I seem to have acquired a cyber-stalker!

Leo Hickman of the Guardian is a fearless environmental and investigative journalist, boldly shining the light of media scrutiny on matters where the public has a Right to Know.  His most recent topic about which the public has the Right to Know seems to be the contents of my blog.  He may have overlooked the fact that the public can read the content of my blog all by themselves, without his help, and many thousands do.
However, while my blog has taken years to reach 140,000 hits, I daresay that the Guardian website gets millions of hits a day, so thanks to Leo for taking me to a wider audience.  Many politicians would kill for the kind of national media coverage that Leo is offering me.  The trouble is that he is pursuing me with ever more detailed and vexatious questions, to many of which I simply don’t know the answers (How much did my recent trip to Malaysia cost?  I don’t know, because my hosts paid for the ticket and the hotel, and I never saw the bill).  If I blow my nose, Leo wants to know if the tax-payer bought the Kleenex (I exaggerate, of course, but not much).  He is also suggesting that he might write about me every week.  If he does, then I’ll really have to buy him lunch.
Fearless and dogged Leo may be, but he’s none too accurate.  His latest piece says “all his trips were … funded using his MEP’s expenses allowance”.  But as I had told him, my Malaysia visit was wholly funded by my hosts, and previous trips to the USA were also part-funded by my hosts.  But why let the facts spoil a good story?
His writing is not all kindly.  He refers to my “propensity to court attention with his … alternative views”.   I didn’t too much like that.  But pity the poor politician.  If he keeps his head down and gets on quietly, people say he’s doing nothing and tells them nothing.  But if he takes the trouble to inform them about the work that he does, and the issues on which he feels passionately, that’s “a propensity to court attention”.  (And by the way, Leo, my “alternative views” on climate and Europe seem to be broadly shared by public opinion in the UK). 
Out canvassing at election time, I still get voters on the doorstep saying “the trouble with you politicians is that you never tell us anything about Europe”, as if it weren’t enough to have a full-time Press Officer, a web-site, a blog, a monthly newsletter, and a Twitter account, and to have published books and DVDs and bumper stickers and press ads and billboards.
Leo’s latest effusion runs to 1650 words.  But if Leo isn’t big on accuracy, he’s not great on originality either.  Much of his piece is quoted verbatim from my blog — so much, indeed, that I wonder whether I can apply for royalties.  I’m saving the Guardian from paying for a whole lot of copy. In fact well over half his piece — about 920 words — is simply quotations.   It reminds me of the Mark Twain line: “Great blocks of quotations welded together with a thin mortar of originality”.
But I’d like to turn the tables and put a couple of questions to Leo.  One of them was posted as a comment on my web-site by a contributor called “Pimpernel”, and I can do no better than to quote it verbatim: Roger, Next time he calls ask him about the tax avoidance measures taken by the Guardian Media Group and whether he would like to make a comment about what the lost tax revenue could be spent on in these tough times.
And I have another question for him.  He was very excited about (and critical of) my visit to the Cancun Climate Conference in December.  But I was only one of twenty-six MEPs (plus twelve officials and nineteen assistants) who travelled there at the parliament’s expense.  Is he asking the same questions of the others, including the British Labour MEP Linda McAvan, and prominent European Greens like Rebecca Harms (Germany) and Satu Hassi (Finland), who also went?  And if not, why not? 
I can save you the trouble of waiting for an answer, because we know what it is.  For all his posturing about “tax-payers’ money”, he doesn’t really give a hang about that.  He has no problems if green MEPs go to Cancun to discuss ways of destroying capitalism and the Western world with lunatic green policies.  That’s all OK.  He’s getting at me because I dared to challenge the Guardian orthodoxy on climate.  Simple as that.  Leo, you’re so transparent.
But you have to feel just a little bit sorry for the Warmists.  They’re losing the argument on the science.  They’ve lost the battle for public opinion.  There’s really nothing left but to try to shoot the messenger — and they’re all out of ammunition.

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8 Responses to I seem to have acquired a cyber-stalker!

  1. Sue says:

    Put a copyright clause on your blog. It’s easy enough for people just to use a hyperlink if they want to read what you written.

  2. F Hugh Eveleigh says:

    Mr Helmer, you are one of a handful of politicians for whom I have respect and admiration and for you to have to be subject to the focused whinings of a disgruntled Guardian columnist who appears unable to view matters more accurately, I give you my commiserations. I suppose it is the stuff of politics – as you imply – but it does raise the emotions. To think that I once read The Guardian. Your article is confirmation that I made the right decision some years ago not to buy it again. But please keep at it!

  3. This recent development is clearly an indication, that the mainstream media have realised that your views and awareness of the facts regarding alleged climate change (in particular) – can no longer be ignored or undermined. Furthermore, many of your views are far closer to mainstream public opinion than bigoted media such as “The Guardian”. On Monday night, BBC4 broadcast a programme about the climate realist cause (with a focus on Christopher Monckton). I hope and pray that more documentaries such as this will follow, screened by other TV channels too. Surely, it is just a matter of time – before The Conservative Party reviews it’s policies towards energy management and accepts that “global warming” is a non-issue?

  4. Charles Wardrop says:

    “Grauniad” publicity is a shot in that paper’s foot, so, in a perverse way, it’s useful, as you imply.
    Lefties and liberals, v. seldom in the wrong, are poor losers but, remember, our various governments are still shovelling our (borrowed) money at renewables and carbon. Simple examination of utility in terms of power output and mitigation of carbon release makes these expenditures a near-complete waste. How ever did the politicians responsible make a success or money in real life, or is the parlimentary environment bamboozling as well as , in many cases, corrupting ?

  5. Hugh Davis says:

    The BBC gives The Guardian up to £5 million subsidy a year through the latter’s monopoly on recruitment ads.
    As there are only 50,000 paying readers of that vile publication, that means that I am subsidising each and every one of them through my (extorted) TV licence fee to the tune of £100 to enable them to read noxious articles such as those of Leo Hickman. Why is that allowed to happen, Roger?

  6. Some interesting additional observations, from Hugh Davis (see above). Clearly, some vested interests and the insidious liberal agenda are responsible for this scandalous situation.

  7. Robertson says:

    An excellent “breath of fresh air” blog Mr Helmer.

    I am sure that David Cameron said before the last election that they would insist that all BBC and government and local government jobs would only be advertised on-line on a government site in future as this is the only fair way to do it.
    Still waiting.

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