Knee-jerk leftism from The Ecologist


The Ecologist magazine (not a publication I read often, so hat-tip to Google alerts) has just attempted a mendacious and malicious hatchet job on UKIP and UKIP’s energy policy, and it focuses its criticism on my association with ALEC the American Legislative Exchange Council, with which I have occasionally worked over ten years or more.  They totally disregard the fact that for three quarters of those years I was sitting as a Conservative MEP, and that during that time quite a number of other Conservative MEPs (and MPs) also visited ALEC Conferences.

Indeed I have only one good thing to say about The Ecologist: they allowed me a right of reply, and published my rebuttal.  Find it here.

I have covered the arguments on climate so often that I won’t repeat them here.  What is worthy of mention, though, is The Ecologist’s instinctive anti-capitalist, anti-industry bias, the profound mistrust of the private sector.  Get this: “UKIP’s big-picture goal is a bid to achieve independence from the European Union – but in backing the agenda of ALEC and Heartland it appears only too keen to turn us into vassals of unaccountable American corporations”.

We in UKIP do not, of course, back anyone’s agenda but our own.  We are, however, open to work with people and organisations with whom we share common views.  The suggestion that UKIP wants the UK to be anyone’s “vassal” is the diametric opposite of the truth, and a clear and deliberate misrepresentation.

The Ecologist is very exercised by the fact that ALEC drafts “model legislation” for American state legislators, which is frequently adopted, with or without editing, by State Legislatures.  They see this as sinister and wrong.  But it is simply a service from a technically-qualified ALEC Secretariat to assist state legislators in drafting bills.  ALEC members are under no obligation or pressure to use these drafts — they are merely there to help.  Maybe the Ecologist thinks that in the USA, state legislators should re-invent the wheel forty-nine times for each new piece of legislation — but few will agree.

We have here two opposing views of industry, and of “unaccountable multinational corporations”.  The Ecologist sees industry as seeking to abuse its position to bear down on the rights of citizens.  Having worked in a number of multinational corporations, I see it rather differently.  Yes of course they are there to compete and to strive and to grow and to make profits, and we should welcome that as the paradigm that has created wealth that our grandfathers could scarcely have dreamed of.

But they are also there to create jobs.  And to provide goods and services.  And to pay dividends — and not just to bloated plutocrats, but to ordinary folk who have unit trusts or ISAs or pensions funds.  And to pay the taxes which fund our public services (and remember that corporations have a fiduciary duty to pay the minimum tax consistent with the law — so if you think Starbucks don’t pay enough corporation tax — and there I should agree with you — don’t blame Starbucks.  Blame the Treasury for making the rules that allowed Starbucks to pay not very much).

Of course multinationals must be taxed and regulated.  Of course in the UK, they must play by UK rules (not by American model legislation).  But we should welcome their ability to create wealth and jobs, and to pay dividends and taxes, and we should not put unnecessary barriers in their way.

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45 Responses to Knee-jerk leftism from The Ecologist

  1. martinbrumby says:

    Even if you were, for the sake of a stupid argument, to accept the idea that there is a danger of industry (or ALEC, or Heartland) “bearing down on the rights of citizens”; you have to ask whether this is more of a threat, than the lunatic, hypocritical, incompetent and greedy Green Blobbers who actually DO bear down on the rights of citizens already! They have already sucked millions of pounds from our economy for pseudo-science and for policy based evidence making. On the strength of which ignorant politicians (except you Roger, and a handful of others) are overjoyed at the idea of spending Billions (we haven’t got) on “solutions” that don’t work to problems that probably don’t exist.
    Never mind ALEC. I’d rather be a “vassal” of the Mafia than the likes of WWF, FoE, Greenpeace, the Carbon “Trust”, the Green Party and all the rest of them! Even the Mafia don’t make their money from stuff that doesn’t work!

  2. says:

    Dear Roger

    I have changed my email address and I have already asked you to update your records so that I can continue to receive your excellent emails. Please will you take time out of your busy schedule to do this.

    My old address was

    My new address is


  3. catalanbrian says:

    You state in your reply to the Ecologist that “there has been no global warming for eighteen years”. Supporting evidence please

    • Brin Jenkins says:

      Surely we need to see proof the other way around? Prove that there is warming, rather than rather than a negative proof.

    • Thomas Fox says:

      Since volcanoes on land and beneath the oceans have been belching C02 for millions of years how come this gas is in small proportion? eg. – 400 sodding parts per million that sounds a lot but is minuscule Man or Mann are not able to change anything by calculation !

  4. Jane Davies says:

    Well done in your reply to this garbage, Roger. A knee jerk article indeed, that re-enforces how scared certain sections of society are that the voters in the UK are at last seeing through all the political spin that leeches billions of tax pounds used to boost the coffers of certain groups who want to control the minds of the masses for political and monetary gain.

