Unearned access to the microphone

Tony’s been teasing Chuck. Excellent.

Tony Blair attacked the “anti-science brigade” yesterday for threatening Britain’s path to the future. He condemned the “outrageous distortion” of campaigners against pioneering technologies, insisting that they had to be defeated. His remarks at the King’s Centre, Oxford, will be taken as a thinly-veiled swipe at the Prince of Wales. Prince Charles has dismissed GM-food trials as unethical…Scientists would have a role in all the “big questions of our time – climate change, the spread of infectious diseases, water supply, biodiversity, terrorism,” said Mr Blair who confessed that he was a science “refusenik” at school. But he stressed the need to win the “irrational public debate” often surrounding scientific research. Without referring to Prince Charles or other campaigners by name, Mr Blair condemned the “powerful and vocal lobby, with access to all the media channels” that opposed technological breakthrough.

Exactly – with access to all the media channels. That’s the part about P. Charles that is so annoying. (Applies to P. Bush, too, as a matter of fact.) He has, because of an accident of birth, access to media channels that scientists (and architects and other assorted victims of P.C.’s whims) can only dream of. If he had any sense, it would occur to him that therefore he ought to take massive care not to abuse the privilege, instead of which he abuses it up one side and down the other. He makes the world a present of his uninformed opinions on technical subjects, instead of realizing that his influence and ability to mouth off are out of all proportion to his merit, his knowledge, his expertise, his insight, his ability to judge – and he does it on subjects with life and death consequences. It’s really quite revolting (as it is in the case of P. Bush, who also has every reason to be modest and careful).

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