9 December 2007 Liberal hijack Who's really in charge at the Bali climate conference? It must be those pesky European liberals, mus By Peter Hardstaff It’s the weekend and chaos levels have been adjusted to ‘moderate’; which gives me the chance to have a political rant (of a sort). I was scanning through my e-mail in-box yesterday when I happened across a press release from the Heartland Foundation, a Chicago-based ‘think tank’. This lot claims, in reference to the agenda of European governments, that “European liberal groups have hijacked the [climate] conference and are pushing a pre-determined outcome.” Now the term ‘liberal’ is a pretty flexible concept (‘free market liberal’? ‘social liberal’?), but they seem to be implying that European politics is dominated by radical lefty-greenies. Has the Heartland Foundation actually looked at European politics recently and seen the steady drift towards deregulation, privatisation and free markets? And the European agenda on climate change is often pretty timid and subject to intense industry lobbying (biofuels anyone?). Looking at the European Parliament, the largest group of MEPs is the conservative group - not known for being left wing radicals. The second largest group is the Party of European Socialists (which bizarrely includes MEPs from New Labour). Yup, let's face it the ‘socialist group’ is socialist in name only and, again, most could hardly be described as lefties. And what of the Green Party? Green MEPs make up just 5% of the total in the Parliament. Now I know some highly competent Green MEPs but I think they would agree that 5% hardly constitutes a power base from which European politics can be controlled. So, if the Heartland Foundation thinks that ‘lefty-greenies hijacking Europe/the UN‘ is a credible theory, then how about the following… For the past two years it has not, in fact, been Arnold Schwarzenegger calling the shots in California, it has actually been Ralph Nader wearing a cleverly constructed body-suit. In a night time raid on his California mansion in 2005, Arnie was kidnapped and murdered by that slimy greeny and his cabal of crazed environmental zealots. The Governator is no more. It’s really an imposter. And what about the new Australian government that has just ratified the lefty-inspired Kyoto Protocol? Not actually human beings. Just weeks ago, shape-shifting Martians (the little green bastards!) landed in Wollongong and then spread out, quickly assuming mind control over the Australian elite. Lizards (far too green to be trustworthy) have taken over the…..oh, David Icke has the got the copyright on that one. And if there’s one thing these guys believe in its strong intellectual property protection. After all, how else are we going to cover the gargantuan research, development and marketing costs to develop all the life saving drugs like, um, Viagra, that poor people in the third world desperately need? Lefty-greenies running Europe at the moment; I mean, how did these guys come up with this stuff? What complex process of political analysis did they undergo to reach such conclusions? I reckon it can only be the product of the well known policy analysis technique known as ‘5 pints of Stella’. Yep, that’s right, the result of a drunken pub conversation and from my experience (I have tried this technique, but only for scientific reasons you understand) about 4 – 5 pints of Stella (or other beer of equivalent strength) tends to create the right conditions for truly imaginative policy analysis. “Wurl, issafukinspiracyinnit? Sssgoabeagoddampinkoleftytakeover. Widdereclimchangewossname, annerefunnylilrectanglarnoryoorpeanglasses. Wahappentovidualfreeemhuh? Thassw’Iwannano? AnnaU.N. Theyreinonnitaswell.” I’m guessing that somehow the Heartland Foundation people must have been just lucid enough to write it all down and stick it in a press release. Hats of to these guys, that’s quite a feat after a night on cocktails. Trouble is, if they still believed it once they sobered-up then you can only conclude that they are very scary people living in what they see is a very scary world. My advice to them? Move to Idaho and build a hut in the woods! And do us all a favour and stay there.