institute of economic affairs

Wed, 2014-12-03 00:01Brendan Montague
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The Kochtopus Spreads its Tentacles To Strangle Climate Science

DeSmog UK tells the story of how the ideologically matched and politically inseparable Blundell and Dr Fred Singer became close and controversial allies, in our epic history series.

One evening John Blundell arrived at the Hickory Farm neighbourhood watch meeting in Virginia, and to his surprise discovered he was living close to Dr S Fred Singer, who he had met on the free market think tank circuit.

Singer was with his new wife Candice Crandall, who Blundell had met separately as a press officer at the Koch funded George Mason University (GMU).

Thu, 2014-11-27 00:01Brendan Montague
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Chick Lit Star Dana Is Living The Dream - Her Husband Is Every Climate and Cancer Campaigner’s Worst Nightmare

The beautiful and talented Dana Bate is living the American dream - her second populist chick-lit novel is currently arriving in bookstores across Britain and the United States.

But never judge a book by its cover. Behind her gleaming smile and professional friendliness hides a very American nightmare.

Dana is frantically publicising the latest in her oeuvre, A Second Bite At the Apple or The Stall of Second Chances, travelling across the US in December and a setting out on a “UK blog tour” which leads us right up to Christmas.

Wed, 2014-11-26 08:13Brendan Montague
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How Charles Koch Sent His Emissary to London to Launch Climate Denial

Climate denial was imported from the United States to Britain by a free market idealist employed by the billionaire oil baron Charles Koch. DeSmog UK tells their story for the first time in a two-part longread from our epic history series. 

John Blundell was an idealist. A curious, unassuming and softly spoken conservative. When a sixteen-year-old school student living in a three-storey semi-detached house in the affluent suburbs of Congleton, Cheshire, his father handed him an Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) pamphlet: “I was sitting up in bed, it was 1969 when I was trying to decide on A levels.

My dad was on the agricultural economy faculty at Manchester University and went to the library and brought home a pile of things to make sure I knew what I was doing,” Blundell told me just months before he passed away. “I was already leaning toward the market philosophy.”

Wed, 2014-11-12 06:26Kyla Mandel
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Sacked Environment Secretary Dodges Question on Whether he Will Challenge Conservative Party Leadership

Owen Paterson dodged questions last night on whether he’s organising a challenge to the Conservative Party leadership in the run-up to next May’s general election.

The sacked environment secretary simply answered “it’s a private dinner, you better ask the organisers,” as he left an event discussing the future of the free market economy.

Wed, 2014-11-12 01:10Brendan Montague
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Climate Denier Lord Lawson And The Art of Nest Feathering

Nine days after Lawson resigned protesters in East Berlin began tearing down the Berlin Wall, but a Lawson free from political restraints began forging his own doctrine in the newly available markets to the east, in his bid to remain in power and in the company of the world's industrial leaders.

Tue, 2014-11-04 23:14Brendan Montague
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Lawson's Break with Thatcher Over Her Free Market Zealotry

Lawson is almost always introduced as Thatcher's chancellor — but he was instrumental in her downfall. And once again, the tobacco- and oil-funded Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) and its radical free market ideology was at the heart of the debacle. 


Margaret Thatcher's chancellor Lord Nigel Lawson's last public engagement as chancellor was at the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), where he was joined by Sir Geoffrey Howe: “It was a happy if piquant occasion,” Lawson would remember.

“Here were the two ministers who, of all Margaret's cabinet colleagues, had probably done most over the previous ten years to roll back the frontiers of socialism.”

Secretly, however, both Lawson and Geoffrey Howe were on the verge of breaking with Thatcher.

Fri, 2014-09-26 04:19Brendan Montague
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How Free Market Economics Was Smuggled into Britain - Alongside Factory Farming

The founder of the Institute of Economic Affairs argued free markets needed honesty. But his own financial success was based on smuggling - and the IEA was itself conceived with the help of a white lie.

Antony Fisher was determined to support Friedrich von Hayek's international campaign to transform the ideology of the age. But it took almost a decade, and a remarkable reversal of fortunes, for his ambitions to take form.

Fri, 2014-09-19 04:46Brendan Montague
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Quite a Chain of Consequences for a Chicken Farmer!

Antony Fisher founded the think tanks in Britain that first promoted climate denial. His dramatic life story is a vital morality tale for those concerned about climate change. Picture: Antony (right) and Basil at Eton.

Without Fisher, no IEA; without the IEA and its clones, no Thatcher and quite possibly no Reagan; without Reagan, no Star Wars; without Star Wars, no economic collapse of the Soviet Union. Quite a chain of consequences for a chicken farmer.”

So remarked Oliver Letwin MP in the Times in 1994. Two decades later and he might add, “no slander of climate science, and no sabotage of government action on global warming”.

Wed, 2014-09-10 05:19Brendan Montague
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From Neoliberalism to Climate Denial: “You must start with beliefs. Yes, always with beliefs."

Antony Fisher makes Margaret Thatcher beam

The first part of our epic history of climate denial opens with our hero's harrowing experience during the Battle of Britain and the war against totalitarianism

His parachute was engulfed in flames. Antony Fisher and his younger brother Basil were engaged in a fierce firefight over the rolling hills of Sussex on 15 August 1940 after a crack Nazi squadron launched a surprise bombardment of their airbase during a decisive day in the Battle of Britain.

“Things looked very stern, with the odds against us,” Anthony Eden, the Minister for War, wrote that very evening after having met with Prime Minister Winston Churchill in the War Office. “[T]his was to be one of the critical days of the war.”

Tue, 2014-09-02 06:47Brendan Montague
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Exposed: Lawson’s Climate Denial Donors’ Links to Tobacco and Oil Backed Think Tank

Nigel Lawson and Neil Record

Launch of new Global Warming Policy Forum mired by new revelations linking former chancellor to oil and tobacco-funded climate denial think tank

Lord Lawson faces increasing scepticism about the independence of his climate denial charity as the names of two of his anonymous donors with links to the tobacco and oil funded Institute of Economic Affairs are disclosed for the first time.

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