Richard A. E. North

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For other people of the same name, see Richard North (disambiguation).
Not to be confused with Richard D. North, conservative commentator and former environmental correspondent.

Richard Anthony Edward North[1] is a British blogger and author. He has published books on defence and agriculture.[2] In 2006 his blog was rated by the Financial Times as the UK's most influential political blog.[3] North was previously research director in the European Parliament for the now-defunct political grouping Europe of Democracies and Diversities, which included the UK Independence Party (UKIP).

North has collaborated with journalist Christopher Booker on climate change, public health and other issues.[4] North has co-authored a number of books with Booker, as well as collaborating on Booker's journalism.

Background[edit]

North had "a brief career in the Royal Air Force"[5] before becoming a local government officer, and then for two decades ran his own consultancy business.[5] A 1994 contribution to the Institute of Economic Affairs's journal Economic Affairs described him as "an independent food safety adviser".[6] "He then moved into trade politics and thence to the European Parliament as research director for the group of European Democracies and Diversities,"[5] a grouping of eurosceptic political groupings which existed from 1999 to 2004, in which the UK Independence Party (UKIP) participated. At the European Parliament in Strasbourg he shared an office with UKIP's leader Nigel Farage.[7]

In the 1990s North completed a PhD[5] on public sector food-poisoning surveillance at Leeds Metropolitan University.[1]

North stood for the Referendum Party in the 1997 election, in South Derbyshire, having joined the party in 1996.[8] In the 2004 European elections North was UKIP's number one candidate on the party list for the Yorkshire region, until he was supplanted by Godfrey Bloom,[9] who won a seat. North later resigned from UKIP, describing his service for the party as "optimism, descending into frustration, to disillusionment and to betrayal".[10][11]

European Union[edit]

In the early 1990s North began collaborating with journalist Christopher Booker, co-publishing on a range of issues, including the European Union. Their first book, The Mad Officials: How The Bureaucrats Are Strangling Britain (1994) focused on EU regulation in the UK, and was followed by The Castle of Lies: Why Britain Must get Out of Europe (1996) and The Great Deception: Can the European Union Survive? (2005). In 2004 he published a Bruges Group paper on the European Union's Galileo satellite navigation system.[12]

Health[edit]

North and Booker wrote a special edition for Private Eye on the 2001 United Kingdom foot-and-mouth outbreak, describing the subsequent merger of the Agriculture (MAFF) and Environment ministries to form the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) as the "most cynical makeover since Windscale changed its name to Sellafield".[13] North's 2001 book The death of British agriculture: the wanton destruction of a key industry included some of the same health issues in terms of their negative effect on British agriculture: "Struggling under the onslaught of successive crises – the effects of the Common Agricultural Policy and the bureaucratic demands of the EU; food scares from salmonella to BSE; the spread of intensive farming and the concentration of buying power in the hands of the retail giants – British farming has been brought to its knees."[14]

More recently North collaborated with Booker on Scared To Death: From BSE To Global Warming, Why Scares Are Costing Us The Earth (2007), a study of the part played in Western society in recent decades by the 'scare phenomenon'.

Defence[edit]

North's 2009 sole-author book, Ministry of Defeat 2003–2009: The British in Iraq, was reviewed in the Daily Telegraph.[15] North also blogs on defence matters, and is credited by Booker with early contributions to the criticism of the Ministry of Defence's use of under-protected Land Rovers in Afghanistan.[16][17] In 2003 he published a Centre for Policy Studies paper on UK defence policy.[18]

Climate change[edit]

North has written about and commented on climate change from a sceptical position, including co-authoring (with Christopher Booker) Climategate to Cancun: The Real Global Warming Disaster Continues..., the followup to Booker's The Real Global Warming Disaster. North also collaborated with Booker in January 2010 on what Booker dubbed "Amazongate",[19] [20] when North showed that an IPCC claim that 40 percent of the Amazonian forests could react drastically to "even a slight reduction in precipitation" was sourced to a World Wildlife Fund report. While North was correct to point out that the report was not peer-reviewed scientific literature,[19] it later became clear that there was evidence supporting the report's claim, based on research by "the respected Amazon Environmental Research Institute(IPAM)".[21] The Sunday Times printed an apology and retraction for an article based on material from North.[21]

In December 2009, Christopher Booker and Richard North published an article in The Sunday Telegraph in which they accused Rajendra Pachauri, chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), of using his position for personal gain,[22][23][24][25] with a follow-up Telegraph article in January 2010.[26]According to George Monbiot, "The allegations ... were widely aired in the media and generally believed."[24] On 21 August 2010, The Daily Telegraph issued an apology,[23] and withdrew the December article from their website,[24] having reportedly paid legal fees running into six figures. Pachauri described the original allegations as "another attempt by the climate sceptics to discredit the IPCC."[27] After the retraction, North "called The Telegraph's retraction and apology 'meaningless' and the result of 'blackmail' by Pachauri's lawyers. The story 'stands uncorrected,' North stated, though he presented no evidence to support his claims that Pachauri had earned millions of dollars from consulting and other ventures since becoming the head of the United Nations panel."[28]

