Hypocrite George Monbiot Condemns Large, Expensive Homes – Except His Own.

I’m sure no thinking person ever seriously believed that those who preach about the benefits of austerity ever actually planned to follow their own advice. After all, a low carbon lifestyle is for the little people.

But the latest example of global warming hypocrisy by George Monbiot is especially breath-taking in its sheer scale and audacity.

In a recent article (“Home Rule” Jan 3rd 2011), Monbiot launched an attack on what he identified as “under-used” homes in the UK. These are houses which are larger than required to house the number of inhabitants living there (e.g. a 3 bedroom house which may only have 2 people living in it). This, he claims, is an unacceptable inequality, which is a result of the capitalist system:

While most houses are privately owned, the total housing stock is a common resource. Either we ensure that it is used wisely and fairly, or we allow its distribution to become the starkest expression of inequality. The UK appears to have chosen the second option. We have allowed the market and the market alone to decide who gets what, which means that families in desperate need of bigger homes are crammed together in squalid conditions, while those who have more space than they know what to do with face neither economic nor social pressure to downsize. (1)

Not only is this practice of the rich having more room than they need leading to greater inequality in society, but it is also a threat to the environment and incredibly selfish in a world of diminishing resources. But Monbiot has a suggestion:

I suggest a new concept: housing footprints. Your housing footprint is the number of bedrooms divided by the number of people in the household. Like ecological footprints, it reminds us that the resource is finite, and that if some people take more than they need, others are left with less than they need. (1)

All of this would just be fairly standard eco-nonsense if Monbiot was scribbling all of this from a yurt somewhere in Cornwall or something. But it’s a different thing when it comes from the desk of someone who lives in an exclusive four-bedroomed ex-farmhouse.

In an interview with the Times in 2006, the environmental activist chatted about leaving his four-bedroomed Oxford home, for a rambling farmhouse in half and acre of unspoilt Welsh countryside. As the article reported:

Monbiot is planning to move to deepest Wales, appropriately enough, to a “place that has very little pollution”, though he worries that leaving behind his “ecological disaster” of a home means “someone else will be wrecking the planet”. He and Angharad, 29, his television producer wife, have spent £280,000 on a four-bedroom wreck, with half an acre of land in Machynlleth in mid-Wales. Their aim is to spend a year and £100,000 making it incomparably green. (2)

Let’s skip the sarcastic comments about the evils of a “marketplace” that have allowed him to accumulate a spare one hundred thousand pounds for home improvements and get back to his recent article.

Monbiot goes on to attack the iniquity of the British tax system which means that the majority who live in normal homes subsidize the wealthy. These capitalist parasites, he demands, should be taxed until they are reduced to downsizing or taking in lodgers to make ends meet:

If you live by yourself, regardless of the size of your property, you get a 25% council tax discount(20). The rest of us, in other words, subsidise wealthy single people who want to keep their spare rooms empty. Those who use more than their fair share should pay for the privilege, with a big tax penalty for under-occupation. If it prompts them either to take on a lodger or to move into a smaller home in a lower tax band, so much the better. (1)

But quite how this squares with the fact that, following his divorce, he now occupies the four-bedroomed farmhouse on his own, he doesn’t say. (3)

In fairness, Monbiot has other matters on his mind. Apart from climate change, there is the threat of renewable energy installations being built in his own back yard, which might detract from the view. As the BBC reported back in 2007, Monbiot condemned plans to build wind farms and tidal power generators in his new home country of Wales:

Welsh energy policy has been strongly criticised by leading environmental campaigner George Monbiot.

Monbiot said he was not singling out Wales, as the UK as a whole was behind in the fight against global warming.

