Valkyrie and the July 20th Plotters.

December 30, 2008


I’m into the cinema, and generally hype myself up about upcoming films that look interesting – I’d be considered within the Bond films “core market” for example, generally seeing all of the Bond movies when they come out no matter what the reviews say. One film I’ve been looking forward to for over a year – it got delayed by the WGA strike – is Valkyrie.

Valkyrie details the plot to kill Hitler – known as the July 20th plot, after the date of the attempt –  by leading figures in the German Army during WW2 . It’s directed by Bryan Singer of Usual Suspects fame and has Tom Cruise playing Claus Schenk Von Stauffenberg, the colonel who planted a bomb a bit too close to the table leg when trying to knock off the Fuhrer.

I’m quite looking forward to it as German history – specifically the Nazis – is a part of history I’m very interested in. Not only is it gripping to read about how, why, and what racially obsessed psychopaths did to most of Europe on a basic level of human interest its also key I think for Socialists in reading and properly understanding how fascism comes about, what it does when it gets there, and its justifications for doing so relating to its base of support.

I have considered doing History as a degree, but you know, Genetics student obsessed with the Nazis, might raise a few eyebrows…

To return to Valkyrie, I don’t know how well this film is going to do – one of the reviewers said he thought it was good, but questioned what market there was for a historical thriller about the Nazis in relation to a 21st century audience, many of whom have never heard of Auschwitz.

But if it does become a blockbuster – which despite the subject material, Tom Cruise’s pulling power might do for them –  it would put a relatively obscure and unknown detail of WW2 into peoples consciousness. And unfortunately, if the trailers and taglines (Some Men Saw Evil and Dared to Stop It) are an accurate depiction of what tack the film is going to take, then its a gross romanticism of the July Plotters.

If you tell people not to glorify folk who tried to blow up Hitler, your first response might be a bit of a taken aback one – surely people who tried to kill Hitler deserve respect and admiration, especially in a police state which had destroyed literally all other opposition? And why is it relevant to be concerned about something which happened over 60 years ago?

I’d argue that it’s relevant to know about what happened with a fascist regime 60 years ago in order to understand where and how a fascist regime in the 21st century would come from, and how it would operate. And the fact is that the July 20th plotters do not deserve an image of heroic fighters for democracy, opponents of war or even opponents of racism.

The plotters themselves worked with members of the German Army who had committed horiffic atrocities on the Eastern Front. One of the masterminds of the July 20th plot, Major General Henning Von Tresckow had an SS Brigadefuhrer for an ally – Arthur Nebe.  Nebe commanded an “Einszatzgruppen” on the Eastern Front. These were “task forces” who were practically created to fight Nazi racial war.  Over 1 million Jews were murdered by Einszatzgruppen firing squads throughout WWII.


Von Tresckow.

Nebe was head of Einszatzgruppen B, which was responsible for over 45,000 deaths. This was no secret to Tresckow. He recieved reports of the atrocities Einzsatzgruppen B – just like every other Einszatzgruppen – was involved in.


Tresckow himself was no angel either – he personally signed an order in July 1944 to deport orphaned children from the Eastern front to Germany for slave labour!

And Nebe was not the only SS butcher who worked with the July plotters. Tresckow worked alongside SS Brigadefuhrer Kurt Knoblauch to organise cooperation between anti-Hitler forces in the regular army and the SS. This included SS Cavalry forces who had previously drowned 14,000 Jews in marshes. 

 Hitlers would be assassin Von Stauffenberg was little better. Talking about the Poles under Nazi occupation he said,  “The population here are unbelievable rabble; a great many Jews and mixed folk. A folk that only feels good under the knout. The thousands of prisoners will be used well in our agriculture”

Stauffenberg also defended the Night of the Long Knives, describing it as like a lance pricking a boil. Ironically one of the protests made by the anti-Nazi German military resistance was the lawlessness Hitler’s regime unleashed. Here Stauffenberg didn’t seem to be to bothered that Hitler had made himself the (retrospective) “judge, jury and executioner”  of those killed on the Night of the Long knives.

This was because most of those killed were “revolutionary” Nazis like Rohm, and Strasser who had agitated for continuing the Nazi revolution to unseat German conservative industrialists and replace Germany’s economy with a (very confused and racist) form of “socialism”. The BNP and NF today talk about being economically “socialist”, and Norman Tebitt ex-cabinet Tory accused the BNP of being more left than right on that basis.

