Delingpole at the Weekend: Why I Don’t Talk To Trolls

At the aftershow party for BBC Any Questions in Machynlleth in the deep green heart of Monbiot Country, earnest, fresh-faced, desperately well-meaning twentysomething volunteers from the Centre for Alternative Technology served us organic lager, while we all watched the screen showing the live feed of Twitter comments on the show.

“Wow! We’re trending in Twitter London,” someone said.

“Hey. Now we’re trending across the UK,” said someone else, a bit later.

The reason we were trending is that it had been an unusually lively show. First, there was lots of noisy barracking from all the mung-bean-eating yurt dwellers in the audience when the inevitable question on “climate change” came up. Then, right near the end, some badger-cull protestors in the front row got up and started yelling insults at the DEFRA Secretary of State Owen Paterson.

On that particular issue – as on lots else besides – I’m with Paterson. He holds the record for tabling the most questions in parliament ever on a given subject: badgers. In all he tabled over six-hundred questions. Paterson has done his research (as he also did on fisheries, where he worked up a brilliant scheme to pull Britain out of EU’s iniquitous Fisheries Policy – which was briefly Tory party policy till it was scuppered by David Cameron) and I think it’s likely he knows more on the subject than all the other members of the Commons put together. So if he says a badger cull is the most effective way of reducing bovine TB then I have no doubt it is.

But that’s by the by. I wanted to tell you about a conversation I had with some of those earnest, fresh-faced, desperately well-meaning Centre For Alternative Technology volunteers as we stood watching the Twitter feed.

Some of the Tweets were aimed at Paterson.

“Ha ha Owen,” I teased. “You’ve just been called a “fuckwit”.”

Quite a few of the others were aimed at me.

“@jamesdelingpole is like Toby Young without the charisma, charm, wit or intelligence” said one.

“Good to see @jamesdelingpole being completely destroyed on #bbcaq” said another.

Those aren’t the exact tweets – I wasn’t taking notes. Anyway, what interested me more was this: the number of anti-Delingpole Tweets were legion but the number of people actually Tweeting them was tiny. In other words what you had was a case of one or two very angry people really thrashing their brain cells in order to find 140 character variations on the theme of: I hate James Delingpole.

One of the earnest, fresh-faced, desperately well-meaning Centre for Alternative Technology volunteers said to me: “You must loathe Twitter.”

“It’s more of a hate-love relationship,” I said. “It’s evil but I’m addicted – and it’s easy to survive so long as you operate a rigorous block policy. I never engage with trolls. Well, almost never. Too much of a waste of time and emotional energy on someone who really doesn’t matter.”

“But how can you ever grow as a person if you don’t learn the alternative point of view? How can you educate yourself?” said one sweet little hippie chick earnestly.

“Well I’ve done my research and I know what I think and I know I’m right – so what could I possibly have to learn from someone talking bollocks?

The earnest, fresh-faced, desperately well-meaning Centre For Alternative Technology volunteers looked aghast at this. Aghast mixed with pitying and does-not-compute. But then, they would, being products of that cultural revolution Allan Bloom first anatomised in The Closing of the American Mind: “There is one thing a professor can be absolutely sure of: almost every student entering university believes, or says he believes, that truth is relative. If this belief is put to the test one can count on the student’s reaction: they will be uncomprehending.”

Anyway, such was their puzzlement I felt obliged to explain myself.

“It’s like this,” I said. “My view is that there are some people in the world – you among them I’m guessing – who will never be swayed by the force of my argument. That Tweeter there for example. The one who says I’m like Toby Young without the charm, charisma, wit or intelligence. He already knows exactly what he thinks about me. So he’s not worth a second of my time. I’m much better off playing to the home crowd – helping people who share my point of view realise they’re not alone, giving them hope, making them laugh, or whatever.”