But at the Hay Festival he urged an end to windfarms on land and said a Severn Barrage would cause too much damage. (4)

All of this double-talk is perfectly standard for the upper classes from which Monbiot comes:

George Monbiot grew up in Henley-on-Thames in South Oxfordshire, in a large country house that backed onto Peppard Common[4] His father, Raymond Geoffrey Monbiot, is a businessman who headed the Conservative Party‘s trade and industry forum, [2] while his mother, Rosalie—the elder daughter of Roger Gresham Cooke[5] —is a Conservative councillor who led South Oxford district council for a decade. [6] Monbiot was educated at Stowe School in Buckinghamshire, an independent school, and won an Open Scholarship to Brasenose College, Oxford. (5)

But of course, their prescription for the rest of us is different, as Monbiot’s definition of the campaign against climate change in his book Heat demonstrates:

It is a campaign not for abundance but for austerity. It is a campaign not for more freedom but for less. Strangest of all, it is a campaign not just against other people, but against ourselves (6)

But not for him, obviously. Just you and me and the rest of the little people. As Monbiot himself writes in the same book:

“How many of us can claim to live as we urge others to live? Most environmentalists — myself included — are hypocrites.”  (6)

So next time you read a piece by some paragon of the establishment scolding you for pursuing that destructive, consumerist lifestyle, remember – they have no intention of them giving it up, only you.

1) http://www.monbiot.com/archives/2011/01/03/home-rule

2) http://property.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/property/buying_and_selling/article630953.ece

3) http://property.timesonline.co.uk/tol/life_and_style/property/buying_and_selling/article4673012.ece

4) http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/6696915.stm

5) http://wapedia.mobi/en/George_Monbiot

6) Heat, London, Allen Lane, 2006, p. 215 & 287.

According the “An Englishman’s Castle” blog (how apt) this is Monbiot’s roomy residence:


42 responses to “Hypocrite George Monbiot Condemns Large, Expensive Homes – Except His Own.

  1. Good work!

    Are you sure he lives on his own?

  2. Monbiot is fairly typical for many of those that inherited stature and money – rather than self making it. There’s often an aura of guilt that somehow the stature and money were obtained by the parents through less than clean means and that the inheritor must be tarred with that too.
    They then spend most of their time publically claiming to distance themselves from that position – but without actually letting go.

  3. Monbiot on his website once said that plane passenger would soon become as unacceptable as child molestation. I think it was about 10 years ago. He then subsequently flew to the US and Canada on his book promotions.

    • Of course he did. Like others of the “do as I say not as I do” tendency, whether MSM journalists like Monbiot, La Toynbee etc, politicians or TV pundits all their prescriptions apply to little people and NEVER to them.

  4. He also bought a car when he moved to rural Wales. I remember because it was mentioned on a car website I frequented at the time. The strap line used by the person who included the link was :

    “George Monbiot – everyone is a b.st.rd except me”

    Anyone noticed that these population limit clowns also have lots of kids ? Mr Suzuki for example ?

  5. I posted a comment on George Moonbat’s CIF blog, which was strangely removed by the Guardianista thought police. So I’ll repeat it here. Moonbat suggests utlising underused space in big empty houses. How about his ? Let’s form a posse, pack our suitcases and turn up on the doorstep of his big, almost empty Welsh farmhouse and take over those spare rooms. I’m sure he’ll be thrilled, because we’ll merely be acting on his brilliant suggestion ……………..

  6. I suppose my house is a tiny bit bigger than I need. We have three bedrooms and only need two, the spare room serves as a library. The problem is that Mrs. Stony and I bought and paid for it with our own hard earned cash and I don’t see any reason to think that someone with a bigger family and a smaller house should have a claim to it. We are talking about basic property rights which surely are something that any society could not really function without. Monbiot obviously recognises such basic rights as he demonstrates by not giving up his huge pad to go and live in a bedsit. The kindest conclusion to draw is that he is not really a hypocrite, he is just completely full of shit.

  7. He’s not called Moonbat for nothing.

  8. It has been my belief that, for some time, poor old George has been going mad. In public, on the pages of CiF. Gripping stuff.

  9. Chris…don’t forget Fruit Fly (how suzuki is referred to in Canada) also has several houses.

    • badbeta,
      I have not heard the FRUIT Fly label. The generic term for drosophila geneticists is “needle pr–ked bug f—ers”

  10. Let’s get out there and build some apartments on his half-acre. That’s far, far too much land for any one individual to lay claim to.

    We could get a dozen units, maybe more, on that property without even going as tall as a wind turbine. Oh, no garages of course, they house evil things.

    George can have his choice of cells when we’re done.