The Night of the Long Knives shows how fascism differs reality from words, and where its true class background and loyalties lie.

Stauffenberg also wrote to his cousin about a plot to kill Hitler, saying that “One does not do such a thing during a war, especially not during a war against the Bolshevists”. Evidently Stauffenberg changed his mind, but the point to take is that Staufenberg had no problem with the “war against the Bolshevists”, despite its racist, genocidal and imperialist consequences.

These kind of politics could be found throughout all the anti-Nazi German military “resistance” – a genuine opposition to the Holocaust, indiscriminate and counterproductive brutality towards the slavs, and Nazi excesses. But there was no principled opposition to dismembering and ethnically cleansing Poland, non-genocidal antisemtism,  invading the USSR or removing all the democratic rights and freedoms of workers and their organisations present in Weimar Germany.

Those kind of politics make sense from a class perspective – spending millions to exterminate Jews, Gypsies, when your losing a war on all fronts and alienating potential Slav allies against “Bolshevism” are totally irrational if your at the top of German society, trying to carve out an Empire for yourself.  

But the point is Fascism isn’t rational, and isn’t just an extremely brutal form of Capitalist rule. It’s like a mad dog, release it and it might rip apart your enemies – Communists, Social Democrats, Poles, – but don’t expect it to play fetch the next minute.

Michael Parenti described Fascism as being the most extreme form of Capitalist rule once you strip it of all its ideological crap; but its ideological crap is as much a part of Fascism, and as important to its leadership, as its base in the real world of its social base in corporations, small businesses and the military.

German Conservatives like Stauffenberg either supported or were neutral towards the Nazis when they came to power. They welcomed the destruction of the Socialist movement and establishing Germany as a major Imperialist power again. It was only when they started to lose the war, and Nazi insanity went beyond they could tolerate that they tried to tell the dog to sit, and found themselves consumed by the dog they had unleashed.

Iraq – what lies behind the “surge”?

October 13, 2008


It wasn’t too long ago when the situation in Iraq appeared to just about everyone as a disastrous quagmire, with an ongoing civil war that appeared impossible to stem, let alone stop or even reverse. Iraq appeared to be an unmoveable albatross around the US Republican Party, a disaster of such scale that would make their defeat in the upcoming Presidential elections all but inevitable.

But recently, there’s been a definite turnaround in the portrayal of Iraq in the media, there’s less reports of car bombings, attacks on US forces, and somewhat more of a positive and optimistic mood about Iraq. The BBC have done reports detailing how life is, allegedly, slowly but surely getting better for most Iraqis. Baghdad is still the most dangerous city in the world, they accept, but then again levels of violence are down, aren’t they?

This transformation of Iraqi society from a Yugoslavia in waiting to a blossoming democracy, was not conducted using a magic wand or spell, but a term which has taken on the same meaning as “abracadabra” for the GOP faithful in the US – “The Surge”.

The Surge has been credited with stopping Al Qaeda in Iraq, ending sectarian violence and curbing Moqtada Al Sadr. John McCain, the US Republican Presidential candidate has on many occasions brought up The Surge with an air of confidence and authority that wouldn’t be found in Republican contributions on Iraq a few years ago. The Surge has been shown to have worked miraculously, and those politicians – Obama, allegedly – who opposed it have been shown to be pretty foolish. Iraq it seems can be won, all it took was one mighty hammer blow to do it.

It all sounds too good to be true – largely because it is.

Lets deal with indisputable facts first – violence in Iraq, both attacks on Occupation forces and sectarian attacks – have decreased in the wake of The Surge. On purely a personal level, alongside a Socialist viewpoint no one can watch the bombings of markets, or food queues and feel anything other than horror, regardless of whether or not it proves your arguments about the nature of the invasion of Iraq and what it would result in “right”.

So it’s a positive development for working class unity in Iraq to see any decline of sectarian violence. It’s vital to the strength of Iraqi worker’s organisations in defending their own interests and expelling the Occupation forces.

But in reality all The Surge has done in Iraq has been to keep the various militia forces in a state of “deep freeze” – co-opting some, making ethnic cleansing permanent and driving others underground. All the social forces that can – and almost certainly will – return to violence, whether it’s to carve out  and expand their influence in Iraq and/or to fight the Occupation forces. The new US commander in Iraq, General Ray Odierno has described the gains as “fragile and reversible” for precisely these reasons.

