Extinction Rebellion’s war on the working class

These eco-poshos are full of loathing for the aspirational poor.

Brendan O'Neill

Brendan O'Neill


We need to talk about the class dynamic in Extinction Rebellion. Surely everyone can see it. This eco-alarmist cult includes in its ranks a Belgian princess, the granddaughter of a baronet, and a public-school Guardianista descended of aristocracy.

And who do these poshos target? The working-class men of Smithfield meat market. The working families of Billingsgate fish market. And the good people of London just trying to get to work or to jet off on a much-needed break from the vagaries of life in capitalist society. These plummy millenarians can use all the pseudo-progressive language they like – the rest of us know that the XR uprising is class war waged by eco-elites against the apparently unenlightened little people.

Extinction Rebellion gets posher by the day. Last week it was announced that the 1,300 agitators arrested in London included Princess Marie-Esméralda of Belgium, daughter of Leopold III. ‘The climate emergency calls on all of us to put pressure on governments to act with urgency’, she said.

A little further down the aristocratic scale there is Tamsin Omond, the granddaughter of a baronet. She’s a former member of the implacably snobby anti-flying group Plane Stupid, whose website once denounced the ‘enormous growth in binge-flying’ and in particular the ‘proliferation of stag and hen nights to Eastern European destinations chosen not for their architecture or culture but because people can fly there for 99p and get loaded for a tenner’. Eurgh, those frightful oiks travelling around the world, how grotesque.

On the first day of Extinction Rebellion’s takeover of central London, Ms Omond got married to her long-time girlfriend on Westminster Bridge, which the middle-class crusties had of course shut down to the plebs… I mean, to the general public. It was like an aristocratic colonisation of the public square. So what if you paupers need to get to work, or to St Thomas’s hospital, or to an airport? Don’t you know a daughter of extreme privilege is getting married on the bridge?! Know your place, hoi polloi.

Everywhere you turn on an XR protest you’ll hear a plummy accent or see a Hampstead-and-Highgate mum glueing herself to a bus to try to raise the awareness of the braindead commuters therein. One of the key speakers at XR protests has been George Monbiot, educated at Stowe (£36,000 a year) and descended from the Salmon family that owned the vast cake-and-tea empire J Lyons. ‘Let them not eat cake!’, is the cry of these eco-aristos who essentially want to deny the masses the thing that they themselves have long enjoyed – wealth and comfort.

What is most striking is who this silver-spoon brigade is protesting against. Mr Monbiot and various middle-class vegans descended on Smithfield meat market to shame the largely working-class people who make their living there. As one of the Smithfield workers told LBC, thanks to this ‘happy-clappy mob’ and their interference with Smithfield, ‘I’m not going to be able to pay my bills’. In any other era, if posh people prevented the less well-off from making a living, we’d call it class war – now we call it environmental campaigning.

When these wealthy greens got bored of mocking meat workers, they headed to London’s Billingsgate fish market to take the piss out of its equally hard-working traders. In many coastal English towns and working-class parts of East London, there is a genuine concern among ordinary people that the fishing industry is in trouble. They want it to be propped up, so that they can continue to make a living. Yet in waltz the Oxbridge know-alls of Extinction Rebellion to tell the fish-gutting rabble that they are wrong and that they should be put out of business. What a nasty mob.

From its invasion of meat and fish markets to its blockage of airport entrances to its hectoring of everyday commuters who apparently aren’t paying enough attention to the ‘climate emergency’, this eco-aristocracy constantly attacks ordinary people. It openly calls for their lives to be made harder. XR’s demand that carbon emissions be cut to ‘net zero’ by 2025 would lead to untold job losses, an end to driving, and virtually no more flying. Indeed, XR types call for massive taxes on flying, which would have the impact of pricing the non-rich out of the skies.

Stowe’s star green activist George Monbiot put it best in his old book Heat. Environmentalism, he said, is ‘a campaign not for abundance but austerity, not for more freedom but less…’. It is a campaign ‘against other people’, he argued. Such honesty. With XR, we can take it a step further: environmentalism is now very clearly a campaign against ordinary people by wealthy people; a campaign for austerity being led by people who in many cases grew up in great privilege.

Is there not something a little grotesque about people whose families have enjoyed comfort for generations agitating against those who have enjoyed comfort for one or two generations, or who still haven’t attained it at all?

We shouldn’t be surprised. Environmentalism has long had a strong streak of class hatred. From the filthy rich David de Rothschild’s 2007 guide to living more austerely to Jonathon Porritt (the Eton-educated son of Lord Porritt) heading up Friends of the Earth; from Prince Charles’ demand that we all live more eco-meekly to Prince Harry’s shameless moaning about flying even as he takes a private jet to Elton John’s swanky pad; from Plane Stupid’s posh protests against plebs flying out of Stansted Airport to the sirs and ladies who head up the various efforts to curb population growth (shudder) – green politics has always been led by the posh, and has always been targeted at the lower orders.

This isn’t a coincidence. It is written into the very heart of the green worldview. Boil it down and this supposedly progressive movement is really just a modern version of the aristocratic, anti-modern, anti-natalist misanthropy that has been a feature of certain upper-class circles ever since the Industrial Revolution cranked into action. XR’s inconveniencing of working people’s lives isn’t a mere tactic – it is the fundamental essence of this movement that dreams of plunging us back into the poverty that we only recently escaped from.

Brendan O’Neill is editor of spiked and host of the spiked podcast, The Brendan O’Neill Show. Subscribe to the podcast here. And find Brendan on Instagram: @burntoakboy

Picture by: Getty.

