The Danger of Getting Sidetracked

What this story really shows is how the corporate media derails meaningful debates and draws us all into a modern version of bread and circuses, writes Jonathan Cook.

By Jonathan Cook

I really do not wish to write about Mark Field, the British government minister who assaulted a climate change activist last week, grabbing her by the neck and violently marching her out of a City of London dinner while all the hundreds of other wealthy diners watched either impassively or approvingly. But whatever my wishes, it seems I must.

I don’t wish to write about Mark Field, because the media have constructed a debate that is limited to one matter only, even if there are apparently innumerable variations of that one issue to be raised.

Did Field behave like a gentleman or a knave? Is it reasonable that he believed the woman posed a danger? Is his apology enough? Were the climate change activists trespassing and, if they were, did that justify Field’s actions? Has he broken the ministerial code of conduct? Would we still be outraged if the activist were a man? Should he resign? Is his outburst evidence he is a wife beater? And so on.

When we engage in these debates, they seem important. As if we are fighting for the health of our societies; or upholding key values, or at the very least the rule of law. As if it shows we care. As if it can make things a little better.













Which is exactly why I don’t want to write about Mark Field. Because the reality is that things won’t get better while we allow ourselves to be manipulated into these kind of ring-fenced debates.

There is a reason why the corporate media quickly escalate simple stories like Mark Field’s into such apparently elaborate and polarizing public discussions. And the reason is to stop other kinds of debates, much more vital ones, from taking place that these stories would naturally provoke if we had a truly free media. We are being offered the modern version of bread and circuses.

Strip away the narrow, sectarian party politics in play here, and there is nothing debatable about Mark Field’s actions. He is caught on camera – his face full of rage, not fear – violently grabbing an activist who clearly poses no threat to him and who is, in fact, simply walking behind his chair. Field pushes her up against a wall, then seizes her by the back of the neck and frog-marches her out of the dining hall. If you feel it necessary, you can also factor in that the activist is a woman and the government minister a man.

Simple Situation

Either way, what is shown in the video is an entirely unjustified attack on a peaceful protester. Had the roles been reversed, the activist (whether a man or woman) would have been immediately arrested for assaulting a government minister. The activist would now be in jail with lawyers arguing over whether bail should be allowed. So why isn’t Mark Field now in the same predicament?

The point is that anyone who wishes to make the argument any more complex than the one I just outlined is doing so either in bad faith or because they have listened too credulously to others who have spoken in bad faith. Which includes the entire spectrum of the state-corporate media, including its supposedly liberal components like the BBC and the Guardian.










What the story about Mark Field really illustrates is how effective the corporate media is in derailing meaningful debates about the state of our societies. The media offer us a placebo – a public arena for largely empty arguments that we are encouraged to become deeply invested in emotionally. We are offered two easy options and must choose to rally to the cause of one of those tribes – left or right. And through righteous anger, for or against, we feel temporarily cured of a deeper dissatisfaction or sense of foreboding.

The reality is that these public debates are simply gladiatorial contests offering instant – and hollow – gratification. They have as much concrete meaning in terms of changing the substance of our societies, of addressing the injustice and unsustainability of our political and economic systems, as does cheering a football team.

That is not to argue that denouncing an assault on a peaceful protester is wasted energy, or that rationalizing it – as so many people on the right are currently doing – is not deeply ugly. The treatment of protesters by the state and its agents, or of women by men, are important matters for public discussion. But that is not why the media are so willingly fueling the row about Mark Field’s actions.

Deflecting Attention

The debate is not being used as an opportunity to clarify how our society should view acceptable behavior; it is being actively promoted by a ruling class to deflect our attention from the deeper contextual issues the Mark Field episode highlights.










Allowing two sides in a debate about whether he behaved appropriately is already to have conceded the progressive argument. It is to accept that there is room for discussion, that the video evidence is not conclusive in itself.

This is a contest where the stakes are so immaterial to the corporate media that each outlet can afford to take either side of the debate and know it will make no meaningful difference. They can berate Mark Field or sympathize with him, and it will make no odds to anyone or anything but Field and possibly the victim of his assault.

And the very cynical fueling of this debate by the state-corporate media, one that may last days or even weeks, can then be cited as seemingly persuasive evidence that the media truly is a pluralistic forum for public discussion, where all sides are represented, where everyone is given a voice. Contrived debates like this one will be used as ammunition to shunt media critics like myself further into sidings, showing how vigorous, relevant and on the side of the underdog the “mainstream” media really is.

This is the primary purpose of the state-corporate media. To draw our energies away from real issues hiding in plain sight towards obvious ones of only specific or marginal significance, and then persuade us that we are in fact engaged with the most vital issues of the day.

Personalities, Not Power Structures

This is precisely why the media are obsessed with individuals and personalities – celebs, sporting heroes, royal family members, actors, politicians, world leaders – not the actual power structures that dictate the patterns of our lives, that determine the chances of us gaining redress or justice, that offer the key to extricating ourselves from the economic and environmental ruin we are hurtling towards.












If necessary, Mark Field can be sacrificed by the power structures that dominate our lives (though usually only temporarily – think of other government ministers who have found themselves briefly ousted from power and then quickly rehabilitated, such as Boris Johnson or Liam Fox) because the mechanisms that protect these power structures are far more important than the punishment or humiliation or any lone individual.

Consider two much deeper issues desperately struggling to gain any traction as they are smothered by the media’s gleeful furor over the Mark Field story.

One concerns the event Mark Field attended. It was an annual dinner at Mansion House, the official residence of the mayor of the City of London. The City of London is not the Mary Poppins’ way of saying “London.” It is a tiny, secretive enclave within Britain, a state within a state located in the heart of London. Seen another way, it is a kind of British Vatican, though one that worships money alone.

