Saturday, March 01, 2008

neo-conservatives in UK politics

Out of curiosity I looked up Spiked Online on SourceWatch after hearing it besmirched by Johann and also after realising that Brendan O'Neill, the cockweasel king, was one of its leading characters. I did my usual thing of reading through a few links to get a perspective on this shower of astonishingly inhuman characters and quickly became alarmed at the depths to which their influence extends. More specifically, I was horrified to find that members of this right-wing collection of activists and propaganda artists actually have links to the Royal Society via a lobbying organisation called Sense in Science. No- that's not Truth in Science- the "sky-pixie made the world in 6 days" organisation which recently spammed all the schools in the country with a DVD slating An Inconvenient Truth and promoting creationism. It is, in fact, a pro GM, industry funded lobbying organisation with lashings of scientific credibility from the extensive list of academics who sit on its advisory council.

As George makes clear here, these people's ostensibly publicly-minded, altruistic motives are as suspect as anything can be. My concern is that this bunch of right-wing fundamentalists, who are not in the least afraid to deploy misrepresentation and outright propaganda to earn cash from their corporate masters- as their documented astroturfing activities demonstrate- seem quite content to manipulate science to support their politics and philosophy. That they have enlisted members of a scientific body with such gravitas as the RS in order to swathe their corporate-friendly position in credibility is alarming, to say the least. Their motives and philosophy need to be publicly challenged in order to unmask their selfish, uber-libertarian, exceptionalist, sociopathy that is the hallmark of every Brendan O'Neill diatribe. Such people are a malign influence on genuine progressive politics but- worse still- they are an enormous threat to the credibility of the scientific establishment. As George points out:

"Far from rebuilding public trust in science and medicine, this group's repugnant philosophy could finally destroy it."

As a scientist myself I cannot begin to verbalise the frustration I feel when I see scientific advice being rejected in favour of politically expedient options. The only reason this happens is because public feeling is so ambivalent to science due to its incessant manipulation by politicians, corporations and other vested interests that they have lost the ability to distinguish between a scientific position and a political one. Consequently, they can't perceive the government acting against their best interests (they let the government invade Iraq, for example, although Rupert Murdoch bears much of the responsibility for the obfuscation and outright lies which drove the public to sit idly by while that happened). If the public were better educated in general and about science in particular there would be uproar in response to this sort of misgovernment.

If anyone wants to know my position on GM read George's Captive State or visit his website.


  1. You know that "Keep Libel Laws Out of Science" button in your sidebar? That'd be the same people...

  2. I am aware of and okay with it. Sense About Science are still stocked with dodgy, antiscientific neocons. However, the KLLOOS campaign is a worthy one which deserves support, do you not agree?

    Never can I be accused of consistency.


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