The earnest, fresh-faced, desperately well-meaning Centre For Alternative Technology volunteers were clearly disappointed by this approach. In common, it must be said with my wife: she too is often urging me to reach out more to the other side, to maybe try to be a bit more conciliatory, less combative, in order seduce the undecideds round to my way of thinking.

This, though, misses the point. I’m all for winning over the undecideds. What I’m not in the business of doing is wasting my life on the “We-already-have-decided-and-we-think-you’re-a-cunt”  types I encounter all the time on the internet. In other words, the trolls.

Below my Telegraph blog I keep a whole menagerie of the noisome creatures. They make it their business, every single blogpost I write, be it on climate change, UKIP or the failings of Barack Obama, to sneer and carp and cavil and undermine and generally let the world know what a piece of work they think I am.

In the early days this used to bother me quite a lot if caught me on the wrong day when I was in a vulnerable frame of mind. “Oh dear,” I’d think to myself. T”here’s no smoke without fire. Maybe I am, like all the trolls say, a total loser git who is not just really stupid and wrong about everything but also cursed with stinky breath and a vile bottom and is incredibly ugly with an oh-so-tiny penis which no girl would ever touch or man come to that because even if I were gay which probably I am I’d be totally crap that too….”

This hardly ever happens to me any more though because of two vital anti-troll techniques I’d like to share with you.

The first involves training yourself to skip past all the troll comments and only read the ones from the commenters who are onside. This can be tough sometimes. As my mental health guru Steve Wichett is wont to say the mind can become very addicted to the stimulus of thinking dark thoughts. Reading nasty things people are saying about you gives you the same wicked buzz gamblers get when they lose lots of money. But really, it’s much better avoided, in my view, not only because it stops you being upset but also because it stops you wasting time trying to think of a clever response – or, worse still, actually responding, and getting embroiled in an argument which leeches into your valuable time and benefits you not one jot.

But the even better anti-troll technique, if you can manage it, is actually unmasking them. Because I’m technologically illiterate this is not something I’m capable of myself. Luckily, over the years I’ve been lucky enough to acquire a following of really high powered scientific minds – engineers, programmers, rocket scientists, you name it – who can do all the techie stuff that I can’t.

Every now and then, my posse of tech-whizzes help expose the identity of the pseudonymous pests who hide behind avatars (or multiple avatars) on my blogs. And the results when they do so is always deeply, deeply satisfying because what you invariably discover is just how sad and useless and utterly unworthy of you your secret enemy actually is.

Anonymity is what gives trolls their power. It’s a bit like with the avatars you meet on World of Warcraft. The muscular men with broadswords and Robert Plant hair; the hot babes with amazing breasts and deadly Ninja skills: in real life, they’re probably all flatulent, serial-masturbating, Comic-Book-Guy lookalike paedophiles – but until you know that for certain you’re inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt. And so it is with the trolls. In the absence of any countervailing evidence, you’re naturally inclined to think of them as the rapier-witted omniscient sophisticates they’d like you to imagine they are.

Unmask them, though, and it’s a bit like the final scene in Scooby Doo. Where before they were really quite scary and threatening, now they’re just the embarrassed and pathetic janitor/lighthouse keeper/fairground owner that even Scooby and Shaggy can appreciate is just a total waste of life.

For example, the other day, one of the more regular irritants on my Telegraph blog was revealed to be – get this – a climate “science” graduate from the “University” of East Anglia, now heavily involved in the wind industry scam. Suddenly, all his past unpleasantness made perfect sense and, simultaneously, all the poison was magically removed from his barbs. Why? Because it’s very hard to take seriously criticisms from someone so obviously, tragically parti-pris. You say to yourself: “Well, for goodness sake – OF COURSE this pillock is going to loathe my stuff. Of course he’s going to say horrid things about me. After all, it’s not as though every other column I write isn’t attacking the UEA, climate “scientists” or the rent-seeking scuzzballs of the wind industry.”

