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Members & staff of UKIP past & present. Committed to reforming the party by exposing the corruption and dishonesty that lies at its heart, in the hope of making it fit for purpose. Only by removing Nigel Farage and his sycophants on the NEC can we save UKIP from electoral oblivion. SEE: http://juniusonukip.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/a-statement-re-junius.html

Thursday, 3 June 2010

UKIP: Swivel-eyed loon becomes Deputy Leader


Another UKIP farce unfolds before our very eyes!

The UKIP leader said: “I am extremely happy that Christopher Monckton wants to be more involved with the Party. He will be helping me to develop our strategy for the future. David Campbell Bannerman remains joint deputy leader and head of policy.”

Who ever heard of a party having TWO Deputy Leaders? But we note that Bannerman is still hoping for a rapid promotion. After all, he has been promised the leadership! But don't forget that he is under investigation by OLAF after it was revealed in The Sunday Times that he was illegally paying Peter Reeve. Does UKIP want another crook leading them? See: LINK

Even staunch UKIP supporters regard Christopher Monckton as a nutter. As “mad as a hatter” was how one senior UKIP official described him to a member of our team!


It is interesting to note that Monckton claims to be a member of the House of Lords.

“I am a member of the House of Lords, though without the right to sit or vote, and I have never suggested otherwise.”

Monckton is best known for his talks on climate change. He is usually introduced as ‘Lord Monckton’. He even uses the emblem of Parliament, the Crowned Portcullis, on his PowerPoint slides. We can only assume that this is designed to impress his audience!


A quick call to the House of Lords will confirm that Christopher Monckton is not and has never been a Member of the House of Lords. There is no such thing as a “non-voting” or “honorary” member.

Here are the facts:

Christopher Monckton's father, the 2nd Viscount Monckton, was a Member of the Lords until 1999. The House of Lords Act 1999 ended the automatic link between the holding of a hereditary peerage and membership of the House of Lords, and the 2nd Lord Monckton ceased to be a member of the House at that point.

Christopher Monckton is the 3rd Viscount Monckton and inherited the title following his father's death in 2006. He has never sat in the House.

And so another liar is promoted to a position of authority. But, unlike Bannerman, at least he doesn’t claim to be related to a former prime minister!

It is interesting to note that use of the Crowned Portcullis is protected by legislation. This is what the UK Parliament website says on the matter:

The principal emblem of the House is the Crowned Portcullis. It is a royal badge and its use by the House has been formally authorised by licence granted by Her Majesty the Queen. The designs and symbols of the House should not be used for purposes to which such authentication is inappropriate, or where there is a risk that their use might wrongly be regarded, or represented, as having the authority of the House.

The House symbol is primarily used to authenticate communications from Members. Further background information can found in The Portcullis.

If you require further information about using the Crowned Portcullis, please contact
webmaster@parliament.uk


We sincerely hope that Monckton has not appropriated the symbol of the House for purposes "where there is a risk that their use might wrongly be regarded, or represented, as having the authority of the House".

Monckton is also the subject of two interesting videos:









Monckton was also the subject of a recent article in The Guardian:

Ukip: Science test results

We challenged the main political parties to answer questions about their science policies posed by prominent scientists including Ben Goldacre, Simon Singh and Petra Boynton. Here Martin Robbins analyses the responses from Ukip, the UK Independence Party

Ukip, the self-styled "party of the pub", is fielding 500 candidates in next week's general election in an attempt to capitalise on gains made at elections for the European parliament last year, although polling suggests the Eurosceptic party is unlikely to make a breakthrough in Westminster.

Not particularly noted for its progressive views, the party performed badly in our European election assessment last year, having adopted a policy of climate change denial that puts it at odds with the scientific community and has seen Ukip MEPs engage in a series of rants on the subject in the European parliament.

And that's just the start of the party's problems.

Ukip's manifesto contains a series of bizarre policy announcements on science, ranging from a rejection of the Commons Science and Technology Select Committee's findings on homeopathy, to a series of statements about "climate extremists".