To enquire about republishing spiked’s content, a right to reply or to request a correction, please contact the managing editor, Viv Regan.


Knew bulls

21st October 2019 at 12:18 am

Quoting silly sod Monbiot out of context, is still quoting out of context.

You wrote:

“It is a campaign ‘against other people’, he argued. Such honesty.”

He wrote:

“Strangest of all, it is a campaign not just against other people, but against ourselves.”

Brian Burnell

19th October 2019 at 6:30 pm

I have a suggestion to help resolve the problem, quite a few of the problems in fact.

Erect a guillotine on Westminster Bridge and keep it well-supplied with aristocratic fodder.
It worked well enough before when the aristos got too uppity.
We could even recycle the by-products

Broccoli Smith

18th October 2019 at 9:03 pm

I’m a working class vegan and I despise XR. However, the actions at Billingsgate and Smithfield were a different group, an offshoot called “Animal Rebellion” — I think AxR are flawed in aligning themselves to XR, but in this instance their target was legitimate.

People have been waging a war against animals for centuries, and the amount of profit in these death industries is not ‘working class’ no matter how cockney their accents are.

There has to be change, but it has to be grass roots — it isn’t about spoiling people’s enjoyment, it’s about saving lives.

Steve Clark

15th October 2019 at 9:06 am

The posh brigade can afford to join XR , while the rest of us are too busy trying to earn a living and put food on the table

Patiently Waiting

15th October 2019 at 3:11 am

Who funds Extinction Rebellion??? This cult’s Saint Greta didn’t arise from a burning bush: Bono, the eco-hypocrite; George Soros whose Globalist Agenda is devised to create neo-slavery; and, Bill Gates whose relationship with Jeffrey Epstein is finally coming under scrutiny– are herding their privileged Useful Idiots towards the kind of world that anybody who isn’t fabulously rich will regret.

When working and poor people challenge the hypocrisy of virtue-signalers ala Meghan Markle and Harry whose obscene spending would make Caligula blush — we’re threatened — if not with lawsuits, with censorship. The rich and powerful want to silence those of us who have been sacrificing for years… who recycle… who contribute to organizations that care for the environment. Those of us who cherish Planet Earth, but also do not believe that Human Beings are evil and ergo, should be culled — we’re maligned as “climate deniers”. Notice that the rich and powerful who want to dramatically reduce the population do not offer to jump-off-the-twig… Oh no, they want the rest of us to be eliminated via their neo-Malthusian movement that has taken on the “Climate Change”-store-front in order to sound respectable.

Those societies which fund education, health care and living wage jobs have lower birth rates… those societies which are poor result in higher birth rates: WHY??? Because poor people feel that they need a support system with children who can help the family and provide aide as parents age. The Extinction Rebellion cultists do not even begin comprehend social norms and behaviours– nor do they consider the implications of their neo-religion… they are sanctimonious– and many are dangerous: wanting to “burn us at the stake” when we challenge their assertions with facts. (Refer to the Corbett Report on Climate Change.)

Industrialization is not the evil… it’s a question of balance and the responsible use of resources in order to live. To claim that one loves Planet Earth and then allow the Oligarchy to hijack public lands (cutting off access) and private lands (stealing land from individuals) in order to plunder them for minerals, oil and water represents theft from those who have struggled for what little they have to enrich the Plutocracy.

Let’s be honest: air-conditioning and central-heating are not evil… they enable people to avoid dying from extreme temperatures. Transportation enables people to travel, learn about other cultures and other countries. Where do the Extinction Rebellion cultists think that cell-phones, MP3 players and other technologies that they depend upon come from??? Minerals that are mined in Africa. Who mines these minerals? The poor in countries with the highest birth rates. Maybe they should give that some thought.

Eric Blair

15th October 2019 at 7:06 am

Or maybe climate change is a genuine issue that needs to be addressed. It’s almost laughable that you can drag in George Soros, Jeffrey Epstein and Meghan Windsor. How about some shape-shifting lizards?

Patiently Waiting

15th October 2019 at 2:56 pm

Climate change is indeed a genuine issue– but the science does not prove that it’s all man-made. There are cyclical changes that take place over eons which influence weather. That said, I have always advocated environmental protections– which Saints Greta and David Attenborough did not invent. However, unless one asks the following questions: What is their plan (the specifics, please)? … and … Who pays the price? … and … Who profits? … then one is likely to be duped into being the sacrificial lamb at the Altar of the Richest amongst us.

Furthermore, when one is not even allowed to ask questions– god forbid that one questions Greta, else one is called a bully– same with St. David — then, it’s a religious cult; NOT a responsible movement. Very clever for the Oligarchs to hitch their wagon to a young girl with a disability and and old man regarded as a “National Treasure”: then the religious movement flourishes and disbelievers can to crucified.

Meanwhile, do your homework: https://www.whaleoil.net.nz/2019/05/greta-thunberg-child-prodigy-or-an-exploited-puppet-of-the-left/

Jerry Owen

16th October 2019 at 3:24 pm

P Waiting
Until they explain the ‘little ice age’ and the ‘medieval warm period’ in context to the current eras climate ( which is in between ) we have every right to be ‘deniers’.
Instead what we actually know for a fact is that the IPCC’s Michael Mann tried to erase these inconveniences with his ‘hockey stick graph’ which has been proven to be false.

Claire D

16th October 2019 at 10:00 am

That’s an excellent comment Patiently W.

Claire D

16th October 2019 at 10:02 am

I mean your first comment mainly.

Claire D

16th October 2019 at 10:06 am

. . . but also the second.