And last night, when I was on Any Questions, I looked out into the sea of faces in the audience and noticed that one or two of them belonged to people who really hated me. Their expressions were contorted in fury; they tried to stare me out, as you would I suppose when you saw somebody sitting on the panel of Any Questions and you wanted to signal to them just how loathsome you thought they were.

But here’s what I thought as I looked mildly back at them, eyeing them curiously so as to get a better idea of who they might be and where they might be coming from. I thought: “Well, you’re about as diametrically opposed to me politically as anyone could possibly be. You’ve read different books; you share none of my values; you’d loathe my children, you’d take an instant dislike to my wife; you wear different clothes, you eat different food, you no doubt hate most of the things I love such as free markets and fox-hunting, though I dare say it’s possible we might agree on recreational drugs and Glastonbury. So really, given that we’re so far removed from one another in almost every possible way, why should I give a toss whether you like me or not. Of course you’re going to hate me. It’s a given. But it doesn’t bother me a jot because the good opinion of someone like yourself is something I’d never remotely consider worth courting. You’re a pillock. You’re wrong. And there’s an end to it.”

54 comments on “Delingpole at the Weekend: Why I Don’t Talk To Trolls

  1. Nick
    June 8, 2013 at 7:11 pm #

    Like it
    But you could have got to the point quicker!
    Good article though

  2. moraymint
    June 8, 2013 at 7:17 pm #

    Ignore them James … and keep up the excellent work … we’ll get there in the end … http://www.moraymint.wordpress.com

    • Aparat
      June 9, 2013 at 4:22 am #

      We will get there in the end, but only at the pace dictated by the politicians responsible for the wind scam and the green taxes.

      You and James and I and everyone else, of a similar bent, won’t have held any sway.

      They’re elected – as much as a safe seat grants you the right to use the word – and can do what they like and will continue to do so, without any noticeable control from us.

      It’s sad, but true.

      Our delusion is no lesser than the eco-fascists’.

  3. catweazle666
    June 8, 2013 at 7:20 pm #

    Well said, James.

    Life’s too short to worry about the opinions of fuckwits with chips on their shoulders.

  4. Matt
    June 8, 2013 at 7:26 pm #

    The frustrating this is that a lot of people engage with the handful of trolls who regularly show up to vent their spleens on Delingpole’s blogs.

    It would far better if people just ignored them because they would get bored and piss off back to Socialist Worker, CIF or wherever else it is that they masquerade as fellow members of the human race.

    I’m as guilty as many others

    It’s a hard habit to break

    • catweazle666
      June 9, 2013 at 12:46 am #

      Ah, but trollbaiting is almost as much fun as bear-baiting – and it’s legal!

      Plus of course it gets JD’s hit rate up.

  5. Pete
    June 8, 2013 at 7:28 pm #

    “Well I’ve done my research and I know what I think and I know I’m right – so what could I possibly have to learn from someone talking bollocks?

    Quite right, except that you don’t have the “right” to “be right” anymore, especially when it alienates a retard.

  6. Avril K
    June 8, 2013 at 7:35 pm #

    The bit I liked best?
    “But how can you ever grow as a person if you don’t learn the alternative point of view? How can you educate yourself?” said one sweet little hippie chick earnestly.”
    She should ask the same question of members of that audience.

  7. grumpyoldmanuk
    June 8, 2013 at 7:37 pm #

    Dellers, you might well be a loathsome c’nut. but you are dead right about the trolls. I would suggest that if a committed blogger cant pick up a troll or two, he’s nor communicating.
    there’s an old Greek saying. Friends are nice to have, but to know you’re alive, you need enemies.

  8. Jeff Wolfers (@JeffinLondon)
    June 8, 2013 at 7:41 pm #

    So, in summary, as we say on the blog…. Do Not Feed The Trolls! (DNFTT)

  9. Christina
    June 8, 2013 at 7:45 pm #

    Well said James

    “Spirits turned bitter by the poison of envy
    Always angry and dissatisfied
    Even the lost ones, the frightened and mean ones
    Even the ones with a devil inside
    Thank your stars you’re not that way
    Turn your back and walk away
    Don’t even pause and ask them why
    Turn around and say goodbye”

    Taken from the track “Wish Them Well” from the album “Clockwork Angels” by RUSH, lyrics by Neil Peart

    Best wishes to you, your wife and your, I’m sure, delightful kids.