The Surge’s results can basically be summed up in four specific strategies the US made in relation to its enemies in Iraq,

* Co-opting Sunni tribal militia groups to fight Al Qaeda in Iraq, dissuading them from attacking Occupation forces,

* US forces enforcing the partition of an ethnically cleansed Baghdad,

* Training Shiite Iraqi Govt forces to fight Al Sadr’s Mahdi army, till it agreed to a cease-fire, and 

* A massive program of death squads targeted against prominent members of those fighting the US Occupation in Iraq, mainly within the Sunni community.

To go through each point one by one – the co-opting of Sunni militia groups into “Awakening Councils” is part of classic divide and rule tactics used by occupying powers, which I will go into later. One other factor leading to the formation of these Awakening Councils is that Al Qaeda in Iraq have used barbaric and murderous attacks on civilian Iraqi targets.

This has generated hatred against Al Qaeda in Iraq from Sunnis who have no love for the Occupation or the Shiite dominated central Iraqi Government. This would make it understandable as to why Sunnis would collaborate with US forces to remove a gang of murdering psychopaths like Al Qaeda in Iraq.

But more importantly in determining why millitias who previously fought the Occupation now side alongside it, is the ethnic conflict and divide and rule tactics of the Occupation forces. Parties who rely on communal support from Iraq’s Kurdish and Shiite populations now form the Iraqi Government. Ironically, after the US it is the Iranians who are the biggest backers of Iraq’s current Kurdish/Shiite dominated Government.  Iraq’s current Prime Minister is Nouri Al Maliki, who is a member of the Islamist Dawa party – which celebrated the Iranian revolution and supported Khomeini.

This is all part and parcel of Iran flexing its muscles as a developing regional power – and trying to ensure that it won’t be attacked from US bases in Iraq.

This has led many Sunni Tribal leaders to consider whether or not the Occupation was the main enemy, and to consider how their own position could be under threat unless they can reach some agreement with the Occupation forces in carving out their own spheres of influence. Most of the Awakening Councils have cooperated only with the US forces, and have ignored the Iraqi Government which they see as Shiite controlled. Self-described leaders of the Iraqi Resistance have in the past declared Iran – not the US – to be their main enemy. Put in context, that means Iraq’s Shiite population.

That’s not such a ridiculous position, from the perspective of Sunni Tribal elites. The next action the US took to secure its objectives during The Surge was to send thousands more troops into the capital Baghdad. The influx of US soldiers into Baghdad is generally counted as being one of the major factors in the Surge’s victory, but it ignores the reality on the ground.

A study by the University of California examined, using satellite photography, the electricity use in Baghdad, shown below,

The data shows that in the weeks before the influx of US soldiers into Baghdad, the lights in Sunni communities in Baghdad gradually went off. This blackout wasn’t present in Shiite areas of Baghdad – put simply, the Sunnis were being ethnically cleansed out of Baghdad by Shiite militias, before The Surge sent in additional US forces.

It was ethnic cleansing, not The Surge that reduced sectarian violence in Baghdad. The additional US forces act as a buffer against any attempts by Sunnis to reopen hostilities against the Shiite militias. The most likely culprits behind the cleansing are the Badr Brigade, the armed wing of SCIRI – the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq. They are present throughout the Iraqi Governments police forces, and were exposed a few years ago for running a torture centre in a Government Ministry.

Not all the Shiite militias are behind the Iraqi Government though. The biggest, best organised and most well known anti-Occupation force is the Mehdi Army, of Moqtada Al Sadr. One major part of The Surge was the “Iraqisation” of Iraq’s security – moving away from a reliance on US and UK forces to enforce security in Iraq, and turn the control of provinces over to the Iraqi Government.

Part and parcel of this was the British Army massively scaling down its operations in the south of Iraq, around Basra, and turning over control to the Iraqi Government. In order for the Iraqi Government to have effective control over this area – as well as for the Shiite Government parties to destroy a communal rival – it was necessary, as part of The Surge to eliminate the power of the Mehdi Army.