Jerry Owen

16th October 2019 at 3:16 pm

P Waiting
..’ And where do XR cultists think that cell phones …. etc come from ‘ …That’s the whole point , they don’t think !

anthony truman

17th October 2019 at 7:25 pm

yes anyone with half a brain …..”critical thinker” …when you think of the bigger picture its the poor/middle class paying the price…..even if we could reduce man made co2 it would cost TRILLIONS of dollars and wouldnt even put a dent or reduce CO2 in any meaning full amount ….i watched a professor of physics who designed CO2 lasers talk about the physics of how CO2 warms he said it was like “please excuse the analogy” painting a wall red you might miss a bit but however much you applied it would only be so red ,…and so it’s the same ,the co2 level is 400pm at the momednt and rising to get a one degree rise through CO2 rise it would have to rise to over 800 parts per million which would take over 200 years…,but yes when i first heard about global warming it scared me but when i delved down on the other side of the arguement it falls apart on so many levels …..

Winston Stanley

14th October 2019 at 9:13 pm

Of course, mass consumption is the problem. Capitalism has allowed us plebs a better life and that needs to end. It was not a problem when only an elite could live it up and fly about. The plebs are the problem, not the rich. So taxes can deliberately be set to price out the plebs while allowing the rich to continue as they are. I call it neo-feudalism. Green politics have always been rooted in a reactionary feudal romanticism and a hostility to industrialisation and development. This way, the rich can keep their new toys while putting us serfs back in our place. In so far as we have a place, obviously there is just too many plebs and we need to be culled one way or another. The economy needs to be redesigned so that we are neither needed nor wanted. Good luck to them with getting capitalism to function as a non-growth economy of permanent contraction though lol.

Martin Bishop

14th October 2019 at 8:27 pm

If we had a democracy, this would all be a mute point. Someone proposes some carbon zero dates (with none as an option), petition gets enough votes, it goes to a digital referendum, people vote, job done.

Hugh Bryant

14th October 2019 at 5:29 pm

In the fifteenth century the Aztecs suffered a prolonged drought which they sought to alleviate through the brutal sacrifice of children and the elderly. If we were to adopt the policies proposed by XR the consequence would be the deaths of millions of children and elderly people through cold and starvation. So nothing much has changed. This movement is driven by pre-modern superstition and should be universally ignored.

antoni orgill

14th October 2019 at 4:32 pm

these ****ers are beneath contempt. But, were it not for a sickening tendency toward numpty-nonsense within the so-called left these aristocratic loons would never have entered the mainstream at all. Now, these fishy ****ers are free to swim among us as if it were more or less normal. Anyone feel like taking some responsibility for helping to legitimise these quasi-fascist filth-pots?

Eric Blair

14th October 2019 at 3:54 pm

So what? If this was being written in the 19th century you would be moaning about how bourgeois Marx and Engels were. It’s not where you’re from, it’s whether you’re correct.

Hugh Bryant

14th October 2019 at 5:34 pm

All of which entirely misses the point ie: that though Marx may have been a bourgeois, he was most certainly not driven by the snobbery and misanthropy that defines most extreme environmentalists (Remainers too).

Eric Blair

15th October 2019 at 6:57 am

Your perception and this article’s is that the protestors (and remainers) are driven by snobbery and because they despise poor and working class people. That is unknowable by you and this website. There will be a multitude of views and motivations and the the fact that some protestors are posh is irrelevant. Hence my comparator. By all means argue against the views but don’t use stupid reductionist ad hominen attacks to further the argument.

daniel spillett

16th October 2019 at 10:38 am

and marx filthy system has led to the murder and starvation of 100 millions + people

A Game

15th October 2019 at 9:33 am

They themselves have fretted about how monoethnic and middle class they are. They have literally put the call out for more working class people and more black people. (I would have thought that was a bit of an oversight to have come this far and not noticed these shortcomings.)

So, is it about where they are from or whether they are right?

Jane 70

14th October 2019 at 3:52 pm

Garreth Byrne

14th October 2019 at 1:10 pm

I am not attracted to ideological movements based on apocalypse. Over many centuries religious sects have urged potential followers to Flee from the wrath to come. They have made prognostications about an End Time that never happened, leaving a lot of their emotionally conditioned adherents out of pocket and devoid of friends in the everyday world of the Non-Elect. The same thing has happened with political sects and schisms. Chairman Mao’s disastrous great proletarian revolution (1966-76) unleashed the red guards on Chinese society, resulting in a secular religious frenzy of ‘mass criticism sessions’ during which respected teachers, scholars, artists, village leaders and other individuals were browbeaten into admitting impossible guilty sins. Apocalyptic imagery is found today in Europe among far right and far left groups. People who want to protect the environment and help reduce carbon emissions should examine their personal and family lifestyles and take personal action. Live simply so that others may simply live.

Linda Payne

14th October 2019 at 3:36 pm

Interesting that the assisted ‘dying’ discourse has come about just in time for austerity; AD will target the disabled, ill and mentally ill and frame as some kind of choice which really comes down to put up with your shit life on poverty and isolation OR we can help you die. I wrote a poem about five years ago where I predicted a ship carrying off the ‘unproductive’ and putting them on a cold island where they can start all over again on the survival stakes, sink or swim, I’m sure the government would do this if it got enough support, the way the debate is going now they probably would

Garreth Byrne

14th October 2019 at 4:24 pm

I sometimes read about the ‘assisted dying’ issue and ponder its demographic and moral dimensions, but prefer in this thread to home in on apocalyptic imagery in the discourse and practices of some environmentalist campaign groups. Believe me, I cherish fresh air and nature conservation. I think some campaigning ideology has negative effects.

antoni orgill

14th October 2019 at 4:40 pm

“Live simply …” etc. Problem: sounds fair enough but how would this work in reality. We abandon the complex life of modern consumerism and, thereby, reduce pollution, exploitation, the military-industrial complex … what about it? |||What about the awesome power of the militarised state? How does our simplicity of lifestyle do a damned thing to challenge this?

