Thursday this week I returned to my old sixth form Greenhead College for a Green Question Time session. No Labour or Conservative representatives were available but the 'Greenest Government Ever' was represented by Liberal Democrat Cllr Ann Denham and we had the treat of a UKIP representative in the form of Godfrey Bloom MEP. He's a fully paid up climate change denier and believes its all part of a conspiracy to make lots of money. I of course got stuck into him and defended his right to believe manmade climate chamge didn't exist, I also said I would defend his right to believe in Pixies if he so wished. All good fun but it was the students who really impressed me. After Godfrey told them not to accept anything they were told at face value they took him at his word and relentlessly challenged him on the rather dodgy 'evidence' he presented. Godfrey's the chap who has referred to Greenpeace as terrorists and defended the action of the French when they blew up the Rainbow Warrior killing one of the crew. He also has some rather 'traditional' some may say old fashioned views about the role of women. He had a young familiar in the audience who blamed Greenpeace for the deaths of thousands from malaria in Africa due to their opposition to the widespread use of DDT. You could spot him he was the only one in a suit. The Greenhead Students rounded on him too.
Godfrey represents a constituency of opinion, not one of knowledge, not of logic, just opinion. There is a foaming mouth tendency among certain folk which is reflected by groups like the Taxpayers Alliance, the Daily Mail and of course UKIP. They recognise cost but not value, they would rather be wrong than be seen as 'politically correct' and they don't just deny climate change but change and reality in general. The problem is with people like Godfrey being simple folk is they give simplistic explanations of the world around them, that linked with his cut price Boris Johnson characteristics means that he can be a hit with a not too discriminating audience. This definitely wasn't the case at Greenhead College however.