The subsequent truce the Mehdi Army signed with the Iraqi Government is recognised as being a major factor in the decrease in attacks on Occupation forces. But the Mehdi Army is far from being defeated, or a spent force in Iraq. The domestic Iraqi Security forces sent to fight the Mehdi Army in many cases either refused to fight, or actually defected to the side of the Al Sadr. The fighting itself shocked the US and it’s ally in the Iraqi Government in terms of the resistance the Mehdi Army was able to put up. The Mehdi army may have signed a truce, but this allows it to regroup and rearm, and the political support Al Sadr has – based on a mixture of opposition to the Occupation, and an authoritarian preservation of “order” in Islamist terms – has been untouched by The Surge.

The final factor in the “success” of The Surge is the most secretive part of the US plan – a massive program of executions, carried out by secret death squads in Iraq, targeting leaders of anti-Occupation forces. This claim does not come from the left or the fringe but from veteran journalist Bob Woodward of Watergate fame.

This secret killing programme shouldn’t be underestimated – Woodward did not reveal the assassinations as he was advised by US officials that it accounted for a “good portion” of the Surge’s success. Woodward is no critic of the Surge,likely to come out with an outlandish lie. He supported the assassination programme describing it as “a wonderful example of American ingenuity of solving a problem”.

This begs the question, if Saddam was overthrown to legalise death squads in Iraq then what was the point of overthrowing him? Will any of those murdered have redress to the law, to prosecute the killers? It’s not the first time mass human rights abuses have been committed by a US supported Iraqi Government – the UN’s Chief anti-torture expert claimed in 2006 that torture in Iraq was “worse than under Saddam”.

The Surge is a sticking plaster, designed to keep various ethnic groups and militias in Iraq co-opted, at truce or eliminated entirely. This allows the US to achieve what are probably its two most important strategic goals in Iraq; permanent military bases, and what is known as a Production Sharing Agreement (PSA) for Iraq’s oil, which will turn Iraq’s oil fields to private companies for the first time in decades. The PSA for Iraq is a con of monumental proportions – it will leave only 14 out of 80 oil fields in Iraqi control, with the rest in private hands. There are no other oil producing countries in the Middle East with such a con of an agreement.

Theres only one force capable of uniting Iraq’s various ethnic groups under a common banner of opposition to the US led occupation, theft of oil reserves and oppose the carving up of their country and decimation of Trade Union organisations in Iraq by sectarian militias – the Iraqi working class.

Socialists who want to help the heroic and embattled Iraqi workers movement advance a vision of their country beyond an Iraq held together by ethnic conflict and assassination, the real legacy of the Surge.

Why “Torture Porn” is really dodgy, surprisingly.

October 1, 2008

I’ve never been that into horror movies much, they’re not the films I tend to go and see in the pictures and unless its one I’m particularly interested in seeing I wont watch it on telly. Likewise I don’t have many horror movies on DVD. There are some exceptions – I do really like The Shining, but that’s more cos its a good depiction of someone losing their marbles, or Dark Water which is a good psychological horror. And Young Frankenstein of course.

So maybe its just cos I’m a shit the bed etc but watching films like Hostel and Saw (and from what I’ve read on Wiki/seen on YouTube of other films like Captivity etc which haven’t been on telly) theres a new genre in horror which just focuses on using disturbing scenes of death and torture for the sake of it.

Obviously the whole point of horror – especially the best ones, like The Shining or Dark Water which I mentioned earlier – is to make the audience tense, and create an environment of things getting worse and worse, building to a terrifying climax. For example, in Dark Water the lead character continually finds a “Hello Kitty” bag in her flat despite repeatedly binning it. Its not scary when you write about it but when you see the film and know the context it’s disturbing, and has a point in raising the tension up to the films ending as part of waves of things getting gradually worse. But the kind of stuff in Hostel, Saw etc is qualitatively different from what you’d get in previous horrors, even your gorier non-psychological ones, like the Omen, or slasher films.

In films like Hostel you get stuff that disturbs you, but that’s the end itself, not the means to the end. The point of the gore isn’t to prepare you and ramp up for some terrifying end – it is itself the terrifying end in itself, the “money shot”. The whole point of these movies for the fans and from the directors is coming up and watching more inventive torture scenes of people suffering and being tortured to death, from cooking someone in an oven, having their head split open with a buzz saw or frozen alive. The name they’ve come up for these kind of scenes is “Torture Porn”, or alternatively “Gorno”.

For movies in the “Torture Porn” genre excessive torture and death is the point. As I said earlier It’s not a means to an end, seeing someone get half drowned in a vat of pig guts is the end, it’s the point of the film.