Garreth Byrne

14th October 2019 at 6:46 pm

I don’t know how we reduce the complex military state, but we can reduce atmospheric and marine pollution.

Forlorn Dream

14th October 2019 at 12:50 pm

I have a suggestion to help resolve the problem, quite a few of the problems in fact.

Perhaps we should go back to living where we work? The wealthy elites could provide our food and clothing so they wouldn’t need to pay us. We could sleep under our machines or desks so no need for housing. They could implement breeding programmes to breed us to be better suited for certain tasks, like they do with their horses and dogs. When we become too ill or old to be of use to them they could sell us to the recycling centre to be turned into animal feed to feed the animals they use to feed us. They wouldn’t need us all so the excess stock could be shipped off to remote areas to live off the land. They’d need to fence off those areas though to stop stragglers straying from the herd. They’d also need to manage the herds too to prevent over population.

All those ugly housing estates that blight their scenic views could be bulldozed, clearing the way for a massive tree planting programme. They could turn the whole country (minus a few areas for the factories) into a huge landscaped park for their enjoyment.

All of the above would make our nett carbon footprint zero and clear out us annoying plebs. Job done.

A Game

15th October 2019 at 9:23 am

I think your comment is a doozey. And from what we’re seeing… exactly what they are working towards.

A movie called “Snowpiercer” sort of did a train version of what you are talking about. And we know exactly what end of the train the XR fascists would be travelling on.

Jane 70

14th October 2019 at 12:08 pm

@CLAIRE D; thank you Claire, but I’m getting weary of being variously described as naive, an implied eco-fascist ,a supporter of eugenics, and the endless lecturing.
Still,it’s character building: me against the rest.
And finally, I’ll stress again that I find the loony Green/Left/ SJW cabal to be just as irritating and out to lunch as everyone else here.

Over and out…..

Andrew Leonard

14th October 2019 at 1:31 pm

“me against the rest”

Jane, that’s how I feel some days. Sigh

Jane 70

14th October 2019 at 3:04 pm

I give up! Having just written that I agree with much of what you wrote, particularly about the Dalai Lama’s wise comments, I now find that 3 of my posts are now in mod- limbo.
Enough to make one paranoid.

Jim Lawrie

14th October 2019 at 12:07 pm

None of what XR preaches is concerned with technological or social progress.

If we were to apply our technological muscle to the task of watering and desalinating the Sahara, there would be a shortage of CO2.
The USA has developed technology that has brought into intensive production millions of acres of marginal land, but that is never mentioned.
The market response of farmers up here to the worldwide shortage of cereal crops about 15 years ago was to suddenly bring into cultivation every patch of land they could rent. Demand for meat has seen some local councils selling the cut grass from their heaths to farmers.

I remember speaking with some of these younger nutjobs in Edinburgh. They warned me that coming along to deal with me was one of their number who had a degree in PHYSCIS. You’d think that he regularly changed water to wine and nighttime to day, such was their reverence for this qualification. However, they had inadvertently revealed their own inferiority complex, and their envy and reverence of real scientists.

The good thing about the arrogance of XR is that these people have been unmasked, and let slip their real intent.

Jane 70

14th October 2019 at 12:02 pm

@ANDREW LEONARD your comments are unfair; I don’t ‘expect ‘you to do anything Andrew and why are you so certain that climate change is the scam which you claim it to be ?

I wrote that the jury is out, which implies, doesn’t it, that I have an open mind.Why are you so sure that it’s all a scam. Just think of the similar slurs hurled at those who dared to venture that the earth might orbit the sun, or that women could be entrusted with the vote, that animals could feel pain and fear, that plagues weren’t the visitations of an angry god, but caused by disease.

And please, do not call me naive; I’ve studied these matters for many years, and I’m neither naive, nor an eco -fascist: why must these slurs be bandied about?

And of course, most liberal capitalist democracies were founded, developed and run by caucasians. Although we have the world’s largest democracy in India.

XR are a bunch of posturing loonies; I’ve repeated this ad nauseam, while trying to make the point that one can be concerned about population pressure and have an open mind about climate change and carbon emissions and pollution and inequality without being a fully paid up member of the loony left. Why is this so hard to accept?

Andrew Leonard

14th October 2019 at 1:23 pm

Jane, in a long thread, just click the first reply button above the comment you want to respond to. Believe me, I know all about pressing buttons.

I’m not calling you an eco-fascist, nor do I think you’re naive generally. Just be aware that the world is being populated with billionaires – people with more money than some previous empires – and what they want for the world is as different to what most of us want, as is their lifestyle different to yours and mine.

The climate change & advocacy era of people like Gore, Monbiot, and Michael “hide the decline” Mann, is coming to an end. Even Greta is starting to look old-school. New movements like XR have no intention of tying themselves (down) to the public acceptance of climate research and IPCC report reports. This has been tried without success since 1992 or earlier. A new era of radical anti-human authoritarianism has begun. At best, climate change will help propel this movement forward, but it is becoming redundant to requirements, and in any case has failed in its mission. The totalitarians have become tied of waiting. Climate modellers should start looking for new careers.

“And of course, most liberal capitalist democracies were founded, developed and run by caucasians. Although we have the world’s largest democracy in India.”

