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October 2008

Boris Johnson worried about climate change - surreal, innit! Like Billy Bunter being concerned about cholesterol or Bertie Wooster getting a bee in his bonnet about there not being enough multiculturalism in this sceptred isle of ours, what?! But in another way it makes total sense - Boris is a toff! I've said it before and I'll say it again: Green is the first socio-political movement in which every single mover and shaker is, apparently, filthy rich.

Led by the Clown Prince, rallied by Old Etonian David Cameron (forever telling us that money won't bring one happiness/the poor bring it on themselves), they make the suffragettes look like the Jarrow Marchers. As for Baron Melchett, who ran Greenpeace for 12 years, he's another Old Etonian, a scion of the founder of the British Steel Corporation and heir to his great-grandfather's fortune, from the chemical giants ICI, no less. Melchett owns an 800-acre estate in Norfolk and has spoken of his Greenery as "part of a family tradition of trying to do the right thing". (Doing the right thing with chemicals? Yeah, I've been trying to do that all my life.)

Yet another Etonian, Jonathan Porritt, son of Baron Porritt (so many barons! And not one of them a robber?) was head of Friends of the Earth before becoming adviser to the Prince of Wales. Then there are the self-righteous spawn of bread-spread barons - Zac "Marmite" Goldsmith - and biscuit barons - George "Jaffa Cakes" Monbiot.

While promoting my book recently, I had an amusing run-in with Monbiot on the Today programme, during which he proclaimed in a voice reminiscent of the puppet star of yesteryear, Lord Charles, that "the idea that Greens are all po-faced, hair-shirted posh people is ridiculous". At one point the clown conceded that he was upper middle-class - "I went to a public school; in another life I will endeavour to be born to a different set of parents" - before bitchily finishing with "Here is a woman who earns 20 times as much as I do and she slags me off for being rich!" No, not for being rich, Lord Snooty - for being spoon-fed, and thus having no idea what real life is about, unlike someone who made their money rather than inherit it. (See what I did there?)

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October 30th, 2010
11:10 PM
What is so funny about 'Mortimer' and his little sneery crack, is that he totally proves her point, and doesn't even know it. Did you bother reading the piece or just see the name and thought it was a gift?

Roger Mortimer
October 13th, 2008
10:10 PM
Why is Julie Birchill writing for a magazine of this quality? Aren't there enough red tops out there?

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