H/T Bishop Hill for what one of his commenters aptly described as “a little gem” of an amicable half-hour conversation between writer Melanie Phillips and playwright Richard Bean.
They’re discussing the way that anyone who disagrees with the likes of the global warming party line gets labelled as ‘right wing’, and subjected to ferocious attack.
Sample transcript (nicked from one of BH’s comments):
MP: You write this play, I write what I write – you may not agree, I’m sure you don’t agree with some of the things I write – that’s not quite the point – there are certain things which, if you say them in a play or in an article, there is no argument adduced against them, the facts in question are not questioned. Instead, one simply gets labelled “right-wing”. Now what is this label “right-wing”. What does it mean? Does it mean anything to you? Do you think of yourself as right-wing?
RB: Absolutely not. Not at all. I think of myself as a rather old-fashioned community socialist. And if there was anyone I could vote for I would vote for them. But I certainly can’t vote for the Labour Party because they represent what you’ve just described which is, as if they’ve got a hope of the way that society will be and everyone has to conform to this perfect ideal that we”ll never attain. Can we talk about the Guardian? Do you want to talk about the Guardian a bit?
MP: Well I try not to, but all roads seem to lead back to the Guardian, so why don’t you say what you..
RB: Well, I think the Guardian punches above its weight. That’s one of the first things that’s got to be said about it. It is the BBC’s house magazine as well, so its influence is more pervasive than the relatively low circulation that it’s got. The Guardian seems to eschew both science and common sense, and yet has fantastic influence over our politicians.
MP: But it’s a conundrum, isn’t it. I mean, you know, we’re in the most rational era in the most rational country in the most rational civilisation ever known to man, and yet, as you say, common sense gone out the window, but more than that, there seems to me, I don’t know whether you agree, but there seems to me to be on these controversial issues an absolute refusal, or inability even, to grapple with evidence, to grapple with facts, to understand that if something is a fact, and, guess what, it’s different from an opinion, and the fact is an objective truth. Mention the word “objective truth” to the younger generation and they say: “How can you be so incredibly imbecilic?” I mean, is it me? Have I lost the plot somewhere? What’s going on here?
RB: The younger generation maybe are not interested in objective truth and objective facts. And – does it go back to this God-sized hole? That they need something? I mean, the Green Revolution, the global warming alarmism? That desire for an end of the world scenario? Narcissistic though it may be, it’s our generation that destroyed the world..
MP: Yeah, amazing parallels
RB: It’s a form of hubris, arrogance. The number of King Canutes there are out there is unbelievable. We have our own.. you know, Tony Blair started it, King Canute, Obama’s the latest King Canute. Al Gore, the king of all King Canutes..
MP: Holding back the tide … of what?
RB: Holding back the tide .. exactly. How are they going to influence..? And the other thing about King Canute is that he, when he stood in the waves he wa demonstrating that he couldn’t control the waves. We’ve all forgotten that, because we all characterise King Canute as a loony who stood i the waves trying to stop them, and he didn’t. He knew he coiuldn’t stop them, and it was his followers, his court that thought he could. He only stood in those waves to demonstrate that he couldn’t.
The comments under the BH article are worth reading too (the ones that are directed at trolls, at least).
P.S. A complete transcript of the discussion is available here.