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Jul 22, 2011

Monckton threatens to sue ABC, calls chairman a 'shrimp'

Climate change denier Lord Christopher Monckton has threatened to sue the ABC and described its chairman Maurice Newman as a "shrimp-like wet little individual", writes journalist Graham Readfearn.


Climate change denier Lord Christopher Monckton has threatened to sue the ABC and described its chairman Maurice Newman as a “shrimp-like wet little individual”.

Lord Monckton, who is towards the end of a near month-long tour of Australia, told a Melbourne audience he had met with Newman at a breakfast and requested he intervene in the broadcast of the Radio National documentary Background Briefing.

Experienced ABC journalist Wendy Carlisle interviewed Lord Monckton and several of his supporters for the documentary, which first aired on Sunday. The documentary also highlighted links between Lord Monckton and mining magnate and supporter Gina Rinehart, chairman of Hancock Prospecting.

During the program, Lord Monckton was recorded telling an audience: “So to the bogus scientists who have produced the bogus science that invented this bogus scare I say, we are coming after you. We are going to prosecute you, and we are going to lock you up.”

In the latest outburst on July 20 at a speech in Melbourne, Lord Monckton said: “I have written to the chairman of the ABC who is a shrimp-like wet little individual and I have said to him, right mate, I warned you about this woman [Wendy Carlisle] orally over breakfast.

“I then wrote to you saying she is going about my friends pestering them and then she produces and broadcasts this garbage because you did nothing about it. Now I want the right of reply to these lies by the ABC or I will sue. So watch out ABC.”

ABC corporate affairs director Michael Millett said in a statement to Crikey: “The ABC has received a number of complaints from Lord Monckton about its coverage of him and is working through them. We have no further comment.” Crikey requested a response from Newman but this request was turned down by Millett.

Shortly after Lord Monckton’s previous visit to Australia, Newman told senior ABC staff that some were guilty of “uncritical group think” in accepting that serious climate change was being caused by humans.

Lord Monckton caused controversy before arriving in Australia, when it was revealed he had displayed a quote from Australia’s former climate change policy adviser Professor Ross Garnaut beside a large swastika.

The outburst was widely condemned and prompted Lord Monckton to apologise, only for him to then claim that the term “climate change denier” was a reference to Holocaust denial.

During a speech on climate change last night, Liberal MP Malcolm Turnbull warned the audience: “Do not fall into the trap of thinking that what Lord Monckton says or what some website says is superior to what our leading scientists would say.”

Earlier this week, the House of Lords took an unprecedented step of posting an open “cease and desist”-style letter online saying the Lord should stop referring to himself as a member of UK’s upper house of Parliament.

In a National Press Club debate with Australia Institute executive director Richard Denniss, Lord Monckton repeated his claim to be a member of the House of Lords.

Lord Monckton, whose current tour was part-paid for by the Association of Mining and Exploration Companies, has threatened to sue numerous individuals in recent years who have criticised his long-debunked views on climate science. These include threats to sue US-based scientists John Abraham and Scott Mandia after they critiqued his claims. He also threatened last year to sue The Guardian columnist George Monbiot for libel.

Lord Monckton also failed in a last-ditch UK High Court bid to force a right-to-reply on the BBC over the screening of Meet the Climate Sceptics — a documentary which followed Lord Monckton on his 2010 tour of Australia.

*An edited version of this article first appeared on Graham Readfearn’s blog



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51 thoughts on “Monckton threatens to sue ABC, calls chairman a ‘shrimp’

  1. drovers cat

    Mr Monckton – Kermit the Fraud – was in Noosa last year and sparked a rally outside the local auditorium before addressing the usual cabal of old white males inside.
    One wonders about national pride here; the local press didn’t seem to mind that a foreigner, purporting to be a politician (well, he insists he’s a lord even though the House of Lords says he’s not – you can’t have it both ways KF), would comment on domestic political issues, even starting a protest rally.
    If K the F or anyone of his ilk tried that in, say, the US, he’d either be summarily deported or locked up.

  2. Greg Conkey

    why do you continue to refer to Christopher Monckton as Lord Monckton …. if you look up the British Houses of Parliament web site he is not listed …

  3. drmick

    We know what happens when you tie your dreams to a star.
    What happens when you tie your dreams to a moncktonnotarealord?
    Must be like holding onto a sewerage truck hose. “Mind you dont tread in that monckton”.

  4. Holden Back

    Can we get over this furphy – he is an hereditary peer, and correctly addressed as ‘Lord’, but since the 1999 reforms to the House of Lords, he is not entitled to sit there simply by virtue of his inherited title. The pantomime with the passport at the Press Club was simply embarrassing to all concerned.

    Why his membership of the House of Lords should mean anything in this debate is another question: his status does not stop him from being a goon.

