James Delingpole

The liberal-left’s extraordinary capacity for cognitive dissonance

James Delingpole examines “the liberal-left’s extraordinary capacity for cognitive dissonance” at Breitbart.

You may ask why is this relevant, but it most certainly is. We can learn a great deal by watching politics in other countries. Nothing Labour or the Greens are doing here is unique or groundbreaking, they simply follow trends overseas.

And so we can learn about the inherited cognitive dissonance of the leftwing.

On this week’s Radio Free Delingpole podcast I discuss with Peter Foster of Canada’s Financial Post an issue which has long puzzled me: the liberal-left’s extraordinary capacity for cognitive dissonance. Or, if you want to put it more bluntly, for epic self-delusion.

I’m thinking, for example, of Ed Miliband’s proposals to introduce rent controls, despite copious historical evidence that this measure always and inevitably has exactly the opposite effect of the one intended: creating more housing scarcity; hurting the poor.

I would include in the same category several of the measures introduced by the Cameron administration: the 0.7 per cent of GDP ring-fenced for foreign aid, despite all the evidence that the billions of dollars bombarded on Africa have had the unintended consequence of leaving some countries in Sub-Saharan Africa as poor (sometimes poorer) than they were 50 years ago; the minimum wage which – as any sane economist can tell you – is a tax on jobs and therefore a disincentive to employers to hire labour; the “green jobs” the Coalition’s drive for renewables has allegedly created, even though they are in fact nothing more than Potemkin jobs, entirely dependent on taxpayer subsidy, and therefore a grotesque misallocation of scare resources which would otherwise by directed towards real, lasting jobs in areas of the economy which create genuine value.

All this, as Thomas Sowell would put it, is Basic Economics. So why do so many politicians – from the Obama left to the Cameron faux-right – not get it? And why, for that matter, do all those voters who applaud their statist measures and urge still more government intervention not get it either?

This is the question asked by Foster in his superb new book Why We Bite The Invisible Hand: The Psychology of Anti-Capitalism (Pleasaunce Press). And he comes up with some fascinating answers.

My favourite is his suggestion – though he puts more politely than I do – that people on the liberal-left are insufficiently evolved; they are too much in thrall to their “monkey brains” – monkey brains which of course those of us on the right possess too but with one crucial difference: we’re clever enough and advanced enough to allow the logical part of our brains override them.

Read more »

10 examples of when it’s still OK for a white person to use the “N” word

James Delingpole explores the outrage over Jeremy Clarkson reciting a child’s rhyme that contained the dreaded ‘N-word’…because apparently we can’t be grown up enough to use the word nigger to describe what it is that Jeremey Clarkson actually said with offending people who are easily offended.

He has found 10 examples of the use of the word by white people that doesn’t mean that you are a car carrying member of the Ku Klux Klan or that mob of black shirt wearing pansies who in Christchurch.

1. In a quiz, when they’re asked the name of Guy Gibson’s dog in The Dambusters – or, indeed, X 3, the code phrase used by the Lancaster pilots to signal that the dams had been successfully breached.

2. When you’re quoting the name of an Agatha Christie thriller.

3. If someone asks you what NWA stands for.

4. It’s your Latin class and you’re saying the word for “black”.

5. You’re starring as a nasty white person in a liberal-guilt-porn movie such as Twelve Years A Guardian Reader and you are required to make your character more realistic and unpleasant.

6. You’re recalling a great Clint Eastwood scene from Escape From Alcatraz.

7. You’re talking about the funniest moment in the entire history of South Park, when Randy appears on Wheel Of Fortune and the clue is “People who annoy you” – and the word is “N-GGERS”

8. You have become so immersed in rap culture that you think you are black and start referring affectionately even to your white friends as “Homes”, “bro”, “blud”, or “mah niggah”.

9. You are an outspoken controversialist who loathes the stultifying effects of political correctness and wants to test its boundaries.

10. You are in a kitchen with friends, discussing the Jeremy Clarkson “N-word” “scandal”, trying to remember exactly what decade it was that the “N-word” in Eeny Meeny Minie Mo went off-limits.

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Green taliban seeking to silence George Monbiot for his ‘treason’

The leftwing around the world are the most undemocratic organisations to be found. You wither conform or you shut up. They constantly try to silence opponents using any means possible.

Now they are turning on their own, attempting to bully and silence George Monbiot.

James Delingpole explains.

Green campaigners have offered a ÂŁ100 reward for the arrest of environmental activist and journalist George Monbiot for “crimes against the environment and humanity.”