  10. Unconvincing Pseudonym
    June 8, 2013 at 7:53 pm #

    James, you’re a hero and you very kindly RT me and follow me on Twitter (I’m under another name there).

    For the first time ever, though, I disagree with you. Have a look at this example – it’s quite long – of Peter Hitchens taking on a troll and changing his mind. The troll even admits he was wrong. It’s a masterly performance by PH. But, yes, it’s also a lot of effort for one convert.

    http://citizensane.wordpress.com/2013/03/17/youre-gonna-have-to-face-it-youre-addicted-to-peter-hitchens/

    • James Pickett (@fjpickett)
      June 10, 2013 at 9:08 am #

      UP

      Thank you for the link. I hadn’t even considered Hitchens’ original premise about addiction, but he argues very forcefully. Well worth the read and an almost unique example of someone openly accepting the power of a well-made argument. It might take more to convince the yoghurt-weavers, though!

  11. Vaila (@edav04)
    June 8, 2013 at 8:35 pm #

    Nice one James. Keep posting as you talk a lot of sense..

  12. Mike Paterson
    June 8, 2013 at 9:31 pm #

    Another technique – different from yours and a bit time-consuming but worth the effort – is that employed by Lord Tebbit on his blog: he answers them in the most courteous and gentlemanly way, as if talking to a long-cherished yet dim neighbour over the fence. Most disarming.

  13. orcadiana
    June 8, 2013 at 9:42 pm #

    Very entertaining piece James. Thank you.

  14. Keith L
    June 8, 2013 at 10:03 pm #

    Sad little trolls. Logic to them is like salt on slugs.
    Keep up the good work James.

  15. Simon in Brussels
    June 8, 2013 at 10:42 pm #

    Perhaps next time somebody says “But how can you ever grow as a person if you don’t learn the alternative point of view? How can you educate yourself?” you might ask whether they have already given this a go themselves. I imagine this encouragement is no longer needed, but if all your opponents are left with is volume and venom, they have probably lost the argument.

  16. ukipvoter
    June 8, 2013 at 10:52 pm #

    I agree with you here James, I used to do do a lot of blogging on Youtube, where you’re really putting your head on the line because people see you and judge you by the way you look and speak too. Whilst most of the comments were positive there were also some really nasty, abusive comments that were totally uncalled for. I don’t mind people politely disagreeing with me but I can’t stand ‘trolls’ who just abuse you for no good reason and they refuse to engage in meaningful debate. At first those sort of comments did upset me but then I realised actually I should probably feel sorry for them cos they are probably really unhappy people filled with anger and bitterness, who just want to take a stab at an easy target, so now I just ignore them and have a zero tolerance policy… if anyone is abusive or rude to me I just block them straight away, there’s no point wasting precious energy being dragged into their childish squabble!

  17. memoryvault
    June 8, 2013 at 11:00 pm #

    Fair enough from your point of view, James.

    But for some of us, troll-bashing is a full body contact, bare-knuckle blood-sport.

    We love it.

    • catweazle666
      June 11, 2013 at 12:49 pm #

      Indeed memoryvault.

      It’s nearly as much fun as bear-baiting – and it’s legal.

  18. Jeremy
    June 8, 2013 at 11:44 pm #

    A blog about bloggers’ reaction to a niche radio show inspired by commenters… to a blog and twitter. Jesus Christ James, you need to get out more!

  19. Jeremy
    June 8, 2013 at 11:46 pm #

    Yes yes, I realise I just posted this on a blog about the above things. But my point still stands!

