Problematic bookcases

Lots of embedded tweets coming up, with little climate or climate mitigation. Please skip if either or both are a bother.

Let’s begin not with bookcases but with the proud owner of about twenty, Sarah Vine, Daily Mail journalist and wife of Michael Gove, senior UK government minister. Vine tweeted this yesterday in praise of trenchant critic of current UK government lockdown policy, Peter Hitchens, then dealt with some of the fallout:

Peter Hitchens is of course a climate sceptic and Sarah remains close friends with James Delingpole, from all that I’ve read. But that’s not normally enough for us. Still, I felt there was something else that developed here of relevance to us, thanks initially to the input of old New Labour in the form of one of my old neighbours.

Time for a well-known former Corbyn supporter (and definite non-sceptic about climate) then a prominent Jewish journalist to give their hot takes. (These aren’t in chronological order but almost-logical order, as seen by me.)

I don’t know much about Working Class History, by which I don’t mean the Tolpuddle Martrys and their roots in Methodism so much as @wrkclasshistory on Twitter right now:

Our heroine (if she is) had an answer for that, leading to a rather fun segment:

I should say at this point that my closest Muslim friend has a delightful and, it’s always seemed to me, strong and independent-minded wife. But I still found that funny. Am I a bad person?

Anyway, a heavyweight historian who is not beloved by all Muslims, or secularists, took over the theme and gave it a hashtag:

Lots of hilarity or obscurity ensued. Including this from a well-respected former Bishop Hill contributor with a stupid name.

I won’t tell you about my bookcases and what happened to them on the first day of last year. That’s still too raw. But make of the rest whatever you wish.



  1. Gender critical feminists also don’t have a lot of time for Owen Jones.

    But these I think deserve to be added to the list because of the wit.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A “liberal” Index of Forbidden Books is perhaps as good a place as any to start building a library. Forty-odd years ago, for example, when David Irving’s “The War Between The Generals” was published, the author was more or less a right-of-centre conservative and a long way from the tiresome Holocaust denier he later became.

    The book tells the story of the Allied command in Europe. It provides a useful antidote to the chauvinism pervading the current 75th “Anniversary”. I stand to be corrected but where else will you, for example, learn that of (from memory) the five hundred-odd US troops sentenced to death for rape crimes in the aftermath of D-Day, every single white soldier had his sentence commuted and that all of the 100 or so who were eventually executed were African-American?

    Not a widely known fact but it ought to be. If the screechies get their way, it’ll be forgotten.

    BTW, for those of use who got embroiled over the years in fighting “renewable” energy planning applications, Douglas Adams’ quip about the leopard in the basement was almost too sharp to be funny.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Time for bed:

    I didn’t know the leopard in the basement meme came from Douglas Adams Ryelands. That fills a gap. David Aaronovitch was pretty good on Newsnight, making the same point as you about Irving and Gove’s purchase as a young man. That’s a very telling detail about the US troops accused of rape. Not standard fare for a white racist.


  4. I’d missed this rather suggestive chat.

    I’d been thinking much about James having given the Goves Watermelons way back.

    It might just be time for a *really* good read.


  5. However … there are dangers I think in the way that James equates the unreliability of modelling in the two areas. This was him in Breitbart on 9th April. Note there’s nothing here about the difference in timescale before modellers get feedback on whether they’re getting things right or wrong.

    The fact that computer models are unreliable — often based on the junkiest of junk data inputs; programmed with the shonkiest and most politically motivated algorithms, put together by people you wouldn’t trust to run a bath let alone dictate government policy — is the single most important thing you need to know about the entire global warming/climate change scam. This was the basis of the 2009 Climategate scandal: that the scientists were pushing a radical, disruptive, economically damaging agenda without any solid supporting evidence.

    Everyone on the climate sceptical side of the argument knows this: the models are deeply suspect; the people behind them third rate; the scientific establishment pushing them arrogant, intellectually and morally corrupt, driven by politics, money and power not by honest science.

    That’s why climate sceptics like myself have often been much quicker to understand what the rest of the world is only slowly starting to grasp: that our governments’ response to coronavirus has been a wild overreaction; that the cure is in danger of causing much, much more damage than the disease itself.

    “Everyone on the climate sceptical side” doesn’t see the modelling challenge as the same in both areas. That’s a point I thought Jaime made very well on 19th April. And this was me on 12th March:

    I do find it interesting that I instinctively trust the software modellers in this area but not in the climate one. And that’s because with Covid-19 there’s masses of immediate feedback showing where you’re getting it wrong. Pretty basic application of agile development ideas there.

    The modellers of the Covid-19 epidemic have indeed got lots wrong, perhaps more than I expected in March. But they have had to correct speedily, they are forced to do so by realities on the ground. James should really spell this difference out. He has a great opportunity given the way relationships and responsibilities, government wise, have panned out.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. If I were to be trapped in a basement room with only a hack for company and a leopard prowling the corridor, I’d pick Delingpole before Aaronovitch because, though I don’t think his over-confident and simplistic arguments do us climate sceptics many favours, he at least has something of the social rebel in him and can be funny in the supercilious way of the toff.

    The less said about Aaranovitch the better – he makes Malcom Muggeridge seem thoughtful.

    Best comments I’ve read on epi-wotsit modelling and the current crisis are from (hand on a mo’ while I check my I.F.B.) Richard North of EU Referendum fame. This morning’s is IMHO excellent.

    Liked by 1 person

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