Mark Maslin’s plans to “fix” democracy

Comrade Maslin fixing democracy

I’ve written previously about Mark Maslin and his interest in trying to “fix” democracy. In that instance, a brown-nosing interview with Al Gore, it wasn’t very clear what was meant, beyond the point that fanatical extremists like him weren’t getting their way and therefore democracy was malfunctioning.

Well, it’s now becoming a little clearer how Maslin and his ilk want to corrupt and subvert democracy. He features prominently in a Guardian article, Britain’s first climate assembly: can it help fix democracy too?

The article claims that “In an airless library in north London, 56 people are trying to help fix not one global crisis but two.”  Both crises are fictitious, one being the fake climate “emergency” (see for example this BBC article supposedly explaining what it is but not even attempting to do so, and this blog where a “professor of climate leadership” failed to answer the question I asked) and the other being an alleged but again undefined crisis in democracy.

The idea is to get a group of random people into a room, and then try to brainwash them:

Climate experts such as Prof Mark Maslin, of University College London, set out the indisputable science of the climate emergency. Participants have yellow and red cards to slow him down or stop him if they get lost. (“It’s the first time I’ve ever been red-carded during a presentation,” he says later.)

Well, yes, he should be sent off for foul play, but unfortunately that didn’t happen.  Perhaps the plan is to tell them a pack of lies about increasing floods and storms. Then, when these people have been suitably re-educated, they then convey Maslin’s their ideas to the council for implementation.

Things may not go entirely according to plan though:

And one juror, Neil Chappell, who works in construction, wonders who chose the experts and how they chose the facts. “The people they had talking were good at getting their agenda over but didn’t give us enough information to make informed decisions,” he said.

But enemies of the people like Neil Chappell who exhibit such wrongthink could presumably be dropped from the panel.

What I find disturbing about this is not just the dishonesty, and the Orwellianism of doing exactly the opposite of what you say you are doing, but that it is so blatant and brazen, with nobody (except perhaps Mr Chappell) seeing through it. MP Keir Starmer seems to think it’s a good idea, and that it will lead to a “different kind of political dialogue”, and the council members are apparently “enthusiastic about the process and adamant they will act on its recommendations”. Really? Adamant? One of the possible recommendations is to fit all the buildings in Camden with heat pumps and insulation, which would cost £1.3bn.

The climate assembly scheme is going national in the autumn, because Extremism Rebellion demanded it.


Jaime has found some documents and video clips from the Citizens Assembly from the Camden Council website.

It’s worse than we thought. There’s some introductory blurb form the leader of the council and Keir Starmer. There is a pdf of Maslin’s slides (and it’s very disappointing to see Tamsin Edwards’s name on there). Guy Callendar gets a mention, though his conclusion that “the combustion of fossil fuel, whether it be peat from the surface or oil from 10,000 feet below, is likely to prove beneficial to mankind in several ways, besides the provision of heat and power” does not. Rather than showing a graph of London temperature, Maslin uses one of Ed Hawkins’s ridiculous stripes pictures. There is a blatant lie about the Paris Agreement – a claim that it aims to cut emissions to net zero. The slides confirm that the so-called ‘solutions’ that the Guardian presents as if they were suggestions form the citizens, were in fact dictated to them by Maslin.

In his talk, he starts off by saying “This is the bit where I sort of really make sure you’re depressed…”





  1. This is quite obviously an assault upon democracy, at the local and national level. You don’t get together a group of 56 people who know very little about climate change, have them brainwashed by climate fanatical academics like Maslin, then make policy decisions affecting millions of people based upon their ideas and suggestions on the notion that this tiny section of the community is somehow ‘representative’ of the whole. That is a deception, it’s fraud and it’s the introduction of governance via a tiny group of elitist, unelected ‘experts’ pretending to “fix democracy” when what they are really doing is “fixing” it by removing the ‘demos’ part.

    There’s a very good article published recently at Quillette, called the Age of Amnesia, which doesn’t specifically deal with climate change and policy, but it does drive home this assault upon democracy we’re witnessing and the role of left leaning academics and universities in that assault. Let’s face it, they don’t come more leftist than Maslin.

    The purge of conservative or even traditional liberal thought from the universities and the media is already having an impact on democracy.

    Similarly, European millennials display far less faith in democracy and fewer objections to autocratic control than previous generations, which lived under dictatorships or in their aftermath. Young Europeans are almost three times as likely to say democracy is failing than their elders.

    Yet we are witnessing the creation of a society, as envisioned by HG Wells, controlled by a credentialed elite. This “emergent class of capable men,” Wells wrote, should take upon itself the task of “controlling and restricting…the non-functional masses.” This new elite, he predicted, would replace democracy with “a higher organism” of what he called “the New Republic.”

