Christopher Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
"Christopher Monckton" redirects here. For the musician and travel agent, see Christopher J. Monckton.
The Right Honourable
The Viscount Monckton of Brenchley
photograph
In Washington, D.C. (January 2010)
Personal details
Born (1952-02-14) 14 February 1952 (age 62)
Political party UK Independence Party
Spouse(s) Juliet Mary Anne Malherbe Jensen
Relations Rosa Monckton (sister), Timothy, Jonathan, and Anthony (brothers)
Parents Major-General Gilbert Monckton (deceased) and Marianna Letitia Bower
Education MA in classics, 1974; diploma in journalism studies
Alma mater Churchill College, Cambridge
University College, Cardiff
Occupation Politician, journalist
Religion Roman Catholicism

Christopher Walter Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, SMOM (born 14 February 1952) is a British public speaker[1] and hereditary peer. He is known for his work as a journalist, Conservative political advisor, UKIP political candidate, and for his invention of the mathematical puzzle Eternity.[2]

Early on in his public speaking career topics centred on his mathematical puzzle and conservative politics.[1] In recent years his public speaking has garnered attention due to controversial views on climate change,[3][4][5][6] the European Union,[7] and social policy.

Personal life

Monckton is the eldest son of Major-General Gilbert Monckton, 2nd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, SMOM (1915–2006), and Marianna Letitia (nee Bower), former High Sheriff of Kent, SMOM (born 1929). He has three brothers, Timothy, Jonathan and Anthony and a sister, Rosa, wife of journalist Dominic Lawson.

Monckton was educated at Harrow School and Churchill College, Cambridge, where he received his B.A. (Classics, 1974, now M.A.), and at University College, Cardiff, where he obtained a diploma in journalism studies. In 1990, he married Juliet Mary Anne Malherbe Jensen.

Monckton is a liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Broderers, an Officer of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, a Knight of Honour and Devotion of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, and a member of the Roman Catholic Mass Media Commission. He is also a qualified Day Skipper with the Royal Yachting Association, and has been a trustee of the Hales Trophy for the Blue Riband of the Atlantic since 1986.[8]

Upon the passing of his father in 2006 Monckton inherited the title Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, but as this was after the House of Lords Act 1999 he did not inherit his fathers position in the House of Lords.

Career

Journalism

Monckton joined the Yorkshire Post in 1974 at the age of 22, where he worked as a reporter and leader-writer. From 1977 to 1978, he worked at Conservative Central Office as a press officer, becoming the editor of the Roman Catholic newspaper The Universe in 1979, then managing editor of The Sunday Telegraph magazine in 1981. He joined the London Evening Standard newspaper as a leader-writer in 1982.[8] After a hiatus in his career as a journalist Monckton became assistant editor of the newly established, and now defunct, tabloid newspaper Today in 1986. He was a consulting editor for the Evening Standard from 1987 to 1992 and was its chief leader-writer from 1990 to 1992.[8]

Since 2002 Monckton has had several newspaper articles published critical of the IPCC and current scientific consensus on climate change.[9][10][not in citation given]

Entrepreneurship

In 1995, Monckton and his wife opened Monckton's, a shirt shop in King's Road, Chelsea.[11]

In 1999, Monckton created and published the Eternity puzzle, a geometric puzzle that involved tiling a dodecagon with 209 irregularly shaped polygons called "polydrafters". A £1 million prize was won after 18 months by two Cambridge mathematicians.[12] By that time, 500,000 puzzles had been sold. Monckton launched the Eternity II puzzle in 2007, but, after the four-year prize period, no winner came forward to claim the $2 million prize.

