Me, all I want is to be able to sit in a pub and drink a pint of beer and smoke a cigarette. But if you want to do that these days it seems you have to have a revolution. So right, let’s have a revolution. And hang all the bastard MPs who voted for the smoking ban from lamp posts. That’s what you do in revolutions, isn’t it?
Of course, not all MPs voted for the smoking ban, so they wouldn’t all swing. Tom Harris wouldn’t swing. Quite a few MPs wouldn’t. And neither would Boris Johnson.
And Boris Johnson is one of the few politicians I’ve had any time for in recent years. He’s been a breath of fresh air, whether he’s been writing as editor of the Spectator, or presenting Have I Got News For You, or fronting documentaries about the Roman Empire, or running for parliament or mayor, or conducting scandalous affairs with assorted brainy beauties. It made a change from the rest of the dreary suits and shapeless twinsets that inhabit Westminster.
But now I don’t know quite what to think of Boris. I simply don’t understand why, last week, he came out and wrote a piece in the Telegraph downplaying the Climategate scandal which has, very arguably, succeeded in derailing the Copenhagen conference, and making world leaders look like bumbling fools. Not that we didn’t know that already.
That ‘deep instinct’ used to be yours as well, Boris. That deep gut instinct that people are trying to pull the wool over your eyes, and fool you into doing something you don’t want to do, don’t need to do, and indeed would be a complete mug to do.
That ‘deep instinct’ used to be known as common sense. And common sense used to be something that people drew on when they looked around them with their own eyes, and formed their own opinions, never mind what thousands of scientists and environmentalists might be telling them. And right now my own two eyes are telling me that I’m sitting in bed with a pullover and a heavy cloak and the blankets over me, and a hot water bottle under my knee. There’s nothing ‘inductive’ about it. Nor will there be anything inductive about it when I next pluck up the courage to head down to the frozen kitchen to boil up another cup of tea that will have cooled to a tepid liquid within 5 or 10 minutes. It’s freezing. Effing freezing.
And not just here. There’s snow on the beach in Nice today. And there are thousands of Eurostar passengers screaming blue murder having spent a night in the channel tunnel after condensation brought five trains to a halt as they left deep-frozen France.
Global warming? You must be joking. The planet has been cooling for the past 10 years. And that’s what people are noticing, despite all the claims of thousands of scientists (well, 50 or 60 IPCC lead writers) that we’re going to ‘fry’. And the scientists are deeply embarrassed by it. And we know they’re deeply embarrassed, because we’ve read the emails in which they say so. Here’s UEA boffin Kevin Trenberth writing just two months ago on 12 October 2009:
So why the heck do you choose this moment to convert to the Church of Global Warming? I mean, really! Of all times, this? Quite obviously you’ve been nobbled. It’s all hands to the pumps on the good ship Global Warming, isn’t it? And you’ve been roped in too, as Mayor of London, to try vainly to staunch the flow of collapsing public belief as the Eddystone rock of Climategate has torn an enormous and ever-widening hole in the side of that ill-starred, jerry-built paddleboat.
And it’s a scam and a fraud. The threat of carbon dioxide is a threat as illusory as the equally non-existent threat of environmental tobacco smoke. It’s all the same thing. And all these various frauds and scams are coming apart. And it’s bringing down an entire political class. And the media empires that won’t report either of them. Or any of the other ones.
There’s nothing for it.
Another lamp post please.