PERTH, AUSTRALIA — Last August, I wrote an eXiled piece about an Australian protest group called the “Convoy of No Confidence,” calling it out – correctly – as a Koch-ite Astroturf scam, and shaming Rupert Murdoch’s national broadsheet, The Australian, for its misleading coverage of the event. My article got a wider audience when the ABC (Australian Broadcasting Corporation) put up a shorter, politer version of my eXiled article on their opinion site, The Drum.
The Murdoch monkeys didn’t like me messing up their corporate Astroturf campaign, but since they couldn’t find fault with my reporting, they fell back on the old hack’s smear by labeling my article “conspiracy theorist.” Lobbyist-turned-Murdoch-columnist Christian Kerr wrote, in a feature article titled “The pernicious effect of conspiracy theories”:
The ABC’s The Drum website published a 1300-word dissertation hinting at dark links between the rally organisers and US industrialists David and Charles Koch, the alleged bankrollers of the Tea Party movement.
Christian Kerr thinks: “From sleazy lobbyist to Murdoch propagandist, I’ve come a long way!”
Kerr, a Murdoch monkey who apparently still refuses to believe the Koch brothers bankrolled the Tea Party (despite the Koch brothers’ own proud boasts admitting as much), went crazy with his conspiracy-theory smears, lumping myself and the environmental movement together with Holocaust-denier conspiracists like David Icke:
British journalist and author David Aaronovitch warns of a relativism in debate magnified by the web. In his book, Voodoo Histories, a debunking of conspiracy theories, he offers the bleak assessment: “if all narratives are relative, we are lost”.
Relativism, Aaronovitch reminds us, “doesn’t care to distinguish between the scholarly and the slapdash, the committed researcher and the careless loudmouth, the scrupulous and the demagogic”.
Next month another British author will visit Australia. David Icke, a former BBC sports presenter and spokesman for the Green Party, believes the human race was engineered and is secretly controlled by a band of reptilian shape-shifters from the Draco constellation. He has sold out all his four lectures, in Perth, Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Sydney, the venue for which, in a clear sign of the relativism Aaronovitch warns of, has been kindly provided by the University of NSW.
Icke’s conspiracies may appear to be curious but harmless fantasy. Yet Jewish groups have been horrified to discover that new-age magazines available in most newsagents have carried advertising for the League of Rights publishing arm that still peddles older, darker conspiracies, such as the infamous anti-Semitic forgery, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
…Talk of “big tobacco”, “big pharma”, “big oil” and “big coal” stems from conspiracies, and yet has become part of the mainstream.
Writing on The Conversation website, the ANU’s Will Grant and Rod Lamberts slammed “the mindless and counterproductive demonisation of Big Oil and Big Coal in tackling climate change”.
The industries, the pair explained, were not run by the equivalents of Monty Burns of The Simpsons, Maxwell Smart’s KAOS adversary, Siegfried, or the diabolic mastermind of three Bond books and films, Ernst Stavro Blofeld. “Those who got into the coal and oil industries did so for the simple goal of making a profit by providing us with the energy we need for the modern economy,” Grant and Lamberts wrote.
“They didn’t do it to be evil. They don’t want to destroy the world. They are not the nefarious oligarchs that so many would have you believe.”
This, it seems, is the libertarian Right’s latest line of attack here in Oz: pretending that the Koch Brothers are just another conspiratorial catch-all – another unreal-sounding bogeyman, like the Bavarian Illuminati, or the Trilateral Commission. [In the USA, Koch apologists at the Cato Institute, Reason magazine, and Koch whores like Megan McArdle and Slate’s David Weigel once argued that the Koch brothers were little more than conspiracy theory catch-alls too, but they've since dropped that propaganda strategy—our Aussie libertarians are a little slower than yours.] Not just the Koch brothers, in fact, but any possibility that Big Oil and Big Coal might have a vested interest in fighting environmental protections is, to a lobbyist-turned-Murdoch-monkey like Kerr, just a “pernicious” conspiracy theory. Move along, people – there’s nothing to see here.
Christian Kerr should get ready to eat his words, because his favourite libertarian think-tank, the Institute of Public Affairs, has spent the past three weeks hosting British conspiracy theorist (and climate change denier) James Delingpole and subsidising the Australia-wide book tour of his magnum opus, Killing the Earth to Save It – a sleazy pamphlet claiming that climate science is a dastardly plot, by the Club of Rome, to form a world government. Yes, the same think-tank that lists Christian Kerr as a member promotes the real thing in whacko conspiracy theory propaganda. Our lobbyist-turned-Murdoch monkey might want to get some toothpicks, I hear those crow pies leave a lot of small bones.
