Discussion of article from the Mail's columnists and RightMinds contributors
By lord_kobel
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Malcolm Armsteen wrote:
lord_kobel wrote:
Malcolm Armsteen wrote:It is me he's ignoring, isn't it?
Sorry, was cooking. No, not ignoring you.....
Anything nice? I had a Chinese takeaway. It was rotten. Used to be a good place, but it's gone downhill under the Coalition of the ConDemned.
Bratwursts, jacket potatoes, onions in rose wine and broccoli.
By bluebellnutter
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mojojojo wrote:
Well we all know the scare mongers who set up the scam are largely Marxists types looking for a World Government.
For fuck's sake this is getting ridiculous, not to mention tedious.
It could be worse. At least no lions were harmed in the making of this topic.
By Lord Brett
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To return to an old topic, I've just got into a ridiculous argument on a classic TV forum on the subject of Christopher Booker. Someone described him as a "hack, Europhobe and climate change denier", which sounds fair enough. Someone else then claimed he was, "at best...a superb writer and cultural observer".

I pointed out that his stock in trade is writing lies for money, and got a rather terse reply. I then found a quote from George Monbiot from his Guardian colummn which basically said that Booker's early work was quite good and proper journalism, but that old friends no longer recognise him as the same person based on what he writes now. The very mention of the Monbiot name made my debating opponent go wild and he became rather insulting towards me which, thankfully, resulted in the thread being locked.

I really know very little of Christpher Booker's early work such as 'The Neophiles' and wondered if anyone else here had read him . My problem with writers such as this is that, knowing the lunacy of his more recent writings, the brand name is damaged - who knows at what point he gave up on notions of truth and honesty? Did it happen gradually or was there a sudden conversion to the dark side?

I'd be genuinely interested in hearing from anyone who's read his early work.
By FebruaryCallendar
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That was me! I knew I ought to have simply *mentioned* Booker rather than give my own views of him, because the idea of him appearing on the Rod Hull & Emu show is indeed wonderful, and it's rather a swizz that it was only a Radio Times misprint that wrongly claimed he did ...

I must admit I've not read 'The Neophiliacs' but I remember Simon Reynolds writing about it, and from what I could get from that its critique of 60s pop culture seems like the sort of thing which would win support on some parts of the Left today (though I am not a fan of the 'Blue Labour' tendency which would be most sympathetic). Basically, Private Eye's default politics have always been "Tory Anarchist" - a combination of fogeyism and contempt for authority; viz Ingrams, Bron Waugh, Hislop et al - and in some ways where Booker is now is the ultimate curdling of such a dichotomy. All the metropolitan liberal types believe in climate change and concern for it has become the establishment position, so he *has* to be against it. Much more dangerous than simply laughing at people who take popular culture seriously.
By Lord Brett
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What a pleasure to have you here at Mailwatch! It's fascinating to see popular culture put into a political context - I occasionally try to do this myself, but there are limited opportunities with the subjects I tend to write about - and you do that very well. I really should visit your blog more often.
By Messianic Trees
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A new 'Battle of Britain'? Caving in to the anti-fracking fanatics is a craven surrender to mob rule

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/artic ... z2cXDwKX3C" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
For months, it has been clear that the more extreme fanatics in the green movement had switched their attention to fracking as the latest focus for their cause.

Scarcely a single village around where I live in the West Country did not have a meeting in expensively hired halls, at which anti-fracking campaigners peddled the most extraordinary nonsense to bemused villagers lured in by scary leaflets.

Ministers should have woken up months ago to what was going on, long before this organised hysteria was allowed to get out of hand.

They should have put the case for fracking and cheap energy loud and clear, setting out just why it needs to be moved to the top of the national agenda.

What we are looking at here is nothing less than a new Battle of Britain — one which, if this overcrowded country is to survive as an industrial power, we simply can't afford to lose.

For better or worse, Britain needs fracking. The Chancellor George Osborne has set out his support for it in his so-called Dash for Gas plan.

But if the scenes we have witnessed at Balcombe — with police reluctant or unable to impose the rule of law — are repeated every time a fracking site is developed, we will simply never get this fledgling industry off the ground.

And the day when Britain simply runs out of power will draw ever nearer.
By Samanfur
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I'm a bit surprised that we're not giving Booker a kicking for the poor example of journalism that is that "forced ceasarean" story he's managed to peddle across both sides of the Atlantic this week.

It's not that straightforward, of course - but never let the facts get in the way of a good story.
Last edited by Samanfur on Wed Dec 04, 2013 7:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
By Samanfur
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Here is the original article, complete with byline.

But here is the full text of the judgement.

And here is the crux of the inaccuracies. I wouldn't normally use Buzzfeed as a source for something this serious, but after leaping on the Booker version, the traditional mass media seem reluctant to pick this up.
By Messianic Trees
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It's the deluded greens who've left my Somerset neighbours 10ft under water

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/debate/artic ... z2rm1kjjrK" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Sensible comments have, of course, been red-arrowed:
user12399, Birmingham, United Kingdom

Dear Readers, please use your brains and don't accept everything this article is telling you. The author wants you to be anti green because, for some bizarre reason, he had always been rabidly anti environmental. The central argument, that dredging was stopped *because* the Env Agency invested in nature reserves is entirely false. It is setting up a false choice, in the same way that you could say that dredging stopped *because* the Env Agency instead decided to invest in office stationery. Don't fall for this newspaper's anti green agenda. We should care about, and want to preserve, this green and pleasant land.
Fed up with whingers, Cwmbran, United Kingdom

Sod the green and pleasant land when people are already living there and the floods cause such distress. If the houses are there we must protect people's homes not worry about the green tailed lesser spotted warbling woodpecker - remember survival of the fittest is a natural process!
PaulB, Christchurch

One by one slowly and surely the green Taliban agenda is unraveling. Be it wind farms, dredging, climate change, rising sea levels or what have you. Too much credence has been given to the views of the left wing action groups to the detriment of everybody. How does such a very small unrepresentative loud mouthed group get to have so much sway over the rest of us They probably represent no more than 5% of the population but to listen to their know all patronizing attitude you would think they speak for all of us. Well hey listen they dont
By youngian
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I've yet to hear the evidence of what has gone wrong with EA's drainage policy in the Levels but judging by that article Booker doesn't know shit either.
Tellingly, another area of Britain reclaimed from swampland — the Norfolk Broads —has remained dry this winter.

Instead of managing the Levels as farmland, large parts of them should be allowed to return to being a swampy wilderness as nature reserves for birds and other wildlife.

Before the Levels — some of which are below sea level — were drained by Dutch engineers in the 17th century, they were a vast marshy swamp, with only a few little islands standing above stagnant pools and reeds. They were transformed into productive farmland, drained by a maze of ditches — or ‘rhynes’ — kept clean by the farmers, with the water being directed to the rivers by pumping stations operated by local drainage boards.
The Norfolk Broads is not reclaimed land and most of it is swampland and waterway. I think investigative journalist Booker is confusing the area with the Fenlands which is nowhere near the Norfolk broads. In fact little of the Fens is even in Norfolk. There have also been a return of nature reserves in the Fens (still used by farmers for cattle grazing) which has nothing to do with the issue of general drainage management of the area.

I see that the 17th century attempt to drain the Levels was overseen by Cornelius Vermuyden who directed the Fenland project. It did not result in the productive farmland we see today which wasn't possible until the invention of coal fired steam pumps installed in the 1830s.
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