Posts Tagged ‘Guardian’

The Guardian employs disgraced Chris Huhne in an alliance of mutual discredit

September 9, 2013

I just heard an interview with disgraced former UK Minister and philanderer, Chris Huhne on the BBC.

Apparently The Guardian likes his position of attacking the Murdoch Press for his arrest but he did stop short of blaming them for his transgressions. He is going to have a weekly column in The Guardian  – which seems to be an alliance of mutual discredit.

I am probably hoping in vain that he will not be writing about energy or the environment – both areas where his ignorance, incompetence and transgressions dwarf his marital infidelities.

But on second thoughts perhaps this is not such a bad thing. He should be pretty good at damaging his espoused causes.

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Guardian’s “catastrophe” correspondent supports Rudd: Could be the final straw

September 5, 2013

If anything convinces me even more than the bookies that Rudd will lose the election this weekend, it is that George Monbiot of the Guardian has developed the catastrophe scenario for Australia if Abbot wins. He has the uncanny knack of picking dead – and useless – causes.

For those who have not been exposed to George Monbiot, he is the Guardian’s “catastrophe” correspondent. He can manage to find a looming disaster in every human development. His articles tend to lurch from one catastrophe scenario to the next. That his “catastrophes” never happen and keep disappearing into the future never discourages him. He can always find a new catastrophe. And now he has picked on Tony Abbott! He does write for The Guardian and support for Abbott would not be possible but the demonisation of Abbott – like carbon dioxide – is a Monbiot speciality.

Fighting global warming is his reason for living. He detests – and denies – the hiatus in global warming since it might prove that there is no impending catastrophe. He denies that changes to climate may be due to natural variability. He doesn’t like fracking or the Farmers Union. In fact he doesn’t like fossil fuels of any kind. Coal – he thinks – has been disastrous for Australia. Tourists and sheep in the Lake District should be banned. Exotic trees should be banned and only “native” trees should be planted. He has a fantasy that woolly mammoths could be brought back to life. Neonictinoids are like DDT. The shooting of one of the Boston bombers was an “execution”. Oil companies and tobacco companies are to be shunned. He really does believe in “peak oil” and “peak gas”. Earning money and creating wealth is fundamentally wrong. Faith in the markets is misplaced and only governments can save our living planet. Having resources is a curse. Exploiting such resources is to court eternal damnation. He is a firm adherent of the precautionary principle.

In short he knows best what is best for others.

And he does not like Tony Abbott – probably to Abbot’s great advantage. His headlines can be worth looking at but to read through his articles requires a strong stomach. It’s not just that he does not like humanity; he does not like people doing well. Coal and its exploitation – he believes – has degraded and brutalised Australia.

The Guardian: 

If Abbott is elected, Australia’s natural wonders will gradually be rubbed away

Tony Abbott’s climate policies are about removing the social and environmental protections enjoyed by all Australians to allow the filthy rich to become richer – and filthier.

…. Why? The answer’s in the name. Coalition policies begin with coal: getting it out of the ground, moving it through the ports, stripping away the regulations that prevent mining companies from wrecking the natural beauty of Australia – and from trashing the benign climate on which we all depend. The mining boom in the world’s biggest coal exporter has funded a new, harsher politics. 

… Like the tar sands in Canada, coal has changed the character of the nation, brutalising and degrading public life. It has funded a vicious campaign of mud-slinging against those who argue for the careful use of resources, for peace and quiet and beauty and the health of the living planet. Australia, like Nigeria, Iraq and Saudi Arabia, suffers from a resource curse. …

Read the whole article (if you really must).

Guradian to hold Masterclass in hacking?

August 9, 2011

I just noticed that the Guardian is holding – for a £500 per person feea two-day course in September ostensibly on “investigative journalism”.

In this intensive, weekend course, two of the UK’s leading investigative journalists will give students the skills needed to reach the next step. Paul Lewis and Heather Brooke will teach the secrets of their trade in a series of interactive workshops and skill-based sessions.

The course will cover among other things “convincing people to talk” and “advice on data journalism” and “the course will reveal how new technology and recent innovations have revolutionised investigative journalism”.

I note – but without much surprise – that there is no mention of ethics anywhere in the course description.