Relying on excessive gore is what various bad horror movies have done and its not really important beyond avoiding them cos they’re shite. But with torture porn, there’s more disturbing stuff going on – first of all, there’s a lot more focus on the victims suffering, and being tortured to death. Often its not excessively gory, but the suffering is a lot more acute and intrusive than real gorefests like The Evil Dead. And secondly, when the victim is a woman – who is usually sexually attractive, her death and torture is often sexualised. So there’s actually something that’s quite dodgy and disturbing from a political viewpoint, above and beyond what you think of them as films. 

The Hostel films are probably the worst in terms of torture for the sake of it, but its Hostel II that’s the most disturbing in terms of those wider concerns beyond excessive gore that I mentioned, and they’re a typical example of the stuff you get in the genre.

To give a brief background, the story in the Hostel series revolves around a factory in Slovakia where wealthy businessmen can pay to torture and murder people – with locals being dirt cheap and Americans being really expensive (the trailer for the second film went through the prices of different nationalities, talking about how sometimes Mexicans or Russians were cheap but “An American girl – now that will cost you”).

In the first film it’s basically about group of male backpackers from the US, going about Europe looking for sex and boozing. They get told about this Hostel in Slovakia full of beautiful women who would trip over themselves to shag them. When they get there, they both get laid ostensibly on the basis that the women fancy Americans.

But it’s all just a ruse to get them lifted by the torturers who run the Hostel – who bribe the local police, and have the whole village in their pocket. One of the guys gets tortured by a drill wielding, repressed gay middle aged man who is married with kids, who made sexual advances to him on the train to the village. The other manages to escape after almost choking on his own vomit when being threatened by a generic chainsaw wielding nutcase.

When he escapes he bumps into one of the “clients” who has paid to torture folk. He compares it to going to see prostitutes, saying he would never forget the kind of power he would get from killing someone compared to going to strip clubs and brothels. This client goes on to burn an Asian girl’s face with a blowtorch before the American escapee intervenes.  

The second Hostel film makes the first one look quite pedestrian by comparison. Here all the people who are killed at the torture factory are women. There’s a bit of added back-story on the people who do it – they’re both American businessmen, and are brothers, one of whom hates his wife – and it shows the “bidding” process where the girls are bought. The older brother is more assertive, and has convinced his younger brother to go along with it, comparing the confidence they will get after they kill someone to the  the confidence the first guy who got laid in their class had. He says that once he kills someone his wife will “fear him”. Later on, when the younger brother meets the girl he’s bought, he remarks that she looks exactly like his wife. When he has her locked up in the Hostel, she tells him that although she looks like his wife, shes not – he responds of course she’s not, he could never kill his wife, while going on to threaten her.

It’s a similar set-up from here where the group of girls are lured to the Hostel and butchered, this time by another beautiful woman, now on the pretext of a spa holiday instead of sex.  You can obviously tell that this time, cos it’s a sequel the torture scenes need to be ramped up, and in this case sexualised. For example, the first death scene features one of them being hung upside down and slashed, so that a (naked) woman can bathe in her blood.

The other scenes get even more obviously dodgy – the next woman to die (the one portrayed as the ‘slut’) is dressed up in a corset, make up etc and has her head cut open with a saw by the older brother. He can’t kill her because he gets disturbed when he sees her head open, and gets ripped apart by dogs when he tries to leave the Hostel without killing. She is killed later on by his younger brother The one remaining who does manage to escape does so after being threatened by rape, and by castrating the younger brother, throwing his cock to wild dogs and leaving him to bleed to death.  

Hostels not the only film in the torture porn genre to use sexualised and excessive torture of women as a selling point – the people who did Saw III admitted that one of the reasons they had a woman naked when she was frozen to death was that cos they thought if they had her wearing a shirt, it would stick to her body and make it look pornographic, accepting that its not something that they’ve overlooked, even if their excuse is paper thin.

Another film, Captivity almost didn’t get an MPAA rating in the USA cos it used an unauthorised advertising campaign showing the female lead going through stages of kidnap, imprisonment and torture. Captivity itself is all about a young female model being captured and tortured, with minced pieces of eyes shoved into her nose through tubes.