  5. Brin Jenkins says:

    Lets make an assumption that CO2 needs to be reduced, other than an accepted a greater efficiency of fuels used.

    Carbon taxes are greatly used for uplifting Africa, and other third world Nations. This may be socially desirable, but it’s always counter productive to any global carbon reduction plan. Underdeveloped countries spend this aid, and the sale of carbon credits, on purchases that will increase carbon output. Motor cars, refrigerators, and road building balance exactly any reductions we make here.

    If instead carbon any producer was rewarded for reducing his claimed pollution, the money would then encourage a global reduction instead of increasing it.

    • Ex-expat Colin says:

      CO2 generation alert:

      There is a huge sugar refinery somewhere on the east side of UK. Sugar from Beet so that we don’t screw fossil fuel stocks with ships..of course. Might be cheaper and creates jobs in UK?

      All the CO2 generated is being pumped into their greenhouses adjacent, to produce a great deal of tomatoes along with the excess heat from cooking up the beet.

      oh dear…. que hand wringing.

    • Brin Jenkins says:

      I note the CO2 problem brigade are seemingly unconcerned about the Planet, they don’t challenge the argument that Carbon tax is increasing CO2 instead of decreasing it.

      Why would anyone agree with a counter productive tax? Having an opposite effect surely action should be taken urgently to correct this nonsensical imposition on us?

      • Flyinthesky says:

        It’s continuing revenue opportunity that drives it, they’re not going to let it go easily, climate tax, carbon trading, reduced comsumption but maintained profits for generators.
        It’s the same in a lot of areas, people in a position to propose or effect a change have a vested interest not to.

      • Brin Jenkins says:

        Exactly, so this is the point to keep pushing. If its not all about saving the Planet as they claim, what is it about?

        They need to address this point directly, or they are completely discredited as cheats with an unstated agenda.

      • Flyinthesky says:

        The near insurmountable problem is the fluffy world perspective: save the planet, secure the childrens future. There is a large percentage of the population who are driven and never look beyond the emotive. Until their fingers start falling off with frostbite and granny is found dead, frozen to her rocking chair these people are not changing their minds.
        There is, probably over half the population that has accepted AGW and as long as the majority are on side it’s difficult to address the situation.
        There is no actual proof that human activity is warming the planet, simmilarly you cant prove we are not. There is no climate science either way, it’s postulation and obsevation not science.
        Either way the way forward is to do what we humans are best at, adapting to the prevailing conditions. The issue with that common sense position is it doesn’t have very much vested interest enrichment potential. So while the emotives are working for us we’ll stay with those.
        That’s the issue I have with a lot of people, they know nothing and believe everything. It never dawns that they are being played…. for someone elses benefit.
        They’re looking after us, they’ve got our back. The reality in a lot of cases is they are looking after themselves and they haven’t got your back, they’re standing on it.

      • Brin Jenkins says:

        This is why we should forget the science argument for a while and ask them why a counter productive tax is still being levied. They need to answer this point, or look stupid.

  6. tapestry says:

    Helmer thinks US corporations are little pussycats that need a stroke now and again. I put it down to naivety. On the global warming issue, fine. That’s a free hit, as the stats are clear enough. No warming has taken place for two decades. On the issue of senators being paid off by giant corporations to pass laws desired by said corporations, that is the end of democracy. Roger’s all fine with that, for some reason. It’s very worrying that he’s the Energy spokesman for UKIP, the party that professes to be The Peoples’ Army. More like the Giant Corporation’s prime apologists. No wonder he’s so very wrong about the dangers of gas drilling and fracking around human populations.

    • Jane Davies says:

      I don’t know who thought up the “the peoples army” label but it does nothing towards the credibility of UKIP. It smacks of Dad’s Army and gives those who oppose UKIP a reason for ridicule. I wish whoever thought up this stupid description would let die a quiet death.

    • Brin Jenkins says:

      We can allow that you have an opinion we don’t all share, why do you keep repeating it though?

      Repetition of your fears will not prove anything.

      • Jane Davies says:

        Sorry? Can you explain…this is the first time I have made a comment about the Peoples Army name.

      • Brin Jenkins says:

        SorryJane, my mail it was not intended for you, but tapestry. Sometimes a reply seems to be posted close to the wrong one.

        It was his comment on fracking, which I thought Roger had already answered. We can have differing ideas and not agree. I recalled the statement, I think it was from The Brave New World, that 40.000 repetitions equal one truth.

      • Jane Davies says:

        OK…you are forgiven!

  7. Brin Jenkins says:

    Jane the Home Guard as portrayed by Dad’s Army is not a true picture, there would have been a far bigger resistance here, than in France me thinks.

