Climate denier Richard North takes his vitriol to a new low

As debate rages over the vitriol of the right in the US, racist climate denier Richard North suggests taking up arms because "our rulers have lost their fear".

With the debate raging in America about over the top political rhetoric following the attempted assassination of US congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford, one would think this week would be a time of sensitivity from commentators in the media over here. However, with astonishingly bad timing, controversial ‘journalist’, global warming denier Richard North, decided that his article in the Mail would be a great occasion to suggest taking up arms because “our rulers have lost their fear”.

As previously reported on Left Foot Forward, North, who last month referred repeatedly to recipients of Third World Aid as ‘Jungle Bunnies’, is for some unknown reason now being allowed to spout his vitriolic language in a widely read national newspaper.

The article starts as a somewhat understandable rant against lack of rubbish collection from local government. Clearly this is an issue for a lot of people, however the nature of North’s argument becomes clear when he begins to define his plan for dealing with incompetent government:

“It is my belief that the rot starts at the top. But for answers, you need to go back to the great Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States and the principal author of the Declaration of Independence.

“He saw how the people and their governments should relate, declaring: ‘When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.’ There lies my conclusion, gained from a lifetime of experience at all levels of government. Our ‘rulers’ have lost their fear.

“Jefferson supported the right of citizens to bear arms, not in self-defence but as the final resort. The arms gave the people the means to overthrow tyranny. Unsurprisingly, from a position before the First World War when any citizen could freely buy arms over the counter, the British government has disarmed its population.

“Yet the State itself relies on violence. Try not paying your council tax and you will quickly see what I mean. The police will come to get you. Attempt to resist and you will be forcibly removed from your home. You will be jailed… by force if need be. The whole State apparatus is underpinned by force – or the threat of force – applied against its own citizens”

Of course North will inevitably be outraged by people equating his article with a call to arms. Yet he states that the government has “lost its fear” before fear mongering that “the state itself relies on violence”. Subsequently he goes on to argue that “when governments fear the people, there is liberty”. The fact that he then goes on to praise the right for all citizens to bear arms proves he is not using his article as a figure of speech about a battle at the ballot box, he means what he says.

At the very least North is writing another disgraceful article that is insensitive to this week’s political atmosphere whilst unintentionally stirring up the small minority of his readers who may take a lot of his comments seriously. A discussion over the right to bear arms must be considered a reasonable debate, but if it is framed in a manner as as purported by North it becomes less a conversation and more a rallying cry.

There is a difference between arrogant incitement and disagreement in opinion; why North is given a platform in the mainstream press remains unclear. Let’s hope his comments are not taken literally because Saturday’s tragedy showed we want our politicians to fear us at the ballot box, not through the barrel of a gun.

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.