Corrupt Fiefdom

Sculpture in Goswell Road marking boundary of City of London. (Mike Quinn, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons)

It abides by its own rules, financial and criminal, creating effectively a tax-haven within the UK that cannot be policed by any of the usual watchdogs. The City of London has managed to continue unreformed from its medieval origins into the modern era for one reason alone: it is the perfect way for a wealthy elite to maintain their power and privilege by bypassing the imperfect democratic system operating outside its concrete shores, in the rest of the U.K. The City of London is a deeply corrupt fiefdom inside a slightly less corrupt Britain. If the mafia were given the chance to make themselves look legit, they might create in Italy something very much like the City of London.

Those attending the dinner are drawn from either Britain’s wealth elite, or those who serve them and aspire to join them. Figures such as Field, a minister in the Foreign Office, and Philip Hammond, the chancellor, who addressed the dinner, oil some of the wheels of this exclusive club partially out in the open, through U.K. politics. But they oil other wheels in the shadows, through their activities in the City of London. What precisely they get up to in the City is difficult to know given the secrecy, and all the harder to now learn about after Field’s ruling party has worked so assiduously to hobble Julian Assange and the WikiLeaks platform that was established to help whistleblowers expose the more shadowy activities of our rulers.








The City of London is the biggest weapon in the armory of the ruling elite’s class war against the British – and global – public. It is a vacuum sucking up public finances to further enrich the wealthy and leave the masses reeling from austerity policies, while using the media to bolster the impression that it is a hub of wealth creation.

That’s why you almost never hear anything about the City of London. Our supposed representatives, politicians and corporate media alike, are happy to keep the veil mostly drawn across this pocket of power. It is not just that they do not want to take it on, they are already very much part of the power structures it has designed both to preserve itself and shield itself from meaningful criticism.

As long as we are talking about Mark Field’s attitude to women, we are not talking about his and his government’s active collusion with the most regressive, secretive, unaccountable rotten borough in the UK – a city-state located geographically inside Britain, but operating outside its strictures.

Mark Field’s attack could have provided an opportunity to examine this powerful relic of medieval Britain, to consider who the City of London really serves, and to wonder why the political class are cozying up to it rather than trying to eradicate it as a dangerous behemoth of Britain’s surviving feudal order. The City of London is integral to a system of ever-accelerating wealth hording by a global elite that is economically unsustainable. But in response, the media willingly amplify a loud culture war and simplistic identity politics precisely so no other kind of debate stands a chance of being audible.








The other, even more obvious issue the activists were trying to draw attention to was the threat posed to the environment, to other species and to our own future by the preposterous, self-serving premise – espoused by the City of London and its politician and media cronies – of endless economic growth based on the exploitation of the planet’s finite resources.

Supermoon over City of London.  (Colin, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons.)

Late Waking to Emergency

We are now facing a climate emergency – or rather some of us are finally and very belatedly waking up to a climate emergency that has been many decades in the making. We have come to it so late because the wealth elite represented at the City of London dinner have used the key power structures at their disposal – the political and media establishments – to deceive us, to keep us sleepwalking towards oblivion as they have carried on plundering the planet, destroying the biosphere, and stashing away their inordinate wealth.

The state-corporate media has not only downplayed climate change but is still doing so, as credibly as it can manage given the relentless scientific evidence that human society is hurtling towards an abyss.

In fact, many of the journalists responding to Mark Field’s attack have lost no time in using it as a way to further alienate the public from climate change activism. They have presented those prepared not simply to wait quietly for us all to be driven over the cliff-edge as a nasty, uncouth, potentially violent rabble. They have done this even as the video footage shows the women who protested at the Mansion House dinner were dressed in evening gowns and remained entirely peaceful as they sought to gain attention for the most urgent and catastrophic issue of our time.

There should be no debate that they are right, that we live in a rotten and rotting system of power that has blindly invested all its energies in perpetuating a feudal system of wealth creation for a ruling class, even as the futures of our children – all our children – hang in the balance.

Yes, Mark Field, his face red with indignation, looked like a man who had lost the plot, who was filled with an overwhelming sense of his own entitlement, and who was deeply threatened – not by violence from the protesters but by arguments he simply has no way of addressing rationally.

The real debate we need urgently to engage with is not whether Mark Field is a wife-beater or misogynist. It is how we deal with the power structure he represents, the system he is a loyal servant of. For that psychopathic system is ready to beat us all, men and women alike, into the dust, to keep extracting the last ounce of wealth from a dying corpse, to obliterate our futures.

Jonathan Cook is a freelance journalist based in Nazareth.

This article is from his blog, Jonathan 

67 comments for “The Danger of Getting Sidetracked

  1. Mary Gourdoux
    July 3, 2019 at 17:08

    Jonathan Cook,
    Thanks for putting into words what I have been thinking about the US corporate media. I’ll do the obligatory – I don’t support Trump, but then say our media keep Americans stirred up by stories on the personality traits and outrageous behavior of Trump. Yet we hear very little about the very real destructive policies his administration is carrying out.

  2. Robert Emmett
    July 2, 2019 at 12:38

    Thanks again to CN, Jonathan Cook and commenters for fleshing-out this story.
    I agree there is much to be made of Jonathan’s larger points about how MediaCorps skews to the banal rather than to substance. And I also echo concerns about the power of that seemingly unyielding grip of dualism or what’s sometimes called the Manichaean world-view.

    Still haunted by the Chened-bush, calling out in the wilderness: You’re either with us or with …well, you know; and then the dive to the dark side from which we haven’t surfaced yet, as far as I can see. It certainly appears as if that iron fist of dualism has pinned us, or many of us, since at least, well, the Early Roman Kings.