Presumably David Leigh will be the guest lecturer and will explain the techniques of phone hacking  and the importance of always having noble objectives. He could also explain the finer points of utilising the public interest defence under the Data Protection Act to justify non-compliance with the Act. To cover ethics they could invite Rebekah Brooks who is probably available except that she is apparently still on the payroll of News International.

Phone hacking: One law for the Guardian and another for the News of the World?

August 6, 2011

The list of UK journalists involved in phone hacking just gets longer. After the Mirror it is now the turn of the Guardian.

The Guardian newspaper may have been a major player in exposing the phone hacking scandal in Murdoch’s News of the World, but is not itself free from the cancer. Their investigations executive editor, David Leigh is a self-confessed hacker (5 years ago) but seeks to justify himself because his ends were in the public interest!!

David Leigh obviously considers himself an inherently good guy such that his means are justified by his ends. I am afraid Mr. Leigh’s ethics are a little confused, a little arrogant and not very convincing. The Daily Mail reports that he is to be questioned by the police.

UPDATE! It now seems that David Leigh was probably also involved in some kind of nefarious activity against the anti-global warming community after Climategate. It would seem that police provided him – or the Guardian – with information in contravention of the Data Protection Act. A form of “information laundering” perhaps!! 

Forbes: Jeff Bercovici

Here’s one more irony in a saga that already has plenty of them: The Guardian, the paper most responsible for bringing the phone hacking at News of the World to light, is harboring a confessed phone hacker. That would be investigations executive editor David Leigh, who, in 2006, volunteered that he had used some “questionable methods” to get scoops, including listening to a subject’s voicemail and lying about his identity on phone calls. That admission drew shrugs at the time, but the Guardian’s avidity in pursuing justice for other phone-hackers has given it new relevance. …

Does Leigh’s defense — that what he did was permissible because it was in the public interest and he was transparent about it after the fact — hold water? I put that question to Kelly McBride, who teaches ethics at the Poynter Institute. She thinks it doesn’t.

“The problem with that is he’s suggesting that the ends justify the means,” McBride says. “In most ethical reasoning it doesn’t because it’s a subjective call. For him, it’s exposing bribery and corruption. For somebody else it might be exposing that some pop star lip synchs over his songs.” (That might sound like a big leap of relativism, but think of all the stories that fall somewhere in the middle, like political sex scandals.)

…. Setting aside the lofty realm of ethics, there’s still the practical application of the law to consider. Leigh writes that “there is a public interest defence available under the Data Protection Act” that, in theory at least, protects him from prosecution while enabling the phone-hackers from News of the World to be brought to justice.

Even if that’s the case, McBride says journalists who choose to break the law ought to be prepared to accept the full consequences. That, in itself, is a useful guide for determining whether a story is one of overriding public interest or just a sexy scoop. “If you get 30 days in jail for trespassing, it’s got to be worth going to jail for 30 days,” she says.

Biodiversity 100 – another 10.10 crisis?

October 4, 2010

The Guardian today (and they have yet to distance themselves from their support for their 10: 10 partners):

Talk has not halted biodiversity loss – now it’s time for action

Guillaume Chapron and George Monbiot: “Help us compile a list of 100 tasks (that’s 10.10 to the rest of us) that G20 governments should undertake to prove their commitment to tackling the biodiversity crisis”.

Lurching from one crisis to the next

This comes a day after such headlines  as:

Oceans could contain 750,000 undiscovered species

The world’s oceans are teeming with far greater diversity of life than was previously thought, according to the first Census of Marine Life.

This plethora of manufactured crises is becoming farcical.

Mr. Monbiot has been silent regarding the 10:10 fiasco.

The Guardian is busy positioning itself for the next crisis when biodiversity becomes less fashionable.

The water footprint


Onwards and upwards.

The 10:10 No Pressure video

October 3, 2010

Hopefully my last post about this vulgar piece of film.

The 10:10 campaign site seems to have been abandoned. The comments are entirely unmoderated and overwhelmingly critical – and some quite abusive.

After the initial mealy-mouthed apology posted on their web-site, there is utter silence from the perpetrators of this fiasco (Richard Curtis and Franny, Lizzie, Eugenie and the whole 10:10 team)

The only damage control that would now work is for the campaign to shut down.

New – and much cleverer variations of the original video – are now multiplying and being posted on YouTube.

Remarkably the original video is still available at The Guardian.

The Guardian’s initial endorsement of the video by its 10:10 partners and its subsequent silence about the reaction is deafening.


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