Tuesday, May 10, 2011
From an interview with the guy who organised James Hansen's testimony to Congress:
Believe it or not, we called the Weather Bureau and found out what historically was the hottest day of the summer. Well, it was June 6 or June 9 or whatever it was, so we scheduled the hearing that day, and bingo: It was the hottest day on record in Washington, or close to it. It was stiflingly hot that summer. [At] the same time you had this drought all across the country, so the linkage between the Hansen hearing and the drought became very intense.
Simultaneously [Mass. Gov. Michael] Dukakis was running for president. Dukakis was trying to get an edge on various things and was looking for spokespeople, and two or three of us became sort of the flacks out on the stump for Dukakis, making the separation between what Democratic policy and Republican policy ought to be. So it played into the presidential campaign in the summer of '88 as well....
... What we did it was went in the night before and opened all the windows, I will admit, right? So that the air conditioning wasn't working inside the room and so when the, when the hearing occurred there was not only bliss, which is television cameras in double figures, but it was really hot. ...
So Hansen's giving this testimony, you've got these television cameras back there heating up the room, and the air conditioning in the room didn't appear to work. So it was sort of a perfect collection of events that happened that day, with the wonderful Jim Hansen, who was wiping his brow at the witness table and giving this remarkable testimony. ...
Voting No to Electoral Reform
Tim Montgomerie on how public opinion was turned round, in a few weeks, on AV
1 - After being convinced that a Yes vote would endanger his relationship with his parliamentary party David Cameron gave the order to fight the campaign with all available resources
2 -The pundits scoffed at the No campaign’s argument that AV was costly and complicated but market research suggested that these were the right messages and the Westminster bubble’s desire for a more sophisticated campaign was rightly ignored
3 - AV could only be defeated if a large number of Labour supporters voted to keep First Past The Post and from the earliest days of the campaign huge efforts were made to ensure the No campaign was genuinely cross-party
4 - A massive Get Out The Vote operation by CCHQ that saw the Tory vote harden decisively during the campaign
5 - An arms length relationship between the Tory leadership and the No campaign that meant Cameron was unable to stop the targeting of the politically toxic Nick Clegg and his broken promises
6 - The No campaign also worked hard from day one to expose the Yes campaign’s funding and its attempts to enlist charities in support of AV
Only four months ago it all looked so different. The Yes campaign had all of the money. It was ahead in nearly every opinion poll brandishing a message of modernity and change.
Mark Pritchard was the first Tory to publicly warn David Cameron of the consequences of a Yes vote but the important work to get the Conservative leader to realise the seriousness of the situation was carried out behind-the-scenes. ..reported that a Cabinet Minister and senior aide to the Prime Minister backed AV. There were suggestions that some leading Tories – notably Michael Gove – should back AV to help build a new Liberal Conservative era....Cameron walked into George Osborne’s office to tell him that he’d just been told that he’d lose the leadership if AV passed. Cameron thought it funny that MPs could be so melodramatic. Osborne’s face didn’t move. We can’t rule it out, he said, staring at Cameron in a moment where the gravity of the situation dawned on the Prime Minister.....
Matthew Elliott, the Chief Executive of the No campaign and founder of the hugely successful TaxPayers’ Alliance, presented a ‘Plan B’ for the campaign at No. 10....
Cameron had given an undertaking to Nick Clegg that the campaign would be fought properly. At this point, a switch was flicked. Peter Cruddas became No to AV’s Treasurer and the money started flowing....
The No campaign began with instincts about how to defend First Past The Post but with the limited funding they enjoyed at the start of the campaign they tested those instincts to destruction until they knew that they had copper-bottomed messages that would move votes. It sounds the obvious thing to do but it wasn’t the approach pursued at the last general election when the Big Society was floated as the Conservative Party’s main message and it hadn’t even be tested.
The No campaign’s three themes were the three Cs: Cost, Complexity and Clegg.
A fourth argument – that AV was only used in three other countries in the world – was also potent.
The pundits scoffed at these No campaign tactics. They accused No of trivialising an incredibly important issue of voting reform. Matthew Elliott was accused of “knowing the price of everything and value of nothing”....Elliott didn’t panic. Nor did the two ex-Labour MPs who ran the campaign with him; Joan Ryan and Jane Kennedy. They trusted the copper-bottomed research that (1) had been prepared for him
The campaign has shown that the mainstream of the Labour Party does not want to change the electoral system for Westminster. In thirteen years of government Labour didn’t even attempt electoral reform....