    Chest-puffing threats to sue from minor nobility – how Dickensian!

  5. Liz45

    If he’s genuinely convinced that he’s correct, why does he have to resort to abusing everyone and anyone who disagrees with him? This seems to at least be childish/immature. I find people who give themselves titles rather boring and in love with themselves. He doesn’t come across as a genuine person to me. What was he doing prior to this activity? Working for cigarette companies – arguing against the science that cigarettes are lethal? Does he believe in free speech or just ‘free if you agree speech’?

    Will he threaten to sue Crikey or myself now? Good thing I’m not rich – don’t even own a house!

  6. ggm

    We didn’t write about Lord Lascalles, but Viscount Lascalles.

    We didn’t write about Lord Linley but Viscount Linley.

    if you want to be super-posh, I suppose THE Viscount ‘x’ is used as the written title.

    This is not new. Any decent book of English writing will explain how to WRITE the style of a tier of the peerage, distinct from how to address them in person. There are differences.

    Indeed, when spoken to, one is advised to use Lord, and ‘My Lord’ -but thats SPEAKING.

    So, can we just all agree to call the twerp Viscount Monkton, and if forced to speak to him, say hello my Lord, in a suitably happy-clapper pose.

    Moving on..


  7. shaz williams

    There are hundreds of hereditary peers, Barons , Viscounts and so on who are all entitled to call themselves Lord on official documents like passports, driving licenses etc and it is an offense to do that in the UK if you do not have that entitlement.

    However there are now only just under 100 who are entitled to sit in the House of Lords since Labour Party reforms in the late 90s.

    A fact that upset many who regularly clocked into the House for a subsidised lunch, a few G&Ts and to pick up their daily allowance of a hundred quid.

  8. Meski

    It must be embarrassing for those on the same side as him…

  9. Just Me

    I thought it was only the Teh Evil Leftie-Communo-Fascismo-Stalinista-Nazified Tax-Tax-Tax Fact-Biased CO2-Hating-Warmista Enviro-Scumbags who engaged in abuse of their opponents, coz they had no real arguments to use?

    It is so hard to keep up with the latest talking points from the shape shifting denialati.

  10. John Newton

    Although I agree the whole question of Monkey Bum’s title is irrelevant, it should be noted that is is far from an ancient conferral – it was created in 1957 – and he is the third

  11. klewso

    There you go, “Freedom of speech is wasted on liberals”?

    As for Newman- is this supposed to retrieve his cred?

  12. drmick

    He pretty much represents why we need to sever ties with that weird mob over there.
    It was always about us and them and if he represents them, well……. bring on the republic.

  13. Dave Sag

    I wonder if he’ll want to sue me too? By the tone of the comments in my Punch story about Monckton yesterday it seems I am to blame for pretty much everything bad in the world now. yay. See http://www.thepunch.com.au/articles/its-time-for-direct-action-no-not-the-abbott-kind/



  14. mikeb

    Newman probably (not so) secretly likes the cut of the good viscounts jib, so it’s a bit ironic that he’s been called a “shrimp-like wet little individual”. All this talk about suing etc reminds me of forestry (formerly giant) company Gunns who went after small individuals who dared to protest about their activities in little ‘ol Tassie. I believe there is a term for it – apart from intimidation – but can’t think of it at the minute.

  15. Jon Seymour

    Given the way Wendy Carlisle was jostled and manhandled by Lord Monckton supporters for merely identifying herself as an ABC employee (listen to the podcast for details), I think Lord Monckton should look a little closer to home before throwing out allegations of fascism.

    On another topic, if Lord Monckton’s passport claims he is a member of the House Of Lords when he patently is not, is this charletan guilty of presenting false credentials to the UK passport office?

  16. Peter Evans

    Such a laugh. Maurice Newman is on record as a climate change denier and friend to the science-hating Right, and here he is being pilloried by the Arse Clown in Chief, C. Monckton. I can barely stop laughing. When you lie down with dogs…

  17. Fran Barlow

    [Lord Monckton caused controversy before arriving in Australia, when it was revealed he had displayed a quote from Australia’s former climate change policy adviser Professor Ross Garnaut beside a large swastika. The outburst was widely condemned and prompted Lord Monckton to apologise, only for him to then claim that the term “climate change denier” was a reference to Holocaust denial.]

    He didn’t actually apologise substantively, as Deltoid notes, quoting Monckton:

    [Monckton: I apologized because even the slightest suggestion that one of his opinions is a fascist opinion is these days regarded as intolerable in circles other than the particular circle to which I addressed it. It shouldn’t have got out from there but somehow it did. In those circumstances the only thing to do … {my emphasis}]

    He is effectively expressing regret that he was outed saying something that would underline his lack of intellectual scruple.

    Miscount Bunkton is simply a pathetic and laughable would be litigant. He has no cause of action, but he fancies he can intimidate people into thinking he might.