    Yet, media here also presents us with this article, and what I think of as the reveal, an accompanying video and captured snapshot: which I’ll call…

    Privileged, pampered flesh
    his deranged face
    as he grabs a woman by the throat,
    forces her to cower
    marches her away.

    His foil wears a sash
    that says pay attention
    now, today.
    Is this too brash?

    A nearby female averts her gaze
    while five males turn to stare,
    who never lift a finger
    nor stir ass from chair.

    An instant’s reveal,
    cloak of fake etiquette
    pushed away,
    true Nature,

    Glimpse of their citadel:
    crack of light,
    as many chosen few
    toil in their velvet-gloved
    dark side.

  3. July 1, 2019 at 21:07

    Must wonder how those wealthy, “special few”, will use their funds to buy a safe haven for survival, when the rest of us gasp for air. They will realize how stupid and awful they were when even that delusion of safety collapses. How can we teach the immoral, the greedy? Possibly sharing and retweeting Mr. Cook’s words of understanding.

  4. July 1, 2019 at 13:08

    Great piece. I posted a small piece of it on Rogue Columnist by Jon Talton

  5. Mary Saunders
    July 1, 2019 at 11:59

    Was William Browder present? Does anybody know? Tina Turner renounced so the powers could not impoverish her German husband, right? Why did William Browder renounce on the topic of where his income came from that he did not want to pay tax on? If folks here do not know why, perhaps a follow-up article here is in order?

  6. July 1, 2019 at 11:55

    Of course the mainstream media is circus, run indirectly by the ultimate power, the deep state, designed to distract. Always has been.

    And so, the way when finally a climate change question was asked at the Democratic debate circus, it turned into “Will your plan save Miami?”

    And that’s a partly a trick question, in which timeframe. But mostly, no, Miami is a gonner in the long term, surely in 200 years if not 100. But maybe other coastal cities could be saved.

    But even that’s doubtful, given the design and composition of our governing systems–power based on wealth based on exponentially growing destructive processes. Collapse of everything is the virtually certain scenario, and epochal melt of all permanent ice–though that might take a millenia it will be baked into the cake before the collapse, in the next 100-200 years.

    Repurposing the imperal and war machines into green development, turning capitalism and it’s exploitative power system upside down, radical and total change could make a difference.

    But it’s unlikely changes will be more than the window dressing that even at best the world has seen so far, until far too close to total collapse.

    • DH Fabian
      July 1, 2019 at 16:35

      In the US, it goes further. It’s certainly not just msm, but here, our liberal media censor out those ideas that don’t “toe the party line.” Readers whose comments do not conform to the conclusions of the “liberal establishment” are simply blocked off of discussion boards, out of the public discussion, making legitimate political discussion and debate impossible. I guess that in times of such extreme uncertainty, lockstep conformity is demanded and enforced.

  7. Guy
    July 1, 2019 at 11:35

    ” The City of London is a deeply corrupt fiefdom inside a slightly less corrupt Britain”
    These words say it all .
    I would like to add that Italy has it’s own mafioso centre and that is the Vatican .A state within a state just like London .
    Always good to read Johnathan Cook .

  8. Pft
    June 30, 2019 at 18:21

    It looked staged to me. No way she should have got through security and the cameramen was certainly well positioned to capture it like he knew it was coming (coincidence?). I didn’t really see the force used as excessive either. If the protester that was trespassing was male, nobody would think twice about it.

    • July 1, 2019 at 15:29

      I just wonder about your comment. Have you ever been grabbed by the chest and thrown up against a wall by someone that outweighs you by 100 pounds or so? Thought not. It is violent. And then to be grabbed by the scruff of the neck and run out of the room like a dog, Not violent eh? You along with the creep that grabbed that woman need a few lessons on violence so that you have first hand experience in just what it feels like.

    • July 1, 2019 at 21:41

      At Pft: “I didn’t really see the force used as excessive either. ”

      Whether the force was excessive is irrelevant unless the person applying the force was a law officer. There is no legal privilege for anyone else to exert non-excessive force.

      At least in the U.S., the tort of battery consists at minimum of any uninvited and offensive or harmful touching of another’s body or clothing. Even the unwanted kiss is an actionable battery.

      See also

      “Battery is a common law offence within England and Wales.

      “As with the majority of offences in the UK, it has two elements:

      “Actus Reus: The defendant unlawfully touched or applied force to the victim
      Mens Rea: The defendant intended or was reckless as to the unlawful touch or application of force

      “This offence is a crime against autonomy, with more violent crimes such as ABH and GBH being punishable under the Offences Against the Person Act 1861.

      “As such, even the slightest of touches can amount to an unlawful application of force. However, it is assumed that everyday encounters (such as making contact with others on public transportation) are consented to and not punishable.”

      @ “If the protester that was trespassing was male, nobody would think twice about it.”

      Except police, prosecutors, lawyers, judges, the defendant, and the person who was subjected to the unlawful force. Others?

  9. liftup
    June 30, 2019 at 11:22

    In debates, did anyone notice how whinny Eluzabth Warren sounded? Whinny Warren.

    • July 1, 2019 at 21:44

      That kind of comment scores no points with me.

      Also, I presume you meant “whiny” rather than “whinny.” Look them up. There’s a big difference.

  10. Brian James
    June 30, 2019 at 10:40

    Jun 29, 2019 Democrat Far Left Push Makes ‘Never Trumper’ Declare Support For Trump

    Democrat Far Left Push Makes ‘Never Trumper’ Declare Support For Trump. The Democrats are beyond losing their supporters. In one story published in the Wall Street journal a man who refused to vote for Trump in 2016 has now declared he will be supporting the president in 2020.