The Met Office comes in for particular scrutiny, with an odd pledge to link funding to the accuracy of its forecasts. Given that Met Office forecasts are generally considered to be among the best in the world and improving, that may not have the desired outcome.

On the plus side, Ukip has presented a drugs policy more progressive than some, and is reasonably committed to environmental protection, if occasionally misguided on the issue.

Viscount Monckton provided the answers to our questions – a surprising choice as spokesperson for its science policy considering he has so little credibility in the scientific community.

Brian Cox: Science funding

Do you plan to maintain Britain's science budget below the European average?

Ukip's innovative approach to science funding is to set up a Royal Commission to investigate climate change in a court of law, and immediately cancel all funding "connected with 'global warming'" pending its outcome, thus wresting the science budget from the hands of "rapacious extremists".

It is a policy that places Ukip squarely in the realm of fantasy.

Since just about every national and international scientific institution on Earth accepts the evidence of humanity's impact on the climate, such a commission would almost inevitably conclude in science's favour. Ukip doesn't explain what it would do in the event of that outcome, having already crippled scientific research into potentially one of the greatest problems facing humanity this century.

Ukip claims that the Royal Commission would allow scientists to "reach a conclusion" on climate change. The problem is that scientists reached a conclusion decades ago, and research shouldn't be halted on the basis that Ukip's members are incapable of keeping up with it, or don't like its findings.

Even if a Royal Commission were set up as Ukip would like, it seems unlikely the party would listen to the results, given statements such as:

"The correct policy approach to the non-problem of 'global warming' is to have the courage to do nothing"

These are not the words of a party that is particularly open-minded about the outcome.

Combined with its stated determination to destroy any institution or apparatus connected with solving the problem before a commission even reports, the impression given is of a party staffed by people who are far from rational.

Alternative medicine

If the balance of evidence suggests that a treatment does not perform any better than placebo, should it be supported by the NHS?

"The placebo effect is not fully understood, and should not be dismissed in favour of 'scientific' proof. If it works, it should be supported by the NHS ('mind over matter' etc.)"

Ukip has performed a U-turn over alternative medicine in the past year. Ahead of the European elections, its spokesman Tim Worstall was happy to declare, quite sensibly, that alternative medicines should be required to satisfy clinical trials and be regulated just like any other medicines.

In contrast, Monckton's response to this question, that the placebo effect "should not be dismissed in favour of 'scientific' proof", was confused. Science doesn't dismiss the placebo effect.

The rejection in Ukip's manifesto of the Commons Science and Technology Select Committee's detailed report on homeopathy is not explained, but if the party believes that it has evidence of the efficacy of homeopathy that the rest of us have not seen, then perhaps it would care to share it with the world.

Simon Singh: Libel reform

What will your party do to reduce the chilling effect of our libel laws on science? Currently there is no statutory public interest defence, so scientists risk running the gauntlet of London's High Court if they publish material they believe to be in the public interest, but that a major corporation or litigious charlatan believes to be libellous.

Monckton's original response was a resounding "no", but a further response from the press office clarified things, suggesting a personal lack of familiarity with this issue on the part of its science spokesman.

It seems Ukip is against the idea of a public interest defence, but would like to see the costs of libel law reduced. The problem, of course, is that this combination would make it even easier for companies to bring lawsuits like the one filed against Peter Wilmshurst, who is being sued for criticising a company's research findings at an academic conference.

Open debate is the cornerstone of science, and Ukip does not appear particularly committed to preserving it.

Climate change/Energy

Should nuclear power be part of our country's strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions? How soon can we bring new plants online?

"UKIP has been calling for a rational, balanced approach to the climate debate since 2008, when extensive manipulation of scientific data first became clear"

The nature of this "extensive manipulation of scientific data" is unclear, but it seems Ukip's policymakers have spent a bit too much time surfing conspiracy sites on the internet.

Meanwhile, Britain's energy demands will be met by commissioning "enough fossil-fuelled and nuclear power stations to meet demand," which is fairly straightforward, although neither costed nor elaborated upon in Ukip's manifesto.