  20. Phillip Bratby
    June 9, 2013 at 6:24 am #

    About 35 years ago I attended an after-dinner speech by the great Prof Hal Lewis (about nuclear power). He said there are three types of people. The technically switched on, such as his audience; the great mass of the people who are ignorant of the issues, but who are sensible enough to comprehend the arguments; and the dogmatic, anti-nuclear types, who are completely technically illiterate but who will never be persuaded of the truth because of their dogmatic, quasi-religious beliefs. He said there is no point trying to engage with the last group – it is a waste of time.

    Nothing has changed over the years – don’t try to engage with the extreme eco-nuts, it is a waste of time. Concentrate on the normal, but ill-informed people, who can be persuaded to see reality and the truth.

  21. Edward Wheatley
    June 9, 2013 at 7:17 am #

    It was a nice change not to have an AQ panel not made up of lib-lefty BBC apparatchiks for once.Looking forward to take 2

  22. Rastech
    June 9, 2013 at 9:13 am #

    The vast majority of people have been deliberately isolated, by being constantly bombarded with assertions that they are ‘alone’, and only ‘they’ think and feel the way they do.
    This is a great tool for the very tiny minority of utterly shameless scumbags, to create the illusion that somehow, ‘they’ are the vast majority, and that humanity is a truly nasty and repulsive creature (just like the scumbags).
    And boy do they profit from it.
    I used to call in quite regularly at the Centre for Alternative Technology at Mach. The original crowd were quite nice people. A bit incompetent at stuff that mattered (you only had to look at the stuff they made there), but they had a good bookshop with useful titles – being I lived off-grid it was nice to have easy access to some of them – and also a rather nice cafe that did very good salads.
    The original lot were driven out though (a bit like happened to Greenpeace and what became Enemies of the Planet), so I stopped calling.
    The thing is, you can’t change people. All you can do, is encourage them to change themselves, and for most of them, this happens quite naturally. It’s called growing up.
    Growing up happens when you see the things like the very real damage, and the terrible tragedy to families, with divorces and even suicides, of people who followed the likes of John & Sally Seymour and their writings, not comprehending that the Seymours relied on people paying them to do their work for them, and actually volunteering to do the physical work for them.
    Try doing what they only managed with an army of helpers, on your own ground, on your own, and you won’t feed your family or pay your bills. Worse, the customers of his books were encouraged to think that their neighbours, that had managed to successfully live on their land for generations, didn’t have a clue what they were doing, and any advice they offered, was somehow worthless because they were just a bunch of ignorant rural hicks.
    The School of Hard Knocks, where “We are from the City, we are Educated, we have read the Books, and We Know Better”[tm] is an extremely cruel teacher, and I have seen the results of those lessons, sometimes in frustration and despair, all too frequently. Naiveté can be an extremely dangerous affliction.

    These furiously righteous fools such as those staring at you in the audience, cannot be reasoned with, cannot be negotiated with, cannot be compromised with, because all they have ever done, is attack and attempt to destroy essential fundamentals.

    Mahatma Gandhi had it right in that respect:

    “All compromise is based on give and take, but there can be no give and take on fundamentals. Any compromise on fundamentals is a surrender. For it is all give and no take.”

    The only strategy with these deranged fanatics that can be contemplated, is their unconditional surrender.

    Which is how it has always been.

  23. Peter Whale
    June 9, 2013 at 10:49 am #

    Dellers give us a post on Yeo getting caught with his pants down, metaphorically.

  24. badgerostripeyoneIan McKenna
    June 9, 2013 at 10:51 am #

    There’s only one issue that I fundamentally disagree with you on, James.

    Which is remarkable, since I’m pretty cantankerous.

  25. John B
    June 9, 2013 at 11:05 am #

    Another comforting thought for you Mr D, is just how much pain and anguish you cause them for no great effort on your part.

  26. Old Goat
    June 9, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    Jolly good James – with you all the way. Enjoy your blogs, and enjoy wading in even more. Keep up the momentum. We eat trolls for breakfast, and spit out the pips, gristle, and bony bits.

