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.

16 Responses to “Climate denier Richard North takes his vitriol to a new low”

  1. christarquini

    RT @leftfootfwd: Climate denier Richard North takes his vitriol to a new low: http://bit.ly/if8A0Q reports @ChrisTarquini

  2. Doug

    I think that a blog which describes itself as evidence-based political blogging really needs to look at what they are saying in this post. You start off by describing North, in the title, as a climate change denier, then repeat the claim – which is true, it is however completely irrelevant to the point of the post. If you are going to set yourselves up as a serious website with a serious point then please don’t stoop to tabloid smearing and fallacious appeals to the audience. I don’t deny the need to challenge what is clearly a rallying cry for the relaxing of gun laws – but do it without stooping to his level.

  3. Matt

    I disagree with Richard North about a lot of things, however, I think you are doing this article a dis-service.

    The quote from Jefferson: ‘When governments fear the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny.’ is one that we should all consider when we see a government with no mandate, sheltering behind riot police, forcing through policies which have the potential to rip the soul out of our society. Tuition fees spring to mind.

    So yes, I agree we don’t want anyone being shot – however, the government needs to fear the people – otherwise there shall be tyranny.

  4. SGallagher

    Doug, your argument makes no sense. The article uses all his remarks so he can’t be accused of being taken out of context. Also how is it a smear if it is true! Its relevant because the writer is saying that North is basically a bit of a nutter and here is another example, along with the ‘Jungle Bunnies’ crap.

    So it doesn’t look like a smear to me, you should probably go to the EU referendum and check out your hero North’s stuff- seems like you might like it…. or is that smearing! This North bloke is clearly nuts, I don’t see why morepeople shouldn’t know about what he’s done before!

  5. Mister Jabberwock

    Good grief… you argue the Richard North should not be allowed “to spout his vitriolic language in a widely read national newspaper” and what is it that he is spouting. He is quoting Thomas Jefferson and endorsing the right of Americans to carry a gun. Now I think that US gun laws are crazy but to support the right to own and carry a gun in the US is not extreme. Obama supports that right for instance.

    North may or may not be nuts I have no idea and care less; but this post is certainly a little loopy

  6. 13eastie

    Readers might not be entirely convinced that writers here (and elsewhere) actually know the meaning of “rhetoric”, a piece such as this ought to be celebrated as an example of the diametric opposite.

    Why, Chris, are you so unable to present a coherent argument without conflating manifold irrelevances? What has race or climate change got to do with the 2nd Amendment?

    Is this not the kind of “over the top” hysteria that you bemoan in your opening paragraph?

    There is a quotation you neglected to cite that would, when you consider it was used in the US presidential campaign, appear to deal with the topic in hand far more succinctly than either you or Mr North.

    “If they bring a knife to a fight, we bring a gun.”

    The speaker, of course, was Barrack Obama.

  7. Doug

    @SGallagher I think that anyone who sets themselves up as an evidence based blog should let the information speak for itself, rather than stacking up differing and disparate claims on top of each other. This post tends towards hysteria with regards how nasty he is by doing so, it’s not rational evidence based writing, it’s tabloid shrieking, and this blog can do better.

    It doesn’t come as much surprise that you support this, seeing as you then go on to describe North as a hero of mine because I’m asking for a better quality of writing about him. Nothing I’ve said confers support for him or anything he has said, and I categorically don’t support him or anything he has said – your response is yet more over simplified hysteria.

  8. Anon E Mouse

    This article really stoops to a new low for this fine blog.

    Left Foot Forward is in danger of becoming irrelevant if it continues to have bile and smearing of this nature pretending to be any form of journalism…

  9. Daniel Pitt

    RT @leftfootfwd: Climate denier Richard North takes his vitriol to a new low: http://bit.ly/if8A0Q reports @ChrisTarquini

  10. Murray

    This really is poor, I’m really disappointed in LFF. It is now quite clear that this blog is prepared to step to a new low to try to discredit Richard North. I disagree with a huge number of his views, but this is little short of a lazy attack piece lacking in analysis or critique.

    As a left blog I would hope that writers here would have a sound understanding of the arguments made that the state’s power is enforced and underpinned however subtly, with the use of force. To not acknowledge this, or acknowledge that its an argument that holds significant weight and should be taken seriously, does this blog, and the many protestors battered by cops over the years a great disservice.

    North’s timing in writing this might have been ill-advised, but what he’s writing is hardly vitriolic. In fact comparing an argument about the relevance of the right to bear arms and oppression by the state to climate change denial and an abhorent approach to racism devalues the importance of tackling climate change and anti-racism.

  11. Mike Thomas

    This article ties itself in knots, clearly you don’t like what North believes in and then conflate vigilantism from one of the finest passages on liberty and freedom.

    Incoherent babble.

  12. Νέα Νέμεσις Εργασίας

    Read @leftfootfwd's attempt at parody here: http://is.gd/kzunp

  13. Mike Thomas

    Added to say, if you really want in invoke history and an overbearing State, how many millions of people has collectivism (versus Jefferson’s individualism) killed, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini?

    If you are sitting in a greenhouse, playing with stones isn’t recommended.

  14. Anon E Mouse

    Mike Thomas – Throw Chairman Mao in the mix and you can add another 70,000,000 killed….

  15. Mr. Sensible

    Why am I not surprised by this?

  16. donald james pearl

    RT @leftfootfwd: Climate denier Richard North takes his vitriol to a new low http://bit.ly/fwcDAw

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