    • DH Fabian
      July 1, 2019 at 16:50

      “Democrat” and “far left” are contradictory terms. There is no left in the post-Clinton Democrat Party. Some of us spent years pointing out how Democrats divided and conquered their own voting base. We pointed out why Democrats would lose 2016, and now point out why Democrats already lost 2020. Liberals are never going to “get” this issue, and predictably, Democrats already began setting the stage to blame Russia again. America’s problem is much bigger than the two top players in presidential elections.

  11. Ga
    June 30, 2019 at 10:04

    Atmospheric CO2 concentration will match the Dinosaur Age by the end of next year. Can we predict what corporate media propaganda will say and not say?

    The graph is quite surprising, see

  12. Skip Scott
    June 30, 2019 at 07:59

    Another excellent article by Mr. Cook. It is a shame that the comments devolved into another ridiculous debate about the reality of our human caused Climate Crisis. There is a plethora of research to support its reality. There is also what is right in front of our eyes: melting glaciers, tornadoes in Seattle in winter, methane bubbling up out of former perma-frost, etc. Anyway, I didn’t start writing this to get involved in a climate debate. I just encourage everyone to read up on it, and open your eyes to the world around you.

    What struck me about this article was the “City of London” as a powerful enclave within London. I was ignorant of that distinction. I am also curious if our infamous William Browder is now a member of this circle, since he renounced in US citizenship and relocated to the UK to avoid paying taxes. It really shows the international nature of the Empire that Browder remained capable to influencing our Congress to pass the Magnitsky Act despite his deliberate forfeiture of his citizenship. I wonder if he was at that dinner?

    • DW Bartoo
      July 1, 2019 at 07:49

      Superb clarifying comment, Skip Scott.
      Your questions around Browder are important and deserve serious answers.
      Which answers we may be quite certain the U$ MSM has no interest in seeking out or revealing.

      The “City of London” revelations were also “news” to me, suggesting a whole other area where the Legacy Press fails miserably yet intentionally to examine the hidden institutions of power.

  13. Dao Gen
    June 30, 2019 at 07:29

    This is an excellent and an important article that deserves to be on the front page of the Guardian or the NY Times. I worry, however, about the dualism Cook sets up here and there and in his conclusion: “The real debate we need urgently to engage with” he says, “is not whether Mark Field is a wife-beater or misogynist. It is how we deal with the power structure he represents, the system he is a loyal servant of.” I submit that we need vigorous, multi-dimensional discussions of *both* Field’s sexism and of the system and power structure of which he is a suddenly prominent member. Both are intimately related and for the most part inseparable. Violence against women is also a system and a power structure, one that surely played a crucial role in the structure of late medieval capitalism and the exploitation of nature on a mass scale, an exploitation that perhaps reached its ultimate form in the explosion of European colonialism and imperialism. All of these are based on different but interrelated forms of male entitlement.

    The truism that “the personal is political” is rarely heard these days, or, more likely, it is interpreted in terms of reductive, dualistic concepts like “culture wars” or “identity politics.” But “the personal is political” means something more comprehensive — that structures and systems of the public world are intimately related to and inseparable from structures and systems of the private world. Separating either of these two deeply structured worlds from the other risks weakening or undermining otherwise progressive agendas and movements. Given the strong tendency of the MSM to reduce complex social and private issues to simplistic and emotional personal issues of various personalities, a non-dualistic approach to climate change is absolutely essential. The most effective way to build mass movements to fight against climate change is surely to show how climate change is affecting people’s private lives and simultaneously being caused by selfish elites who treat nature the way Boris Johnson treats his wife and Mark Field treats insubordinate women. If broad-minded journalists can skillfully and realistically interweave the actual overlapping public and private “layers” of people’s everyday lives, then this realism of approach will surely increase the chances of the passage a serious Green New Deal or similar legislation in the UK and elsewhere.

    In spite of his dualistic rhetoric, I think Jonathan Cook has in this article done an admirable job of suggesting the intimate interrelation of male violence against both nature and women while also pointing out how the tendency among some males to organize societies into hierarchies with small elites at the top depends on a partly suppressed tendency to feel and express individual and social rage and violence against all other humans and all of nature.

    • Skip Scott
      June 30, 2019 at 08:03

      Great comment Dao Gen. Thanks for your input here. You are always very insightful.

    • DW Bartoo
      July 1, 2019 at 07:53

      Superb comment, Dao Gen.

  14. Robert Mayer
    June 30, 2019 at 01:14

    Tnx CN, Jonathan… A public official, male, perpetrates physical assault on a female constituent…
    MSM reaction, perhaps, gives observers oppotunity2 judge & rank each organ as a credible voice for the public trust…
    Same govt system expected2 adjudicate assault on press as shown by Julian’s assault.
    Thanks again Mr Cook4 real view.

  15. Brian James
    June 29, 2019 at 21:43

    Jun. 14, 2012 These 6 Corporations Control 90% Of The Media In America

    That’s consolidated from *50* companies back in 1983.

    • Guy
      July 1, 2019 at 11:49

      And guess who controls these 6 corporation .
      It is the same all across the Western world .The press has become a propaganda organ to mesmerize /fool the public ,obfuscate the truth for an agenda that most are not even aware of . One must search the alternative voices of truth to stay sane . Jonathan Cook
      never fails to expose the liars and deceivers .

  16. Tristan
    June 29, 2019 at 13:04

    Well said Mr. Cook. Thank you.

  17. Bart Hansen
    June 29, 2019 at 10:49

    The applause was especially shocking, and by the ladies, too.

    And what an odd, I guess posh, way to applaud, by slapping the table with one hand. Can’t have our hands too high at dinner.

  18. June 29, 2019 at 09:17

    Without denying anything the proponents of climate change/crisis claim, there is a certain arrogance that man can control climate, that mother nature is a passive creature. The proponents provide us with little reason to doubt, we are all going to hell.