* * *
If last Monday’s issue of The Spectator is to be believed – which is an open question – then Delingpole’s tour has been a smashing success with the Right. He’s appeared on Andrew Bolt’s TV talk show, met with Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, visited five capital cities, spoken at the Royal Perth Yacht Club and stayed at an “exclusive safari camp” near Exmouth with single rooms valued at AUD $1028.00 a night. (They really look after you, those right-wing think tanks!)
Delingpole can’t help but gloat about how much the local Tories adore him:
My first Sydney gig, as we rock stars call them (hosted by the Centre for Independent Studies), went down a storm, helped hugely by two hecklers. (I do love a bit of argy bargy.) Someone said, apparently, that I was the second-best thing they’d heard after P.J. O’Rourke, which is good enough for me. [The Spectator Australia, 5 May, 2012]
And, as I noted when Mark Steyn was touring Australia, conservatism in this country has become a Gogolian comedy scenario, with a pack of corrupt, provincial squires falling over each other to please the first huckster who rides into town: “Please, Mr. Delingpole, tell us all about London… It must be very exciting, going to all those Heartland Institute conferences… Would you like a cigar, Mr. Delingpole? Some scotch? Ah! Here come my daughters! Go on, take your pick!”
Quality doesn’t matter here. Think-tank culture will make VIPs out of the rankest puffballs, the nuttiest tin-foil-hatters, as long as they walk in lockstep.
James Delingpole: A real-life Nathan Barley, and proud of it!
One of Delingpole’s sponsors has even asked him if he would consider moving to Australia. He weighs the pros and cons in his regular, British, Spectator column:
‘Ah but you’d miss the culture [in London],’ Aussies tell me. Well, maybe. Except that unlike, say, Barry Humphries or Clive James or my Oxford tutor (Tasmanian-born) Peter Conrad, I’ve spent my formative years so super-saturated with all that arty-farty-literary stuff I don’t have the craving to escape and broaden my mind that ambitious Australians have. It’s all in there, stored like the fat in a camel’s hump.
Charming. After everything his Aussie sponsors have done for him, he still can’t resist patronising them – and they only love him more for it. In fact, even as his hosts ply him with fine food and expensive hotels, Delingpole still finds things to bitch about. His “exclusive safari camp” might provide “canapés and… Bombay Sapphire gin and… five-star cuisine,” but it gets a thumbs-down from our “rock star” conspiracy theorist because the showers have a 20-litre-a-day water limit.
His biggest complaint, though, is this:
Who the hell is Jon Faine and what is his problem? Ever since our sticky encounter on his ABC Melbourne talk radio show I’ve had conservative Aussies coming up to pat me on the back for having stuck it to him good and proper. Really? Had I realised just how brusque and negative his line of questioning was going to be, I would have been much, much ruder. My policy in interviews is much the same as Israel’s in international diplomacy: be courteous to me and I’ll be lovely to you; step out of line and it’s mass retaliation time.
Oh, Jamie! It must hurt so much, having to deal with all these non-sycophants and their negative vibes. I can’t imagine how much it hurts – how much it hurts to be a precious little yuppie conspiracy theorist, to be so selectively bred for incest that the tiniest whiff of real debate fills your House-of-Usher nervous system with searing pain! (It’s a good thing Delingpole has those “conservative Aussies” around to pat him on the back and heal the wounds of his fragile self-esteem.)
* * *
But there’s something missing from The Spectator’s coverage of Delingpole’s “sell-out” book tour: we never hear much about the actual book, Killing the Earth to Save It (or Watermelons, as it’s titled in the US).
So I guess I’ll have to describe it.
Like all climate-change deniers, Delingpole faces a challenging problem: explaining why anyone would want to fabricate global warming – and take so much effort to maintain this “hoax.” Delingpole’s answer is to borrow a page from the John Birch Society playbook and claim it’s all a conspiracy by the Club of Rome to form a world government, “an eco-fascist tyranny so powerful and all-encompassing it makes Nazi Germany look like Mary Poppins’ nursery.”
