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Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Discussion point

I wonder how many of those on what is broadly “the left”, who are crying crocodile tears over the fate of coalminers who lost their jobs from unprofitable, subsidised mines in the 1980s, are the same people who want, in the name of global warming alarmism, to shut down profitable mines today? It would be good to ask the current crop of Labour MPs, LibDems and Cameroonian Tories as to whether they think it right to repeal the UK’s various climate change measures that have, among other things, led to the recent closure of UK coal-fired power stations.

Of course, such a question reminds me, when thinking of the nonsense about that has been spouted since the death of Margaret Thatcher, of how illogical and hypocritical people, both politicians, and voters, are on such matters. Not a comforting thought. But I guess it is hardly something that is confined to the UK.


15 comments to Discussion point

  • Paul Marks

    The left in the United States sometimes try and square the circle by talking about “carbon capture” – but that is really just the name of a corrupt Corporate Welfare project in Illinois.

    Coal is carbon – burn it and you get C02.

    One can not be anti C02 emissions and pro coal mining – does not work.

    Any more than one can be pro Islam AND pro the rights of women (or pro the rights of homosexuals) – it does not work.

    Although the left try to square that circle also.

  • Edward Smith

    Disclosure first. I studied Economics at the University of York during Paul Marks’ last year (or was it the next to last year) there – he is strange one, but a scholar and a gentleman. He’ll be the first person I look up (well, maybe the second … there’s a C of E minister in Kent (a distant relation of Archbishop Tillotson) I also keep in touch with) when I get back to your side of the Atlantic.

    Of course some if not many of these people are also activists for “Green Energy”.

    And they have no sense of irony. They do not realize they would also have all those coal miners out of jobs, but for different reasons.

    They no more realize this than they do that were they to get within a hundred yards of of Billy Bragg’s London home on a day when he is not staging a press event highlighting his massive sympathy for the working class he would call the police on them.

    Tom Baker (after a long day’s shooting of THE DAEMONS a bus full of school children pulled in … Baker pulled himself up, put on his best smile, and did a round of autographs and photos) and Billy Bragg are worlds apart.

  • Paul Marks

    “He is a stange one” is mild (“more like a giant cat than a human being – horrifically violent and sadistic” was one description of me, totally unfair and if they say it again I will eat them) – and you are welcome any time as long as you give a couple of days to clear up this dump first.

    Although (as I always tell people) if you visit England – do not waste your time comming to see me (not here – even my mother forbad her relatives and friends from visiting her here). Go somewhere interesting – and I will come and see you.

    As for the trendy set – many of them burn wood rather than coal.

    I like wood burning stoves also.

    But, and oddly they seem to be unaware of this, burning wood also produces C02 (wood is carbon).

    Billy Bragg – is he not the British person who pretends to be Bob Dylon (spelling alert), who (in turn) pretended to be Willie Guthrie?

    Of course Willie G. was also pretending – pretending to be Mr Average Working Guy.

  • Johnathan Pearce (London)

    Watching intellectuals and musicians writing songs about pretending to be coalminers is up there with bad buskers on the Tube as one of my pet hates.

  • @JP: I don’t believe they think through the consequences. There is no hypocracy / double think, just thinking that stops at a certain point. They probably do not think that power companies are staffed exclusively by fat cats in tailored suits and top hats, but as they draw out the conclusion that their policy would harm those people they are satisfied at some level and stop thinking.

    @Paul M: trees sequestrate carbon from the atmoshpere. Burning it does not release anything older than a few hundred years, and new trees grow all the time if your wood is “responsibly sourced” (or even if it isn’t, since adding to demand). Sorry, I don’t like the people you are talking about, but that was a bad argument.

    Oh and when are you coming to a London meet up? Look out for an open mic night in the summer, you could come and talk about Bismarck.

  • Edward Smith

    Depending on where the forest is, and what kind of forest it is, you can wipe it out by too aggressively chopping it down or merely clear it for a new one to take its place.

    I am thinking about the state of Maine, the Cedars of Lebanon and the North Yorkshire moors.

    I think Paul was poking fun at the Green Movement’s obsession with Carbon Emissions.