The complicating factor about the Hostel movies is that as films, I actually think they’re quite good just watched apolitically based on the tension that’s built up, the cinematography and the atmosphere – which is kinda like the horror movies I enjoy. The concept of the torture factory itself is scary, and the way the village is depicted as being an isolated “Wicker Man” style community of cover up’s of ritual murder works well. That said, the way the village is treated is a whole other debate – the population are all depicted as criminals with even the weans attacking tourists for money. The Slovakian Government itself protested the film – but they’ll have been somewhat undermined considering their ex-Minister for Culture plays the owner of the torture factory in the film!

But its pretty hard to enjoy Hostel, despite its qualities as a piece of cinema when its all created to build up to women being tortured and murdered, and that process being sexualised; with either blood falling onto a naked woman’s breasts, or when one of them is dressed in underwear and has her head cut open with a buzz saw. It is like watching the worst kind of porn, where all you can do is grimace and wonder if at any point anyone thought slashing a woman’s jugular with a scythe was really ok. Thanks but I’ll have a big empty hotel built on the site of an Indian Burial Ground and five John Denver Christmas Specials with Jack Nicholson going for his wean on a tricycle.

Actual replies on YouTube videos of Gary Glitter.

October 3, 2008
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – the internet is full of stupid people at a ration x100000000 of the normal real-world average. For YouTube, 1×10^2,3990,786 that number.
JohnnyAlpha8 (6 months ago) Show Hide
“we can judge a society’s virtue by its treatment of prisoners.”
haley1daily (1 month ago) Show Hide
+1 Poor comment Good comment
Despite Gary’s ‘unconventional behaviour’ it can be said without any fear of contradiction that for a man of his age he still has in his possession a fantastic head of hair! I personally applaud this fact! He should let it all grow back!
blackpoolrok (1 month ago) Show Hide
 -1 Poor comment Good comment
I always believed he was set up by the PC World technicians with the kid porn on his puter. No proper paedo would take their puter for repair knowing they had child filth on it. And the Vietnamese trial seemed like a farce and unjust. Perhaps he was innocent after all. We’ll see.
danwilz175 (1 month ago) Show Hide
 -1 Poor comment Good comment
Let Gary in peace. The media scum have hounded him disgracefully. He maintains his innocence and whether he is or not, so what. He has been to prison. Murders like Bush and Bliar and leaders all over the world have killed thousands of kids but they get praised and millions of dollars for their efforts. It’s a sick world we live in when a man like this gets vilified and real criminals are left to carry on ‘business as usual’.

His music is bloody brilliant too. What a genius

gavrilo2007 (1 month ago) Show Hide
+1 Poor comment Good comment
Damn. Cool version of HoRS. Didn’t know who you were till I heard about your child-raping, but hey, you rock. Crazy rockin’ rollin’ kiddie bangin pervert! You are A-OK.
josssmith (1 month ago) Show Hide
My mate got the DJ to play this at my mum’s 50th bday party last year, the look on people’s faces was priceless
drdawn86 (1 month ago) Show Hide
My vampirelust: The false stories are sickening you, GG is not responsible forwhat someone who hates him prints. He has done things that are bad, but the false stories are the work of journalists.

He is not responsible for those people who do not report real news and insist on following him around the world like an “eggy fart”.

The papers deliberately print incitory Glitter stories cos he cant sue.Anyone who has been in jail CANNOT sue as they have no reputation.Sleep now my sweet child.

Dixoking (1 month ago) Show Hide
Glitter was framed by the British Government to draw attention away from the failed war in Iraq.
ebutemetube (1 month ago) Show Hide
“Being an individual man is a thing that has been abolished, and every speculative philosopher confuses himself with humanity at large; whereby he becomes something infinitely great, and at the same time nothing at all.” – Johannes Climacus, alias Søren Kierkegaard
allahonsteroids (1 month ago) Show Hide
He should be locked up.


The “Great Global Warming Swindle” swindle.

October 3, 2008

I didn’t see it when it was first broadcast, but I can remember when Channel 4 had Martin Durkin’s “documentary” about climate change was aired. It made quite an impact on people I knew, friends, family – as well as mobilising a wider section of the climate change sceptic media. The documentary alone probably accounts for a significant amount of the people who think there’s a major scientific debate about climate change, in terms of what causes it, it’s effects on the environment or that man’s activities don’t have a meaningful effect on climate change.