Monckton is a director of Resurrexi Pharmaceutical. It is claimed to be "responsible for invention and development of a broad-spectrum cure for infectious diseases."[13] In the BBC documentary, "Meet the Sceptics" (2011), he claimed he had cured himself of Graves' disease.[14] UKIP's CV for Monckton claims that his methods have produced cures for multiple sclerosis, influenza, and herpes, as well as reducing the viral load of an HIV patient,[13] but on Australian radio, Monckton refrained from claiming any cures.[15]

Political career

Political advisor for Thatcher Conservative Party

In 1979, Monckton met Alfred Sherman, who co-founded the pro-Conservative think tank the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS) with Margaret Thatcher and Keith Joseph in 1974. Sherman asked Monckton to take the minutes at the CPS's study group meetings.[16] Monckton subsequently became the secretary for the centre's economic, forward strategy, health and employment study groups.[17] He wrote a paper on the privatisation of council housing by means of a rent-to-mortgages scheme that brought him to the attention of Downing Street.[16] Ferdinand Mount, the head of the Number 10 Policy Unit and a former CPS director, brought Monckton into the Policy Unit in 1982.[17] He was recruited as a domestic specialist with responsibilities for housing and parliamentary affairs,[18][19] working alongside Mount and Peter Shipley[20] on projects such as the phasing out of council housing.[18] He left the unit in 1986 to join the Today newspaper.[17][21]

Monckton has asserted that he served as science adviser to Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher during his years with the Number 10 Policy Unit, and that "it was I who—on the prime minister's behalf—kept a weather eye on the official science advisers to the government, from the chief scientific adviser downward."[22] John Gummer, who was Environment Minister under Thatcher, however, has claimed Monckton was "a bag carrier in Mrs Thatcher's office. And the idea that he advised her on climate change is laughable."[23] Writing in The Guardian, Bob Ward of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment notes that Thatcher's memoirs, The Downing Street Years, do not mention Monckton and credit George Guise with the role of science advisor.[22]

Standing for Conservative Representative in House of Lords

Monckton inherited a peerage after the passing of the House of Lords Act 1999,[24] which provided that "[n]o-one shall be a member of the House of Lords by virtue of a hereditary peerage".[25][26]

Monckton stood unsuccessfully in four by-elections for vacant seats created by deaths among the 92 hereditary peers remaining in the Lords after the 1999 reforms. He first stood for a Conservative seat in a March 2007 by-election, and was among 31 of 43 candidates who received no votes.[27] He subsequently stood in the crossbench by-elections of May 2008,[28] July 2009,[29] and June 2010,[30] again receiving no votes. He was highly critical of the way the Lords was reformed, describing the procedure in the March 2007 by-election, with 43 candidates and 47 electors, as "a bizarre constitutional abortion."[31]

Spokesperson and candidate for UK Independence Party

Monckton joined the UK Independence Party (UKIP) in 2009 and became its chief spokesperson on climate change.[32][33] At the 2010 general election he was nominated as the UKIP candidate for the Scottish constituency of Perth and North Perthshire; although a hereditary peer, he was entitled to stand for election for the House of Commons as he is not a member of the House of Lords. He subsequently withdrew in accordance with UKIP's policy of not opposing other Eurosceptic parliamentary candidates.[34] In June 2010, UKIP announced he had been appointed its deputy leader, to serve alongside David Campbell Bannerman[35] under party leader Lord Pearson of Rannoch, who owns an estate in Scotland adjoining Monckton's.[36] He was succeeded in the role of deputy leader by Paul Nuttall in November 2010.[37]

In 2011 he stood as lead party-list candidate for UKIP in the Scottish Parliament constituency of Mid Scotland and Fife[38] but did not gain election, with the UKIP list coming seventh after scoring 1.1% of the region's vote.[39] Monckton also headed UKIP's policy unit for a while but according to the party's spokesman he had relinquished any formal role by June 2012, moving into a "semi-detached" relationship with UKIP.[36] By January 2013 he had become UKIP's president in Scotland[40] but was sacked by UKIP leader Nigel Farage in November 2013 following factional infighting.[41]

Public speaking

Since 2008 he has toured Britain, Ireland, the US, China, Canada, India, Colombia, South Africa, and Australia delivering talks to groups related to the subject of Climate Change. As the Chief Policy Adviser for the US lobby group Science and Public Policy Institute he appeared at the Heartland Institute's 2008 "International Conference on Climate Change".

