So who’s the one reporter invited by the organisers to Heathrow’s increasingly farcical Camp for Climate Change and given free rein to wander around and do what he likes while other journalists must have a “media savvy” climate camper escort at all times (Blogger Passim)?
Why it’s our old mate Johann Hari who announced his arrival aboard his latest political bandwagon from the front page of yesterday’s Independent. With liberal use of the collective pronoun “we”, the fearless reporter explains in gruesome detail how he’s now personally engaged, along with his new-found climate camper friends, on the frontline of the “battle to save the world” no less.
Another conversion from Hari to this month’s fashionable cause should come as little surprise to seasoned Hari-watchers. As Francis Wheen points out in the latest issue of Private Eye, Hari started his career as none other than Jeffrey Archer’s researcher. However Hari’s Cambridge-educated Tory boy image was soon cast aside when Hari was offered a job at The Independent on the back of a couple of soppy articles he wrote about his use of Ecstacy – a drug he’d never actually tried.
A proper job with the woolly liberals of The Independent saw Hari pitching around for some new views that better fitted with his idea of himself as a liberal commentator in the grand moralist tradition of Orwell. Hari eventually alighted upon the then fashionable muscular liberalism of the pro-war left and prosetylised on the evils of Saddam and the moral correctness of the war from the pages of The Indie and various other publications and blogs for the next three years.
This got Hari into problems when he decided to write about Kenneth Joseph, an American pastor who went to Iraq as a human shield in 2003, who was “shocked back to reality” by the discovery that the Iraqi people all supported a US invasion.
Unfortunately this all turned out to be bollocks and was in fact a piece of well-documented fabricated propaganda emanating from the Moonies! No matter because Hari had seen Iraq for himself anyway. He told Indie readers in January 2003:
“Last October, I spend a month as a journalist seeing the reality of life under Saddam Hussein… Most of the Iraqi people I encountered… would hug me and offer coded support [for an invasion].”
Unfortunately more bollocks. He hadn’t gone as a journalist at all but as a holidaymaker! On a package tour visiting archaeological sites in fact. So little sign there of this obsession with climate change and the evils of flying he now loudly proclaims from the front page of national newspapers.
Last year Hari, the great moral voice of his generation, perhaps realising the Iraq war was a disaster and not the great anti-totalitarian cause he had claimed, decided to change his mind. He switched from pro-war to anti-war turning on his former pro-war left allies and hitching up with the anti-war movement and a new, shiny set of views instead.
And now he’s hanging out at Heathrow as a trendy climate change campaigner warning us of impending disaster for the planet if we continue flying. Which kind of makes you wonder why he spent last month in Africa “sitting at the edge of a holocaust, sipping sweet tea with one of the stunned survivors.” How did he get there? Walk?
Before this, in early July, Hari told Indie readers: “I am standing waist-deep in the Pacific Ocean, both chilling and burning, indulging in the polite chit-chat beloved by vacationing Americans.”
So that’s just the two long-haul flights for climate change protestor Hari in the last month. What’s he doing at this camp exactly? Using up all 600 protestors’ carbon rations for the next ten years?
Here’s what the Climate Campers’ official journalist claimss anyway:
By gathering here, we have shown that at least a few thousand people are sane enough to wave and shout as the ice-sheets fall – even if the rest of the world strolls silently by into a shiny new jetplane to Hell.
You just couldn’t make it up really could you?