  18. mikeb

    To his defence (I can’t believe I’m saying this) I don’t think he claims to be a member – just a Lord. Because he is a viscount it is a term he is entitled to use – as much as we might hate to hear it.

    As a joke when doing my youngest daughters tax return a few years ago I gave her the title of “Duchess” It now appears on all her taxation dept correspondence. Not a passport – but amusing nonetheless.

  19. thirdborn314

    But what can be done about Monckton? It aggravates me no end to think there are people being fooled by his rubbish.

  20. Lord Barry Bonkton

    What a fraud Chris is , i have never seen him at the House of lords. He really trashes the Good work us Lords do . He is just a snake oil (coal ) salesman .

  21. stephdoubleu

    @Mikeb, he HAS claimed to be a member of the house. That’s why the House had to keep putting out letters and press releases telling the public he isn’t.

    He was in Traralgon last night… I was going to go down and ask him to reply to the report produced by scientists refuting his “evidence”. But my Grandma didn’t want me to come back with pitchfork marks through me.

    The real question is: Why the heck are we letting a guy who isn’t even a citizen (or perm res, or looking at becoming a cit or perm res etc etc) have public debates about public policy?? I mean WTF has a crazed Brit got to do with the running of Australia?

  22. Stephen

    RN is a world-class service, and the show on Monckton was up to their usual high standards. He is not even province-class, and the ‘un-Australian’ squillionaires who are squiring him around ought to be ashamed of themselves. While this guy is sucking oxygen, the plan could be criticised by the conservatives on quite sound scientific, policy, and economic grounds – even Julie Bishop was doing it the other day, re the scam that is offshore credits.

  23. Meski

    @Steph: Well, another crazed Brit is our head of state, so…

  24. Lord Barry Bonkton

    Steph , the real answer is Gina paid for his comedy action tour.

  25. stephdoubleu

    Yes but she has no say over Australian public policy, nor does she try to influence it.

  26. nicolino

    Which twin has the Tony? Marty Feldman or Chris Monckton? Sorry; Lord Monckton.

  27. Gibbot

    @ Dave Sag – Good article. You know you’re on a winner when they come crawling out of the woodwork, bleating ‘IT’S TEH ECONOMIES!!’

    As for Monckton, I’ve also have the pleasure of witnessing a performance. He is the Phar Lap of Gish Gallops.

  28. Liamj

    Its cruel making fun of Monkton, dementia is a terrible condition.

  29. gregb

    StephW, you jest, surely? Gina does not try to influence public policy in Australia? Please.

  30. Tom McLoughlin

    And what a cracking Background Briefing it was too. Cured HIV and malaria apparently, or rather that claim sounds “barking mad” to quote the good Lord referring to his own said claim. All very confusing.

  31. AR

    Mike – they are called “slap writs”.

  32. Microseris

    Monckton is representative of the standard of the denial position.

    Check out Hungry Beast video on Gina Reinhart. Talk about a greedy, pitiful individual. Even her own Dad concluded as much.

  33. Andrew McIntosh

    If the science is really so inconclusive why can’t the doubters get some real scientists to come and argue this case? Just how deficient is their case that they can’t get any one, or any group of people, with actual scientific substance and public credibility to defend it? The fact that Monckton is the best the doubters can get in this country, to the point where the AMEC are prepared to pay money for his tour, speaks absolute volumes.

  34. Dave Sag

    Andrew the problem is that, in a debate format, lies are hard to counter. Monckton can make claims like saying the IPCC reports were written by one man, or that the world is not in fact (which is of course bullshit) but if you call him a liar he effectively wins the argument by default. It brings the debate down to a sort of “is, isn’t, is, isn’t” spectacle.


    It’s a pointless exercise to even imagine using facts, logic and reason would count for anything in a contest with a vaudeville act of this supreme unctuousness, but let’s try it on just one of the things he said in his ‘debate’ with Richard Denniss: polar bears evolved from brown bears, and being mammals will love it getting warmer (or words to that effect).

    Fact: polar bears hunt on sea ice, and their diet is mainly seals.
    Fact: during the melt ie summer months, their food intake dramatically plunges.
    Fact: Ice melts are growing in range and duration.
    Fact: Polar bears have been tracked swimming longer and longer distance due to lack of ice, often losing cubs which cannot endure this.

    So, in fact, polar bears are suffering due to climate change and their numbers will plummet if it continues.

    But in the moment of his ‘show’, this outrageously erroneous statement was not even contested, because he is not there to discuss facts.

    Oily git.

  36. ggm

    he looks like Marty Feldman because they both had Graves Disease. Unlike Marty Feldman, he appears to have no sense of humour.

  37. C@tmomma

    Oh gawd, is that pusillanimous individual still here? Could someone put him on a Slow Boat to China? One powered by dirty, smelling, pollution-emitting diesel.