In 2009–10 he was invited on four occasions before Congress to testify by Republican representatives. On March 25, 2009 he appeared before the U.S. House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment, and in 2010 before the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming invited by Jim Sensenbrenner.[42] He followed this up with his January 2010 and July 2011 tours of Australia and New Zealand, as well as tours of China and India in December 2011. He was invited again to the US in 2012 by Republican Shannon Grove to speak before the California State Assembly[43] and later in the year travelling to Australia at the invitation of Democratic Labor Party Senator John Madigan.[44]

On 6 December 2012 Monckton took Burma's seat at the COP18 Climate Change Conference in Doha without permission and made a short speech attacking the idea of man-made climate change. He was escorted from the building and given a lifetime ban from attending UN climate talks. Monckton said that there had been no global warming over the last sixteen years, and thus the science should be reviewed.[45]

Between 2009 and 2010 the film maker Rupert Murray followed Monckton on his climate change tour. The film was later broadcast on 31 January 2011 on BBC Four titled Meet the Sceptics. Prior to its broadcast its depiction of Monckton was described by fellow sceptic James Delingpole as "another hatchet job"[46] and Moncktons attempted injunction failed.[47]

Dispute over membership in the House of Lords

Monckton asserts that the House of Lords Act 1999, that deprived him of a hereditary seat, is flawed and unconstitutional. In 2006 he referred to himself as "a member of the Upper House of the United Kingdom legislature" in a letter to US Senators,[48] and has also claimed to be "a member of the Upper House but without the right to sit or vote."[49] The House of Lords authorities have said Monckton is not and never has been a member and that there is no such thing as a non-voting or honorary member of the House.[6][34]

In July 2011 the House of Lords took the "unprecedented step" of publishing online a cease and desist letter to Monckton from the Clerk of the Parliaments, which concluded, "I am publishing this letter on the parliamentary website so that anybody who wishes to check whether you are a Member of the House of Lords can view this official confirmation that you are not."[25][26]

Political views

Climate change

Monckton is a critic of the models of anthropogenic climate change.[46][50] He says a greenhouse effect exists,[51] and that CO2 contributes to it. He questions whether there is a "causative link" from CO2-concentration to global average temperature.[52] He doubts the economic calculations, based on a zero discount rate, relating to climate change responses in the Stern Review saying it had underestimated the costs of mitigation and overstated its benefits.[53]

These opinions have brought Monckton into conflict with scientist John P. Abraham. After Professor Abraham criticized Monckton's claims in a lecture at Bethel University,[54][55] Monckton "initiated the ... disciplinary charges of wilful academic dishonesty amounting to gross professional misconduct" against Abraham.[56][57][58] The University of St Thomas's lawyers wrote to Monckton that "The University of St Thomas respects your right to disagree with Professor Abraham, just as the University respects Professor Abraham's right to disagree with you. What we object to are your personal attacks against Father Dease, and Professor Abraham, your inflammatory language, and your decision to disparage Professor Abraham Father Dease and The University of St Thomas."[59]

Social and economic policy

One of Margaret Thatcher's policy advisors, Monckton was credited with being "the brains behind the Thatcherite policy of giving council tenants (public housing) the right to buy their homes."[60] Monckton was a sponsor of the Conservative Family Campaign in the 1990s.[61] Monckton has been associated with the Referendum Party, advising its founder, Sir James Goldsmith. In 2003 he helped a Scottish Tory breakaway group, the Scottish Peoples Alliance.[60]

