On the left – the official UK government coat of arms.
On the right – the logo used by Christopher Monckton on his presentations.
Nice to see the two logos side by side: one can see that in Monckton’s version the chains are unhinged and there is empty space beneath the crown.
Mandia has published Monckton’s letter here.
I guess that Monckton must like the limelight, because he’s certainly attracting it.
Tamino does (yet another) demolition job on Monckton’s statistical skills at Mo’ Better Monckey Business
Real Climate host a guest article by Barry Bickmore of Brigham Young University entitled “Monckton makes it up”.
Most recently, The Guardian points out that the House of Lords are getting stroppy with him for his continued claims to be a member. They write:
Last month Michael Pownall, clerk of the parliaments, wrote to Lord Monckton, a hereditary peer, stressing that he should not refer to himself as a member of the House of Lords, nor should he use any emblem representing the portcullis.
In a letter seen by the Guardian, Monckton replied this week to Pownall stating that he considered the House of Lords Act 1999, which “purported” to exclude all but 92 of the 650 hereditary peers from the Lords, to be “defective”.
I think that the House had probably hoped that he would just go away, but got fed up with people writing to them asking for clarification (see this recent and entertaining example from Friends of Gin and Tonic).
Presumably we can now look forward to him threatening to sue the UK government – or possibly even Her Majesty.
Those that have been watching him for a while know that he never was a science advisor to Margaret Thatcher, indeed it is usually stated that he never made such a claim. Or so I thought.
First, what on Earth was a layman with a degree in classical languages and architecture doing giving advice on science to the British Prime Minister, who was herself a scientist and a Fellow of the Royal Society?
Truth is, British government is small (though still a lot bigger and more expensive than it need be). The Prime Minister’s policy unit had just six members, and, as a mathematician who was about to make a goodish fortune turning an obscure and hitherto-unnoticed wrinkle in the principles of probabilistic combinatorics into a pair of world best-selling puzzles, I was the only one who knew any science.
So, faute de mieux, it was I who – on the Prime Minister’s behalf – kept a weather eye on the official science advisors to the Government, from the Chief Scientific Advisor downward.
Well, we know he can count to three since he does so in Latin ad nauseam – but does this make him a mathematician?
He doesn’t appear to have formally studied maths beyond school level, but I guess he could be self-taught.
And knowing something about maths doesn’t automatically make you a scientist, but it generally helps.
But wait – there’s more!
On my first day in the job, I tottered into Downing Street dragging with me one of the world’s first portable computers, the 18-lb Osborne 1, with a 5” screen, floppy disks that were still truly floppy, and a Z80 8-bit chip which I had learned to program in machine language as well as BASIC.
This was the first computer they had ever seen in Downing Street. The head of security, a bluff military veteran, was deeply suspicious. “What do you want a computer for?” he asked. “Computing,” I replied.
You have to be quite old to remember the Osbourne 1. It had a 4MHz cpu, 64K of memory, and two 360K drives.
Monckton apparently used this box for all sorts of things, including:
- Predicting election results
- calculating the optimum hull configuration for warships
- “the first elementary radiative-transfer calculations”
That last one is really spectacular on such a low specification machine. Wow.
Oh, and we can add “Electronic engineer” to his cv as well:
The only expenses I ever claimed for in four years at 10 Downing Street were £172 for soldering dry joints on that overworked computer
(though £43 per year on solder for a single PC (in the 1980’s) suggests a spectacularly dodgy machine, or extremely incompetent soldering, or both).
But we’re not fininshed yet.
From his recent appointment to the UKIP joint Deputy Leader press release we learn that his history includes
2008-present: RESURREXI Pharmaceutical: Director responsible for invention and development of a broad-spectrum cure for infectious diseases. Patents have now been filed. Patients have been cured of various infectious diseases, including Graves’ Disease, multiple sclerosis, influenza, and herpes simplex VI. Our first HIV patient had his viral titre reduced by 38% in five days, with no side-effects. Tests continue.
Surprisingly, I can’t find any information on “RESURREXI Pharmaceutical” as a company. If anyone knows anything about it please let me know.
In summary, Monckton is a real polymath.
So far, we have
- Political analyst/advisor
- Marine Engineer
- Computer programmer
- Electronic Engineer
- Saviour of the Human Race
The last point does give me an excuse to link to The Scaffold on youtube.
As a postscript, I think the best single collection of Monckton’s follies is at Barry Bickmore’s excellent blog post Lord Monckton’s Rap Sheet.
[ – The Guardian
 – thatsbraw.co.uk
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