His support of nuclear power has earned the wrath of an anti-nuclear campaign group in the Lake District which is trying to have him arrested for his “criminal irresponsibility.”

Oh dear. Where should our sympathies lie?

On the one hand it’s one of those Judaean People’s Front v People’s Front of Judaeafactional squabbles that the environmental hard-left does so well and which really we should applaud and relish in a delicious, “if only they could both lose” Schadenfreudekind of way.   Read more »

The BBC is smug, wasteful and unfair says Jeremy Paxman

James Delingpole examines Jeremy Paxman’s belief that the BBC is smug, wasteful and unfair.

The BBC is a smug and wasteful “closed corporate culture” whose special, licence-fee-subsidised status “hugely distorts the marketplace.”

Well we knew all this already of course but it’s interesting to hear it from the mouth of one of the BBC’s starriest presenters, Jeremy Paxman.

Interviewed in the Guardian, he talks about his love-hate relationship with his employer.

“It is smug. I love the BBC in many ways, but at the same time it has made me loathe aspects of it, and that’s a very odd state of affairs. When I see people being given £1m merely for walking out of the door, when I see £100m being blown on that DMI [digital media initiative] thing, a stupid technical initiative like that, I start wondering: how much longer are we going to test the public’s patience?”

He goes on: Read more »

Calls to jail climate sceptics for daring to challenge the science

The armists are showing their true colours and chancing their arm with totalitarianism, all in order to silence people’s right to freedom of speech and expression.

James Delingpole at Breitbart.com explains the latest call to jail climate sceptics:

Scientists who don’t believe in catastrophic man-made global warming should be put in prison, a US philosophy professor argues on a website funded by the UK government.

Lawrence Torcello – assistant professor of philosophy at Rochester Institute of Technology, NY, writes in an essay at The Conversation that climate scientists who fail to communicate the correct message about “global warming” should face trial for “criminal negligence”. (H/T Bishop Hill)

The Conversation – no relation of Breitbart’s blogging chatroom – is a website promoting articles by academics and funded by nineteen of Britain’s leading universities, as well as several government agencies, including the Higher Education Funding Council For England (HEFCE) and the Higher Education Funding Council For Wales (HEFCW) and Research Council UK.

Its motto is “Academic rigour, journalistic flair” – both qualities which are mysteriously absent from Torcello’s essay, titled “Is Misinformation About The Climate Criminally Negligent?”

Torcello notes that after the earthquake that devastated l’Aquila, Italy in 2009, six Italian seismologists were jailed for six years for having failed properly to communicate the nature of the threat to the public. The same fate should befall climate denialists, he suggests, because they stand in the way of the “meaningful political action in the very countries most responsible for the crisis.”  Read more »

Looks like the bears will be ok…and us too

The-Hard-Proof-That-Global-Warming-Is-A-Scam-4

James Delingpole, who is now the face of Breitbart London writes about a new study about global warming by 40 ex-NASA scientists that shows that even if we burn all the world’s recoverable fossil fuels it will still only result in a temperature rise of less than 1.2 per cent.

In contrast to the alarmist claims, the planet is not in danger of catastrophic man made global warming.

So say The Right Climate Stuff Research Team, a group of retired NASA Apollo scientists and engineers – the men who put Neil Armstrong on the moon – in a new report.

“It’s an embarrassment to those of us who put NASA’s name on the map to have people like James Hansen popping off about global warming,” says the project’s leader Hal Doiron.

Doiron was one of 40 ex NASA employees – including seven astronauts – who wrote in April 2012 to NASA administrator Charles Bolden protesting about the organization’s promotion of climate change alarmism, notably via its resident environmental activist James Hansen.  Read more »

Daniel Hannan nicely sums up MSM v Blogs

Daniel Hannan explores and explains the sometimes unhappy relationship between traditional media and blogs…from his own blog, that is ironically part of The Telegraph.

Back in the pioneering days, blogs were seen as a challenge to the established media. And, in one sense, they were. When Guido scalped his first minister, Peter Hain, in 2008, something changed, though the newspapers were slow to notice. When, the following year, he aimed his tomahawk at Derek Draper and Damien McBride, old-style pundits were still laboriously explaining to their readers what these blog thinggies were. By the time Tim Yeo became Guido’s latest victim, no one needed to ask any more.