David Nutt: Drugs policy

To what extent should drug policy be based on scientific evidence? What evidence, if any, would you require to declassify a drug?

Ukip's drugs policy is somewhat more liberal than that of the present government. A distinction would be made between medical use and recreational use, with restrictions placed on the sale and marketing of drugs for the latter. The severity of the restriction would, unlike the present system, be based on scientific evidence.

Petra Boynton: Public health campaigns

How will your party ensure public health/education campaigns are underpinned by evidence, and how will you evaluate their success?

On the one hand, Ukip believes that public health policy should be informed by a "mature evaluation" of the scientific evidence. On the other, it disputes the results of such evaluations, with Monckton responding to this question by declaring that campaigns to reduce salt intake are based on "the medico-scientific community who have whipped up unjustifiable fears". The problem, again, is that while Ukip is happy to talk about evidence, it dismisses the evidence that is presented to it.

Genetic engineering/Stem cell research

Should Britain be at the forefront of research in these areas? What benefits do you believe such research will bring for society?

Monckton's answer to this was rather quirky:

"Wherever stem cells can be obtained by means other than the killing of very small children, it is ethical only to obtain the stem cells by means that do not involve the loss of little lives."

I can only assume that this is a reference to embryonic stem cells. They are generally obtained from surplus IVF embryos, rather than by killing very small children.

Ben Goldacre: Pharmaceutical regulation

Do you believe pharmaceutical companies should be forced to publish all the research data they have on the potential benefits and harms of drugs they manufacture?

"All scientists, whether in pharmaceutical, climatic or other research, should be required to archive all of the material on which they base their results, and to disclose all material known to them but not already in the public domain that may have a bearing on their results."

This is a reasonably sensible policy, with some caveats. First, it is important to recognise that not all data can be published for a variety of reasons such as licensing issues, commercial confidentiality, data protection, patient confidentiality and so on.

In addition, some datasets, in genome research for example, are simply too large for conventional web servers, PCs and storage media to handle.

Second, researchers collecting data should have priority when it comes to analysing and presenting results – otherwise academics could be put in the unfair situation of spending years meticulously collecting data, only to see somebody else snatch the credit for the analysis.

A final point, which I've argued before, is that an open access policy to data needs to have a proper infrastructure and support system behind it, to manage archiving while scientists get on with their work unhindered.

Conclusions

On science, Ukip is dire, with no credibility in the scientific community and candidates who have a demonstrably poor grasp of basic scientific principles, which perhaps explains its general disarray and flip-flopping in areas such as health.

Ukip is the only significant party to support homeopathy, and the only party apart from the BNP still in denial over climate change. The appointment of Viscount Monckton as a science spokesman adds to the air of a party of old British eccentrics.

Woeful.


To see the original: LINK

And they wonder why UKIP is still not taken seriously!

4 comments:

John Page said...

You didn't publish my last critical comment; since you seem as tolerant of dissent as your chief target, I'll keep this short.

You slavishly adhere to the AGW orthodoxy, like our 3 main political parties. Plenty of scientists disagree. Care to explain how CO2 causes temperature changes, and why experience doesn't reflect this? Thought not.

Greenery is a sham. What was the latest survey number - about 25% not believing in AGW? And even if it was true, the UK's policy to slash its CO2 output will make no difference to global totals. The main parties' policy is to pauperise Britain in homage to a mistaken scientific theory.

A political party should step into the anti-green breach, but I didn't notice UKIP arguing the case during the election at all.

Junius said...

We have always published your comments without any censorship. We have no record of receiving the comments you refer to.

Send it again and we will post it.

Junius said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Junius said...

We agree that cutting the UK's CO2 output won't make any difference. When did we say otherwise? India, China and America are the biggest polluters.

The climate is changing. But the cause is still the subject of much debate. Pollution or a natural process? The jury is still out.

Over population is the biggest threat to the world. More people = more pollution and a bigger drain on our natural resources.