The Club of Rome, says Delingpole, “is the Macavity the Mystery Cat of the global green movement. Its invisible paw prints are all over everything, but by the time you get to the scene of the crime, the sinister feline has vanished.”
Anyway, the conspiracy in Delingpole’s book goes like this:
1) In the 70s, the Club of Rome invented the “weasel concept of ‘sustainability’” as a ploy to make governments surrender their sovereignty to the “New World Order agenda” and submit to the misanthropic religion of Gaia worship.
2) The UN got in on the scheme after the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, developing “a document known as Agenda 21,” which is a “wolf in sheep’s clothing,” intended to strip local, state and national governments of their power and “[give] unelected bureaucrats from the UN the right to decide how much meat you eat, how much fuel you use, even how habitable your office is in the sweltering heat of high summer.”
This Agenda 21, Delingpole tells us, is “a little like returning after a long holiday to your local church. You discover that it has been decorated with pentacles and that the vicar is now wearing a cloak and preparing to sacrifice a goat where the altar used to be.”
This feverish metaphor continues for another paragraph:
“What’s going on?” you ask, in horror. “Well, it’s what we all agreed on,” says the vicar. “When did we agree to all this? No one asked me!” “We put a message on the notice board. We held consultation meetings for anyone who was interested. Did you not get a call from young Damien, on our steering committee? The general feeling was that Christian worship was too old-fashioned, patriarchal and Western for our younger members, and that Satanism was a more vibrant, diverse and inclusive way forward for the community.”
“But I want the old church back. I liked the old church!”
“I’d love to help but I’m afraid it’s out of my hands. You see, as a signatory of Agenda 666 this church is now statutorily committed to our new code of practice…”
Delingpole seems to have a curious obsession with the Number of the Beast. Earlier, attacking the UN’s 1987 Brundtland Report on sustainable development, he writes:
The idea that began a decade earlier as a twinkle in the eyes of [Club of Rome founders] Alexander King and Aurelio Peccei had finally been made flesh. Few were capable of spotting at this stage that this oh-so-nice-looking, bonnie, bouncing, gurgling babe had a birthmark on his scalp that read “666.”
Amber Alert! Someone, please give James Delingpole a shirt! Better yet, a straightjacket!
By now you might be wondering about Delingpole’s sources, and where he picked up all this Agenda 21 conspiracy stuff. Well, he tells you, right on page 174: “Probably the best analysis of the Club of Rome’s tangible effects on global environmental policy comes courtesy of a website called ‘The Green Agenda.’”
It seems Delingpole gets a lot of his information from that site, because two pages on, he cites its expert “analysis” once again:
Yes, Sustainable Development sounds like a good thing too – but that is only because we have been culturally programmed to think that way. We associate it with pleasant notions like wild flower meadows left to flourish and Icelandic waters teeming with cod (unlike the poor, overfished, never-to-be-restored Grand Banks), but in fact its underlying philosophy has much more to do with taxation, regulation and control.
As the Green Agenda website puts it:
It is an all-encompassing socialist scheme to combine social welfare programmes with government control of private business, socialised medicine, national zoning controls of private property and restructuring of school curriculum which serves to indoctrinate children into politically correct group think.
So what is this Green Agenda website which Delingpole cites as evidence? It’s a page maintained by an obscure Christian fundamentalist group in New Zealand calling themselves the “Gethsemane Olivet Fellowship.” Their main website, The Watchman’s Post, which is only a click away from the Green Agenda site, has this greeting for visitors: “WELCOME to this Christian/Messianic End Time Messenger!”
That’s right! End Time Messenger! It’s a website full of apocalyptic prophecies about One World Governments, the Antichrist, the coming “Magog War” and the Second Coming of Jesus. And it even has a little text box reading: “Significant Link: The Green Agenda – We strongly recommend that you make time to read our sister site for some vital information.”
So we have two sites; the Green Agenda webpage, which offers the “factual, SECULAR material” about the dastardly One World Government conspiracy, and The Watchman’s Post, which punctuates the same information with millennial ravings from the Book of Revelations:
WE NOW CONSIDER THE ISSUES OF THE ‘ONE WORLD GOVERNMENT’ OR: ‘GLOBAL GOVERNANCE’ FROM THE PERSPECTIVE OF THE SCRIPTURES, THE HOLY BIBLE, AND WHAT ARE THE DANGERS FOR THIS WORLD AND FOR YOU.