    Wasn’t there some joking and controversy about cow farts a while back?

  • I have somewhat more respect for those enviromentalists who follow their ideas to their logical conclusion.

    It should be interesting to see what progress environmental activist Bill McKibben makes in his tour in Australia, where mining is a significant industry.

    Coalmining is a ‘rogue industry’: US activist.

    ”If the world ever takes climate change seriously, that coal simply has to stay in the ground,” Mr McKibben said. ”There’s no physical way to burn it, or Canada’s tar sands, or Venezuela’s shale oil, and not go over the red line that almost all governments, including Australia’s, have drawn at two degrees.”

    Give him credit, this guy even mentioned Venezuela. It’s astounding how many of his fellow-environmentalists go awfully vague about the factor that enabled Chavez to keep Bolivarianism going.

  • RAB

    Billy Bragg – is he not the British person who pretends to be Bob Dylon (spelling alert), who (in turn) pretended to be Willie Guthrie?

    My friend Paul Marks likes to say that he has no sense of humour, when he actually has the finest and the driest. The above effort had me wetting myself.

  • Edward Smith

    To aspire to be Bob Dylan is an ambition worth having. I don’t rate him as highly as I do Leonard Cohen (“and thanks/for the trouble you took from her eyes/I thought it was there for good/so I never tried” – from FADED BLUE RAINCOAT) or Jacques Brel (“he had no brains/neither did she/how bright could I turn out to be” – from BRUSSELS), but he’s written some fine songs.

    Woody Guthrie wrote some good songs too. As did his son Arlo. Arlo wrote funnier songs. “You can get/anything you want/from Alice’s restauarnt (‘ceptin’ Alice)”

    Pete Seeger – not as over-rated as Billy Bragg, but certainly over-rated.

    I would not fault Bragg for his ambition. But his capacity for pretension is highly annoying.

  • Mr Ed

    If you wish to hear a good Dylan or Seeger song, find a cover by the Byrds.

  • Paul Marks

    Simon – Edward Smith has it right (I was playing).

    Bismark? I wrote something about him once – even after all the ageing and headblows of the years, I think I can remember some of it.

    I would be happy to come along and speak.

  • Regional

    Before Margaret Thatcher came to power Britain was a land of milk and honey with unicorns frolicking in the glow from rainbows and the Winter of Discontent was a right wing myth.

  • veryretired

    No, no you don’t understand. You’re talking about consequences, about cause and effect. That doesn’t matter, in fact, many post-modernists would claim it doesn’t even exist.

    You have to understand that all that matters is good intentions.

    If you are concerned about some issue, and you adopt the approved collectivist position about it, that’s all that matters. Your heart is in the right place, and you meant well, so if things don’t go quite right, it can’t be your fault, or the fault of your well-intentioned laws and rules and regulations.

    It’s obviously the fault of those who disagree with you, and are therefore bad, and mean bad things to happen.

    It’s the bad people who intend bad things who close coal mines because they can’t make enough evil profits.

    Every correctly thinking and compassionate person knows the mines should be kept open and operating because the miners need those jobs.

    And if it costs some large amount to make sure the power plants can use the coal without any emissions or other ishy stuff, then they should be required to make those improvements, even if it means they lose some money.

    Everybody knows if you want the right things, then only good things can happen, unless the bad people interfere, and wreck things.

  • Paul Marks

    Regional – quite so, the spokesman (sorry spokesperson) for the Film Actors Guild said so.


    The denial of objective truth – from William James (and the other Pragmatists) then Sorel, then the postmoderns.

    Interventionism (and worse) is “true for them”.

    I am watching Mrs T. funeral (having done all the leafleting I can – my next Council event is at 1700) and the lady took the words “where there is error may we bring truth”.

    But how can there be error if there is no, objective, truth?

    This, as you know, is the trick of the modern left.

  • The New Nihilism

    The Right have clearly flexed their muscles during the last week or so after the death of Margaret Thatcher. You have quite a large control of the media. I’ve looked for dissent with a microscope and haven’t been able to find any. Oh you freedom lovers you. We welcome your return. May Europe divide into two.