When a dozen dead tree newspapers determined the agenda, the media’s chief power lay in not reporting a story – not through conspiracy, but from shared assumptions about what constituted news. Take the leak of the “hide the decline” emails from climatologists at the University of East Anglia in late 2009. At first, the astonishing trove was reported only by bloggers. It wasn’t that environment correspondents were meeting behind drawn blinds and vowing to repress the discovery; it was that, being uncomplicated believers in the AGW orthodoxy, they couldn’t see why the emails were a story. Only when repeatedly needled by online commentators were they were eventually forced to report perhaps the biggest event in its field of the century.

The key moment came when the story was picked up by James Delingpole, whose post attracted 1.6 million hits. Tellingly, that post appeared here, on Telegraph Blogs. Blogs were now part of the established media. In the early days, some had believed that the MSM would be displaced, others that the old brands would conscript the upstarts. In fact, something more interesting happened: the distinction broke down.   Read more »

James Delingpole on feeding giraffe to lions

We wrote the other day about all the sooks crying a river of tears because some lions in Copenhagen Zoo got a tasty feed of Marius the giraffe.

James Delingpole writes about the issue in The Telegraph.

One of the giraffes at Copenhagen Zoo has been killed, publicly dissected then fed to the lions. Public outrage has been immense. “How could they do such a cruel and terrible thing?” people are asking on Twitter and elsewhere. “And what kind of a sick, weird parent would you have to be to take your children to watch a giraffe being cut up with a surgeon’s knife?”

Let me have a stab at answering the second question first, because I’m one of those sick, weird parents. If I’d been anywhere near Denmark that day, I too would have eagerly dragged my kids along to the zoo’s operating theatre to witness the ghoulish but fascinating Inside Nature’s Giants-style spectacle.

Why? Well, partly for my entertainment and education, but mainly for the sake of my children. I know we all love to idealise our offspring as sensitive, bunny-hugging little moppets who wouldn’t hurt a flea. But the truth is that there are few things kids enjoy more than a nice, juicy carcase with its guts hanging out. Dead birds are good; dead badgers are better; a dead giraffe is all but unbeatable.

You first tend to notice this trait on family walks. Desperately, you’ll try to keep your reluctant toddler going by showing it lots of fascinating things. Sheep or tractors may do the job, just about. But not nearly as well, say, as a dead rabbit with its belly distended with putrefaction and flies crawling over its empty eye sockets. It’s your child’s introduction to a concept we all have to grapple with in the end: what Damien Hirst once called “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living”.

This, no doubt, is one of the reasons for the enduring popularity of Roald Dahl. Dahl’s brilliant insight is that children, au fond, are horrid little sickos who like nothing better than stories about giants who steal you from your bed in the night to murder you, and enormous crocodiles that gobble you all up. His is a natural world red in tooth and claw: Fantastic Mr Fox really does slaughter chickens – because he’s a fox – and when he gets his tail shot off you know, much as you might wish it otherwise, that it is never ever going to grow back.  Read more »

Time to start trimming the lobby groups income

I see this morning that the health fundies are making their big anti-sugar push again with the help of media. Veteran trougher Boyd Swinburn is front and centre and so is Robyn Toomath.

Coincidentally James Delingpole takes aim at such lobby groups in his Telegraph column.

“To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors is sinful and tyrannical”. Thomas Jefferson, 1779.

One of the curses of modern life is the plethora of “charitable” lobbying groups demanding that the government take more regulatory action in areas where most of us believe the state has no business interfering.

Almost every day you read in the papers that some apparently grassroots movement, supposedly speaking for all of us, thinks more should be done to stop us drinking, smoking, eating sugar or salt, make us less sexist, force us to spend more on foreign aid or environmental issues. But if that wasn’t annoying enough, here’s the worst thing of all: we’re paying for these unrepresentative, mostly left-leaning lobby groups with our taxes.  Read more »

First tobacco, then booze, then sugar, the control freaks are coming

I have covered this extensively and commented, and even given speeches about the troughers worldwide who are moving from attacking the tobacco industry to booze and now onto sugar and fat.

They are using the same tactics as they have used against Big Tobacco…and at one recent speech I gave when I mentioned “Big Sugar” ther was some sniggering…then lo and behold we saw the troughers use that term just a few weeks later. I bet those sniggering had an “oh fuck!” moment.

James Delingpole looks at this phenomenon as well.

In this week’s Spectator I have a rant about all those pressure groups you see quoted in all the papers pretty much every day. Some are small, obscure and marginal – Bright Blue, the think tank for Lib Dems who want to play at being Tories, comes to mind – while some sound superficially respectable – the British Medical Association, say. What they all have in common is that they tend, on the whole, to lend far, far too much credibility to a hardcore of professional activists whose tedious and unhelpful opinions we would most of us do better to ignore completely.  Read more »