Because of the sterling efforts of Peter Cruddas, and Andrew Feldman, more than 90% of No’s funding came from Tory sources. The unions calculated that the Tory cheque books would do the work and never delivered on promises to deliver cash. [It is worth noting, however, that Yes received more funds than No (£3.4m to £2.6m ...
ConservativeHome also argued that Clegg must be targeted. Downing Street worried about this tactic but the Labour half of the No campaign insisted that Clegg’s face and his “broken promises” needed to feature prominently on all literature. Labour voters don’t like Cameron but they hate Clegg. They feel betrayed. The idea that Clegg should gain AV as a reward for his alliance with the Tories stuck in the Labour throat....
The politician who most wanted AV – Nick Clegg – was also Britain’s most toxic politician because of his screeching u-turn on tuition fees.
Yes enlisted a whole series of charities to sign up to the ‘people’s campaign for AV’. The aim was to present the pro-AV side of the argument as a movement for change that was ethical, young, grassroots-based and above politics. William Norton of the No campaign set out to destroy this strategy and succeeded. In a massive letter-writing campaign to the charities, their trustees and to the Charity Commission itself, he put the heat on, questioning whether it was legitimate for charities to become involved in such a political campaign. One-by-one the charities resigned from the Yes campaign and a central plank of the pro-AV strategy was destroyed.....
Tory strategists still wonder why Yes never deployed the anti-Cameron card. Six weeks before referendum day Conservative focus groups found that the only issue that moved significant numbers of the contest’s crucial floating voters into the Yes column was the idea that AV would seriously damage Cameron and the Conservatives.
"The status quo tends to gain ground in referendums on issues where countries are divided. This happened in Scotland in 1979, when a large pro-devolution majority melted away in the final fortnight of the campaign; in Spain in 1986, where the public narrowly voted to stay in NATO after all; and in Australia in 1999, when the apparently dominant republicans ended up heavily defeated in a referendum to replace the Queen as head of state. I would not be greatly surprised if something similar happened here with voting reform.”
That last point is something which supporters of Scottish independence will have to think about. As somebody who thinks we ought to have 2 referendum votes on it - to vote for the principle of separation and then to vote for confirmation after the terms have been negotiated - I accept that the status quo effect would be diminished, eliminated or even reversed in a second vote.
Note that 2 of the 3 No arguments, Cost and Complexity, are untrue since the £250 mullion figure repeatedly used is clearly rubbish and for the public, writing 1,2,3 is not a complex act. I also consider the BBC banning of the term "electoral reform" and to censor any mention of the fact that it was the No campaign who refused a debate to have been influential.
Of course almost everything Hansen said has also been proven wrong, including his prediction that by now the world will be a full degree warmer rather than not at all warmer. They also have the BBC onside.
Gosh. You've really failed in your attempt to overturn sceince and reason over here:
You should consider taking course in logical and critical thinking instead of blowing it so badly.
The site manager has, in normal ecofascist style now decided to censor me because the latest atack on me on the Ann Coulter thread by an alleged "30 year" student of radiation was clearly wholly didhonest. Here it is:
Kreb anybody who checks what you say about my link http://a-place-to-stand.blogspot.com/2010/03/low-level-radiation-evidence-that-it-is.html will see that you are lying
#1 of the For Hormesis links is an overview wholly unrelated to what you say http://www.alamut.com/proj/98/nuclearGarden/bookTexts/Rad_hormesis.html
#9 is Professor Cohen on his research which found precisely the beneficial connection between radon and cancer which you assure "undoubtably" cannot be claimed by anybody. It appears doubt is indeed possible, indeed statistucally proven.
I can, of course, understand why you have "learned nothing" that disturbs you prejudices in "30 years" since you clearly never allow facts to interfere with them.
I ask you to acknowledge that my reading of these links is correct and your contention that the latter is a "dating agency" is non-factual."
Since, unlike your ecofascist friends I do not need censorship to promote my views you are welcome here BJ
I would be interested in knowing whether you now wish to contend that the "Respectful Insolence (subtitle - A statement of fact cannot be insolent)" has not demonstrated that it's author has no respect for facts whatsoever?
You're only making a complete ass of yourself, Neil. But it is fun watching you discredit yourself.
Indeed, this is why I wrote about the characteristics of you denialists here: