THE LAST DITCH An Englishman returned after twenty years abroad blogs about liberty in Britain
Blogging light while blogger in flight
Another step toward the abyss

Criminal dissent?

- Bishop Hill blog - ++++Statement from Norfolk Police++++.

It seems the debate on climate change really is over. Tasked with investigating the breach of security at the University of East Anglia Climate Research Unit ("climategate") the Norfolk Constabulary has involved "officers from the National Domestic Extremism Team."

As GOT explains, taking up the story:

If you go on to the National Domestic Extremism website, they proudly display an explanation of what constitutes 'domestic extremism':

"The terms are generally used to describe the activity, individuals or campaign groups that carry out criminal acts of direct action in furtherance of a campaign. These people and activities usually seek to prevent something from happening or to change legislation or domestic policy, but attempt to do so outside of the normal democratic process."

This unit was originally set up to monitior the activities of "animal rights" fanatics who were conducting criminal campaigns of violent intimidation. What a very sad example of "mission creep." When one considers the sometimes noble history of the British Left in campaigning for issues "outside of the normal democratic process", how particularly sad that its erstwhile flagship party should be in charge of such activities.

The majority of British people believe that climate change is real, but is not necessarily caused by man. As Dan Hannan observed, "it would be ridiculous to believe in climate stasis." I suspect the majority would also applaud an unknown whistle-blower or even an external hacker who exposed the dishonest activities of the Climate Research Unit. Thanks to that unknown person, we know about the manipulation of research data and the denial of data access to other scientists for review. Worst of all, we know that the CRU destroyed much original data, which can now never be verified. Yet our authorities response is to tackle the "extremism" of the campaigners, not that of the scientists. Am I alone, regardless of the scientific truth of climate change, in finding that disturbing?

In the present economic climate, many young people are contemplating, faute de mieux, careers in the public sector. There are of course many respectable occupations in public service. The only advice I can give to such young people is that state or state-sponsored organisations involved in the formulation, promotion, implementation or enforcement of policy are no longer respectable. The moral compass of the British Establishment - always somewhat wonky - is now definitively broken.

Young people considering such careers are setting out on a path that may lead them, at the least, to moral compromise. I am afraid it could lead them to much worse. I remember my own desperate urge at that age to achieve adult independence. I understand the pressures they are under to begin their careers in a terrible market, but entering the service of repression is never the right path. These are times to test young souls and I feel for them.