DOMINIC LAWSON: The chilling truth about the Insulate Britain founder

DOMINIC LAWSON: Chilling truth about the Insulate Britain founder who said I will be ‘hanged for climate crimes’

Some of those Insulate Britain climate-change protesters, whose motorway sit-downs are as infuriating as they are pointless, have been exposed as hypocrites.

One, Liam Norton, admitted he had failed to insulate his own flat in London and stormed out of a radio interview when tested on this point.

Another, Cameron Ford, who spent his 31st birthday in a police cell after being dragged off the M25 by police officers, was embarrassed when it emerged that in 2020 he had toured across Europe in a diesel van (he had unwisely posted lots of pictures of his travels).

But at least these hypocrites had also put themselves in the line of fire. However inconsiderate their actions, it takes a certain courage to glue yourself to a motorway and face the fury of road users, some of the more muscular of whom (to general public rejoicing) have wrenched the demonstrators off the road. 

Yet the actual founder of Insulate Britain has not put himself out in this way. This is Roger Hallam, who has been telling his acolytes what to do either from his partner’s South London flat or from his ten-acre farm in Wales.

Insulate Britain protesters, whose motorway sit-downs are as infuriating as they are pointless, have been exposed as hypocrites including its founder Roger Hallam (left) who has not insulated his own home and Cameron Ford (right) who travelled round Europe in a diesel van

He gravitates between these two places, though how these frequent trips are made, in terms of road or rail use, is not known. (Five diesel-powered vehicles have been seen parked on his farm, but he insists none is his.)

The 55-year-old did once spend time in prison on remand: we can take it he did not find it such a pleasant experience that he wished to repeat it.

He has, however, been willing to enter the broadcasting studios to defend the blocking of motorways, notably after one woman was filmed pleading with Insulate Britain protesters to move because she was desperate to see her mother, who had been taken by ambulance to hospital.

Asked about that incident and whether he would have refused to move if there was someone dying in an ambulance, Hallam replied simply: ‘Yes.’

So you see, while he claims to be acting in the interests of suffering humanity, Mr Hallam is a callous man, and one who seems to obtain satisfaction in the contemplation of violence (performed by others, not himself, naturally).

A year ago, he was recorded telling his followers that the ‘people who run society, run big business’ whom he judged ‘culpable … for the climate catastrophe …maybe you should put a bullet through their head’.

One woman was filmed pleading with Insulate Britain to move from the Blackwall Tunnel because she was desperate to see her mother, who had been taken by ambulance to hospital

I am on his list of those apparently destined for execution. In July, after I wrote a column referring to him as ‘just a nasty piece of work’, he put up a film on YouTube under the title ‘Dominic Lawson will be Hanged for Climate Crimes’.

The film amounted to his case for the prosecution. Having some idea of criminal law in terms of incitement to violence, Hallam carefully added the words that he was merely predicting my execution, not advocating it.

He was less careful in the past. Two years ago, he was dumped by his German publishers after he told an interviewer for Die Zeit that the Holocaust was ‘just another f***ery in human history’, and by not recognising this, Germans were somehow prevented from correctly appreciating what he considered the much more significant threat to human lives from climate change.

He argued that, in this context, the Holocaust (in which two-thirds of Europe’s Jewish population were deliberately exterminated by the then German government) was ‘almost a normal event’.

As a result of this interview, Hallam was largely disowned — and financially cut off — by Extinction Rebellion (which he had co-founded). Insulate Britain is his attempt to regain his leadership of the climate-change protest movement.

If you look at the material it puts out to justify its behaviour (probably written by Hallam), you will see that Insulate Britain claims its disruption to people’s lives is in the tradition of the U.S. civil rights movement, Gandhi in India and those, such as the Suffragettes, who demanded the vote in this country before the universal franchise. 

Pictured: Insulate Britain protestors are dragged off the road by drivers at Wandsworth Bridge

This is, in its own way, offensive. We are not like pre-independence India. Not only do we have a democratically elected parliament, it is one that has legislated for a faster move to ‘net-zero emissions’ than any other large, developed nation.

The truth is Hallam has a contempt for the democracy that the Suffragettes campaigned for, or at least argues that elected politicians should be forced to agree to his own agenda. Insulate Britain says it won’t stop blocking the roads until that happens.

When Hallam has tried his hand at democratic means, the result has been abject failure. Standing in the 2019 European Parliament election in the London constituency, he won 924 of the 2,241,681 votes cast — 0.04 per cent of the total.

Since then, he has set up a political party called Burning Pink. In the 2021 London mayoralty election, its candidate came 20th out of 20. Even Count Binface (of the Count Binface party) won five times as many votes.

The effect of Hallam’s latest venture will be to render him and his ideas still more risible to the British voter.

Why does the Vatican appease China?

An extraordinary gathering of faith leaders assembled last week in the Vatican at the invitation of Pope Francis.

They were there to sign an appeal calling on the world’s leaders at next month’s Cop 26 climate conference to ‘take speedy responsible and shared action’ to reduce CO2 emissions.

Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, told them: ‘We have in the last 100 years declared war on the creation. The world has just enough time to get this right.’

While previous pontiffs have invited the Dalai Lama to the Vatican, Pope Francis (pictured) has been anxious to appease Beijing which regards the Tibetan leader as a dangerous subversive

Other delegates listening to this moral appeal represented faiths such as Islam, Judaism, Hinduism, Sikhism, Zorastrianism and Jainism.

But one notable faith leader, the head monk of Tibetan Buddhism, was not invited. This is the Dalai Lama, whose country was annexed by Communist China in 1950 and who has been in exile since 1959.

Previous pontiffs have invited the Dalai Lama to the Vatican, but the current Pope has been anxious to appease Beijing, which regards the innocuous leader of Tibetan Buddhism as a dangerous subversive.

Archbishop Paul Gallagher, the Vatican’s foreign minister (a Briton), admitted this exclusion was to avoid offending the Chinese Communist Party: ‘His Holiness the Dalai Lama appreciates that our relations [with China] are complicated.’

In fact, they are straightforwardly sycophantic. In 2018, one of the Pope’s closest Vatican colleagues, Bishop Marcelo Sorondo, declared that ‘those who are best implementing the social doctrine of the Church are the Chinese’ and that in (allegedly) defending the Paris Climate Accord, Beijing was ‘assuming a moral leadership that others have abandoned’.

The Dalai Lama, whose country was annexed by China in 1950 has been in exile since 1959

In reality, China is building more new coal-fired power stations than any other nation, and only days ago ordered its coal mines to ‘raise output with no compromise’.

It is also the world’s leading persecutor of religion. It has put over one million of its Uighur Muslim citizens in camps to brainwash them out of their unacceptable religious piety.

And just last week, it arrested members of a Christian evangelical movement whose megachurch in Shanxi province was blown up with dynamite by the Chinese authorities in 2018.

In short, the Vatican-led ‘faith leaders’ moral appeal to the world’s politicians’, in excluding the Dalai Lama, is corrupted by its own tawdry political arrangements.

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