Is Seumas Milne simply stupid or is he actually a cretin?

But climate change denial is also about ideology. Many deniers have come to the conclusion that climate change is some kind of leftwing conspiracy – because the scale of the international public intervention necessary to cut carbon emissions in the time demanded by the science simply cannot be accommodated within the market-first, private enterprise framework they revere. As Joseph Bast, the president of the conservative US Heartland Institute told the writer and campaigner Naomi Klein: for the left, climate change is “the perfect thing”, a justification for doing everything it “wanted to do anyway”.

When it comes to the incompatibility of effective action of averting climate disaster with their own neoliberal ideology, the deniers are absolutely right. In the words of Nicholas Stern’s 2006 report, climate change is “the greatest market failure the world has ever seen”.

The intervention, regulation, taxation, social ownership, redistribution and global co-operation needed to slash carbon emissions and build a sustainable economy for the future is clearly incompatible with a broken economic model based on untrammelled self-interest and the corporate free-for-all that created the crisis in the first place. Given the scale of the threat, the choice for the rest of us could not be more obvious.


If you actually bother to read the Stern Review you find that he recommends an intervention into market pricing, that carbon tax, and then leaving well alone as that works through the system. He does not recommend “intervention, regulation, …., social ownership, redistribution and global co-operation”. Nor does he recommend the abolition of capitalism, nor think that we have a broken economic model.

Which is, of course, why we neoliberals so despise people like Milne and Naomi Klein. Precisely because they are taking the science of what we should do about climate change and twisting it so that they do indeed get to impose their perversion of socialism onto the rest of us.

8 thoughts on “Is Seumas Milne simply stupid or is he actually a cretin?”

  1. So Much for Subtlety

    Get another comment deleted. Go over to CiF and quote Stern.

    As far as Seamus goes, both I think. Proof intelligence is not all genetic.

  2. So the left are happy to use a crisis to impose policies which they “wanted to do anyway”? Turns out Shock Doctrine was an instruction manual, not a critique.

  3. Ah! Another of Tim’s posts supporting carbon taxes. The Pigou Tax , Tim himself, tells us doesn’t work. Because fuel duty in the UK is indeed well above that externality cost the Carbon Tax is based on.
    Pigou taxes are a nice idea, but are not functional when they interface with politicians. Politicians will try to maximise taxation income, whatever. So if there is an opportunity to impose a Pigou tax, that taxation will have already been raised. The fuel duty would have been at the current level whatever the carbon tax requirement, Because that’s the maximum taxation on fuel the economy can sustain.

  4. The key word here is “crisis”. Crisis is the foundation stone of all facist policies throughout modern history. “This present crisis” requires “urgent” and even “extreme” measures. Of course that absolutely must, simply must, include the State deciding everything for us.

    Crisis is the justification, so a state of Permanent Crisis is a necessary condition for the fascist. Left or right, nationalist or internationalist, a fascist is a fascist. Seumas Milne is just a cunt.

  5. For Milne, the worst days of his life were when the Berlin wall collapsed and the fall of the USSR – how wonderful to be able to go back to that time when enlightened people like him could dictate to the rest of us how we should live, and how much better for all humankind if such a philosophy could be applied globally rather than only acrossa Third of the world?

    Too many fallacies in the article to counteract without taking half the morning, but suffice it to say whilst Murphy and Owen Jones certainly take the top spot in terms of idiocy by combining mind numbing stupidity, total ignorance of history with priggish ness and extreme hypersensitivity to criticism, let no one think Milne, an avowed follower of the late Erich Honecker, and other ‘icons’ of the Left, isn’t also in the top rank…

  6. I don’t regard the Greens as really left, they are the most reactionary movement since feudalism, but unfortunately the “left” do. However the Green answer to catastrophic warming is the destruction of modern technology. Back in the1970s when the scare was a new ice age the solution was the destruction of modern technology. I think some doubt of the sincerity of their belief in either scare, or in their commitment to solving it, is justified.

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