[In the cold light of day, and no longer pissed out of my mind, I’ve changed the first paragraph of my reply to Lucy Davies.]
I’d got a lot to say here about two important affairs
1) the thorough demolition of Lewandowsky by José Duarté at
ably commented by JoNova at
2) The recent events in Paris, and their implications for free speech.
But I’ve just received this email, which refers to my article here:
Dear Mr Chambers,
I am the Executive Producer at the Royal Court Theatre, which recently commissioned and produced 2071, written by Duncan Macmillan and Chris Rapley. It has been brought to my attention that you have made an unauthorised recording of the production, transcribed the playtext, and published it in full online. As this is a breach of both our trust and the writers’ legal copyright, I kindly request its removal from your site.
We chose not to produce a playtext as there is a publishing deal in process which your publishing of the text also prejudices.
I will let the copyright holders / writers and their representatives know about this communication. I trust you will agree to respect their legal rights and take down the text immediately.
In anticipation of your understanding and co-operation.
Royal Court Theatre
020 7565 5050
I would greatly appreciate it if anyone reading this who can provide legal advice would contact me in the comments.
I’m not ready to become a martyr to climate catastrophism over the burblings of a depressive playwright who thinks the world would be a better place if he’d never been born; a director who drags her daughter round Europe on night trains in order to avoid adding to the greenhouse gasses emitted by Ryanair; and a second-rate scientist who licked the arse of a minister (Ed Milliband) by hiring a PR agency to put on a show in the Science Museum of which he was director in order to help the minister’s party to win an election, and who wrote a glowing review on Amazon of a book to which he had written the preface (a book in which a number of psychoanalysts and psychotherapists describe their efforts to make their patients more unhappy than they were before); and who loses no opportunity to describe those who disagree about the exact figure for the climate sensitivity to CO2 as “denialists”.
On the other hand, this mail suggests that I am legally obliged to censor a post on my blog. I am unwilling to do this for the following reasons:
I’ve spent the best part of the last four days following the news here in France about the most terrible attack on humanist values that we’ve seen in Europe since the second world war. I know the attacks in London (I was there) and Madrid killed more people, but the difference is in the fact that the Paris attack was targeted on a particular group (and I’ll have a lot to say at another time about Charlie Hebdo).
My feelings about censorship are complicated, as they must be for anyone who is capable of a moment’s reflection. Like many millions, I imagine, I have been affected by the recent events in Paris, and, as a foreigner living in France for the past thirty-odd years, I’ve been forced to revise my opinions about “les valeurs de la République”. [My first request for a “Carte de Séjour” was refused – illegally – thirty years ago by someone at the Paris Palais de Justice where I stood in line with a load of Cambodian and African “demandeurs d’asile politiques”. Once married to a French citizen, I made my first “demande de citoyenneté française. Then, because I moved house, I found that I would have to start all over again, and let it drop.]
End of autobiography.
Recent events in France provide a useful platform for defending the idea of freedom of speech with respect to the question of climate change.
I have frequently expressed my opinion on the censorship of opinion on the subject of climate change, as expressed in the report to the BBC Trust by Professor Steve Jones, or by the editor of Guardian Environment when he declared that “Global Warming was “Official Guardian Policy” (independently of whether temperatures rose or fell?) – that this was anti-science, irrational, and therefore should not be supported by those who believe in free speech.
In the mean time, let me reply to the email from Lucy Davies, Executive Producer at the Royal Court Theatre, Sloane Square:
Go fuck yourself.
I don’t quite understand. Is the text of Messrs Rapley and Macmillan a warning to the world that the human race is in danger? (in which case I have performed a service to mankind in bringing it to the notice of the billions who weren’t privileged to hear it recited at the Royal Court.) Or is it the most boring load of nonsense ever uttered on stage cobbled together by a couple of ignorant tossers out to make a fast buck? (In which case I will limit myself to quoting the most boring 15% and leave it to others to quote the rest.)
The recent production to which you refer is clearly designed to change the habits of the entire world, as was the previous performance at the Royal Court written by Stephen Emmott and directed by the same Katie Mitchell.
Both shows were performed before audiences of a few thousand spectators at most. Both performers (Emmott and Rapley) expressed the desire to change the politics of the western world with their performances. Emmott suggested that this would be done by people teaching their children how to kill people. Professor Rapley didn’t go so far, but he seemed to suggest that far-reaching changes would be necessary in our behaviour, without explaining exactly how these changes would come about. The Royal Court normally publishes the scripts of their plays. The Emmott script eventually emerged as a Penguin book. The on-line blurb suggesting that readers teach their children how to kill people was withdrawn, (possibly due to my criticisms).
When Rapley deigns to publish his burbling, I will be happy to reply in a civilised fashion. In the meantime, I will maintain my transcript of his nonsense at