  38. Murdo Macleod

    There is a grand tradition of those with dubious claims using litigation, and the threat of litigation, as a means of gagging debate. It often comes with significant wealth and a poor arguement to defend, as Gina and her colleagues in the mining industry (and others in WA such as Norm Carey) can attest.

  39. kevrenor

    Why are younger Australians (and some of my fellow fogies) today so lacking in our old spirit?

    Chris ‘Viscount’ Monckton is:

    1. English (a Pom)
    2. An aristocrat
    3. A politician (official organisational role with UK Independence Party)
    4. A journalist

    It wouldn’t have taken even those 4 ‘strikes’ to tell him to ‘piss off’ in my day

  40. A D

    yes please rewrite this article as Mr Monkton.

  41. zut alors

    Has Sir Arthur Streeb-Greebling been here for only a month? It seems so much longer.

  42. Peter Ormonde

    Actually I think Archduke Monckton is a real asset to the climate change case. I think it is wonderfully apt and fitting that Tony Abbott and Alan Jones should seek to elevate him to a spokesman and intellectual inspiration.

    A modern day Leonardo, the loony lord has cured MS, HIV and Graves Disease and a few others in his spare time while fighting the satanic conspiracy to foist world government on us all via climate nonsense.

    Really quite bizarre this stuff… have a look at his official bio set out in his little UK Independence party …http://www.ukip.org/content/latest-news/1675-christopher-a-man-of-many-talents. The man’s talents are not many, they are unlimited … Lord Walter Mitty more like.

    Seriously unhinged and delusional at best, his obvious illness doesn’t mean he’s not a menace though. Remember Hitler was considered as just another quaint (if useful) eccentric as well for a while by Europe’s royals and their corporate mates.

    Like I said, a totally apt and fitting messiah for Alan and Tony. Gilbert and Sullivan could script a better one.

  43. davidk

    “A shrimp-like wet individual”
    A bit rich coming from a beligerant bug-eyed buffoon.

  44. steeleye

    What I find most bizarre about the climate deniers regularly rolling out Lord Twitfeatures to present their case is why would they waste their money on someone who is so obviously a charlatan/nutter/liar/* (* insert libellous label here). Can they not find anyone more convincing? Do they think that Australians are going to find a foreign ‘Lord’ more credible than working scientists because he insists on using a pompous and anachronystic title? There is, of course, a much more likely possibility: Lord T is actually a climate change believer who is convincingly sabotaging the denialists ‘case’.

  45. Johnfromplanetearth

    Reading all of this crap above just proves once again how vicious, cruel and ignorantly stupid people on the left really are. Insults in any argument are always the last resort of those who no longer have a rational one. It is far easier to mock and insult Monckton than actaully challenge his view with debate? Has anyone ever noticed that Al Gore was very shy when it came to debates?

  46. wothers

    What’s Monckton got against crustaceans? After Prof Abraham from StThomas University criticised one of Monckton’s presentations, he said he looked like an overcooked prawn.

    This guy is like Walter Mitty on steroids – the sooner he takes his pith helmet and goes back to the UK, the better.

  47. Peter Ormonde

    Actually last time I looked prawns, shrimp and all the other crustacea had bulbous eyes on stalks… something to do with shedding an exoskeleton …or maybe like Prince Monckton they had thyroid problems as well … either way it’s the pot calling the kettle black methinks.

    What’s the betting this fella had a crustacean nickname at Harrow…

  48. Godotcab

    When there are bleats for “The other side of the debate”, I say wheel out Viscount Monckton every time. Call him a Lord if that’s what it takes to make him perform.

    We couldn’t concoct a more farcical figure to discredit the denialists.

  49. steeleye

    OK johnfromplanet earth, perhaps some of the comments here about the good lord have got a little barbed. However, perhaps you should remember that they were prompted by his referring to the chairman of the ABC (who I would normally be reluctant to defend) as a ‘shrimp-like wet little individual’. Are you implying that such derogatory comments are acceptable when made by Monkton, who is indubitably not of the left? If so, why?

    Secondly, you have fallen into the common trap of assuming that everyone who disagrees with Monkton, and I am guessing you, is necessarily of ‘the left’, whatever that hackneyed old term means these days. I do volunteer work with a very spry 80 year-old great-gran who firmly believes that humans are having an impact on climate change. If you tried telling her that she was of ‘the left’ she would verbally hack you off at the knees.

  50. Rich Uncle Skeleton

    Monckton won’t take part in written debates where his science can be checked. It’s very easy to stand on a podium and tell lots of lies because nobody has the time to check them. This is why science is done in the scientific literature and not in public debates, and this is why Monckton has never been published in the scientific literature.

  51. Meski

    @Peter: Or more likely a bad case of crabs.

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