Of course non-Caucasians can run democracies! Just as Caucasian’s can run dictatorships. As the Dalai Lama said though, people who have recently migrated to rich liberal democracies should perhaps try going back to their own countries, and make an effort to build them up, rather than just abandoning them. It is only the ‘anti-racist’ left who disagrees with this.

A Game

15th October 2019 at 9:17 am

A Leonard:

“The climate change & advocacy era of people like Gore, Monbiot, and Michael “hide the decline” Mann, is coming to an end. Even Greta is starting to look old-school. New movements like XR have no intention of tying themselves (down) to the public acceptance of climate research and IPCC report reports. This has been tried without success since 1992 or earlier. A new era of radical anti-human authoritarianism has begun. At best, climate change will help propel this movement forward, but it is becoming redundant to requirements, and in any case has failed in its mission. The totalitarians have become tied of waiting. Climate modellers should start looking for new careers.”

I think this is a brilliant summation of what is burbling under the surface. People buying into XR blindly, thinking its their only chance of a Woodstock (which was in a paddock, peeps, in a paddock, away from everyone), to have a say, to let their anxieties run free, to be good, so good… to be better, if only society would force them to be better… are the biggest group of dullards ever collected in one place, at one time, anywhere.

Andrew Leonard

15th October 2019 at 3:36 pm

Thanks A Game.
Yes, people are very gullible on these sort of issues.
They complain about politicians being out of touch. Can you imagine how out of touch are the billionaires who fund XR?

Gerard Barry

14th October 2019 at 11:00 am

Brilliant article as usual from the gorgeous Brendan:) What bothers me though is not just Extinction Rebellion, it’s how these “green” ideas have become mainstream. Here in Germany, the Green Party have enjoyed huge successes in recent elections. I find it deeply worrying that so many people can vote for such illiberal left-wing snobs. And then there’s hypocrisy: I recently saw the results of a survey which showed that Green voters fly just as much as everyone else – the only difference is that they feel guilty about it!

Peter Owen

14th October 2019 at 11:35 am

Germany is going through very dark times at the moment and most people are oblivious to it. We saw how the media in that country lied about the rapes committed on their streets, claiming that it was untrue! It doesn’t surprise me that the brainwashed German people are voting for such illiberal ideas because liberalism is not in the agenda of the German elites and isn’t really part of German culture. The pushback is beginning but it is happening too slow and apathetically, it just isn’t going anywhere. Whether it is in positive discrimination, transgenderism or PC narrative pushing on race, the western world is having to push back like never before to simply keep things as they are without lunacy taking over. Germany and the Scandinavian nations are at the forefront of this illiberal socially leftist authoritarianism.

Gerard Barry

14th October 2019 at 12:13 pm

Absolutely. I see this craziness on a daily basis here, especially in the left-green-biased mainstream media. The problem is that the Germans don’t question authority, which is one of the reasons why most of them unquestionably accepted Merkel’s opening of the border to nearly a million refugees in 2015. One would imagine that, in a democratic society (and they constantly bleat on about the alleged threat to democracy from the so-called “far right), it would be possible to criticise such a radical decision without being labelled an extremist or a bigot, but alas that was not the case. I myself am terrified in case I say something “wrong” and end up being ostracised or demeaned by colleagues at work, for example.

Jerry Owen

14th October 2019 at 9:58 am

If you take the time to read what Hallam ( XR leader ) says , he makes it clear it isn’t about climate change it is about changing the economic system. In other words getting rid of capitalism. Ditto Cortez in America, it again is about changing the economic system, to a socialist system.
Socialism simply doesn’t appeal to the masses anymore ( did it ever ?) , possibly the millions of corpses littering the planet could be a reason why.. or perhaps people just like materialism and earning as much as they can so they can fly abroad and have a nice car and house, to me that sounds perfectly reasonable, we only live on this planet once let’s make the most of it , let’s have food, energy, wealth and comfort aplenty !
I have read from several sources that XR members are being paid £400 per week , can this be confirmed ?

Neil John

16th October 2019 at 12:07 pm

That fits quite well with Dr Ottmar Endenhofer’s (an IPCC co-chair) alleged interview comments in 2010 “We (UN-IPCC) redistribute de facto the worlds wealth by climate policy” “One has to free oneself from the illusion that internation climate policy is environment policy. It has almost nothing to do with environment policy any more…” Of course the interview this came from wasn’t in English, but German, so the translation may not be entirely accurate.

Jerry Owen

16th October 2019 at 3:28 pm

If you want global governance / control , you create a ‘global problem’ , climate change is the perfect guise.

Danny Rees

14th October 2019 at 9:48 am

Brendan decrying others for being against the working class when he writes for the Tory The Sun “newspaper”.


bf bf

14th October 2019 at 10:29 am

Ad hominem cheap shot. They constructing an argument instead.

bf bf

14th October 2019 at 10:30 am


Jim Lawrie

14th October 2019 at 10:41 am

Content matters Danny.
Can you refer us to one article h has written in The Sun that is anti-working class.
Are you confusing anti-Labour with anti-working class, and the converse?

Jerry Owen

14th October 2019 at 4:42 pm

Nice one Danny, your valuable insightful erudite input is welcome as ever !

terence patrick hewett

14th October 2019 at 9:42 am

Tweet, tweet, tweet: chatter: chatter; chatter. Thank god I am a professional engineer.

Claire D

14th October 2019 at 9:10 am

While I think there is an element of ignorance and misapprehension about people who have to work physically hard for their living amongst Extinction Rebellion, I do not think it can really be reduced to a class issue. Marxist analysis can be used in examining the situation to some extent but I just think it’s relevance is in decline in a world as sophisticated and complex as ours. Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think so.