  27. DougS
    June 9, 2013 at 12:35 pm #

    James, I only caught the last half hour of R4’s AQ but I really enjoyed hearing you stick it to the yoghurt weavers.

    As I’ve said before, I earnestly hope that your early BBC appearances, where you were accommodating and sweet to your Po-faced opponents is now a thing of the past.

    Slice them, dice them and kick them in the nuts (metaphorically speaking of course) at every opportunity – you’re at your very best when you do!

  28. Barry Corke
    June 9, 2013 at 1:59 pm #

    Bloody good work James. Keep it up!

  29. jazz606
    June 9, 2013 at 3:35 pm #

    I’m on a couple of sites where there is an optional ‘ignore’ list which I make full use of.
    I always welcome the trolls to it before closing the door.

  30. badgerostripeyone
    June 9, 2013 at 4:12 pm #

    I strongly disagree with James on one of his opinions.

  31. manicbeancounter
    June 9, 2013 at 8:17 pm #

    The trolls are only there to be an irritant. By the insults they want to demean and get you to give up. The professional propagandists use similar techniques. Make false accusations, misinterpret anything you say, and ascribe views to you that you do not hold.
    The problem is that they are trying to win an argument by negative campaigning. They will not win converts, but only put people off. It is an extreme version of Labour spin. It has guaranteed that voter turnout has dropped.
    Being a helpful sort of chap I have suggested three main ways that a positive PR campaign for global warming should be run, to help them win converts.
    First is to trumpet the short-term predictive successes.
    Second is to show that they are building on methods of the great scientists and philosophers of science.
    Third is to show a social conscience. Like a doctor prescribing a painful and risky sort of treatment, they would show that they are doing everything in their power to maximize the effectiveness of policy and minimize the adverse consequences, such as the impact on fuel poverty and opportunities for fraud.
    http://manicbeancounter.com/2013/05/29/three-positive-ways-to-counter-climate-denial/
    Seems a bit odd that nobody has thought of this before.

  32. jazz606
    June 10, 2013 at 7:49 am #

    Listened to AQ. There are some really dim folk about. Someone should put Hain out of his misery…what a creep.

  33. Francis Hughes
    June 10, 2013 at 2:57 pm #

    James – on page 66 of the latest Spectator you’ll find my picture. Because you do for me exactly what you describe (‘helping people who share my point of view realise they’re not alone’) – I would like to offer you my services (for very little!)
    Don’t let the shirt put you off.

  34. Elis Evans
    June 10, 2013 at 6:28 pm #

    but James, you are a slogan toting moron. You scream your opinions as loud as you can with little to no reliable evidence. i worked at CAT a few years ago, and most of the people there are veggies, but I’ve never eaten a single mung bean. Your line in the telegraph about how nid wales has never been so green is baseless bullshit. You’re not a scientist, you’re not an authority, you’re just a troll and a dick

    • catweazle666
      June 11, 2013 at 12:52 pm #

      A solid hit there, James, and no mistake!

      Well done, sir!

  35. Sarah Devonshire
    June 10, 2013 at 10:04 pm #

    God help us all – what puerility

  36. jamesdelingpole1
    June 11, 2013 at 8:36 am #

    Elis, Sarah, congratulations: I think you are Bogpaper’s first trolls. Welcome! As you’ll see from the piece – which I hope you read in full and didn’t just skim because you were so seething with rage it was all you could do even to grapple with the “ands” and “buts” – I don’t normally speak to trolls. But just this once let me explain something to you which applies to equally to all trollkind: calling someone you hate a “troll and a dick” just doesn’t cut it. Your impotent, inarticulate rage is worthless. The only way your half-baked opinions are ever going to count in this game is if you can attach to them some facts, logic, ideally an argument. “You are not a scientist” is true but beside the point. (look up argumentum ad verecundiam). The line about “mung beans” is a straw man – no sane person would read the piece and seriously imagine the author thought that EVERYONE at the Centre for Alternative Technology ate mung beans (or tofu or baby placenta or whatever it is you eco-weirdos do eat). I can understand why you’re cross. Your man-made-climate-change theory is bollocks and increasingly shown by the data to be bollocks. My advice is to have a nice aromatherapy session or to go to the healing sweat lodge. Venting here will do your karma no good at all.

    • grumpydenier
      June 11, 2013 at 10:11 am #

      You have such a way with words, James, and you encapsulate the feelings of every rational working man/woman who is fed up with having their lives dictated to by these deluded nincompoops.

  37. Clive Andrews (@CliveAndrews)
    June 11, 2013 at 10:04 am #

    “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”
    – Inigo Montoya, The Princess Bride

  38. Jaime Jessop
    June 11, 2013 at 11:26 am #

    Badgers, foxes and world-hunger destroying GM technology aside, James Delingpole is spot on in his scathing, scientifically informed and unwavering criticism of Green Fascism/Capitalism which has been foisted upon the long-suffering majority supposedly with the aim of saving us all from an imminent environmental apocalypse. We’ve had enough of being fleeced for having the audacity to use electricity and gas to keep warm in winter and for driving our cars/4x4s when there is no option but to do so – excluding those brainless, bone-idle parents who drive 200 yards to collect their obese offspring from school, that is. Carbon emissions do not cause runaway ‘dangerous’ global warming and the UK’s contribution to CO2 is NEVER going to be significant when compared to other major industrial economies. So stop screwing the populace on the basis of some purely ideological, misbegotten and woefully scientifically uninformed eco-crusade and get back to reality before serious numbers of people start DYING from cold-related illnesses in what looks to be a trend of increasingly cold winters.

  39. James Fraser
    June 11, 2013 at 11:44 am #

    James Delingpole – national treasure.
    Claire Balding – yeah, sure….

  40. JohnRS
    June 11, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    Elis, Sarah….please, please, pretty please reply.

  41. harrisonfoulkes
    June 11, 2013 at 5:47 pm #

    I was in that audience in a very small MAP group, grossly outnumbered of course. I just couldn’t believe how the sound engineers had made the programme sound almost normal. Anyway, we ended up talking to an eco-troll who just wouldn’t give up. Very aggressive, using terms like ‘we need an adult conversation’ and ‘if the people around here don’t like it they should move’. Turned out he is an immigrant – no idea where he came from but certainly a guest in our country. He couldn’t see that he behaved like someone who you had invited into your house, told you he needed to change the décor, and you could sod off if you didn’t like it. Waste of energy. You are so right. Hope to hear you again soon.

    • Tobi Kellner
      June 14, 2013 at 5:27 pm #

      @harrisonfoulkes (Ian?),

      the person who said “we need to have an adult conversation” and who is from Germany, that would be me.
      I most definitely didn’t say “if the people around here don’t like it they should move”.
      Funny you should pick on me being an “immigrant”. You know, that pretty much what the Welsh farmers I work with say about people who’ve lived in England all their lives, made loads of money in “industrialised” cities and then come to Wales for retirement (sometimes pricing local people out of the housing market in the process…) and then tell local farmers they can’t put up a wind turbine because it “spoils the view” for them.
      So do you really want to open the can of worms of talking about who are the “immigrants” in this debate?

      • jamesdelingpole1
        June 14, 2013 at 6:10 pm #

        Thanks for visiting Tobi. Here’s where I think your argument falls down: those Welsh farmers are not in the position to take any kind of moral high ground, nor are you in a position to invoke it on their behalf. Why? Because the wind farms they are putting up to spoil people’s views (and sorry, your defence of their doing this would be what, exactly?) are not some marvellous contribution to the local economy in which their skills and their property are put to good use. They are, quite simply, a device for fleecing the taxpayer which serves no useful purpose to anyone but themselves.