    • Jane Davies says:

      I know that Brin, what I was saying was that the opponents of UKIP latch on to any opportunity to ridicule and the ‘people army’ label is a case in point. You, I think, are over thinking the meaning of my comment, I’m used to that my husband tends to over think things! Is it a ‘guy’ thing?

    • Ex-expat Colin says:

      Jane… I think Nigel Farage said it a few weeks back at the Rochester thing (somewhere).

  8. Maureen Gannon says:

    Well it’s all very interesting all this climate chane malarky, But what has upset me this week is it has taken a Tory to voice Article 50 I cannot believe that Nigel has not explained it to people and challenged Cameron to use it ,
    climate change CO2 my God they used to skate on the Thames the climate has changed since this planet evolved the Romans grew grapevines , suddenly someone invents windmills what a luvverly way to to make loadsa money so fill peoples head “We are all doomed” the north pole is melting Britain will be washed away , ok weve covered the scenic beauty what next bio fuels yipeee, when suddenly the word Fracking becomes the password for more scare stiories cos that would make this tiny little island dependent on no one the global world cannot allow that ,no one has died from gas in the water taps no earthquakes I believe it has existed for about 30 years have not heard of one incident.


  9. Roger, you blog is simply excellent.
    So here is a question: how do you and how does UKIP react to Owen Paterson? Are you incompatible?

    • Flyinthesky says:

      I think from a strategy perspective it’s best to remain silent and see how it pans out.
      Althought his speech has prompted much excitement, as I have said elsewhere, I would require the conservatives to go, in betting terms, all in. There is slim to no chance of them doing that.
      The enduring issue from some quarters is UKIP do not have a published and credible exit plan. There is yet time to present one.
      UKIP has a core intent to exit the eu, the conservative higherarchy don’t, it’s only on their menu because it’s been forced upon them by pressure from UKIP.
      Part of UKIPs success is being minful of public opinion, the conservatives work on a basis of minimums for placation.
      Notwithstanding, however offensive it is to the political classes, majority public opinion “is” democracy, anything else isn’t, however good for us they tell us things are.

    • Ex-expat Colin says:

      Isn’t he about this (with Ashcroft)? UK 2020

      Sounds like a true Tory boy, unlike that up top.

      • `David says:

        Patterson said in TV interview this week, UKIP are good at finding the problem, but useless at finding the answer to it.
        Does not sound like a potential solid UKIP- er to me.

  10. Pingback: Knee-Jerk Leftism from The Ecologist | EcoDaily

  11. catalanbrian says:

    Mr Helmer, I requested you to provide evidence for your statement that “there has been no global warming for eighteen years. Thus far you have failed to do so. In the meantime perhaps you would like to comment on this

  12. Brin Jenkins says:

    Brian a claim has been made that normality has been breached, and man made global warming is a fact.

    Its those who make this astounding claim to prove its the truth, and proven beyond doubt, it is not for others to prove a negative. Your case is not proven, but alleged.

    Sixty years ago the Guardian would have been accepted as truthful, unfortunately its no longer so, adverse comment to the unholy grail gets moderated or banned.

    No doubt they will publish your comments, but rarely mine..

    • catalanbrian says:

      Brin. Firstly I asked Mr Helmer, who claims to be an expert on these matters, to respond, rather than you. Secondly I would point out that all the Guardian is doing is reporting what the World Meteorological Office had stated, so this is not a matter of trusting, or not, the Guardian.

      • Brin Jenkins says:

        My mistake Brian, I see now you don’t want debate, but rather harass someone who holds different views to yourself.

      • catalanbrian says:

        I have no wish to harass you but this is not a matter of debate. I asked a question of Mr Helmer and you decided to interfere by putting your views forward . That does not give me Mr Helmer’s view, which is what I requested. It has nothing to do with me holding different views to you although if you are one of those people who refuses to accept the view of the scientific experts then yes I do hold a different view to you. That does not however mean that I am not entitled to ask Mr Helmer, the energy spokesman for UKIP a question.

      • Brin Jenkins says:

        I don’t feel in the slightest harassed by you Brian. You do however come across as persistently mischievous in your postings, you press for answers that have already been covered, and proofs of a reverse nature on global warming. This is far from proven and the circular references to other unproven theories is neither science or debate. If you wish to ask a private question, brooking no queries from blog readers, then you should do it personally, here you will be open to your question being read, and possibly torn apart. Also when your response has been asked for rather than debate, you ignore it. An example might be on the counter productive Carbon Taxation.

      • catalanbrian says:

        I think that it is up to Mr Helmer to decide what is put on this blog, and to tell me what I can and cannot put on his blog, rather than some old fool that wishes to create an argument where there is no need for one.

      • Brin Jenkins says:

        Abuse when logical thought and debate fail you, I have heard it described as Fabian Tactics.

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