Ven Oods

14th October 2019 at 1:17 pm

“Maybe I’m wrong, but I don’t think so.”
That’s a failing that I share: just ask my wife.

Claire D

14th October 2019 at 1:46 pm

. . . chuckle, it’s a bit naughty really, it’s wanting to have it both ways, be right and diplomatic at the same time, you’ve found me out.

Jill W

14th October 2019 at 7:59 am

Part of the narrative of XR is that they just want the truth. When challenged out comes the mantra that they are peaceful, non violent and, my personal favourite, that they really do not want to do this.
Today we all have access to information, make up our own minds. No longer do we touch our caps in deference to those who know best. This seems to offend those who view reasoned questioning as denial.
Passive aggressive, coercive behaviour belongs to another era. Smiling and jigging around does not alleviate the impact.
In any other context, the domestic partner blocking a doorway or the school child preventing their classmate reaching home, we would not tolerate the argument that it was for their own good or certain demands must be met.
So carry out protests if you wish. But do not insult us.
All we want is the truth.

Claire D

14th October 2019 at 9:19 am

I agree with you Jill and I think your observation about the neurotic qualities of ER’s behaviour is very relevant.

Jim Lawrie

14th October 2019 at 12:11 pm

“Today we all have access to information, make up our own minds” – and oh how they hate technology for doing that.

Stephen J

14th October 2019 at 7:40 am

You might describe them as upper class Brendan, I describe them as confused cretins, since they are ALL to a person simultaneously engaged in stopping brexit.

And the reason that they want to stop brexit is because there will be too much of a hit on the UK economy.

So what is it to be, destroy all forms of activity that allow CO2 to escape into the atmosphere, or encourage the globalist movement to continue supporting the industrial success that is corporatism?

You can’t have it both ways.

A Game

14th October 2019 at 5:37 am

A Leonard:
They’ve put the call out for different coloured paint, so there will soon be diversity with the creepy red army.

So XR talking heads have had a chance to put their case.
It all hinges on people becoming extinct, except for about 1 billion. (Yeah, already there is a problem. Not sure where they get their definition of “extinction” from. But they are passionate, so we’ll cut them some slack.)
I’m not hearing why this is a bad thing. If you want to save the planet, then losing 6 billion people would be a great fast track to doing so. And how is this attained? Do nothing. The climate will do all the work, the gasses swirling, thick, will get it done.
How do you return to a feudal, agrarian system, where Lordy and Lady in the Manor live it up, whilst the plebs get hanged for poaching? Lose 6 billion people, and it will be good bye industry, good bye redistributed wealth – cause there won’t be any wealth to redistribute – and only those with gold in the coffers will scramble to the top.
Seriously… go home, XR, go home. You are hindering your own objectives.
Oh, hang on. Everything is to be sacrificed for mankind. There is nothing worth sacrificing the entitlement to a life on this planet. Just ask Greta. That’s her whole schtick. Her entitlement to a life on this planet – a pretty good one, with hopes and dreams – their entitlement to their genetic lineage kicking on for millennia. At the cost of the planet… especially other species. Their dreams of the future generations, and this ties in with Jane 70’s post, making hay… where will the tigers be? Where will the orangutans be? The Pandas? We are squeezing them out. An agrarian, austere society will accelerate their habitats being appropriated for human’s food, especially now no meat is being eaten. But they don’t care about that. Man crying in the street clutching a photo of his children… THAT is more important than anything else. HIS entitlement to healthy children, their longevity, and their offspring’s longevity.

Sounds like a hot mess to me. Must be just a power grab from unelectable crusties, bolstered up by the privileged, whose favourite sport for the last 10 years, has been sneering at poor people.

Every person who thinks this crowd is “just great”, or their actions are “wonderful”… their names need to forever be attached to these fascists. That famewhore father of Boris… Cumberbatch (but you were sooooo good as Cummings…), whatever other try-hards have latched on like limpets… this is what you support. The supremacy of the human race over all other life on earth. It must NOT be sacrificed for anything.

Jane 70

14th October 2019 at 4:28 am

Well, I’ll take issue with one of BON’s assertions: curbing population growth is what many of us have been quietly campaigning about for over 20 years, long before XR descended on us.

A couple of points: Monbiot is opposed to any attempt to curb population pressure, being convinced that tackling consumption and climate change will do the trick.

Secondly, I’m a low income pleb, not a posh SJW, and I’m just as irritated by XR as most other folk.

However, the need to tackle population pressure does need to be addressed, without the usual denunciations and slurs.

There is an awful lot of unthinking hysteria surrounding this topic, which should not be the taboo excluded from rational consideration, as it still is.


At least read this, for another perspective.

Jane 70

14th October 2019 at 5:00 am

“Fish gotta swim, birds gotta fly, but they don’t last long if they try” ; from Tom Lehrer’s ‘Pollution’, written many years ago.

They need space and habitat to do this; both are under pressure and rapidly disappearing.

My plea is nothing to do with class, but everything to do with a love of nature and its variety: it’s a no-brainer to accept that we’re at the top of the heap and the power and the responsibility lie with us.

A less crowded world would be better for us and for our increasingly hard pressed flora and fauna.

Andrew Leonard

14th October 2019 at 6:45 am

Jane, the ruling class is not going to ‘tackle’ its own consumption levels, ever. As for climate change, that is a complete non-issue. Climate modelling consists of so-called scientists, adjusting figures so that the more recent past appears warmer than it is/was, and the more distant past appears colder – overall giving the impression of global warming. The raw data shows no net warming since the late 19th century.

