10 thoughts on “Hard to believe, I know, but: George Monbiot is wrong”

  1. Posted 18/05/2017 at 11:00 | Permalink

    Excellent point. One of the most used arguments against climate contrarians is that they are funded by “big oil” or some such, and so their position is obviously wrong.

    Your analogy to a court trial is perfect and I shall use it in future. Well done.

  2. Posted 18/05/2017 at 14:48 | Permalink

    Of course Mr. Monbiot is paid by the Guardian (one assumes he doesn’t do it for nothing), so his views should be discounted out of hand.

  3. Posted 18/05/2017 at 22:35 | Permalink

    Hmmm. A column in a newspaper is a little different from an injection of many pounds into an election campaign. Let’s just have overt funding of elections – who funds you?

  4. Posted 19/05/2017 at 12:55 | Permalink

    Regarding your lawyers argument. Do the lawyers care about the truth, or is their “truth” paid for by a client? I guess you are making the argument that ‘the buck’ stops with the politician, who will make the decision based on the evidence.
    However, I think we are all intelligent enough to recognise that policy is not always (infact, less and less now) based on evidence. Therefore, is it not perverse to be paid to ‘discover’ a rationalisation for your client, and the decision be made by someone with an agenda. Then blame the decision on the agenda, rather than the fact that it was based on a biased report paid for by another biased party?
    In other words, you are supply the resource of a justification.

  5. Posted 06/06/2017 at 14:41 | Permalink

    Oliver Scott, My point about lawyers is just that we cannot conclude they are wrong from the fact that they have been paid. Because, in a criminal trial, the lawyers on both sides have been paid but they cannot both be wrong.

  6. Posted 26/06/2017 at 23:53 | Permalink

    Dear Jamie,
    I agree that just because someone is payed to adopt a certain view, it doesn’t necessarily mean that that view is wrong, however, it does mean that you have to preach that view to receive your cash. We also know that the love and pursuit of money can distort morals and this knowledge can undermine our confidence in the veracity of the arguments proffered. I think it is also fair to say that we believe what we want to to a certain extent, you know, we are nudged to believe what the money says we should – see Mr. Trump for details! All these do tend to undermine the case of those being payed to expound a particular view.

    Anyhow, I think your comment that Mr. Monbiot is a ‘threat to democracy’ is rather indulgent and wishful thinking. It seems to me he only wants a bit of fair play. After all, if £700,000 would make no difference to ousting Labour MP’s, why part with it? So, if money can make the difference (and presumably Jeremy Hosking thinks it will) the wealthy, if allowed, will spend it to protect their position. So, you see, I think its the level of sponsorship and not the contribution to political debate that George Monbiot wants regulated, so that the quality of the political argument is all that people can be influenced by. A level playing field if you will.

  7. Posted 22/07/2017 at 08:09 | Permalink

    YES George monbiot is in fantasy land a world of his own and bad for the guardian but so are so many people that read his trash

  8. Posted 07/09/2017 at 18:03 | Permalink

    A lawyer will make the best case possible for his client, leaving out or downplaying damaging material. George is simply saying, same with this lot. I know that anything coming out of this house is going to be biased, albeit not necessarily wrong, causing me to dig deeper and not immediately take the argument on face value.

    Libertarian think tanks will always try to fit an issue into a free market solution, no matter how big the ugly step sister’s foot is for the glass slipper. Fine. Keeps us all sharp. I’m just going to be mindful and look harder.
    George isn’t “wrong”

  9. Posted 28/09/2017 at 15:42 | Permalink

    It is strange that (to borrow a phrase) this piece doesn’t provide a link to the George Monbiot article to which it responds, but it’s easily found: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2017/may/17/dark-money-democracy-billionaires-funding . It’s also strange that there is no mention of Monbiot’s most important point about the IEA and its funding by the tobacco industry (there are links to back up his points in the original):

    “The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), the Adam Smith Institute and Policy Exchange […] refuse to reveal any information about who sponsors them. […]

    “The industry whose funding we know most about, thanks to a legal settlement that forced open its archives, is tobacco. We now know, for example, that the IEA has been sponsored by tobacco companies since 1963. It has received regular payments from British American Tobacco, Imperial Tobacco, Japan Tobacco International and Philip Morris International, which has described the institute as one of the groups that would “establish an echo chamber for [Philip Morris] messages”.”

    Perhaps it’s not so strange after all. It will be interesting to see whether the IEA, as a free-market thinktank, is committed enough to the free market of information and ideas to publish this post.

  10. Posted 21/01/2018 at 00:29 | Permalink

    At least we know who is paying Mr Monbiot ☆ unlike the representatives of the IEA …..

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