Christopher Monckton

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Christopher Walter Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley (born 14 February 1952) is a former British journalist and right wing political activist.

Contents

Early life

The eldest son of the 2nd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, Monckton was educated at Harrow School, Churchill College, Cambridge and Cardiff University. He joined the Yorkshire Post in 1974 and then worked as a press officer at the Conservative Central Office from 1977–79. In 1979, he became the editor of the Catholic newspaper, The Universe and then as the managing editor of The Sunday Telegraph's Magazine in 1981.[1]

Conservative adviser

In 1983 he returned to the Conservative offices again, this time as Margaret Thatcher's policy adviser. Three years later, he became assistant editor of the newly-formed newspaper, Today. His final job in journalism was as a consulting editor of the Evening Standard from 1987–1992.

Monckton was a director of his own, namesake consultancy company, Christopher Monckton Ltd., between 1987 and 2006, when he retired through ill health. He is also a member of the Worshipful Company of Broderers, an Officer of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem and a Knight of Honour and Devotion of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Upon the death of his father in 2006, Monckton inherited his title.[2]

On 19 May 1990 he married Juliet Mary Anne Malherbe Jensen.[3]

At the Downing Street Policy Unit

Monckton worked at the Policy Unit on local government issues, including the Poll Tax. As the Economist observed:

Not all policy areas have brought success. The unit has done little to stem the government's disasters in local government. The unit's lead man there (until an illness this summer) was the Hon Christopher Monckton, whose tastes run to the Tridentine mass, buttonholes and bowler hats. But the general reputation of the policy unit within Whitehall is high.[4]

Monckton blamed the Poll Tax on his colleague Oliver Letwin. 'He [Monckton] would have saved us from poll tax by scrapping local taxation and adding to VAT, but he got sick and in his absence the foppish Oliver Letwin had decided that a universal tax was too 'intellectually satisfying' to ignore.'[5]

HIV/AIDS

Monckton intervened in the debate about HIV/AIDs in the 1980s, writing an extensive report on the subject in 1987 for a little known group called Policy Search, with a preface by Dr. John Seale.[6] In an 'author's note' Monckton thanked Sir Alfred Sherman, Nigel Morgan, Melanie Walsh, Hilary West and Sergeant Graham Barton of Policy Search, who 'gave me an office at 14 Tufton Street, SW1 and a great deal of helpful advice and support'.[7] the note also thanks 'those who have read the manuscript and have made constructive comments': George Bunton, formerly a surgeon at University College Hospital, Dr. Jonathan de Pass, Andrew Roberts, Robert Fleming Securities Ltd, Dr Georges Kaye Cromwell Hospital, Dr. David O'Connell, Graham Webster-Gardiner, Conservative Family Campaign, Andrew Lownie, John Farquharson and Co..[8]

In it he advocated 'mandatory annual screening' for everyone aged 13-65[9], the introduction of an officially issued but voluntary 'AIDS-FREE card' and 'in extreme cases' the 'quarantining of AIDS carriers... if the figures from the national tests demonstrated that it was essential'.[10] Publicity on HIV and AIDS should be 'redrafted to include at least a modicum of morality', wrote Monckton.[11]

Years later Monckton reminisced:

He would have averted the Aids epidemic (having produced 'probably the first working model for the transmission of this particular kind of retrovirus in the UK', he insisted to the cabinet on compulsory testing of adults, legally enforced 'restricted association' for people who were HIV positive, but nothing was done). 'Lobby groups howled. The homosexual lobby said we know you, you're a Catholic, you don't like queers.'[12]

Eternity Puzzle

In 1999, he created the eternity puzzle, a large dodecagon-shaped boardgame with 209 smaller irregularly shaped polygons. Offering a £1m prize and expecting the puzzle to be solved a few years later (when, hopefully, enough revenue from sales would have been raised), it was solved within 18 months. Although pleased the puzzle had been solved, Monckton was said to have been compelled to sell his £1.5m home, Crimonmogate, in Aberdeenshire, in June 2001, to cover the payout. However, the prize was in fact met by a combination of royalties and prize-indemnity insurance.