In 1988, Eddy Shah: Today and the Newspaper Revolution described Monckton as "a fervent, forthright and opinionated Roman Catholic Tory"[62] who has been closely associated with the "New Right" faction of the Conservative Party.[63] In 1997, Monckton criticised works at the Fotofeis (the Scottish International Festival of Photography) and Sensation as "feeble-minded, cheap, pitiable, exploitative sensationalism perpetrated by the talent-free and perpetuated by over-funded, useless, muddle-headed, middle-aged, pot-bellied, brewer's-droopy quangoes which a courageous Government would forthwith cease to subsidise with your money and mine."[64]

Statement on AIDS in 1987

In a 1987 article for The American Spectator, "AIDS: A British View", Monckton argued "there is only one way to stop AIDS. That is to screen the entire population regularly and to quarantine all carriers of the disease for life. Every member of the population should be blood-tested every month ... all those found to be infected with the virus, even if only as carriers, should be isolated compulsorily, immediately, and permanently." This would involve isolating between 1.5 and 3 million people in the United States ("not altogether impossible") and another 30,000 people in the UK ("not insuperably difficult"). The article concluded that current Western sensibilities would not allow this standard protocol for containing a new, fatal and incurable infection to be applied: therefore, he said, many would needlessly die. Andrew Ferguson, then assistant managing editor of The American Spectator, denounced it in the letters column of the same issue.[65] Monckton appeared on the BBC's Panorama programme in February 1987 to discuss his views and present the results of an opinion poll that found public support for his position.[63] Monckton has since stated "the article was written at the very outset of the AIDS epidemic, and with 33 million people around the world now infected, the possibility of [quarantine] is laughable. It couldn't work." He also said that this standard protocol could have worked at the time; that senior HIV investigators had called for it; and that many of the lives that have been lost could have been saved.[66]

European integration

Monckton has been a Eurosceptic, an opponent of European integration. In 1994, he sued the Conservative government of John Major for agreeing to contribute to the costs of the Protocol on Social Policy agreed in the 1993 Maastricht Treaty, although the UK had an opt-out from the protocol. The case was heard in the Scottish Court of Session in May 1994. His petition for judicial review was dismissed by the court for want of relevancy.[67] In a 2007 interview he said he would "leave the European Union, close down 90 per cent of government services and shift power away from the atheistic, humanistic government and into the hands of families and individuals."[7]

Published works

The Science and Public Policy Institute, of which Monckton is policy director, has published nine non peer-reviewed articles by Monckton on climate-change science.[68]