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I couldn’t see any link at the Guardian article to the content of Maslin’s presentation, described in the Guardian as  “the indisputable science of the climate emergency.” (That’s two howlers in just six words.) Perhaps we should ask Professor Maslin, or the London Borough of Camden, or someone, possibly backed up by a FOI request.


  3. Good point Geoff. I found the link to the PDF which contains the content of what Maslin presented to the assembly members re. the “indisputable science of the climate crisis”. It’s entitled: “Climate Change: The Facts”. OMG. OMG, OMG, you just can’t make this up!. Yet to check if it’s just a rehash of the BBC Attenborough program.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Jaime, good find. It’s worse than we thought. As well as the pdf there are video clips, starting with

    “This is the bit where I make sure that you’re really depressed…”

    I will update the post…

    Liked by 1 person

  5. At best, it seems to me, he is a grown-up version of Greta Thunberg – in other words a victim of the scaremongering driven to ‘doing something about CO2 etc’ by relaying crisis-speak. At worst, he is an opportunistic egotist riding on the waves of adulation he can squeeze out of suitably credulous audiences. Time will tell, I suppose, but he may yet be able to make quite a nuisance of himself in either role.


  6. Seriously, these people seem to be using the film ‘Idiocracy’ as the template for the introduction of their ‘new improved’ form of democracy. The guy talking sense in the video is a member of the public, who will be ignored, will resign from the panel in frustration or will be removed. A look through the list of ‘unanswered questions’ reveals that the assembly members have very little clue about climate science or the pros and cons of the technological ‘solutions’ being advanced to ‘solve’ a crisis which is not a crisis. I’m sure they’re all smart people but they don’t have the knowledge base to enable them to effectively question Maslin’s lies and distortions. Truly dreadful and extremely concerning that our government has instituted this farce at the behest of a bunch of eco-terrorists who appeared from nowhere in Oct 2018.


  7. Is democracy really being threatened in Camden? Won’t decisions still have to be made by an elected council? If council members are bamboozled by the likes of Maslin and cronies and if Camden residents still vote for them, isn’t that democracy? and the consequences of council action the residents’ responsibility?
    That’s the problem with democracy, it doesn’t always produce what is wise, or in the residents’ best interests.


  8. Whatever the quality of it’s underlying science (which isn’t actually shown), the pdf slides no way no how show impacts consistent with a ‘climate emergency’ (and corresponding catastrophe) for which we have to radically change all energy / infra-structure and behaviour (and democracy). They say ‘we will probably have to rebuild the Thames barrier and the Dawlish railway line’, ‘city level mitigation and adaptation is essential’ (mainly implying wrt to rainfall and potential flood, a flood in Bath from 2007 is shown and ‘rainfall events will be more frequent’), plus there’ll be more early deaths from heat-waves (without mentioning that these are currently dwarved by cold deaths or whether there is net gain / loss from the new balance). All these things could be addressed ~5000 times over with the kind of funding / effort they are proposing (at least a couple of trillion), without any of the heavy negatives of abandoning all fossil fuel benefits, and including free fuel / air-con and aid to all (mainly older) people at risk, new building regs to avoid flood plains, flood mitigation schemes, and indeed a brand new Dawlish railway! As per Paul’s experience above, nothing remotely close to a catastrophe requiring their emergency action is defined here.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Alan: ‘That’s the problem with democracy, it doesn’t always produce what is wise, or in the residents’ best interests’

    This is not a problem, it’s a feature, and one which means that if democracy survives, it always also self-corrects. The issue at stake here is that, if history is any guide, arbitrary unelected ‘citizens assemblies’ or similar, driven by powerful and emotive cultural drives, may be a step into the iterative reduction of democracy. If for instance we see the ‘warping’ of democracy, e.g. systemic underhand smearing / ousting of councillors who aren’t with the ’emergency’ agenda, then we’d know this process is under way, notwithstanding it wouldn’t directly flout democracy for a long time (if it gets that far). If the ’emergency’ genuinely existed, then society may choose to risk this because (like in war) the fully enacted processes of democracy for all decisions can sometimes slow-up urgent whole society action – but per this thread there is no definition of the emergency, and mainstream science (let alone anything skeptical) does not support the inevitable and imminent catastrophe from which it is supposed to arise.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Andy. I understand your message, but again, if an advisory climate-alarmist group influences political outcomes in Camden, how is this any different from any other lobbying group trying to influence outcomes? Of which there are many.
    The electorate is at liberty to accept or reject any advice or any politician espousing a particular stance. There are innumerable instances of behind the counter deals, at least that being discussed here is AFAWK out in the open and we can all discuss it.


