Yesterday, membership of the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee was announced:
Previously, there were 11 members of the committee, and apparently there will be three more appointments, so the announcement seems to have been somewhat botched.
The identity politics brigade sprang into action following this announcement, see for example Cambridge physicist and Master of Churchill College, Athene Donald:
Her comment is untrue, since Labour MP Clive Lewis is not white. But despite two replies pointing out her error, Professor Donald has not deleted her fake-news tweet or even acknowledged her error. 28 people have so far retweeted her untruth, and 33 ‘liked’ it. Another tweet making the same false statement has over 700 likes. It appears that these days, identity politics and agendas take priority over factual accuracy.
In fact the issue is something of a storm in a teacup, since the chair of the committee Norman Lamb has made it clear that he thinks some of the three remaining places on the committee should go to women:
He has also pointed out that it is the parties themselves who appoint members to the committee, not the chairman, and has written a letter to the party whips concerning the remaining three appointments, encouraging them to appoint women. An interest snippet about Norman Lamb is that his father was Hubert Lamb, founder of CRU and one of the leaders of the 1970s ice age scare.
A second issue concerning the committee was the appointment of Labour MP Graham Stringer, well known to be a climate sceptic, who took part in one of the climategate enquiries, and is a trustee of the GWPF.
If you care, look at the tweets following that one to see me and Jonathan Jones take Adam Jacobs to pieces.
Another splendid example of the double standards of the ctrl-left was provided by Adam Rutherford, who is the presenter of BBC Radio 4’s Inside Science programme, and will apparently be discussing the issue with Norman Lamb in an upcoming programme.
So Rutherford wants diversity of gender on the panel (see his ’embedded tweet’), but not diversity of opinion. Even more ironically, Graham Stringer is the person Rutherford refers to on the panel with a chemistry degree, but now wants to get rid of.
Worse still, Rutherford encouraged his followers to write to their MP to complain about Stringer:
This is of course contrary to the BBC’s obligations regarding balance.
Athene Donald is whining about this story in the Guardian today. Again we see the inconsistency of complaining about the lack of gender diversity while also complaining about the diversity of opinion in regard to Stringer. I’m glad to see that things aren’t going well for her in the comments. There’s a similar article at the New Statesman.
GWPF points out Rutherford’s hypocrisy – he signed a letter We cannot allow censorship and silencing of individuals, exactly what he is attempting to do to Graham Stringer.
Stew Green points out these guidelines for BBC employees using social media. “You shouldn’t state your political preferences or say anything that compromises your impartiality. Don’t sound off about things in an openly partisan way. Don’t be seduced by the informality of social media into bringing the BBC into disrepute.”
Conservative MP Vicky Ford has now been appointed to the committee.