Climate Sceptic

In September 2007, a court action was launched to stop the British government from distributing Al Gore's The Inconvenient Truth. Jonathan Leake reports:

Monckton was one of the backers of Stewart Dimmock, the Kent lorry driver and school governor who took the government to court for sending copies of Gore's film to schools. The two are connected through the New party, a right-wing group whose manifesto was written by Monckton and of which Dimmock is a member.[13]

Together with the court action Monckton has funded the distribution of Martin Durkin's The Great Global Warming Swindle:

The distribution of The Great Global Warming Swindle is being funded by Viscount Monckton, who is part of a counter-campaign to undermine the scientific consensus on climate change.

Jonathan Leake further reports:

Monckton has obtained funding from a right-wing Washington think tank, the Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI), to create a second film that will also be sent to schools. Entitled Apocalypse No, it parodies Gore, showing Monckton presenting a slide show in a vitriolic attack on climate change science. Bob Ferguson, president of the SPPI, said: "We have filmed Christopher [Monckton] making a presentation to the Cambridge University Union . . . It could be sent out quite soon. We want to inform the public and policy makers that there are different views on climate change."[14]

Threatening Monbiot

On occasion, Monckton has threatened media who have been critical of his "theories", and Monbiot relates:

The guardians of free speech in Britain aren't above attempting a little suppression, either. The Guardian and I have now received several letters from the climate sceptic Viscount Monckton threatening us with libel proceedings after I challenged his claims about climate science. On two of these occasions he has demanded that articles are removed from the internet. Monckton is the man who wrote to Senators Rockefeller and Snowe, claiming that their letter to ExxonMobil offends the corporation's "right of free speech".[15]

Affiliations

References, Resources and Contact

Publications

Resources

References

  1. Ref needed
  2. Ref needed
  3. Ref needed
  4. Terribly decent chaps The Economist September 8, 1984, World politics and current affairs; BRITAIN; Pg. 23 (U.S. Edition Pg. 57)
  5. Tim Adams 'THE INTERVIEW: A favourite policy adviser of Mrs Thatcher in the Eighties, the 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley is now the country's most notorious climate-change sceptic and has thrown down a challenge to Al Gore to a public debate on global warming. What does he know that we don't? Only that he has never been wrong' The Observer (England) May 6, 2007 Pg. 6
  6. Christopher Monckton, The Aids Report: An examination of public health policy on AIDS, London: Policy Search, 14 Tufton Street, Westminster, SW1, May 1987.
  7. Christopher Monckton, The Aids Report: An examination of public health policy on AIDS, London: Policy Search, 14 Tufton Street, Westminster, SW1, May 1987.
  8. Christopher Monckton, The Aids Report: An examination of public health policy on AIDS, London: Policy Search, 14 Tufton Street, Westminster, SW1, May 1987.
  9. Christopher Monckton, The Aids Report: An examination of public health policy on AIDS, London: Policy Search, 14 Tufton Street, Westminster, SW1, May 1987, Summary p. 5
  10. Christopher Monckton, The Aids Report: An examination of public health policy on AIDS, London: Policy Search, 14 Tufton Street, Westminster, SW1, May 1987, Summary p. 6
  11. Christopher Monckton, The Aids Report: An examination of public health policy on AIDS, London: Policy Search, 14 Tufton Street, Westminster, SW1, May 1987. Summary, p. 7
  12. Tim Adams 'THE INTERVIEW: A favourite policy adviser of Mrs Thatcher in the Eighties, the 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley is now the country's most notorious climate-change sceptic and has thrown down a challenge to Al Gore to a public debate on global warming. What does he know that we don't? Only that he has never been wrong' The Observer (England) May 6, 2007 Pg. 6
  13. Jonathan Leake, Please, sir - Gore's got warming wrong, Times Online, 14 October 2007.
  14. Leake, ibid.
  15. George Monbiot, There is climate change censorship - and it's the deniers who dish it out, Guardian, 10 April 2007.
  16. Vanessa Thorpe 'Puzzle inventor in gay rights row', The Observer, July 25, 1999, SECTION: The Observer News Page; Pg. 5
  17. Stephen Cook 'People diary' The Guardian (London), April 22, 1987
  18. Mr Patrick Robertson and Mr Christopher Monckton 'Euro-sceptics and the Conservative policy divide', Letter to The Times October 7, 1992, Wednesday
  19. Vanessa Thorpe 'Puzzle inventor in gay rights row', The Observer, July 25, 1999, SECTION: The Observer News Page; Pg. 5
  20. Media Lens, “Red Herring” - Al Gore, The Climate Sceptics And The BBC, 17 October 2007.
  21. Leake, ibid.
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