The present reality is that influential individuals and groups since 1970 have been working very carefully to develop plans, TO UNITE THE WORLD, which are all based on totally anti-Creator God principles, in deliberate rebellion against the Most High God, Creator of Heaven and Earth!
They have chosen Environmental changes to use as a ‘whip’ to bring Individuals (especially teenagers) and Governments to do what they want!
The POWER BEHIND THIS GOAL of a single Government for the entire World – is a very real, EVIL, SPIRITUAL BEING: SATAN.
Satan’s LAST Plan – the biggest prize of all – is for his MAN to dominate the entire world and eliminate those ‘other people of God,’ God’s ‘treasured possession,’ chosen, called and redeemed ~ Gentile Christians!
Delingpole, it seems, lifted the “secular” version of this conspiracy from the Green Agenda website and put it straight into Chapter Eight of his book. He claims that Mikhail Gorbachev is “now involved with this conspiracy. Big time.” Gorbachev’s a villain, according to Delingpole, because he co-produced the Earth Charter (“yet another master plan for global, socialist eco-tyranny”) with former UN under-secretary general, Maurice Strong.
The original Earth Charter document, Delingpole writes, is “kept in a specially constructed ‘Ark of Hope,’ painted with panels representing the flora and fauna of the world ‘as seen through the images of the world’s traditional artists.’”
To Delingpole, this isn’t merely symbolic, but all part of “the New Age religion of the New World Order.”
Now here’s the same conspiracy theory, as it appears on Green Agenda’s non-“secular” sister site:
THE MODERN STRATEGY – THOSE PLANNING FOR A ‘ONE WORD [sic] GOVERNMENT’ ARE USING
The basic idea, (or excuse) being used by the ‘World Planners’, to build the platform for WORLD CONTROL, (without the God of Heaven) will be:
“DANGER TO PLANET EARTH”.
1. Concern for the environment has provided a useful strategy to bring the concept of world unity and control, into focus! It appears to be sensible and caring, but it has a sinister and sad hidden agenda. We strongly recommend you see our partner web site: http://www.green-agenda.com/index.html for a full description of these programmes. We give some background information below.
2. The beginnings of ‘concern’ for the future of the world.
It started with 2 books, the 2nd published by The Club of Rome in 1971 called “Limits to Growth”. This is a sinister plan to limit the world’s population, which spells out population growth as the basis of future world disaster. Along with other causes of the world’s problems such as misuse of chemicals, and later environmental mismanagement, Christians, and Muslims were seen as responsible for most of the world’s problems, along with ‘over-population’.
3. More arguments added. Gradually many more concepts were developed and were initiated, which we haven’t room to explain. But a group of people like Mikhail Gorbochev [sic], through to Robert Muller, David Rockefeller, Sir James Lovelock and Al Gore have been active in developing all their sinister strategies, ‘to save the Planet’. [The Bible indicates it is all based on lies! 2 Thess 2: 9 - 12]
These strategies are already affecting rules and regulations of national and local governments worldwide and where you live!
It is called ‘Agenda 21.’
4. Main personalities involved in the planning.
One very key person was a Maurice Strong who worked for the UNO environment department. He was a mainly responsible for a much more significant world plan and endorsement of all the sinister plans for world control of every part of life in every part of the world that we ever knew were actually happening, though we know from the Bible about the End controlling Power that will come! Many organisations now work together to promote the plans for control of resources, and much more.
5. A ‘new’ religious dimension has been added as they preach: “it is a moral duty on individuals and Governments ‘To Save the Planet’.”
While the “Earth Charter” was being presented at the 1st World Earth Summit in Sth [sic] America, Maurice Strong’s wife Hanna was leading a Satanic based ritual outside with a group of people to invoke success for the plans. Later an “Ark of Hope” was launched, with involvement of children and housing a special document called “Earth Charter” – a set of commandments, which as Gobachev [sic] said – “will replace the Judeo/ Christian 10 commandments and the Sermon on the Mount”. These plans and rules have been widely circulated, and adopted by individual regional powers in most countries. Example: 37 areas of N.Z. have signed up, under the guise of ‘Saving the Planet’ from “human infestation”. So already all aspects of commercial, civic, educational and residential life are being controlled according to these rules.
The ILLUMINARY CONSPIRACY site or Green-Agenda explains.