References

  1. ^ a b "Christopher Monckton profile: Viscount Monckton of Brenchley (£8,000–£25,000)". Parliament Speakers. 
  2. ^ "The Eternity puzzle solved". BBC News. 2 October 2000. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  3. ^ "Climate deniers to send film to British schools". The Independent. 2 October 2007. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  4. ^ Christopher Monckton (4 November 2006). "Climate chaos? Don't believe it". Telegraph. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  5. ^ Christopher Monckton (12 November 2006). "Wrong problem, wrong solution". Telegraph. Retrieved 20 July 2010. 
  6. ^ a b Leo Hickman (11 August 2010). "Lords distance themselves from climate sceptic Christopher Monckton". The Guardian. Retrieved 20 February 2011. 
  7. ^ a b "'I'm bad at doing what I'm told. I'm a born free-thinker' – The 5-Minute Interview", The Independent, 24 August 2007
  8. ^ a b c Who's Who 2007, p. 1599
  9. ^ Christopher Monckton (17 December 2010). "The climate bugaboo is the strangest intellectual aberration of our age". The Telegraph. 
  10. ^ Christopher Monckton (5 November 2006). "Climate chaos? Don't believe it". The Telegraph. 
  11. ^ "The Undie-Serving Rich". Evening Standard. 10 November 1995. 
  12. ^ "£1m Eternity jackpot scooped". BBC News Online (BBC). 26 October 2000. 
  13. ^ a b "Christopher: A man of many talents". UKIP.co.uk. 
  14. ^ Rupert Murray "Meet the Climate Sceptics", Storyville, 3 February 2011.
  15. ^ Carlisle, Wendy (17 July 2011), The Lord Monckton Roadshow (Transcription and podcast), Background Briefing, Australia: Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 46min 48sec, retrieved 2 September 2012, "We cannot claim that we can cure anything." 
  16. ^ a b Cockett, Richard (1995). Thinking the unthinkable: think tanks and the economic counter-revolution 1931–1983. HarperCollins. ISBN 978-0-00-637586-9. 
  17. ^ a b c Kandiah, Michael; Seldon, Anthony (1997). Ideas and think tanks in contemporary Britain, Volume 2. Routledge. pp. 59, 62. ISBN 978-0-7146-4771-5. 
  18. ^ a b "Tory project to phase out council houses". The Times. 6 December 1982. p. 1. 
  19. ^ "Policy unit at full strength". The Times. 6 November 1984. 
  20. ^ "Two more advisers at No 10". The Times. 25 November 1982. 
  21. ^ Womersley, Tara (22 June 2001). "Puzzle inventor sells £1m home to Chanel model". The Daily Telegraph. 
  22. ^ a b Ward, Bob (22 June 2010). "Thatcher becomes latest recruit in Monckton's climate sceptic campaign". Retrieved 30 May 2012. 
  23. ^ "British MP calls for a carbon tax". Australia: ABC. 21 March 2011. Retrieved 30 May 2012. 
  24. ^ "House of Lords Act 1999 (original text)". 11 November 1999. Retrieved 21 May 2008. 
  25. ^ a b Hickman, Leo (18 July 2011). "Climate sceptic Lord Monckton told he's not member of House of Lords". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 July 2011. 
  26. ^ a b "Letter to Viscount Monckton of Brenchley from the Clerk of the Parliaments" (Press release) (in English). House of Lords. 15 July 2011. Retrieved 18 July 2011. 
  27. ^ "Conservative Hereditary Peers' By-election, March 2007: Result". British Parliament. 7 March 2007. Retrieved 13 April 2013. 
  28. ^ "Crossbench Hereditary Peers’ By-election, May 2008: Result". 22 May 2008. 
  29. ^ "Results: Crossbench hereditary Peers' by-election following the death of Viscount Bledisloe". 15 July 2009. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  30. ^ "Results: Crossbench Hereditary Peers’ by-election". 23 June 2010. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  31. ^ Beckett, Andy (24 February 2007). "Born to run: There are 47 voters, 43 candidates, and the race to be elected a hereditary Tory peer is on. Is this democracy at last in the House of Lords?". The Guardian. Retrieved 30 April 2008. 
  32. ^ Vaughan, Adam (11 December 2009). "In denial: Lord Monckton's climate change rant at activists". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 26 March 2010. 
  33. ^ "Viscount Monckton warned off Lords membership claim". BBC News. 18 July 2011. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  34. ^ a b Hickman, Leo (20 April 2010). "Lord Monckton throws his safari helmet in the ring as Ukip candidate". The Guardian. 
