Ed Davey seemed to forget today that the public is very capable of forming its own opinion and has grown cynical of politicians’ platitudes on contentious issues (who can forget the now Lord Deben during the BSE crisis?). His words, well publicised ahead of the speech, are likely to backfire.  It’s too late.  The people want to make up their own minds.  They don’t want to be told what to think.  For example, my car had a few problems last week.  I can’t remember how the conversation in the garage turned to climate change, but the subject was met with derision. It is clear the man-in-the-street can see the cause for what it is – pure politics.

Not only that, but much of the criticism aimed at stifling sceptics is actually hypocritical, if naively so on his part.

“… some sections of the press are giving an uncritical campaigning platform to individuals and lobby groups.”

As Toby Young points out:

That’s an odd thing for Davey to say on several levels. To begin with, it’s a charge that could be made equally well by climate change sceptics about the Guardian and the Independent.

Indeed. He concludes:

If Ed Davey really believes that the truth is on his side in this debate, he should encourage his opponents to air their views in public as often as possible, not criticise “some sections of the press” for giving them a platform.


Bishop Hill also points out the hypocrisy:

It’s funny to read the specific terms of the rant that Davey’s speechwriters have crafted for him. As readers at BH know, ministers in DECC meet two kinds of people only: energy giants and green campaigners. Both these groups are of course are massive vested interests and the latter are the publicity seekers par excellence. So it takes the kind of chutzpah in which those ministers specialise for Davey to label his critics in this way. Particularly as he is going to deliver his speech at a meeting attended by a bunch of those same vested interests.

Commenter ZT at Bishop Hill (Jun 3, 2013 at 2:56 PM) aptly coined the term “ecochaff”.  Good one. Pity for believers that it’s unlikely to deflect the flack the ‘consensus’ is getting these days.

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4 Responses to Ecochaff

  1. Bloke down the pub says:

    If ever there was a downside to coalition government, it was the moment the Lib Dems were given the keys to the DECC. Politically, it was probably a sound move by the Tories as it meant they could pass responsibility for the mess on to their coalition partners.

  2. PeterMG says:

    Ed Davey’s speech was so stupid it’s difficult to actually know what to say about it. For a Minister of the Crown to talk about censorship, when that same Minister purports to be a member of a party that jokingly call themselves Liberals is beyond parody.

    But this confusion with our language is right through politics and allows politicians and the media to control the agenda. Because the general public, happy for an easy life, have either not noticed this change or ignored it because “I’m all right & don’t rock the boat” attitude prevail. But that is all changing.

    The words left and right get banded about as if they are synonymous with good and bad. If the BBC doesn’t like something they categorise it as right wing. If it’s something they like they don’t say it’s of the left but use that fluffy word “progressive” Ask them what side of centre Starlin was and it was to the left (they can’t avoid that one). Ask what side Hitler was and they say to the right. Ask them what the difference is and you are shown the door. The reality is those on the left are centralists, and must control everything. A Monarchy is the ultimate manifestation of the Left just as are most dictators. Those on the right prefer personal freedom, and the ultimate manifestation of the right is Anarchy. Left and right is not about policies, although that is how it is mostly used these days.

    We all know that for the sake of harmony we need to find a path down the centre that encompasses just the right amount of central control for there to be no Anarchy and that we protect the most vulnerable in society. Today however with the likes of the UN, the EU and other organisations we have gone down the path of the hard left with almost communist levels of State intervention and state dependency. But the further our stupid Politians steer us down this route (I’ll be generous and suggest its mostly well intentioned, but akin to driving your car blindfolded on the Motorway) the more difficult it is for them to keep the public on board. And throughout history it has always been the case that the left thinks they are right and everyone else is wrong.

    And so we come to Ed Davey. Not for him to argue his case and be subject to criticism. No no just like legions on the left before him, (with honourable exceptions) Ed thinks that he has some sort of divine view that make him right and he is demonstrating just for us the worst case of intolerance we have yet seen from this useless coalition. I have just last week written again to my MP about the dysfunctional energy policy and called into question Ed Davey’s competence. I may have to back it up. My Tory MP is not one of the rebel persuasion and due to the fact we have a high proportion of arty farty types in our area he feels the only way he will win is by appealing to this element of the electorate even if they are wrong. He also backs the Cameron stage coach, but just may find it cast adrift soon.

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