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Academic Freedom

James Delingpole’s “Watermelons” Declared Work of Fiction


Image Credit : James Delingpole and/or Telegraph Media Group

Yes, you read that right – James Delingpole’s “authoritative“, tree-slaughtering, “Watermelons : How Environmentalists are Killing the Planet, Destroying the Economy and Stealing your Children’s Future” has been inviolably declared to be a work of fiction. In my local Public Library, anyway…well, it would have been, if the cataloguing staff had shared my educational insights.

“It’s full of nonsense !”, I fumed, “Look, I went to university to study climate change science and policy, and this book is a complete travesty of reality, a compilation of baseless fabrications, and chock-full of unfounded conspiracy theory.”

I was, as they say, a little het up. Therein, lay my error, for the librarian took a very frosty, Pooh-ish glance over the horn-rimmed, rather pointed look at me. Was I, he considered, stark, raving bonkers ?


You know, maybe, if I’d gone in there with a complete lack of concern about the state of the environment, maybe I wouldn’t have come across as so stern, nay earnest, nay, fundamentalistically-challenged. I mean, most of the people I meet concur – I’m a fun-loving, live-laughing, free spirit, so for me to throw my toys out of the perambulator, something must be horribly amiss.

This, naturally, is what James Delingpole’s purported cunning little plan relies on – his supposed bid for inglorious fame and global meddling influence. As far as I can determine, he deliberately sets out to irritate and annoy people; people who are so genuinely troubled by the state of the planet that they trouble themselves to get acquainted with some facts – the people who experience extreme cognitive dissonance when encountering Delingpole’s messy tissue of apparent mendacity and quite probably outright slander. Well, at least I assess it as myth-peddling and probable outright slander, and the Meteorological Office for one do agree with me on the fallaciousness bit.

Back to the cold stare of the librarian, and my rising annoyance. “If you don’t declare this a work of fiction, then you’ll have to start re-classifying all the science books as works of creative art, or something. What this man (note : I do accord him the honour of calling him a human) has regurgitated is nothing other than a collection of discredited rumours and debunked arguments – despite what look like passable references. It flies in the face of 150 years of science, tearing away at the foundational pillars of our civilisation, destroying harmony in society…”

I would have gone on, but I felt a peculiar lack of oxygen in my lungs, and that my face was on purple fire. Steam genuinely felt like it was issuing from my ears, and droplets of exasperated perspiration were beading on my rumpled brow.

I felt a sense of prophetic mission sweep over me. “This has got to be stopped !”, I vented. I raised my index finger to the skies. “I shall not rest until this work is re-catalogued as fiction in every Library in England.” But I knew, then, that I didn’t have the energy, or the time, or the networking skills, or the imperious nature, to fulfill this undoubtedly noble goal. So I turned sharp about and stormed (correction : stumbled) out of the door, leaving the librarian, I assume, to stare silently, and disgustedly, after me.

We shall have to leave it to another day for James Delingpole’s “opus iniquitus” to be perhaps withdrawn from the shelves, maybe because, as I like to imagine sometimes, the Trading Standards Authority pronounce it as defective in the matter of the author’s claims of expertise.

Please Note : This too has been a work of fiction, before you start sending out private investigators.

2 replies on “James Delingpole’s “Watermelons” Declared Work of Fiction”

Delingpole makes some interesting points in this book (which you clearly have not read) and is worth reading for open minded people wanting to find out more about both sides of the argument.
The fact that he annoys people like you is an absolute bonus.

What a shame for you that the freedom laws in the UK do not allow people like you Jo, to burn the books that say things you do not like or disagree with.

No wonder you come across as angry and frustrated.

Still when the green utopians take over, I suspect such inconvenient ideas will be stamped out.

And the book bonfires will keep you warm.

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