    Solid waste, the climate change proponents say too little about this, is a major problem. Greater fuel efficiency is a great goal. Solar energy needs to be promoted with vigor. Conservation of resources a worthy goal. All these are , and others, have by the nature, things that should be done and with consensus, be effectively addressed. To claim the sky is falling is not the way to go about it.

    I cannot recall the exact time, but sometime in the 80’s I think, there was a documentary on climate change aired on public television. In it, it described the streets of New York as underwater and other cataclysmic events. Now we hear the same thing being bandied about.

    It may be true sometime. But Mother Nature is likely to have more to say about that than all the climatologists in the world. Let’s hope things do not become that bad and people put their heads together to work for cleaner air, cleaner streets, greater conservation of resources. Things we can do.

    • Seer
      June 29, 2019 at 13:01

      Efficiency just means being more efficient at consuming resources.

      I’d hope that more people could find the gem in this article (I’ve been hammering on this for years, and it’s finally starting to sink into people’s heads):

      “The other, even more obvious issue the activists were trying to draw attention to was the threat posed to the environment, to other species and to our own future by the preposterous, self-serving premise – espoused by the City of London and its politician and media cronies – of endless economic growth based on the exploitation of the planet’s finite resources.”

      FINITE resources because we’re on a FINITE planet.

      No matter how “efficient” we are, as long as our economic model is based on perpetual growth on a finite planet we WILL hit the brick wall. Energy is “renewable,” (as long as the sun is shining, which engages our climactic system, triggering winds and such), but physical resources, the kind you can touch, are totally limited (yes, we can “recycle,” but only so many iterations here, and, ultimately, more recycling, as there would be ever-greater consumption, would require more energy [yes, virgin extraction uses a lot of energy too; point is is that it’s still a matter of available energy for an ever-expanding system]).

      The “elite” use growth as their lifeblood. They are the “leach” part of the equation. The non-elites MUST be sucked, even it it means the host eventually dies.

      There are no “solutions,” except the “final” one. Best we can do is to evaluate our environment and adjust the best we can. It will not, however, ever be good enough to forestall the power of nature, the balancing forces of entropy: we will never have enough energy to permanently hold off entropy. The reality of this is starting to come out. The elites (of which, when looking at the entire global population, I am one [though not in the sense of having any real influence/control]) are starting to lose their control because the System is breaking down, the System is cracking under the pressure of entropy. No matter what we end up doing Mother Nature will re-till the planet, and that tilling will bury us all: next glacial period WILL occur, it’s part of the cosmic cycle. Pure human hubris to think that we can somehow stop all of this; best we can do is SLOW the process down- at what eventual cost, and how much will it get us (in terms of extra life) are the only things for debate.

      • Dunderhead
        June 29, 2019 at 18:04

        Seer that’s really heavy man, I really think there is room for some optimism here, first off the hole climate change thing well we’ll see but generally speaking people are very good at adapting and my guesses is even if there is something here we will be able to figure out some sort of accommodation. Honestly when you look at human history and the ever lowering costs of commodities due to alternatives being found you could make a case for humanity is actually a good thing and does not on the whole wished to destroy its own environment. I would recommend to books for you that are not particularly about the environment but just our species and those would be Carol Quigley’s Evolution of civilizations and Jordan Peterson’s maps of meaning, I don’t know if that will help but at least it will be interesting, best.

    • Truth first
      July 1, 2019 at 15:28

      You are not helping by putting your head in the sand. Man cannot “control climate” but he sure has hell can bugger it up. Refer to 100% of the worlds peer reviewed climate scientists. “Greater fuel efficiency” is NOT a great goal. We cannot stop this train wreck by “consensus”. Also “hope” will not work. What will help is not burning things, something so many refuse to do because the ill informed think we can solve this if people, “just put their heads together”.

  19. June 29, 2019 at 02:53

    The author is serving Deepstate. There’s no such thing as a peaceful protest. All organized protests are run by Deepstate, and all are meant be violent. Some don’t quite succeed.

    As always with media events like “police violence”, we get to see only the part that serves Deepstate. We don’t know what happened before. Field MIGHT have been striking out without previous aggravation, but there’s USUALLY a first aggravation that we aren’t allowed to see.

  20. Abe
    June 29, 2019 at 01:13

    “It is worth observing that there was not a gentleman at this gathering of Britain’s bankers and upper classes. Nobody stood up to try to assist the peaceful woman who had been grabbed by the neck. Sickeningly, they applauded Field on his return. I find the extraordinary tirade of Tory defence on twitter this morning says a great deal about the kind of party it has become. […]

    “If Tories are allowed simply to assault people lest they make a speech that Tories disagree with, society has turned a corner to somewhere very dark indeed.”

    That Mark Field Feared a Terrorist Attack is Clearly a Lie – or He Is Dangerously Insane
    By Craig Murray

  21. June 29, 2019 at 01:12

    By calling ‘climate crisis’ climate change, you downplay it. Otherwise, I found this article to be very good.

  22. geeyp
    June 29, 2019 at 01:04

    Jonathan Cook has explained the main damage that the MSM has caused, using this instance as an example. They shoot the messenger and ignore the message.

  23. firstpersoninfinite
    June 28, 2019 at 23:43

    Such excellent writing and spot-on logic! If only most American outlets put out this level of critical thinking, we wouldn’t be just another historically-doomed empire wondering what happened to our country.

  24. E Wright
    June 28, 2019 at 22:48

    Hear hear (If I may be allowed to borrow a phrase from that other ossified institution, Parliament).