Put simply, it was the first time “climate sceptics” made a large scale intervention in the mass media, beyond blogs, partisan newspaper articles etc and on to TV in a documentary seen by about 2 million people. And they succeeded in “shaping the debate” to use market speak, it may not have convinced everyone that climate change was all bollocks, but it did succeed in planting seeds of doubt in an established scientific consensus.

Unfortunately for the level of scientific debate, the “documentary” was a fraud from start to finish. It’s” a mess of altered graphs that have been consciously misrepresented and full of scientific “logic”  that you could get out of Hollywood.

The Australian network ABC has done a really good job ripping the documentary to pieces, which you can see in the you tube link above. It goes on for a few more segments, generally showing the maker of the documentary, Martin Durkin as an embarrassed schoolboy who has been caught out. Here’s a summary of some of the mumbo jumbo that gets exposed,

* The documentary quoting a Professor Frederick Singer, the First Director of the US National Weather Satellite Service as a source on global warming but ignoring his dates of service – which were between 1962 and 1964.

* It claims CO2 emissions aren’t a problem because CO2 as a whole only forms 0.054% of the atmosphere, (natural and man-made CO2 emissions included) without taking two things into account; a) just because something is small doesn’t mean it can’t have a significant effect, and b) that natural CO2 emissions have a feedback loop that man made emissions are disrupting. For example the melting of arctic ice means that instead of reflecting heat, the arctic will actually absorb heat.

* Most damning is the documentaries conscious misrepresentation of graphs in making its case. For example it produces a graph (below) claiming that the Middle Ages warm period is warmer than the period marked on the graph as NOW. In fact “NOW” on the graph is 20 years ago! The most recent IPCC graphs show the temperature has increased steeply, well above that of the Middle Ages warm period. Durkin consciously chose not to use the latest IPCC graphs because they challenged his argument.

* The other piece of dodgy graph work refers to a familiar claim made by climate change skeptics – that climate change may be happening, but it is because of solar activity and not man. Durkin’s second graph (below) shows an apparent correlation between solar activity and temperature on Earth but again consciously misrepresents it. The graph itself, if you look closely ends at 1970 – because from the 70’s onwards the Earths temperature rose steeply whereas solar activity decreased. In fact the Danish scientists whose data Durkin distorts responded to the documentary saying further research on their part denied any link between solar activity and global warming!

The documentary maker himself, Martin Durkin isn’t a stranger to fraud – Channel 4 was forced to make a public, prime time apology when OFCOM ruled that A Durkin documentary “Against Nature” misrepresented the views of environmentalists. In July of this year, OFCOM ruled that The Great Global Warming Swindle breached several broadcasting standards – adding to Durkin’s impressive track record as a bullshit artist.

Behind Durkin is not, as you might believe, Exxon, Shell,etc who have previously funded “scientific institutions” like the George C. Marshall to promote their own biased science. It is in fact a group of libertarian “Marxists” around the online web journal Spiked that best outlines Durkin’s political background.

Spiked vehmently attacks anything and everything it perceives as being connected or influenced by the environmental movement and uncritically defends China’s development under capitalism, on the basis that “Green ideology” stands in conflict with human progress, fighting poverty etc. The journal itself is edited by former members of the Revolutionary Communist Party in the UK – formerly a section of the Left in the UK with a variety of eccentric ideas; that Socialists should share platforms with fascists to debate and beat them in argument for example.

Ultimately it was one of these bonkers political positions that led to them getting totally fucked. The RCP’s magazine “Living Marxism” claimed ITN had depicted a Serb-Cetnik concentration camp in Bosnia falsely. LM claimed that in reality it was nothing more than a holding camp, where refugees were free to go any time they wanted, kind of like Butlins but with Radovan Karadzic instead of redcoats. This led to ITN suing the fuck out of them, and their magazine, Living Marxism – going bankrupt.

Its from there they made the retreat into the internet, and working class politics and an advance into entryism in the mass media and ruling class politics . One of Boris Johnsons advisers writes a column in Spiked for example, and they also run an “Institute of Ideas” which has lavish corporate sponsorship.

Their magazine claims that Torquemada and Stalin aren’t lucky enough to read it today, ostensibly because Spiked are such radical, blue sky, free thinkers challenging the establishment. But when their flagship intervention in the mass media on why climate change is all bollocks is an obvious fraud from start to finish then Uncle Joe would probably be more upset he didn’t get a chance to exchange hints and tips.