal democracy and our industrialised society, introducing Islamist Jihadis, rapists and gimmegrants by the million , and now we’re going to do something about it.

    Oh, and I’ll bet good money you’re an antisemite too, hiding behind criticism of Israel to spout your abhorrent bile about the only civilised 21st century state in the seventh century hellhole of the Middle East. And you have the damn gall to accuse me of being prejudiced…

    So think on that lot as you weep into your soya skinny latte you, you sad pathetic little tosser.

    Oh, and GET A LIFE!

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  73. As I said, you are unpleasant enough that you would fit right in with Trump and his white-supremacist friends’ prejudiced, misogynistic, racist views. You confirmed it.

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  74. Cor, seems I hit the spot – several spots in fact – there.

    It’s not likely I’d end up associated with Trump, I’m English, Nino.

    Didn’t you know that, you whiny little loser?

    I repeat, “It’s precisely because of the likes of you with your holier-than-thou sneering, condescending attitude to the people who really matter in our society that we have had Brexit and are getting Trump.”

    How can you live with yourself, knowing you and your special snowflake wastes-of-space are responsible for – er, what was it? Ah yes – the rise to power of the likes of me and Trump and his white-supremacist friends’ prejudiced, misogynistic, racist views.

    Now go and cuddle a puppy.

    PS my wife and daughters would be surprised to hear I’m a misogynist!

    Like

  75. Pingback: The Climate Alarmist Reaction to a Trump Presidency | ManicBeancounter

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