  35. ^ "Lord Monckton is new deputy leader". UK Independence Party. 3 June 2010. Retrieved 7 July 2010. 
  36. ^ a b "Rio+20 summit: the final day as it happened". The Guardian. 22 June 2012. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  37. ^ "NEC unanimous on new UKIP team". UK Independence Party. 8 November 2010. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  38. ^ "Invitation to Stirling on Sun 3 April 2011". UKIP. 31 March 2011. Retrieved 15 April 2011. 
  39. ^ "Scottish parliamentary results 2011". Fife Council. Retrieved 25 June 2012. 
  40. ^ Muir, Hugh (10 January 2013). "Hugh Muir's Diary". The Guardian. Retrieved 25 January 2013. 
  41. ^ Hutcheon, Paul (1 December 2013). "Ukip 'wiped out' north of the Border after its Scots leader is sacked". The Herald. Retrieved 11 December 2013. 
  42. ^ Leo Hickman (21 September 2010). "'Chemical nonsense': Leading scientists refute Lord Monckton's attack on climate science". theguardian.com. 
  43. ^ Romm, Joe (19 March 2012). "California GOP Invite Discredited Hate-Speech Promoter Lord Monckton To Address Legislature!". ThinkProgress.com. 
  44. ^ McIlroy, Tim (4 November 2012). "DLP invites climate change sceptic Lord Monckton to Ballarat". TheCourier.com.au. 
  45. ^ Harvey, Fiona (7 December 2012). "Ukip's Lord Monckton thrown out of Doha climate talks". The Guardian. Retrieved 7 January 2014. 
  46. ^ a b James Delingpole (31 January 2011). "Meet The Sceptics: another BBC stitch-up". Telegraph.co.uk. 
  47. ^ "BBC wins battle over climate show". Independent.co.uk. Associated Press. 31 January 2011. 
  48. ^ "Uphold Free Speech about Climate Change or Resign". Frontiers of Freedom. 11 December 2006. Retrieved 17 December 2010. 
  49. ^ Monckton, Christopher (14 July 2010). "Questions from the Select Committee Concerning My Recent Testimony". Science & Public Policy Institute. 
  50. ^ George Monbiot (9 June 2010). "Monckton's climate denial is a gift to those who take the science seriously". Guardian.co.uk. 
  51. ^ Sunday Telegraph, 5 November 2005
  52. ^ Christopher Monckton (7 January 2009). "Temperature Change and CO2 Change – A Scientific Briefing". Gscienceandpublicpolicy.org. Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  53. ^ Christopher Monckton (12 November 2006). "Wrong problem, wrong solution". The Telegraph. 
  54. ^ "Abraham presentation". University of St Thomas, Minnesota. 
  55. ^ John P. Abraham. "John P. Abraham Published texts and Rebuttals to Monckton". 
  56. ^ Monckton, Christopher. "Climate: The Extremists Join the Debate at Last!". Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  57. ^ Christopher Monckton. "Response to John Abraham" (PDF). WattsUpWithThat Blog. 
  58. ^ George Monbiot (14 July 2010). "Monckton's response to John Abraham is magnificently bonkers". Guardian.co.uk. 
  59. ^ "Correspondence between Lord Monckton and Prof. John Abraham, and the University of St Thomas". Retrieved 3 October 2011. 
  60. ^ a b Leppard, David. "Top Tory in a kilt hit by visa 'racket' case", The Times, 3 October 2004
  61. ^ "Persuaded to act otherwise". The Independent. 3 April 1992. 
  62. ^ MacArthur, Brian. Eddy Shah: Today and the Newspaper Revolution, p. 154. David & Charles Publishers, 1988; ISBN 0-7153-9145-3
  63. ^ a b Virginia Berridge. AIDS in the UK: The Making of a Policy, 1981–1994, p. 132. Oxford University Press, 1996; ISBN 0-19-820473-6
  64. ^ Christopher Monckton (23 September 1997). "'It is feeble-minded, exploitative sensationalism perpetrated by the talent-free'". The Scotsman. 
  65. ^ Bawer, Bruce (1993). A place at the table: the gay individual in American society. Poseidon Press. p. 75. ISBN 978-0-671-79533-7. 
  66. ^ Ray Moseley (14 August 1999). "Ertl In Puzzle As Gay Group Protests". Chicago Tribune. 
  67. ^ "Lawful for UK to contribute to European social policy costs – Scots Law report", The Times, 12 May 1994
  68. ^ Science and Public Policy Institute – Monckton Papers[dead link]

External links

Peerage of the United Kingdom
Preceded by
Gilbert Monckton
Viscount Monckton of Brenchley
2006–present
Succeeded by
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
David Campbell Bannerman
Deputy Leader of the UK Independence Party
2010
Succeeded by
Paul Nuttall