  11. Talking of hypocrites here are some more. Warning: keep any drinks well away from mouth. ;>)

    James Cameron one of the most active global warming activists is one of the worst hypocrites. Two huge houses, heated pool, submarines, fleet of cars etc.

    John Travolta has a fleet of jets and a runway from his house just in case.

    More celebrity hypocrites:

  12. Linking this article with the one on population reduction, maybe dear George could volunteer for the programme, thus freeing his house for a deserving family of benefit claimants. Two birds, one stone.

  13. Georgy is still spouting the same tired old Marxist line it seems. From each, to each according to what he dictates. Screw’m.

  14. Colin Henderson

    Do the Royals concur with Moonbat?

  15. One common factor with these wankers (apart from the hypocrisy, verbal diarrhoea, marxism etc) is the detachment from reality they exhibit. Mostly idle-rich wastes of space, they mingle among themselves, feel nice and smug and probably don’t hear a single dissenting opinion in the course of the day. They are clearly insulated from having somebody, say, bail them up in the street and point out the error of their ways to their faces.

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  17. Charles Sainte Claire

    I don’t like to sound dumb, but what does the statement “While most houses are privately owned, the total housing stock is a common resource” mean?

    If you come to my house in California I will take my 2nd Amendment rifle and blow you away it you try to make my privately owned house your common resource.

    • I think his argument (such as it is) is a reprise of the old Marxist argument that the needs of the society as a whole outweigh the rights of any one individual. So although people may own houses individually, the state (as the representing the mass of the public) has the ultimate right to take any actions it sees fit for the broader public good.

      It’s pretty much like the idea of “eminent domain” in America.

      • No, to be fair to Moonbat, I think all he means is that in a small country like the U.K. it is difficult and expensive to build new houses, so the housing stock is not as flexible as, say, the supply of bread or washing machines.

        And, again to be fair to him, he’s only talking about ways of encouraging more efficient use of the existing housing stock. But the real solution is to accept that houses is what people like to spend money on, and re-invigorate the market for new houses. Monbiot’s suggestions are both hypocritcal and idiotic.

        And to Charles Ste Claire, thanks for showing us why Americans are hated around the civilised world. Why must any comment involve a threat of violence? As the reply suggested, your property rights are actually weaker than in most European countries, where nonsense like eminent domain cannot be invoked for private gain (there is compulsory purchase for major public works, such as roads and airports, but not typically for, say, shops).

        Grow up and learn something about your own country before shooting yourself in your stupid foot with your infantile weapons that make you feel like a man.

  18. Hello,

    I really cannot understand why anyone would pay attention to anything that is spewed by this lunatic. The entire premise raised here is so nonsensical that it is difficult to imagine that a real, actual, sentient being could seriously propose such tripe.

    Ignoring this fool would be paying him too much attention.

  19. Welcome to the blogsphere, came over from Climate Depot, Marc Moranos site. Yes the hypocrisy of it all, from moonbats to Gores 7 mansions and the new one on the coast in california(the seas are going to rise 20 feet gore).As my mom used to tell me “do as i say not as i do”, never worked on me anyway. I have put you on my desktop so you will hear from me from time to time.


  21. “I posted a comment on George Moonbat’s CIF blog, which was strangely removed by the Guardianista thought police. ”

    That’s how these insane wankers operate. Ever try having a rational discussion with a Marxist? It’s impossible. Knowing that they are completely in the wrong, without any facts to back up their insane position, they resort to getting angry, trying to silence dissent, or threats of dismissal (or even imprisonment) for anybody who dares to question their ‘faith’ – sorry – ‘political beliefs’.

    Of course they’re all as thick as two short planks, otherwise they wouldn’t be Marxists, would they.

  22. Since climate hysteria is about money and power and not the planet, they’re all hypocrites – except the sincere but naive people like Ed Begley Jr. who actually walk the walk.

    I posted “Hypocrites on Parade” about the other eco-hypocrites:

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  25. San McMurdo says . . .

    “And to Charles Ste Claire, thanks for showing us why Americans are hated around the civilised world.”

    Are we hated around the civilized world? And how do YOU define “civilised?”

    Without America, the rest of the world, including China, would be in abject poverty, and all of Europe under Nazi control; MOST relief efforts for natural disasters would never take place, and the AMERICAN concepts of innate individual human rights–as opposed to collective government-granted rights–would not have spread throughout most of the free world today.

    A million American soldiers died defending Europe in WWII.

    Americans spend more money helping the rest of the world than ALL other nationalities combined. Without our military, European countries would have to massively invest in their own militaries, which most do not (which allows them to spend tax monies on things other than self-protection). Without our money, relief workers, and volunteers, millions more humans and animals throughout the world, especially poor nations, would die every year from disease, starvation, and natural disasters.

    Thank you for telling me the rest of the world hates us. I will be sure to contact my elected representatives to encourage them to vote to cut off all funds to all countries other than the U.S.; to remove our military forces from all countries other than the U.S., and to make it illegal for Americans or American charities to contribute any monies to any cause, relief effort, or charity anywhere in the world other than the U.S.

    When those hundreds of billions of American dollars stop pouring in, and when our evil American military abandons you to you own civilized devices, please tell us again what you think of us.

    You obviously know nothing of our Constitution or why gun ownership is of great importance to hundreds of millions of Americans (and for the record, I do not own a gun or want to own one). Until very recently, the notion of eminent domain did not include confiscating land from private owners to give to other private individuals for development so local municipalities could make more money from higher property taxes. The U.S. Supreme Court justices who voted in favor of this evil were all liberals. Not one conservative judge went along with that decision, and since then many state constitutions have been amended to prohibit such confiscations. The Second Amendment–allowing gun ownership–was enacted specifically to prevent the federal government from overriding the rights of individuals. Without guns, how can citizens defend themselves against despots?

    But, what do you care? You hate Americans, because you, unlike Americans, are “civilised.” You own country has a flawless history of human rights and justice, and you are so fortunate to be part of such a superior nation. And of course, these concepts of individual human rights just appeared of nowhere in your own laws TWO HUNDRED YEARS AFTER they were enshrined in our Constitution. However, they didn’t appear in full form, and what passes for human rights in most European countries would be viewed as government tyranny in the U.S.

    So the world hates us? Talk about biting the hands that feed you. If I had any say, you would never have to deal another American. And while you and your world collapsed into chaos, poverty, war, and rule by egotistical do-gooder committees, America would thrive as never before, since not one of its precious resources would be wasted on miserable ingrates anywhere.

  26. I think George’s idea of a housing footprint is an excellent idea. Someone should do a rogue’s gallery of housing/carbon footprint criminals like Al Gore, the IPCC Railroad engineer with the exclusive property on the golf course, Tom Friedman, James Hansen, the heads of the WWF, Greenpeace, etc.

    The NASA climate propaganda site for kids that was launched a year ago had a section on ‘who is helping’ with a feature on people who ‘live in tiny houses.’ When I enquired if they meant people like Al Gore and James Hansen it disappeared.


  27. I usually get bored easily and close the tab but i think that your blog can be an exception. Bravo !

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  29. My parents were closely related, hence I am congenitally insane and actually admire George Monbiot.

    Leard Plankey – Sandoual@rocketmail.com

  30. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with some pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is great blog. A fantastic read. I will certainly be back.

  31. Leigh Harwood

    People, Like George Monibot, simply have too much to think in the day. They just can’t help themselves. There’s always an emergency of some kind in the Environmental movement. There’s has to be for them to justify their miserable existence!

    There’s a reason why most of the public don’t buy into the human-caused climate change theory – it’s simply because they all have real jobs in the day which occupy their attention. The working classes are not afforded the luxury of professing virtue as opposed to living it.

  32. Monbiot is in many ways like a Hollywood star.
    He has a life of comparative leisure smelling flowers and wondering about the evils of the world.
    He then produces articles in the Guardian of such awful naivety and simplicity that only students and those of limited life experience find them inspiring.
    He really does need to get out more and discover the opinions of those of us not living in ivory towers.
    A good brain wasted.

  33. George Monbiot is an ibiot. He’s an arrogant, self righteous prick and a total fascist marxist pig.

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