22/04/2013 - 06:52

A leader for the times

22/04/2013 - 06:52

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There can be no doubting the breadth of Margaret Thatcher’s influence, even after her passing.

This month’s commentaries on Margaret Thatcher’s historic significance were so comprehensive there’s nothing I can add that’s original; although two little-known Perth hotel events may be of interest.

Although I neither met nor ever saw Mrs Thatcher in person, more by accident or coincidence I’ve spent time with two outstanding Englishmen who knew her well.

The first is noted historian and columnist Paul Johnson, the other Lord Christopher Monckton.

Soon after the Falklands War of April-June 1982 a Melbourne mate who’d arranged an Australian capital city speaking tour for Mr Johnson called me to ask if I’d chaperone the historian during his Perth stopover.

The friend had just finalised all east coast venues, but Perth wasn’t covered.

I agreed, adding that, as I was then Perth Chamber of Commerce’s deputy director, I thought it a good opportunity for Mr Johnson to address at least a small group of members.

We bettered that.

Mr Johnson became guest of honour at a gala dinner at the Sheraton Hotel attended by more than 500 guests, during which he delivered an eloquent, in-depth account of the Falklands conflict focusing upon Mrs Thatcher’s pivotal role.

Unfortunately I didn’t take notes or record the speech.

However, last week a 2,100-word obituary by Mr Johnson was published in the Wall Street Journal, from which I quote.

“In 1982, the military dictatorship in Argentina, misled by the British Foreign Office’s apathetic responses to threats, took the hazardous step of invading and occupying the British Falkland Islands,” he wrote.

“This unprovoked act of aggression caught Thatcher unprepared, and for 36 hours she was nonplussed and uncertain: The military and logistical objections to launching a combined-forces counter attack from 8,000 miles away were formidable.

“But reassured by her service chiefs that, given resolution, the thing could be done, she made up her mind: It would be done, and thereafter her will to victory and her disregard of losses and risks never wavered.

“She was also assured by her friend Ronald Reagan that, short of sending forces, America would do all in its considerable power to help – a promise kept.

“Thus began one of the most notable campaigns in modern military and moral history, brought to a splendid conclusion by the unconditional surrender of all the Argentine forces on the islands, followed shortly by the collapse of the military dictatorship in Buenos Aires.”

My meeting with Lord Monckton, who included time as a science adviser to Mrs Thatcher among his past roles, was also coincidental.

Perth couple Joanne Nova and husband, David Evans, had emerged as world leaders in combating what I refer to as the ‘global heating hoax’ promoted by The United Nations.

Ms Nova, a science presenter, writer and speakerhad attracted a sizeable number of followers, who attended her events and seminars that aimed to educate and immunise the public against this fraud.

After a few years of this, she and her husband decided it was time that those who’d attended so many of these events should have a social get-together, which she’d arranged at Subiaco Hotel.

About 50 of us attended, including Mannkal Economic Education Foundation founder Ron Manners, and internationally recognised glacier expert Professor Cliff Ollier, who, during our chat, surprised me by saying Lord Monckton was arriving shortly.

Despite being at the start of his Australian lecture tour, he had taken a flight to Perth immediately on landing in Sydney so he could personally thank Ms Nova and Dr Evans, a mathematician and engineer who worked at the Australian Greenhouse Office from 1999 to 2006, for their efforts.

To round-off the evening, Lord Monckton delivered a detailed account of how the global heating hoax had arisen and spread; who, to date, gained most from it; and who stood to gain billions if CO2 was ever taxed as most Australian politicians of all parties at the time wanted to see happen.

Again, I didn’t take notes and didn’t tape it.

However, he’s since described his role at 10 Downing Street on this issue, which is found on the world’s leading website that constantly exposes the hoax, Watts Up With That.

“I briefed my colleagues in the policy unit, and also the prime minister herself,” Lord Monckton writes.

“My advice was straightforward: CO2 concentrations were rising, we were causing it, and it would cause some warming, but at that time no-one knew how much, so we needed to find out.

“The prime minister’s response was equally hard-headed: we were to keep an eye on the problem and come back to her again when action was necessary.

“In due course, the scientific results began to arrive.

“It became as clear to Margaret Thatcher as it has to me that our original concern was no longer necessary.

“The warming effect of CO2 is simply too small to make much difference.”

Saying “too small” is being excessively charitable, since it’s in fact, miniscule, and beneficial, especially for Northern Hemisphere grain output.

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