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« War of words | Main | Ofgem's maths »
Tuesday
Jan242012

Cameron's climate connections

Leo Hickman has a fascinating report about a series of "networking" meetings at which businesses paid up to £1800 a head for access to ministers, government officials and special advisers.

Among the public sector employees to have attended the networking evenings is Ben Moxham, David Cameron's special adviser for energy and the environment and a former employee of BP, who was at an event on climate change in November.

The club charges senior executives from energy companies, consultancies and technology businesses between £1,300 and £1,800 per person for each event, although it invites some from the public sector to attend for free.

Senior executives from companies including BP, Shell, and the Russian oil giant Gazprom have attended the company's climate change events, while Apple, Google and Citigroup executives were among those at other networking evenings.

Helpfully, the full list of attendees at the meetings has also been published. Familar names are:

  • Emily Shuckburgh
  • Brian Hoskins
  • Chris Anastasi (appears in the Climategate 2 emails a lot)
  • Ian Andrews (Serious Organised Crime Agency!!!)
  • Lord Hunt (ex head of Met Office)
  • Crispin Tickell (deep green)

As someone once said:

People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices.

If civil servants are involved too, doubly so.

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Reader Comments (14)

From the list: "172 Nov-11. Crispi n TickelJ University of Oxford"

LOL

University of Oxford... and Thomson Reuters Foundation Trustee! What a lamb...

Jan 24, 2012 at 9:26 PM | Unregistered CommenterTomRude

I wonder what the BBC, Apple, Google and SOCA said....?

Jan 24, 2012 at 10:11 PM | Unregistered CommenterBarry Woods

This is truly shocking to hear. I thought that Emily Shuckburgh (aka the Antarctic Fox spent all her time in a freezing research station somewhere on the WAIS, and all the time she is hob-nobbing with the not-so-good and not-so-great in central London restaurants. No wonder she never found the time to respond to my last comment on the Shucks thread.

Jan 24, 2012 at 10:13 PM | Unregistered Commenterlapogus

I seem to recall that Cynthia Payne used to organise similarly principled events.

Jan 24, 2012 at 10:14 PM | Unregistered CommenterGreen Sand

such is life when you are in government! forced to attend free dinners where people try to influence you.

Jan 24, 2012 at 10:55 PM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.

Jan 24, 2012 at 10:59 PM | Unregistered CommenterFoxgoose

Don't you its 'different' when those that like have such contacts , have you ever heard Leo mention any concern about NGO's such a FOE,WWF etc contacts with governments and how they 'lend staff ' to the government to 'inform policy '. Then there is no problem with such unelected influences from self severing third parties , because that is 'different'

Jan 24, 2012 at 11:07 PM | Unregistered CommenterKnR

Re the quote, that someone was Adam Smith in the Book 1 of The Wealth of Nations.

Jan 24, 2012 at 11:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterPete

lol at lapogus...arctic foxes know who is going to comb their pelts

Jan 25, 2012 at 12:28 AM | Unregistered Commenterdiogenes

O/t - just saw this -

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2012/jan/24/wind-turbines-bird-centre-yorkshire

seems that the RSPB remain enthusiastic about bird choppers

Jan 25, 2012 at 12:28 AM | Unregistered CommenterMartin

"Re the quote, that someone was Adam Smith in the Book 1 of The Wealth of Nations." ----Pete

Which was published in 1776, oddly enough. From memory, another Smithism: "There is no art which one government sooner learns of another than draining money from the pockets of the people."

Jan 25, 2012 at 1:53 AM | Unregistered Commenterjorgekafkazar

The full Smith quote (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Adam_Smith) offers quite a bit more:

People of the same trade seldom meet together, even for merriment and diversion, but the conversation ends in a conspiracy against the public, or in some contrivance to raise prices. It is impossible indeed to prevent such meetings, by any law which either could be executed, or would be consistent with liberty or justice. But though the law cannot hinder people of the same trade from sometimes assembling together, it ought to do nothing to facilitate such assemblies; much less to render them necessary.

Jan 25, 2012 at 2:38 AM | Unregistered Commenterbloke about town

I've been thinking a lot about Adam Smith lately.
I believe that his book should be given to every member of the EU administration.
Any spare copies could then go to RH Cameron,
Oh, and a last one to our dearly beloved own Ausie PM, her gracious majesty Lord julia of Redhead.

Jan 25, 2012 at 3:56 AM | Unregistered CommenterAusieDan

Hi there,

I strongly believe that it is important for scientists to get out of their labs and discuss their results with a broad audience - whether by producing you tube videos, giving public lectures, contributing to discussion forum such as this one, or by talking to groups of business leaders and politicians, etc. I try to do all of this, but it does take time. I have a full-time job doing scientific research so I end up squeezing many of these "outreach" activities into my evenings and weekends. So I apologise if I am not always able to find the time to answer everyone's questions, but I hope you understand why that is. It would be great if more scientists were to spend time discussing their results with a broad audience, but they won't be encouraged to do that if those of us who do are criticised...

Best wishes,

Emily

Jan 26, 2012 at 6:12 PM | Unregistered CommenterEmily Shuckburgh

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