For those that take climate models at face value however, there is quite a dilemma, in that they give weight to reduced or even negative population growth. This is in radical opposition to the absolutist support for mass immigration we have had since WW2. Anyone opposed to mass immigration is regarded as a racist bigot, but now we see the rise of XR, who sees humanity itself as the problem. The radicalism of XR is obvious enough – one of its founders has already admitted that deaths are likely to occur for XR to get what it wants. Can you imagine what is being said in private?

Make no mistake – XR represents a revival of the Eugenics movement. A major clash with the anti-white woke Progressives is inevitable. XR is a highly elitist, ultra-Bourgeois, Caucasian dominated movement, that is surely as opposed to mass immigration as it is to high population levels in general. I wonder how Sadiq Khan feels about having the centre of London taken over by a white supremacist group?

Jane 70

14th October 2019 at 7:27 am

We’ll have to wait and see but a clash between open borderers and XR will make for an interesting spectacle,as I suspect that there are woke devotees on either side.

And the wealthy will increasingly turn to ‘green ‘ goods and ways of living; witness sustainable fashion and eco-holidays.

How do you feel about the possibility of the UK’s population passing 70 million? Not definite, but a possibility in the not too distant future:



And from what I read on Unherd, XR are attempting to recruit poorer people

Finally, my concerns about the plight of the living world; what are your thoughts on this?

Jane 70

14th October 2019 at 7:55 am

The jury is still out on climate change Andrew, and my initial comment mentioned it as one of Monbiot’s concerns: I wasn’t asking for a lecture.

Furthermore, a concerted world wide move to address human population pressure can hardly be described as eugenics-by-any-other-name.

And your use of white supremacists reflects the resort to hyperbole so common today.

Finally, what would you say is one of the main drivers of mass migration ,species loss and resource conflicts?

bf bf

14th October 2019 at 10:22 am

Sorry @ JANE 70 “The jury is still out on climate change” only applies to those who swallow the (vested interests) propaganda that posses as “science” these days.
As for population growth…..this is only happening in poor areas of the world that have no access to cheap energy and so have no “social security” i.e. pensions etc etc. In the developed world native populations are in decline and not even meeting replacement levels. Immigrants who have traditionally had large families due to building their own “social security” (family) networks have with in one or two generation adopted western birth rates.
[thus making a lie of the Islamic great replacement fear mongering]

Andrew Leonard

14th October 2019 at 11:45 am

@Jane 70

Monbiot is but one individual. I was commenting more generally. If you don’t appreciate a few sceptical sentences on climate change (but still expect us to read your anti-population comments), I’ll give you the ultra-short version:

Climate change is a scam

“Furthermore, a concerted worldwide move to address human population pressure can hardly be described as eugenics-by-any-other-name.”

Don’t be naive. The eco-fascists have been keen on massively reducing population levels for decades. The upper classes are hardly going to be ‘participating’ in that, are they? Nor will ultra-rich and politically well-connected be reducing their consumption levels on a voluntary basis. That leaves one option for massive reductions in global consumption – eliminate the deplorables. The XR spokesperson in the Andrew Neil interview stated “alarmism works”. In other words, these are not data driven objectivists – they are ultra-pragmatic zealots who use fear-mongering and lies to get what they want.

“And your use of white supremacists reflects the resort to hyperbole so common today.”

What other groups in the current era are almost exclusively made up of Caucasians, especially at the leadership level? The robed ones even paint their faces white! They speak in apocalyptic terms. They believe we are all sinners against the planet. They cannot possible support economic development in the poorer parts of the world, all of which are non-white. It’s all very KKK-like.

“Finally, what would you say is one of the main drivers of mass migration ,species loss and resource conflicts?”

Well given that everyone outside liberal capitalist democracies, wants to migrate to a country that is, and that no democracy has ever attacked another democracy, and that modern democracies are gradually reducing their impact on the environment, I would have to say that nations that have not become liberal capitalist democracies are the main source of those three problems.

Andrew Leonard

15th October 2019 at 1:45 am

@Jane 70

“We’ll have to wait and see but a clash between open borderers and XR will make for an interesting spectacle,as I suspect that there are woke devotees on either side.”

Yes, and it will make the trans vs feminist war look trivial by comparison. The irony will be that the Eugenics movement actually originated in the Progressive movement in the USA, late 19thC, before sweeping across Europe, and of course, into Nazi Germany.

“How do you feel about the possibility of the UK’s population passing 70 million?”

It doesn’t concern me. Per capita impact on the environment, including land usage, is gradually declining. Technology is key. Btw, are you familiar with Matt Ridley’s blog? http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/

“And from what I read on Unherd, XR are attempting to recruit poorer people”

So as to not make it appear an us vs them thing. This is a movement funded by very rich people, with sophisticated strategies. It is not a just a hobby for these people.

“Finally, my concerns about the plight of the living world; what are your thoughts on this?”

General environmental management may have been compromised by 30 years of global warming bollocks.
A more serious issue however, is the deteriorating mental state of people in the Western world. They are becoming more and more prone to states of panic and paranoia, and increasingly living in a world of fantasy. Mass delusion and zombieism are on the way. The rave dancing is a precursor to this.

Sylvia D

18th October 2019 at 7:02 am

Everything you said. I replied to somebody else to before seeing your comment, re the eugenics movement and how the AGW hoax began with the Rockefellers et al, who also funded eugenics. When people say “we need to reduce the population” they are not talking about themselves or their families or their friends, or their descendants. When people say we want ‘climate action’ it never seems to translate into action on their own part in any but the most superficial way. It’s really ugly. All the ‘compassionate’ hand wringing about refugees and open borders and housing homeless people doesn’t sit with the simultaneous concern about over-population and reducing ‘carbon’ footprints and trying to close down coal mines that service the third world. Stuff the poor brown people who have to cook with cow manure and haul water! End coal! say the sanctimonious spoiled brats sitting in their coal-lighted/heated large homes, Twittering away on their coal powered computers. I actually can’t abide the rank hypocrisy and childish world view of progressives. I outgrew them when I recognised my own…of course drummed into me via education (Huxley in charge of UNESCO makes me wonder about the deliberate planting of those seeds about ‘over population’?). James Corbett made we view the question in an entirely different light. Is the world really over populated?? Is it??

