Opinionated? Bloggers?

Global warming, Trident ... you won't find strong opinions in the blogosphere

The Channel 4 documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle has been fuelling debate on blogs all week. George Monbiot said: "The less true a programme is, the greater the controversy." And this has certainly caused controversy.

Scientists at RealClimate say they are attempting to correct the factual inaccuracies of the programme.

Carl Wunsch, a renowned oceanographer, said he was misrepresented by C4 and has clarified his views on this blog. But plenty of people including UrbanGrounds were excited by the programme.Ellee Seymour is asking: Who swindled who?

The House of Commons vote in favour of not delaying the replacement of the Trident nuclear programme, was highlighted by Barry’s Beef.

Over at Nether-world, Davide Simonetti harked back to 1982 when Labour announced: "Labour is the only party pledged to end the nuclear madness." He also noted Peter Hain speaking in 1983 saying: "The more direct action there is against nuclear weapons in Britain, the greater the freedom a Labour government will have to get rid of them."

As the smoking ban will be enforced in two weeks in Wales and in the summer in England, it is appropriate how the Croydonian
suggested the Dutch Health Minister Ab Klink's plan to ban smoking in the Netherlands’ coffee shops is slightly bizarre. According to the Croydonian, one Dutch MP noted that this: "would be the same as banning alcohol in pubs". The ruling coalition lost the vote in the Netherlands on Wednesday.

And bloggers were again in the news this week when advertising guru Martin Sorrell said he was portrayed as a "wise-guy" when a blogger posted opinions about him. He was speaking at his High Court libel trial. We do not condone this behaviour from bloggers. How dare they express their opinion.

Adam Haigh studies on the postgraduate journalism diploma at Cardiff University. Last year he lived in Honduras and worked freelance for the newspaper, Honduras This Week.
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The chlorine chicken row is only the beginning – post-Brexit trade deals won't be easy

The real problem isn't the bureaucracies of the EU, but the fears of voters.

What's wrong with a little bit of chlorine in the chicken? That's the question splitting the cabinet as far as a US-UK trade deal goes. It also goes to the heart of Britain's post-Brexit dilemma.

As far as public health goes, both chicken slaughtered and sold the American way and chicken in the United Kingdom and the European Union are just as hygienic by the time they end up in supermarkets. But banning chlorine-washing means that the entire production chain, from farm to abattoir, has to be cleaner in the UK and the rest of the EU than in the States, where farmers know that no matter what happens to the chicken, that chlorine bath will absolve all manner of sins.

The EU's own research concedes that there is no public health difference. The problem, both in the rest of the bloc and the UK, is voter resistance: among French farmers and shoppers across the EU27. We all know how British people are about animal cruelty – not that they're so het up they won't actually eat them you understand – and any change that makes it easier to treat animals worse is going to be politically painful for the government.

In the long-term, changing our regulations to US standards also makes it harder to sell into the European Union. It's not a choice where you can have the best of both worlds but one where ultimately one market may preclude the freest use of the other.

And without wishing to offend any poultry farmers among our readership, this is a fairly small issue as far as the average British voter goes, even allowing for the UK's thing for animals. Just wait until things like “the NHS” start to be used in the same paragraph as the words “trade deal”.

One criticism that Brexiteers make of the EU is that it takes such a long time to strike trade deals. But the real problem isn't the bureaucracies of the EU – but the fears of voters. A cabinet clash over chicken is only going to be the beginning. 

Stephen Bush is special correspondent at the New Statesman. His daily briefing, Morning Call, provides a quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics.