“Of course I don’t have a f*cking agenda. I’m a national newspaper journalist – why would I have an agenda?” – Mark Townsend, Observer journalist.
The Observer launched a broadside this week against the environmental movement. Headlined “Police warn of growing threat from eco-terrorists”- handily sub-headed, “Fear of deadly attack by lone maverick as officers alert major firms to danger of green extremism” – the article goes on to allege that “Officers are concerned that a ‘lone maverick’ eco-extremist may attempt a terrorist attack aimed at killing large numbers of Britons.” Of course not one shred of evidence is referred to in the thinly disguised puff-piece for the National Extremism Tactical Co-ordination Unit (NETCU).The words of an unnamed police source are all it takes to generate the spectre of carbon-neutral suicide bombings coming to a city-centre near you.
Apparently, “The unit is currently monitoring blogs and internet traffic connected to a network of UK climate camps and radical environmental movements under the umbrella of Earth First! … A senior source at the unit said it had growing evidence of a threat from eco-activists. ‘We have found statements that four-fifths of the human population has to die for other species in the world to survive. There are a number of very dedicated individuals out there and they could be dangerous to other people.’”
The piece was written by one Mark Townsend (environmental journalist of the year and co-incidentally author of a mildy-amusing tome entitled “Fifty ways to fuck the planet”) and the mysterious Nick Denning, who doesn’t even work at the Observer.