Other[edit]

In 2006 North's allegations that Hezbollah had staged some of the aftermath of the Qana airstrike were widely aired in international media.[29]

In 2006 North wrote on his blog, "if being wrong gets one closer to the truth – as it does – then it is worth putting up half-formed speculation and letting the debate rage."[30]

Books[edit]

  • (with Christopher Booker), The Mad Officials: How The Bureaucrats Are Strangling Britain (1994)
  • (with Christopher Booker), The Castle of Lies: Why Britain Must get Out of Europe (1996)
  • The death of British agriculture: the wanton destruction of a key industry, Gerald Duckworth and Company, 2001
  • (with Christopher Booker), The Great Deception: Can the European Union Survive?, Continuum Publishing, 2005
  • (with Christopher Booker), Scared to Death: From BSE to Global Warming: Why Scares are Costing Us the Earth, Continuum Publishing, 2007
  • Ministry of Defeat 2003–2009: The British in Iraq 2003–2009, Continuum Publishing, 2009
  • The Many Not the Few: The Stolen History of the Battle of Britain, Continuum Publishing, 2012

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b McSpotlight, Richard North curriculum vitae
  2. ^ Continuum Publishing, Ministry of Defeat: The British in Iraq 2003–2009
  3. ^ Christopher Booker, 15 October 2006, Christopher Booker's Notebook
  4. ^ Christopher Booker, Daily Telegraph, 30 July 2006, Christopher Booker's notebook
  5. ^ a b c d Bruges Group, Columnists
  6. ^ Richard North, "The Regulatory Crisis of the 1990s: Some Solutions", Economic Affairs, 14(4), June 1994, pp23–27
  7. ^ Daniel (2005:103)
  8. ^ Daniel (2005:34)
  9. ^ Mark Daniel, Cranks and gadflies: the story of UKIP, Timewell Press, 2005. p105
  10. ^ Daniel (2005:138)
  11. ^ Alan Sked, Daily Telegraph, 30 May 2004, As founder of the UKIP, I will vote Tory
  12. ^ Christopher Booker, 1 January 2006, Christopher Booker's notebook
  13. ^ Andrew Rowell. Don't worry, it's safe to eat: the true story of GM food, BSE, & Foot and Mouth. Earthscan, 2003. p188
  14. ^ Richard North, The death of British agriculture: the wanton destruction of a key industry, Gerald Duckworth and Company, 2001, cover quote
  15. ^ Daily Telegraph, 18 July 2009, Ministry of Defeat: the British War in Iraq 2003–2009 by Richard North: review
  16. ^ Christopher Booker, 27 January 2008, Christopher Booker's Notebook
  17. ^ Christopher Booker, 23 December 2007, Christopher Booker's Notebook
  18. ^ Richard North (2003), The Wrong Side of the Hill, Centre for Policy Studies
  19. ^ a b Booker, Christopher (30 January 2010). "Amazongate: new evidence of the IPCC's failures". The Sunday Telegraph. Archived from the original on 26 August 2010. Retrieved 14 May 2010. 
  20. ^ BBC, 30 January 2010, Harrabin's Notes: IPCC under scrutiny
  21. ^ a b "Leakegate: A retraction". RealClimate. Retrieved 27 November 2010. 
  22. ^ Christopher Booker and Richard North, The Sunday Telegraph, 20 December 2009, Questions over business deals of UN climate change guru Dr Rajendra Pachauri
  23. ^ a b Daily Telegraph, 21 August 2010, Dr Pachauri – Apology
  24. ^ a b c George Monbiot, 26 August 2010, Rajendra Pachauri innocent of financial misdealings but smears will continue
  25. ^ The article was titled "Questions over business deals of UN climate change guru Dr Rajendra Pachauri." According to George Monbiot (26 August 2010), "The subtitle alleged that Pachauri has been "making a fortune from his links with 'carbon trading' companies". The article maintained that the money made by Pachauri while working for other organisations "must run into millions of dollars".
  26. ^ Christopher Booker and Richard North, 17 January 2010, The Sunday Telegraph, The curious case of the expanding environmental group with falling income
  27. ^ Hindustan Times, 21 August 2010, Daily Telegraph apologises to Pachauri
  28. ^ John Collins Rudolf, New York Times, 26 August 2010, A Newspaper Apologizes to United Nations’ Climate Chief
  29. ^ Die Zeit, 10 August 2006, Rat der falschen Wächter: Wie Blogger im Libanonkrieg Propaganda betreiben
  30. ^ Christian Science Monitor, 9 August 2006, A blogger shines when news media get it wrong

External links[edit]