View Full Version : Great Rod Liddle article

17-08-2008, 20:48
From The Sunday Times

August 17, 2008
What a surprise; Charles’s ignorance crops up again

Rod Liddle

What do you suppose causes the greater amount of global warming: genetically modified crops or his royal highness, Prince Charles?
I have to admit that it had never occurred to me that GM crops did much in the way of heating up the planet until Chazza pointed out that they were part of a sinister experiment by wicked scientists to turn the earth into a Krispy Kreme doughnut. He did not elucidate how, precisely, they contributed towards global warming, but maybe we should just take his word for it.
He also said that “gigantic corporations” were “conducting a gigantic experiment, I think, with nature and the whole of humanity which has gone seriously wrong”. It’s a good job he didn’t tell us who was running these gigantic corporations. People who speak like that usually end up blaming alien lizard creatures or Jews - in either case, they’re on a one-way ticket to the booby hatch or a Five TV daytime chat show.
However, this was the heir to our throne speaking, rather than David Icke, and some people were inclined to take him seriously. One agro-scientist (that’s a scientist who studies agriculture, not an extremely violent scientist) professed herself “shocked and saddened” by the prince’s “ill-informed” views. I’m sorry, but, you know - shocked? Really? This is the man who has been carrying a torch for Islam and who, when asked to explain what it was about the faith that he admired, remarked “the, um, important principle of wholeness” - an observation which to some Saudi Arabian thieves will have a certain ironic component but which, to the rest of us, is just more of the usual bone-headed meaningless twaddle. We would be shocked if he were to utter anything even vaguely redolent of sentience.
Charlie then addressed the problem of GM crops in Australia (a country where he has about the same chance of becoming king as a three-legged dingo). The dangerous salinity of the soil in western Australia was a direct consequence of GM foods being grown there, he asserted. Nope, said everybody who knows anything about it, the salinity comes from that very large reservoir of salt nearby, aka the sea. The genetically modified crops actually serve to reduce the salinity of the soil, apparently. Nor is it GM crops which have caused problems with the water table in the Punjab, as Chazza suggested; overproduction has been the problem there - it is not the genetically modified nature of the crops which has dried up the land.
Does it matter that Prince Charles is talking magnificently ill-informed bollocks once again? Only, I suppose, in that it makes irrational people like myself wish to rush out of the house and consume a genetically modified tomato before dusk, on the principle that if Chazza says something, it must be wrong. But there is a good argument to be advanced against GM crops, not least a worry about the dangerous concentration of power and profit in the hands of a few biochemical companies and the (as yet unproven) effect upon wildlife here in Britain.
Charles, then, does not help matters; the demand for GM food will become ever more shrill and intense as staple produce becomes more expensive and those of us who worry about the possible effects do not wish to be represented by someone who regularly talks to shrubs. And, by the sound of things, takes his advice from them.
Or, indeed, someone whose contribution to alleviating food shortages is to demand seven eggs for breakfast, six of which are thrown away by flunkies because they are not of the desired consistency. Boil them yourself if it’s that important. Or whose contribution to alleviating global warming is to take a holiday on a yacht in the Caribbean which, it was estimated, produced in carbon emissions the equivalent of 260 flights between New York and London.
+ If Scotland does eventually separate itself from the rest of the UK at least we Sassenachs can stop pretending, out of politeness, to have regard for the witless doggerel of Robert “Rabbie” Burns. From a wish to preserve good feeling and indeed the union, I daresay that you, like me, have felt obliged to sit with a forcedly entranced expression on Burns Night as a half-cut sweatie, suffused with nationalistic sentimentality and Glenmorangie, has slurred out some incomprehensible drivel about mice or spiders.
If they go their own way, we can come clean and admit that we had about as much regard for Burns as we do for those other familiar artefacts of Scottish culture – the droning skirl of the bagpipes, the Monarch of the Glen, the Krankies, pies filled with ground-up sheep’s ovaries and testicles, Donald “Where’s Your Troosers” Stewart, the Broons, heroin, obesity and welfare dependency.
The BBC’s Newsnight presenter Jeremy Paxman recently mentioned his disaffection with Burns and provoked much wailing from north of Carlisle. In future we might be able to just let them wail and not worry too much about it.
Still last in the PC stakes
Ah so! Waiter, this chicken is rubbery . . . thang you, sah! What time did the Chinaman go to the dentist. . . 2.30! And so on. Here are two groups of Spanish athletes pictured in Beijing proving that the old Chinese jokes are still the best. Look – they’ve all got slitty eyes! Because they’re in China! Suddenly confronted with foreigners, the Spanish become unreconstructedly antiPC or magnificently obnoxious: take your pick. These latest Spanish violations of modernity have not gone down well in Beijing, needless to say. Spain is in even more disgrace than when some of its Sydney 2000 paralympic basketball team were found not to be disabled at all, just Spanish.
Lies, damned lies and A-levels
Our young people are so clever that this year only 2.8% of them failed their A-levels; cynics say that this is because the exams are so easy that a pig’s bladder on a stick could gain a B grade – but, as we are often reminded, comments like this demean the very real achievement of our students and should not be tolerated.
Instead, let us look forward to the day when there is a 100% pass rate, or even greater – and every abject cretin can go on to read applied concrete, or maybe media studies, at the University of Central Thanet. One wonders quite what level of imbecility is required to gain entry to that exclusive 2.8%. But I daresay we will find out when the next edition of Big Brother comes to our screens.
We have grown too fat to die. According to undertakers, the regular size of coffin is no good for your average British corpse, so they’ve been forced to build new supersize hi-fat extra fries caskets in which to shovel our bulging cadavers once we have wheezed our last. And then, presumably, dig graves the size of septic tanks. We have changed greatly as a nation but, paradoxically, our demands on the environment remain the same.
England’s original broadleaf forest was destroyed to build ships for our Royal Navy so that we might conquer two-thirds of the world. Our new priority is sitting on the couch watching The Jeremy Kyle Show while cramming a KFC party bucket down our throats. What remains of our forests, then, will be chopped down to accommodate our blubbery mortal remains.