Green Custard and the Prince of Darkness

March 6, 2009

A couple of climate change related protests have occured over the past couple of days, and although only one of them really needs highlighting, they are both worth a mention.

Obviously the most notorious has been Laila Deen’s custard attack on “Business Secretary” Peter Mandelson, who is an unabashed proponent of a third runway at Heathrow Airport.

Deen made a killer point about Mandelson who, although he makes decisions with vast public implications, is not accountable, owing to his slightly absurd ennoblement.

Apparently, Mandelson had “just emerged from his chauffeur-driven Jaguar after arriving at a low-carbon summit in Central London” according to the Times of Murdoch, where Deen “approached with plastic cup in hand.”

“After exchanging a few words with Lord Mandelson she emptied its contents – cornflower paste and green food dye – directly over him.”

Well known proponent of “green capitalism” and institutionalised pet poodle of the Labour government Jonathan Porritt, has poured cold water on the custard, fuming that “Everyone knows it doesn’t change anyone’s mind. It is just for show” while “There’s a risk that this kind of frivolity reduces the seriousness of the cause but the movement has always recognised the difference between the serious campaigning and theatre.”

Yet Deen had the only interesting words to say about climate change. After the attack, she told reporters “that Mandelson is trying to make political capital out of climate change just days after reports that he met with BAA’s top lobbyists to push through the third runway is an insult to my generation.”

“We know that Mandelson is best buddies with BAA’s top lobbyist Roland Rudd, and reports suggest it was him who bullied Energy Secretary Ed Miliband into accepting a third runway. We can’t let the Prince of Darkness cast his shadow over West London.”

“The only thing green about Peter Mandelson is the slime coursing through his veins.”

You can see Leila explaining her protest in more detail here.

The other protest was a Climate Rush action outside RBS in Bishopsgate, near Liverpool Street station in London. Activists converged around lunchtime outside the glass-fronted offices, which loom like a great shard of glass over Spitalfields market.

R(oil) Bank of Scotland was chosen because of its enormously generous support for dirty energy projects, such as Kingsnorth power station in Kent, and the action produced a few excellent photos (courtesy of Peter Marshall, at IndymediaUK).

Meanwhile, the Guardian’s Bibi Van Der Zee has been parroting the police lie that Plane Stupid protesters held up the treatment of a baby during their action at Aberdeen Airport. This has been challenged by testimony of hospital staff in Aberdeen who said that they rarely, if ever use the airport for air ambulance services. She does then go on to list how activists take great care to prevent harm during their actions, but the myth should not be nurtured.

A Freedom of Information Act request has also shed more light on the ridiculously over the top policing that activists experienced at 2008’s Camp For Climate Action, held on the Isle of Grain in Kent.

Items seized by the police included “A mountain bike, cycle helmets, bin bags and party poppers.” They also confiscated a clown outfit, leaflets and life jackets, with seemingly little regard for whether such items would be used to commit a crime.


3 Responses to “Green Custard and the Prince of Darkness”

  1. Watson Says:

    Why does Jonathon Porritt make me feel uncomfortable? It’s not his fault that his father was a baronet and he is an old Etonian. I think it’s just that he has made such a great career out of being a rebel. He runs the Government’s Sustainable Development Commission but is a stern critic of Labour’s environmental policy. It’s reminiscent of the court jester’s role, exemplifying the strategy of having your most potent critics on the inside pissing out. That’s the problem with Jonathon, director of Wessex Water, pal of Marks & Spencer boss, Stuart Rose. At some point he was neutered by the Establishment.

  2. Ofvcat Says:

    Laila Dean’s stupid act just brings activism into disrepute. It could have been anything in that cup. Whatever you think of Mandelson, nobody has a right to physically intimidate him in this way. Much more potent was the lady who cornered Tony Blair and told him he was screwing up the health service. Make a heroine of Dean and you set back your cause. Her action was one of a spoilt baby. Your average Joe seeing that in his newspaper is going to see all of his Murdoch-coached prejudices reinforced. Climate Change activists need a strategy that gets these average joes out on million man marches.

  3. szamko Says:

    Yes, but custarding Mandy gave her an opportunity to make her points on live television and in the press. It would have been preferable to use a cream pie, I’ll grant you.

    You’re quite right that million man marches are better though, and the cult of direct action has serious limitations in engaging the general public.

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