Yup, that’s where Delingpole got his information from – a schizophrenic Kiwi doomsday cult. (It’s enough to make you wonder if all those Antichrist jokes in his book are really meant to be jokes.)
But – you might ask – why would an artsy, Oxford-educated libertarian yuppie go around recycling batshit conspiracy theories from Christian fundamentalist websites? It’s simple – by smearing global warming as a “green religion,” you can bring together two right-wing groups that would ordinarily hate each other under one grand pro-corporate right-wing tent: Bible-bashing reactionary Christians, and “rational” atheist Penn & Teller libertarians. Just tell the Bible-bashers that environmentalists are trying to supplant Jesus and watch them chase the greenies like a pack of rabid dogs. As for libertarians, it’s the “religion” bit they hate. So, for a triangulation strategy, the “green religion” slur is perfect – it unites both sides of the right-wing coin, neither of which likes to think it has anything in common with the other.
Of course, Delingpole isn’t just a conspiracy theorist – he’s a self-aware, hipster conspiracy theorist, a tinfoil-hat version of Dave Eggers who won’t stop telling you how self-conscious he is of the fact that his conspiracy theories sound like conspiracy theories. Like, if he’s self-aware, it must mean he’s not really a conspiracy theorist, y’know?
See, there are certain suckers who really get taken in by that reverse psychology crap – people who’ll trust anyone who says “…but don’t trust me.” Delingpole knows this of course, and so (towards the end of a chapter titled “Welcome to the New World Order”) he treats us to a nauseous display of self-consciousness:
In his memoirs, [Club of Rome founder, Alexander King] confided somewhat chillingly: “My chief quarrel with DDT in hindsight is that it has greatly added to the population problem.”
You’ll find quotes like this repeated endlessly on the internet [sic], as often as not on conspiracy sites warning of the coming New World Order. This, of course, makes it much, much easier for their significance to be downplayed by green opinion-formers in the mainstream media: “Oh you don’t take that kind of thing seriously, do you? It’s just a bunch of 9/11 Truthers and Alex Jones nuts and right-wing fruitcakes, indulging in their c-r-azee conspiracy theories.”
This is supposed to disarm readers and leave everyone reassured that Delingpole hates conspiracy theorists, you know, as much as the next guy: “Hey, he realises Alex Jones is a wacko; I guess he’s not that loony after all!”
There’s a little problem, though. Delingpole is an Alex Jones nut – a simple YouTube search reveals that he has been a guest on Jones’s show on no less than FIFTEEN separate occasions! (And those were just the ones I could count from the first three pages of search results.)
Here are the links to a handful of James Delingpole’s many stimulating discussions with Mr. Jones:
“Australian Private Property Rights Abolished: James Delingpole Reports” on TheAlexJonesChannel — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CML3JTrO7Ak
“James Delingpole: Gore’s UN Gaia Loving Cultist [sic] are More Dangerous Than Radical Muslims!” on TheAlexJonesChannel — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V1iTGsMDvwU&feature=relmfu
“Global Warming: A Religion of Anti-Science – Journalist James Delingpole” on TheAlexJonesChannel — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDlhs45YkDU
“James Delingpole: UN Climate Summit – World Government Through the Backdoor” on TheAlexJonesChannel — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXWW1z6BX6g
Yes, “World Government Through the Backdoor” – I didn’t make that title up.
Funnily enough, you won’t find any mention of Alex Jones in the section of Delingpole’s website where he lists his various TV, radio and podcast appearances. It’s almost like he leads a double life.
In fact, our entire culture of right-wing think tanks – and think-tank-happy magazines like The Spectator – seems to lead a double life. By day, we have the Nonchalant Right, the Christian Kerrs and Speccie editorial writers who feign boredom at every new scandal (“Criminal phone hacking? How tiresome! This whole discussion fills me with ennui!”) the denialists who hold up the façade of a calm, level-headed, sceptical “centre-right” – pretending that pseudoscientists, conspiracy theorists, religious fundamentalists and Rand cultists are only “fringe elements” within the movement. But after sunset, those calm, level-headed “centre-right”-wingers are more than happy to wine, dine, subsidise and canonise cranks like Delingpole.
When it comes to neocons and libertards, the fringe runs all the way to the core.
Read more: cato institute, christian kerr, club of rome, conspiracy, david icke, david weigel, james delingpole, koch, libertard, libertarian, Megan McArdle, murdoch, spectator, Ramon Glazov, Koch Whores
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