  11. Alan: ‘…how is this any different from any other lobbying group trying to influence outcomes?’

    Yes indeed there are many other lobbying groups, and this is normal / acceptable, but…
    1) other lobbying groups aren’t using an emotively hard to resist imminent existential global catastrophe as justification for their block insertion into process, which…
    2) they falsely claim (albeit they no doubt believe, passionately, said claim) is underwritten by mainstream science (which in public is not opposed), and…
    3) scaring our children (and many adults) silly with their unsupported tales of catastrophe, which provides emotive pressure from the ground up on all participants of the democratic process including from their own children, and…
    4) normal lobbying groups, notwithstanding some underhand deals, do not typically challenge the main democratic process itself; generally it’s not in their interests because what they need from the lobbying can usually only come to fruition within the context of the prospering of the wider democratic society, even if there are frequently temptations for some shortcuts. XR have openly challenged our current democratic process.

    Of course, from history there are many cases where all these unusual conditions have occurred before, with a different cultural proposition for the existential catastrophe and salvation, depending on whether framed by say extremist politics such as soviet communism or nazi fascisim, or religious absolutist movements or whatever. Hence the guide from history that these situations are indeed very different to normal lobbying, and whatever passed for democratic or fairness procedures / aspirations beforehand are likely to fall prey to totalitarian control. This is not to say yet that XR influence is definitely headed this way, or even if it is whether it has much chance of succeeding. But at this early stage and speaking as it does for a false apocalyptic narrative, it certainly seems to me to tick too many boxes for comfort. And for sure XR would certainly not be given this attention / latitude / influence regarding the biggest change in society since the industrial revolution, possibly since the invention of farming, and on a crash timescale too, if society appreciated that their apocalyptic narrative simply *wasn’t* supported by the mainstream science. The sheer scale of the ask also places them way outside of normal lobbying. In a democracy you have to win very many votes for asks even way smaller than this (and Rupert Read failed to get into parliament several times on this agenda). They want to bypass such inconvenience. Cultural asks have a track record of being astronomical.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. A modest proposal to improve democracy.

    (this may have been linked before, but is so appropriate it is worth repeating if it is one)


  13. Thursday 5pm 2 people walking around a small market town stopping people offering £30 to come to a CC Focus Group next Wednesday for 90 mins.
    I was told I had to commit there and then
    I asked what was going on and the recruiter told me it would help them get a grant.
    They claimed to be from Hull Uni but couldn’t give me the name of the person in charge.


  14. StewGreen (26 Jul 19 7.52pm)

    I hope you said yes. I used to conduct focus groups for a living, often on political or social subjects. It can be boring listening to the opinions of the masses, and the one big pleasure is getting some know all who disrupts the proceedings and sometimes turns the discussion in unexpected directions. I remember a serious discussion about contraception in an upper middle class focus group in the Home Counties in which a Welsh miner who’d got invited via his unlikely marriage to some French dame completely threw the discussion by insisting on the advantages of oral sex… It wasn’t much use to the client but it gave us something to write up.

    We market researchers saw ourselves as the interface between the public and an élite class of politicians, publicists and marketing men. The more we could show them how out of touch they were, the more they needed our services. One sceptic might ruin their research, but it might make the researchers’ day.


  15. ALAN KENDALL (22 Jul 19 10.42am)

    if an advisory climate-alarmist group influences political outcomes in Camden, how is this any different from any other lobbying group trying to influence outcomes? Of which there are many. The electorate is at liberty to accept or reject any advice or any politician espousing a particular stance.

    Sure. No doubt Exxon had a spokesman ready to tell the citizens of Camden that without fossil fuels billions would die now, without waiting for the current one or two hundredths of a degree annual temperature rise to finish them off. But the call never came.

    And were the citizens of Camden told that Maslin is the founder and managing director of Rezatec, a company whose success depends on inculcating fear of climate change among potential clients? That the company was financed by the Royal Society (itself financed by taxpayers) which then made Maslin a Royal Society Industrial Fellow – not a real one, not a scientific one – but does that matter, since he’s a jolly good one?

    Maslin’s authority reposes on the fact that he is a scientist. A scientist can be wrong, and that’s ok, because the scientist’s job is to seek the truth, and if he misses the mark, that’s not his fault. But he’s also a businessman, whose job is to persuade his clients that they need his services. Every moment of his working day, Maslin is faced with the choice between seeking the truth and maximising the profits of his enterprise. No mere human should be faced with such an onerous responsibility.

    Besides, if he’s wrong ((scientifically) he could end up I prison (legally.) Is this fair?


  16. Geoff. Agreed. However, the point I was making was that local authorities are preached at or pressurized by lobbyists of all types. Their activities may or may not be opposed by others.
    You may have identified the real problem, that their is no counter to the catastrophism that is being touted by those who now preach climate fear. Soon eligibility to sit on councils may depend on one’s ability to swallow large dollops of climate porn.


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