  25. Dunderhead
    June 28, 2019 at 21:30

    With all due respect to consortium news, this article is so deeply flawed in its presumptions from the presumed approved behavior of a sociopolitical class in a specific period of time that we have no knowledge of to a de facto judgment on the climate change question with its hysterical Cassandra like mantra. We are talking 1.5°, this goddamn planet has been hit by astroids give me a break, this nonsense is being pushed by the very people that’s stand to gain from its adoption, many of whom were directly involved in the development of hydrocarbons. This is a fraudulent topic designed to deflect attention and seek rent at a time when our attention needs to be elsewhere! Not to mention the general disingenuousness of this article presuming to be above the debate and then passing judgment, this is a dialectic trick that 13-year-olds Play most parents have dealt with this nonsense. All of that said a gratuitous judgment of my own. War is the worlds worst polluter! From depleted uranium to hydrogen bombs, all this while the mass confiscation of resources while populations are used as pawns to justify the next round of love bombs, this author is either a CIA plant or a useful idiot.

    • firstpersoninfinite
      June 28, 2019 at 23:52

      “…this nonsense is being pushed by the very people that’s stand to gain from its adoption, many of whom were directly involved in the development of hydrocarbons.”

      You mean they are over a hundred years old? That’s how old you would have to be to be involved in the development of hydrocarbons. I don’t mind climate change denial – I mean what kills the planet really has no bearing on anything once it is in process, but your arguments are pathetic. Meanwhile, the pollution of war materials won’t matter when breathing is no longer an option. Then the actions of elitist rabble like the proud coward hurting this harmless protester will be seen for what it is – the beginning of the attitudes that led to our own demise.

      • Dunderhead
        June 29, 2019 at 17:47

        firstpersoninfinite, the Rockefeller Family in particular but certainly others, my guess would be some combination of the Hidden government and the same Legacy families that have always controlled American politics. They are investing in the green technologies that are being sold to the governments of the world this is what it means to seek rent, honestly it’s a brilliant fiddle, the state-of-the-art still Will not outlived its payment cycle, is the perfect self licking ice cream cone. Check out James Corbetts big oil on this if you like it’s a good flick. Another thing to consider in this there are alternatives that have been passed up, particularly thorium fission, none of that long-lasting nuclear waste and it can eat the waste from standard light water reactors, unfortunately that would be the kind of Technology that would threaten both the military industrial complex as you can’t be going to war over oil in the Middle East if oils just not that big a deal but I digress. It is also kind of odd that the United States in particular has abandoned a once vibrant hydro electric program, or even the old trolley car systems from major cities such as Los Angeles, interested parties in both the automotive and fossil fuel industries killed these public goods. interests that model along and just pay for themselves do not generally have the clamor of an interested party and the public is generally speaking to busy putting bread on the table, this is why people have to be vigilant for cheap hype like this climate change religion.

    • Lucius Patrick
      June 29, 2019 at 14:02

      “Not to mention the general disingenuousness of this article presuming to be above the debate and then passing judgment…” –I agree with your point, I noticed the condescending righteous tone right off the bat… I also don’t know what the atmosphere at the dinner was–were protesters allowed in, or had she sneaked past security? What sort of a venue was this? Did the public have complete access, or had this meeting place been rented? Are restaurants and other venues which are rented by organizations and groups obligated to let in protesters to disrupt their proceedings? Regardless of the organization? This topic is not a slam dunk as the writer premises, and apparently the fact that a man escorted a woman out physically is the worse thing that happened here, which seems to offend my sense of women’s rights and women’s equality…

    • Truth first
      July 1, 2019 at 15:34

      Speaking of, useful idiots.

      “War is not the worlds worst polluter”. Look it up, along with most of your other ‘truths’.

      • Dunderhead
        July 2, 2019 at 18:37

        Mr. Truthy I do not know if you are wishing to protect your own peace of graft whether that be: the military industrial establishment or preferment system granted the university industrial complex who serves on behalf of the military industrial complex and all other rent seeking parasitical plagues that have turned this nation of plenty into a nation of debtors but I am not having it nor is the majority of the population of this fair country nor the world as it is such an obvious rent seeking power grab.

        War and its enterprise is indeed the biggest polluter below find links to associated articles do not skip the graph as it does a very decent job of charting carbon usage during the 20th century. Note the gigantic spikes in carbon usage during Times of conflict, it would seem bye even your own metric i.e. carbon war is the biggest polluter. The large spike that happens in the 80s would most likely be attributed to the rise of China while many would describe this as pollution I would rather call it an investment in humanity as lifting such a large percentage of the worlds population out of poverty can only be a good thing, you know more mines that will do things like invent cheaper means of manufacture, Energy systems, cures to cancer, etc. While carbon may only be a lagging indicator it does point the finger given the time line of excessive use. At any rate good luck to you that is if this empire ever gets back to being a republic, there is dignity in honest work I suggest you try it.

        Graphic showing atmospheric carbon levels 20th-century

        US military worlds biggest polluter

  26. Tom Kath
    June 28, 2019 at 21:10

    Jonathan seems to do exactly what he warns against. Having credibly established the wrongs of wealth hoarding and wealth disparity, he jumps without any reasonable connection to the conclusion that this is caused by the weather, climate change, or as it has now been again renamed, “climate crisis”. It would be just as credible or incredible to blame Putin, Iran, or China !

    The extent to which manipulative wealth appropriation has anything to do with the highly emotive climate “crisis” debacle, leads me ever more to the conclusion that the latter is just a means to the former.

    • Dunderhead
      June 28, 2019 at 21:33

      Tom we are in a closed conversation, when I checked back to see if my comment was posted it showed up as a zero comments so I reposted and here I am having posted previously and again, I guess this is the deniers purgatory, how do you feel Tom? Lol

      • Tom Kath
        June 29, 2019 at 00:41

        We do seem to be on the same page here Dunder, but I would also warn against the “echo chamber” phenomenon. Finding any amount of agreement does not make us right. We should welcome the possibility for ALL perspectives to be seriously considered, raised, and discussed. – I think that mixed with the “crisis” alarm bell stuff, Jonathan Cook actually intended this message as well.

