2014, a new year but old propoganda

Will this year mark a watershed in tolerance for old myths?

Do you want ice with that? Do you want ice with that?
So after years of singing the praises of the EU, traditionally seen as the cure of all evils, the Labour party finally gets the message. While in the interests of honest reporting the Guardian puts these pearls of wisdom on the front page! Mind you, I suppose we should have seen it coming. When in between 'saving' the world banking system and selling off the UK gold reserves for a low price Gordon Brown came out with the helpful remark, 'British jobs for British workers'. And it has been downhill ever since. The very idea that there might be votes in this for the Labour party is hypocrisy of the worst sort. We may only assume that Labour took their cue from David Cameron who has yet again shown poor leadership on the same subject.

What is interesting is that many of the comments in the Guardian from readers make it plain that they are not keen on the latest influx of migrants from Romania and Bulgaria. Quite how far this goes remains to be seen but it's not very PC is it? It looks like an increasing number of people have lost their fear and reverence of the EU and having seen the light are now ready to criticise it. We can expect a fight back from both the Guardian and its soul mate the BBC. However, it might not be that easy. For the EU, one of the triple pillars of wisdom, is one of the most sacred of places. The other two being the NHS and climate change.

And it has not been going well for both of these two either. As we see HERE NHS 'bashing' has to stop. Seeing such stories in the Guardian, one of the leading voices in banker bashing makes one smile. But again a significant number of readers posting comments are not fooled. They know that very often the NHS deserves what it gets. Another article about the NHS takes the same approach, we are told that 7000 NHS staff are to be sacked. The size of the NHS is such that a guess has to be taken as to the number of employees. The figure 1.7 million is often quoted, so `the loss of 7000 works out at less than half a percent of the total. How will we notice that? It is statistically insignificant.

But the big problems come with the 'ice jolly gone wrong' story. For many people it has been a mixture of emotions watching the good ship Akademik Shokalskiy get stuck. With the main emotions being anger and laughter. For Guardianistas the ranking of the triple pillars of wisdom would be climate change first, second comes the EU and finally the NHS as the poor thing is just a national issue. And yet here is their big topic the butt of jokes. And yet again, as with stories on the EU and NHS, a considerable number of Guardian readers are wading in with scathing criticism. As well they should for this jolly is not at all scientific but reckless, foolish, selfish and nothing more than a business adventure.

In the Spectator Ross Clark has two articles on how the voyage of the Akademik Shokalskiy came unstuck, although I grant you that's not the clearest of ways to describe the outcome of this adventure! Clark says -

One more observation needs to be made about Turney. When sceptical scientists speak on climate change they are instantly accused of being in the pay of oil companies. Rather lower standards seem to be applied to those on the other side of the debate. Turney openly boasts on his website of his own vested interest: he helped set up a company called Carbonscape ‘which has developed technology to fix carbon from the atmosphere and make a host of green products.’

And this is the crux of it, it's business and big business too. In fact Turney can be found on numerous websites, not just the one Clark links to. Some of them are simply awful, nothing more than vanity sites of the type favoured by self obsessed teenagers. But whatever the site not much reading will be needed before you come to the important bit, funds. How to give money to him or how to emulate him and get people to give their money to you. That's all that matters the rest of it is fluff.

By contrast his fellow 'scientist' on this jolly,Tracey Rogers, is the one with the sense of humour, or so it would seem. The home page of her website has a cute 'selfie' picture and not much scientific jargon. Does this reflect her priorities? I'm sure with the right help Hello magazine will be begging for an interview! Tracey tells us -

She has worked at or with the Taronga Conservation Society Australia since 1998. As a researcher she is interested in biological thinking about behaviour. The common thread of her rather diversified research is the attempt to marry theories and experimental work. Most of her work includes a little modelling and trialling new ideas with captive populations and then applying these in the field.

So, 'thinking about behaviour etc', indeed, and perhaps a little less self promotion but more self examination when you get home yes? Also 'the attempt to marry theories and experimental work', well it certainly went wrong this time! And finally, 'new ideas with captive populations and then applying these in the field'. Luckily the Chinese were on hand with a helicopter to release you from your captivity in the ice field.

The second article by Ross Clark looks at the money behind this mad voyage. Sensible people have know all along that climate change is akin to theft so ignoring the 'science' and looking at the money trail will be the ideal way to deal with this fraud, for that it what it is. So far 2014 has not had the cold weather that could bring power cuts. If they do come we can expect 'de-carbonising' the UK to be questioned by people sitting in the dark, and, when the power is back on, their thoughts to end up in the Guardian criticising our energy policy.

Long term media watchers will have noticed some changes in the Guardian over the last year or so. It can no longer be assumed that the readership follows the same causes as before and they are supported with the same fervour. Also that the paper readership is in decline but the online readership is rising. This has skewed the opinions seen in the readers comment sections.