      • Tobi Kellner
        June 14, 2013 at 7:23 pm #

        James, for once I wasn’t even claiming any moral high ground, I was just suggesting to @harrisonfoulkes, that he should a) not quote me saying things I didn’t say, and b) be careful when complaining about “immigrants”.
        But since you mention it: Many local people would argue that using a local natural resource (wind) to bring income to local people does make a pretty good contribution locally.
        Yes, some of that money is subsidies that come out of other people’s electricity bills (not taxes, you got that wrong). And yes, some people do not like the looks of these turbines.
        But, let me tell you one thing: I’m a vegetarian (the yoghurt-knitting type, like Hitler, you know), and currently the agricultural subsidies for sheep farming (and these *do* come out of taxes) subsidise your meat, and I may not like the highly “industrialised” landscape (I hope it doesn’t come as a shock to you that short green grass isn’t the “natural” state of affairs) that livestock farming has created.
        But I’m not whining that this offends my sense of beauty, and I certainly don’t tell farmers they’re not allowed to make a living. I personally rather see my electricity bills go to farmers and community groups in my valley than to gas imports from Qatar.

      • jamesdelingpole1
        June 16, 2013 at 10:35 am #

        Tobi, you don’t understand basic economics do you. If – as they are – onshore wind turbines are subsidised to the tune of 100 per cent by the taxpayer, each “green job” costing the taxpayer £100,000 in subsidy, then wind farms are not generating any value at all. It would be cheaper simply to give those farmers cash hand outs for doing nothing – sparing the views. Your claim that wind is a “local natural resource” is laughable. Wind energy has no value in a free market because it is intermittent, unreliable and requires 100 per cent back up.

      • Tobi Kellner
        June 16, 2013 at 1:12 pm #

        James, should we both be doing something useful with our loved ones on a Sunday in June rather than debating for the sake of trying be get the other person to say “ok, you’re right”, while knowing it will never happen?
        Briefly: Wind power has an economic value, when wind turbines produce electricity (which is 80% of the time) that electricity replaces fossil fuel generation. We can predict wind power output well enough over a few hours to enable us to adjust fossil fuel generation to wind power output without significant efficiency penalties. I have studied this issue quite extensively, talked to people who actually work on this at the National Grid control room etc, on this one very small technical issue I would hope you can accept that I understand it better than you do. Yes, we still need 100% backup *capacity*, we need to keep the fossil fuel power stations for calm days but every wind turbine we install means we burn less coal/gas in them.The difference between capacity and fuel is an important one and often (deliberately?) misunderstood.
        Yes, you are right the economic value of the energy wind turbines produce (the value of the fossil fuel they replace) is smaller than the current levelised cost of wind power, it wouldn’t be attractive if there wasn’t also a subsidy.
        But unlike farming subsidies, this subsidy is doing what subsidies are meant to do: Increase the market so the technology can get cheaper, until eventually no more subsidy is required. And wind power is getting there fast.
        And, as one economist put it “When stacked up against the cost to taxpayers of disasters related to climate change, renewable-energy subsidies seem like a rather good deal.”
        http://www.economist.com/blogs/democracyinamerica/2013/06/energy-policy

  42. neilfutureboy
    June 12, 2013 at 4:41 pm #

    If it is only 1 of the multiple named trolls who turn out to be being a paid employee of the wind “industry” you have done remarkably well.

    Just as I have been asking for years, for a single scientist anywhere in the world who supports catastrophism and isn’t ultimately paid by the state – without anybody naming one – I have recently started asking if anybody can name a “green” activist who isn’t ultimately paid by the government. Again nobody has named a single one.

    This explains their particular vitriol – they are all simply paid hacks and have to make up in rudeness, and multiple nomenclature, what they actually lack in numbers.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Steynian 473nth | Free Canuckistan! - June 12, 2013

    […] We hate central planning; The destruction of our criminal justice system; Delingpole: Why I Don’t Talk To Trolls … […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: