institute of economic affairs

The Landed Gentry ‘Jackals’ Claiming Billions in Farm Subsidies

Wealthy aristocrats and farmers in Britain have landed £3.6 BILLION from hugely controversial European subsidies funded by taxpayers, according to new figures snuck out after the general election.

The revelations today will be hugely embarrassing for many of the super-rich farming benefits claimants - including those who have publicly attacked the scheme.

Lord Ridley, the famous science writer and Tory peer, is a free market zealot who has for decades lambasted the state-backed subsidy of farmers. He claimed £333,860.23 directly and through businesses and family trusts in the last year alone. 

Steve Hilton Masterminded Cameron's Climate Crusade - But Was it Just Greenwash?

The International Policy Network was one of the UK’s most prominent climate-denying think tanks but in 2011 it closed its doors as science triumphed over ideology. The DeSmog UK history series continues.

The International Policy Network (IPN) was an offspring of Antony Fisher’s free market think tank, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), and its board was composed of Fisher’s two children, Linda Whetstone and Michael Fisher.

But Whetstone’s son-in-law, Steve Hilton, would by happenstance turn out to be the architect of the IEA's greatest woes. In 2011, the think tank closed its doors, apparently due to an internal battle where science finally overwhelmed both ideology and the lure of dirty oil funding. 

How David Cameron Beat Out a Climate Denier for Tory Party Leadership in 2005

In this DeSmog UK’s epic history post we take a look at how David Cameron’s rhetorical flourish beat down climate denier David Davis to win the Conservative Party leadership.

David Davis was among the few fantastically sceptic Conservative MPs and also one of the closest to the free-market think tank, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) when, in 2005, he stood for leader of the party.

The then-shadow home secretary inspired hopes that the glory days of the Thatcher era were about to return to the crumbling Westminster offices of the IEA.

How an Environmental Journalist Became an Apologist for the Fossil Fuel Industry

The DeSmog UK epic history series turns to Richard D North, an environmental journalist who later took money from ExxonMobil, placing blame on consumers rather than fossil fuels for causing climate change.

During the ‘90s and early 2000s, ExxonMobil money was being refined through the London-based offices of free market think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) before sloshing into the pockets of British journalists, including one admired environmental correspondent.

Richard D North was editor of the radical Vole magazine, the first environment editor hired by the left-liberal Independent newspaper, and “was one of the most respected environment correspondents in the 1980s.”

But then, inextricably, he had a change of heart and by 1995 had “become an apologist for industry”.

How the Free Market Friendship Between Julian Morris and Roger Bate Came to an End

This DeSmog UK epic history post recalls the falling out between long-term friends and free marketeers Julian Morris and Roger Bate.

The free market International Policy Network (IPN) was launched amid much fanfare in 2001 with Julian Morris and Roger Bate at the helm. Almost immediately John Blundell, the director of the Institute of Economic Affairs and IPN board member closed down the Environment Unit.

The war against climate science was about to embark on a new journey, with a purpose built think tank ready to take to the front line. The IPN would try and convince the world that free market economics - and climate denial - were in the interests of the poorest people and the most impoverished countries.

The IPN tried at first to keep its funding from ExxonMobil and British American Tobacco secret, fearing journalists would not take them seriously if the vested interests of their financial backers were known. And it was only a few years before Morris and Bate apparently fell out - with Bate being the first of the three men to leave for the United States.

Morris and Bate were long-term friends and started a company together, and were known to most people in the sceptic community as a brilliant double act. 

How David Henderson Became One of the IPCC’s Most Able and Determined Foes

In this DeSmog UK epic history post we meet David Henderson, who accidentally became one of the IPCC’s fiercest opponents.

David Henderson is a fellow of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) where he is valued as an eloquent and modest advocate of radical free market capitalism. But, his engagement with climate scepticism “came about in an entirely unplanned and fortuitous way.”

The former head of the economic division of the state-funded international Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) was, in April 2003, spending his retirement busily devising a book which he planned to call False Consensus: Dark Visions and Collectivist Remedies.

This is What Happened When Former BP Boss Lord Browne Called for Action on Climate Change

Our latest DeSmog UK epic history post looks at what happened when former BP boss Lord John Browne called for government regulation to reduce carbon emissions.

John Browne was chief executive of British Petroleum and one of the most fêted and celebrated business leaders of his generation.

The son of a British Army officer and a Hungarian Auschwitz survivor, Browne joined the company as an apprentice in 1966 before a genuinely meteoric rise through the management, reaching the apex in 1995.

What You've Always Been Getting Wrong About Big Tobacco Funding Climate Deniers

The DeSmog UK epic history series marches on as Roger Bate continues to court the tobacco industry. He was a man on a mission. This is part two of an epic history double-feature.

How a Tobacco-Funded Think Tank Recruited Scientists in the Attack Against Climate Change

The DeSmog UK epic history series continues with the first in a double-bill feature on how the European Science and Environment Forum joined the sceptics’ vitriolic attack on climate science.

Roger Bate, head of the Environment Unit at the free market think tank, the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), was an extremely energetic man.  

Not only did Bate (pictured) help to organise the first major climate denial conference in Britain, hosted by the IEA in 1995, but he also established his own think tank, the European Science and Environment Forum (ESEF), by turning the contacts he made into funders and contributors.

The Secret Love Affair Between Roger Bate and Big Tobacco

Our latest DeSmog UK epic history post reveals how the once-hidden romance between Roger Bate of the Institute of Economic Affairs and Big Tobacco became a public affair.

The relationship between the young Roger Bate and the Big Tobacco companies is intriguing.

Bate was recruited as head of the Institute of Economic Affairs’ (IEA) Environment Unit. As such, he midwifed British climate scepticism, offering to place stories in the Financial Times and The Wall Street Journal as a representative of a health charity.

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