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"Mr Blair, this is a citizen's arrest for a crime against peace, namely your decision to launch an unprovoked war against Iraq. I am inviting you to accompany me to a police station to answer the charge." If you happen to encounter Tony Blair, this is what the multipurpose-campaigner and Guardian columnist George Monbiot encourages you to say by way of introduction. Indeed Monbiot is so keen on this form of address that he has set up a site — ArrestBlair.org — which offers a bounty raised by public subscription, standing at £2,147.54 at the time of writing, to anyone who attempts to use this salutation on Blair. Monbiot has form here, having attempted to "arrest" the Standpoint contributor and former American ambassador to the United Nations and Under-Secretary of State John Bolton for alleged war crimes at the Hay-on-Wye book festival. Helpfully for Bolton, Monbiot announced his plans in advance and was removed from the premises by security. 

Opposition to Blair and the Iraq war is only one narrow front of 50-year-old Monbiot's lifelong campaigning. His first big cause was the fate of native peoples and environmental degradation in the Third World, with angry polemics-cum-travelogues about Brazil, West Papua and East Africa. After this, and turning his emphasis on Britain, he became the media voice of the protest movements of the early 2000s-      anti-corporation, anti-globalisation, anti-roads. As for so many of the protestariat, climate change and what to do about it became the big issue and often the totem pole on which to hang pre-existing demands.

Monbiot's current obsession and the subject of his recent book (Feral, Allen Lane, £20) is "rewilding". He argues that because of over-farming much of the world, and Britain in particular, has become a degraded and diminished place. Nature should be allowed to take its course, moorlands should gradually become forests again, and Britain's uplands should be cleared of the "white plague", otherwise known as sheep. 

Species which once roamed Britain's wilds should be reintroduced —starting with wolves and beavers, previously last found in the 17th and 18th century. Why should elephants (last seen in the UK 115,000 years ago) and rhinos not roam our lands? Monbiot writes, "I have seen no discussion about the reintroduction of elephants to Europe, though I would like to start one."  

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Michael Mosbacher
October 8th, 2013
2:10 PM
T Lester - My point is not to argue that if someone went to a "posh" school or has a privileged background they are not entitled to have radical views. Far from it. What I was trying to show - looking at Monbiot's own writing - was the source of Monbiot's rage. I was arguing that - in Monbiot's case as his own work shows - his views are not in spite of but because of his background and his contempt for those who share it.

T Lester
October 3rd, 2013
12:10 AM
What a weird article. It just stops. So, GM went to a posh school and that means he is not allowed to hold radical views. Is that it? Standpoint really is a petty, dumbed down contrariian reactionary propaganda blog. Yawn.

Marsh
October 2nd, 2013
5:10 AM
Why run an ad hominem against Monbiot ? If you disagree with his stand against Blair or for the environment would it not be more effective to mount an attack on his argument?

Anonymous
September 26th, 2013
2:09 PM
I can't say I'm ever surprised, nowadays, to read of a workers' representative's inconvenient background. These upper-middle class Lefties lord it over the rest of us - or aim to - but wouldn't ever grant the hoi-polloi a say, lest we say the 'wrong' thing. Their raison d'etre is to engineer a transfer of power to the 'correct' side, whilst maintaining our status quo.

MrVeryAngy
September 26th, 2013
1:09 PM
Moonbat is obnoxious little tic.

Old Blue Eyes
September 26th, 2013
12:09 PM
Hi Major Plonquer. Where have you been? I used to enjoy your hilarious blogs. Any chance of bringing them back?

Anonymous
September 26th, 2013
10:09 AM
So Monbiot wants to kill most humans by starvation through wilding. Let him be the first volunteer.

Philip Walling
September 26th, 2013
7:09 AM
He hates people. The desire to clear the countryside of people is misogynistic. Wilderness is inhuman. Look at Scotland where the people and the sheep have gone and it's just a vast hostile landscape. Compare it with a land that is cultivated like France, and which is the more beautiful? We are meant to cultivate the land for our sustenance and create beauty at the same time. But Monbiot doesn't want that, he'd rather we starved so long as elephants could roam where they've never roamed before. Surely it's better to pay no attention to him.

Major Plonquer
September 26th, 2013
1:09 AM
Now you know why he's commonly known in his native UK as "Moonbeam".

sackcloth and ashes
September 25th, 2013
7:09 PM
Behind Monbiot's 'environmentalism' is a desire to put the hoi polloi in their place, so that enlightened aristocrats like himself can run the countryside as they see fit. As for practicing what he preaches, well he clearly feels entitled to fly to all his 'environmental conferences' and to cross the globe to promote his scribbles. But if the Jones' want to go to Majorca for their two weeks annual holiday, then that is truly a crime against Gaia.

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