I agree with the negativity and neurosis that is being fostered in the West via the media and education. How about we switch to a positive view of humanity, everybody roll their sleeves up, and get to fixing ACTUAL problems instead of wasting TRILLIONS that go into the pockets of corporations and corrupt scientists, bureaucrats and politicians.


Andrew Leonard

18th October 2019 at 12:10 pm

@Sylvia D
There has always been a market for predictions of catastrophe and doom, which people like Erhlich excel at. However, in the last several months, things have been ramped-up massively. This is almost all due to the arrival on the scene of XR.
We have to ask and find out, what is going on behind the scenes? Mainstream media are not going to do this because they are more about activism than investigative journalism. Sooner or later some damaging leaks will occur which might help to restore some sanity and balance.

Claire D

14th October 2019 at 8:54 am

I hope you’ll forgive me for putting forward an answer to your questions Jane though they’re not addressed to me. I think one of the main drivers for mass migration is technology and the way it has enabled images, information and people, including tourists, colonists of the past, missionaries and aid workers, to travel and convey visions of other ways of living to resident populations, who would otherwise have basically killed each other in their fight over resources, or died of disease.

Technology can also be blamed for the devastation that is now the result of wars. Where once two factions would have fought and killed each other now whole areas are utterly obliterated, the survivors are left with nothing except, again, visions of other places where there is shelter, food and hope in abundance. In other words, I think, perhaps, the West’s cleverness and success is the main driver.

Jane 70

14th October 2019 at 10:41 am

I partly agree Claire, but it isn’t the sole driver: cultural and religious norms play a large part.I can see that I’m fighting a losing battle here, so I’ll say no more.

Claire D

14th October 2019 at 11:41 am

you’re definitely not fighting a losing battle with me, I am so sorry if I have given that impression, I am groping in the dark most of the time. I agree with you about the cultural and religious changes that are taking place. I am just critical of ER’s aims and methods as well as sceptical of some of the ecological arguments, that does not mean I have taken up an immoveable position, that would be very foolish. I have the utmost respect for your greater knowledge and position.

daniel spillett

16th October 2019 at 10:43 am

your talking out your arse love

Claire D

20th October 2019 at 6:31 pm

So Daniel love, are you suggesting that technology has nothing to do with mass migration ? and if not what do you think is the main driver ?

Winston Stanley

14th October 2019 at 9:09 am

A fall in the fertility rate correlates with industrialisation, modernisation and ppl being better. Everyone knows that. A halt to growth and a drop in consumption are in practice contradictory objectives with a fall in human population. Take away progress and ppl will just start breeding as they always have.

An attempt to stop them would take you in the realms of eco-fascism, a global police force to stop ppl from breeding, producing and consuming. It is the antithesis of liberalism. It is also entirely incompatible with capitalism, which is a profit-based and thus growth-based economic system. In effect you are seeking to dump, liberalism, capitalism and any meaningful democracy.

Winston Stanley

14th October 2019 at 9:11 am

* and ppl being better OFF.

Jane 70

14th October 2019 at 10:42 am

We’ve been here before Winston and we’ll have to agree to disagree.

Jim Lawrie

14th October 2019 at 10:50 am

Automation is putting an end to huge swathes of employment.

Tran drivers are no longer necessary. Taxi and van drivers will soon follow, as will lorry drivers.
Ditto fruit and vegetable pickers and planters.
5yrs ago in Kent I watched vast areas of orchards being ripped out and planted with new varieties developed and spaced for machine picking. 6 months later I saw the same in Greece with olive and orange groves.

Jim Lawrie

14th October 2019 at 10:52 am

should have read train drivers.

Andrew Leonard

14th October 2019 at 2:15 am

So XR is just a front for the ruling class, who want to go to war with the working class, but need a convenient excuse.

“XR’s demand that carbon emissions be cut to ‘net zero’ by 2025 would lead to untold job losses, an end to driving, and virtually no more flying. Indeed, XR types call for massive taxes on flying, which would have the impact of pricing the non-rich out of the skies.”

Whereas the rich could cope with massive flying taxes, ‘net zero’ would hurt everyone. The ruling class needs to find a way around this. What XR’s supporters need, is more policies that disproportionality hurt the less well-off. A fairly obvious option would be a birth tax. Imagine a birth tax of £50,000, introduced with the official aim of ‘saving the planet’. Given the current rate of radical political development, this is not far fetched.

A birth tax discriminates on a class basis, would reduce the overall birth rate, and raise revenue. Three very attractive ‘positives’. A fourth ‘positive’ would derive from scaling the tax for non-first borns. £100,000 for a second birth, £200,000 for a third, etc. Now one’s number of children becomes a status symbol. People may start being introduced as blah blah, with X children.

By the way, why do all the red robed individuals have their faces painted white? Where’s the Diversity in that?

Ven Oods

14th October 2019 at 1:19 pm

You can’t do environmental protest without performance art. It’s in the rules.

daniel spillett

16th October 2019 at 10:41 am

bring it on we are more we a stronger than those chinless wa**er’s 1 working class man can easily take out 10 middle and upper middle class work shy fruits

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