        PS – I often see impatience by commentors here. You must allow a reasonable amount of time for the appearance. I believe VERY few are actually denied.

    • June 29, 2019 at 01:14

      Huh! Climate crisis, which is simply what we have, is being “renamed” climate crisis? Stop already.

      “An Open Letter to the Environmental Community” by Ralph Nader :

      • Tom Kath
        June 29, 2019 at 21:39

        It was “Global Warming”, then “Climate Change”, then “Climate Crisis”.
        Where I live there is no warming, no change, no crisis, and I live right in the middle of the environment.

        • Truth first
          July 1, 2019 at 15:39

          Strange how some people can, “live right in the middle of the environment” and not notice that it is warming, changing and is a crisis for many people. Are you sure that living right in the middle of the environment is not actually under a rock somewhere??

          • Tom Kath
            July 1, 2019 at 20:36

            I live over 1000km from the nearest major city. The “centre of the environment” is not necessarily central London, Tokyo, or New York. Any real change in global climate would be felt by me long before the city centres.

            90% of people live in major cities and I think they mistake “POLUTION” for global climate. – “Under a rock somewhere” is actually a city !

  27. Dunderhead
    June 28, 2019 at 20:54

    With all due respect to consortium news, this article is so deeply flawed in its presumptions from the presumed approved behavior of a sociopolitical class in a specific period of time that we have no knowledge of to a de facto judgment on the climate change question with its hysterical Cassandra like mantra. We are talking 1.5°, this goddamn planet has been hit by astroids give me a break, this nonsense is being pushed by the very people that’s stand to gain from its adoption, many of whom were directly involved in the development of hydrocarbons. This is a fraudulent topic designed to deflect attention and seek rent at a time when our attention needs to be elsewhere! War is the worlds worst polluter! From depleted uranium to hydrogen bombs, all this while the mass confiscation of resources while populations are used as pawns to justify the next round of love bombs, this author is either a CIA plant or a useful idiot.

    • AnneR
      June 29, 2019 at 09:47

      Yes, the military – particularly the US military given its global presence – is indeed a major polluter. So too, if in different ways is agri-business (which is *not* farming by any stretch of the imagination).

      And yes this planet has been bombarded by asteroids large and small – indeed it is highly likely that a *big* one was responsible for the near total wipe out of life on this planet via – guess what: temporary climate change. But I’m not sure why you raised this particular issue.

      But to ignore the rising temps of the planet, due in large part to industrial production of CO2, is inane and I would suggest self-delusional. The reality is that the global temp rise doesn’t have to be that great (1.5 – 2 degrees Celsius is around 3 – 4 degrees Fahrenheit and climate science uses Celsius not Fahrenheit) for it to affect – i.e. thaw – the Permafrost. And this thawing *really* matters in a nasty way (so too does the Arctic sea’s warming for the same reason): Methane. There is a lot, a lot of frozen Methane beneath the Arctic ice and within the Permafrost.

      If you think CO2 doesn’t matter for global temp rises, you’d better not think that about Methane. It is *many* times greater a Greenhouse gas, has a long shelf life and fades (if that’s the right impression) into – CO2.

      Now frankly, I don’t give an eff about humanity especially in its western form, who are responsible, one way or another, for this coming catastrophe – but I do about all of the other species of life. They have had zero to do with causing any of this, yet they are and will pay the greatest price, along with those peoples who didn’t do much if anything to provoke it.

      • Seer
        June 29, 2019 at 13:39

        Just to add a data point here…

        Ocean currents have a HUGE say in all of this. The less salinity in the oceans the less current cycling. And the less cycling the more extreme temps will get. Anyone who believes that humans aren’t impacting raw nature, nature’s weather cycles (and thus climate), is denser than fresh water. Simple study of populations of other living things tells us that overshoot nearly always occurs (depends on predator numbers). It’s not how we do things, but how much, and the open-ended grow-till-we-die model is going to perfectly deliver. Anyway, back to the ocean currents, here’s a good primer on the importance of salinity:

      • Lucius Patrick
        June 29, 2019 at 14:11

        “Now frankly, I don’t give an eff about humanity especially in its western form, who are responsible, one way or another, for this coming catastrophe – but I do about all of the other species of life.” –Without us here to note the beauty, not sure that the value of nature remains the same; I think we are a necessary ingredient, or a highly valuable one to say the least. Without us, it is primarily a planet of predators eating each other generation after un-noted generation–major if not total lack of beauty; and no Shakespeare.

        • AnneR
          June 30, 2019 at 12:38

          Why on earth, pray tell, does our presence (destructive, greed ridden, violent, self-centered to the enth degree) matter at all. We – humans – like all other living species (and all the millions of dead, extinct ones) are simply an accident of nature. We have no intrinsic meaning nor extrinsic either. The same goes for other living species and they don’t give hoot whether we are their to decide on their “beauty,” their “worthiness” or not. Our opinions, views are – to put it mildly: immaterial, irrelevant.

          Our actions however are anything but.

      • Dunderhead
        June 29, 2019 at 17:24

        AnneR, I appreciate your Point of view but when you look into the details of this climate change data, it does not even say what the Pondens say it says, add to that the on known reactions that the planet may have to whatever given conditions affect it, the largest being the sun obviously. You sound like in earnest person I suggest looking at some of the work James Corbett has done on this as well asRobert Murphy, while you may not agree with either of their politics or even there take on this particular situation you can at least see that people do not agree there is any crisis at all in those regards. Compare that to Ocean solidification, the use of glyphosate’s and as you said GMO is having a horrible affect on the food chain and for all beings involved in that, the climate change argument/Religion seems to me as it is crafted to win the attention of earnest people, that’s especially True when most people in a way are cowards in that it is easier to point the finger at some vague evil opposed to going up against the Holocaust that American airpower has wrought on the world, all of us wish to be perceived as being courageous but that is also a mask for not only the image sure but those who stand to benefit from such a blank check of public rent. Anyway good luck.

  28. Jeff Harrison
    June 28, 2019 at 20:42

    One of the first things that we must do to help fix our societies is to reestablish the actual rule of law. Stripped of positions, rank, etc., Mark Field committed battery. He should be immediately arrested, charged, and incarcerated. The only positive defense he would have for the charge would be that the lady in question had physically placed him in fear and he had to defend himself. I kinda suspect he couldn’t pull that one off.

    We had a similar incident in Montana when a candidate was questioned by a Guardian reporter, and this candidate, Gianforte, battered the reporter, who was male. Initially, Gianforte lied to police and claimed that the Guardian reporter had assaulted him but there were plenty of reporters to tell police the truth. It’s actually illegal to lie to the police (although the Supreme Court has ruled that the police can lie to you) and that Gianforte was not so charged tells you that American justice isn’t worth the powder to blow it to hell. He was, however, charged with battery, convicted, and given a token sentence which merely reinforces my observation of American “justice”. I do understand that British “justice:” makes American justice look good but I don’t have any personal knowledge of that.

    At the end of the day, we have laws to define acceptable public behavior. If we have tacit or unspoken rules that are different for different parts of society, we are a nation of men and not a nation of laws. And that’s not a good thing.

    • E Wright
      June 28, 2019 at 22:56

      Actually no. It has always been legal to use minimum force to eject a tresspasser. The debate (among CPS staffers) should be, did he use excessive force? Its a subjective judgement based on the degree of resistance being offered. But Mr Cook is right. Why is this the centre of the debate? Why isn’t our fourth estate telling us about these power structures hiding in plain sight?

      • Diana
        June 29, 2019 at 05:41

        Why do you assume the lady was a trespasser? As Craig Murray said in the article linked by Abe:

        “One point that appears to have been missed in media comment, is that it seems to me extremely likely that the woman had an invitation or ticket for the event. She was dressed in evening wear as the other guests, but was not attempting to infiltrate or gatecrash or she would not have worn the sash. The most probable reason for someone to follow the dress code but identify themselves with a protest sash is that they were a legitimate guest wishing to make a point.”

        • E Wright
          June 29, 2019 at 23:30

          Of course we are getting side tracked here in exactly the manner described by Mr Cook. The owner and his agents invite people onto their premises and despite having an invitation, if they breach the conditions of entry, they are tresspassers. You can act on behalf of the owner without his specific invitation, though you run the risk of being declared unauthorised. Having said that, if the force is excessive, it becomes a battery.

          • Jeff Harrison
            June 30, 2019 at 11:20

            You’re full of it buddy. Were there conditions to the invitation? I will guess that you have no clue since I doubt you were invited. How often do you get an invitation to some gala event and have it tagged on the end no [fill in the blank] protesters or anything else. Usually, “undesirables” are filtered out in the invitation process.

      • Seer
        June 29, 2019 at 13:15

        It’s a matter of use of force in defense or in security. Field isn’t one of the security members (who, clearly, and as noted, did not keep things “secure”), which leaves only the matter of whether he was justified in use of force for his personal safety.

        In the end, Fields and all who are part of the apparatus, won’t be able to protect themselves from the system that has up till now kept them aloft. Their denial will only bring in additional counter-forces in the form of what took place here: this is entropy in play (yes, they’re human actors, but it’s still entropy at work). The mighty are going to get many nose-bleeds as they fall. The cost of partying hard.

      • Jeff Harrison
        June 30, 2019 at 11:13

        Actually, no. Let me correct your comment. It has always been legal to use minimum force to eject a trespasser who REFUSES TO LEAVE. As noted, there’s nothing to indicated that the lady in question was, in fact, a trespasser and even more to the point Mr. Field clearly did not ask the woman to leave. He simply attacked her. Go back to my original comment which, unlike yours, is correct. There’s a legal term for that, it’s called battery.

  29. KiwiAntz
    June 28, 2019 at 19:27

    The article makes the comparison of the Romans “Bread & Circus’s “ History analogy but the only thing that this has in common with comparing it with the Mainstream Media is the “distraction factor”? Today’s audience to the MSM’s garbage Propaganda leaves you with a gaslighted brain whereas at least the Romans got free Gladiator entertainment, free food & drink at the Collosseum but you get nothing but ashes from today’s Mainstream Media!

    • RnM
      June 29, 2019 at 06:52

      Plus, the MSM reaps advertising profits on the garbage topics, because people continue to watch their bread and circuses, and debate how phoney it all is. IMHO, it might be best that the MSM be ignored, and/or literally be turned off, at the ON/OFF switch level, and the same done to their advertisers’ soap and shampoo brands.

    • RnM
      June 29, 2019 at 06:56

      Which is what they are all about, anyway. Pretty People Selling Stuff. Destroying civil society as a by-product.

    • Seer
      June 29, 2019 at 13:23

      No, we all get ample entertainment (we’re engaged in it right now!). Compare to the overwhelming masses of humans on this planet that are far more (are actually) impoverished, and we’re nothing more than hypocrites and whining babies (trying to get more share of the loot). If WE were to rise up and smack down the System then others around the globe might be better off (but this does not solve anything, though it would place us in a more humble position- humility is something that we are sorely lacking). Ah, but doing this would cause our own lives to be a lot less comfortable, in which case we just bumble along waiting for the “elites” to take care of it all (rather than rising up and tossing them on their asses [something that has occurred multiple times in human history]).

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