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Once again I am the dastardly villain, the Emmanuel Goldstein of the village facebook group in Holt, Wales

Tom Winnifrith
Tuesday 24 August 2021

I am back in the last village in Wales, Holt, and it seems as if the village Facebook page has again identified me as Emmanuel Goldstein and a two minute hate, which will last a lot longer than two minutes, is now underway.  This time my “crime” is not to make a “modest proposal” to the local face nappy jihadists, it is far worse. I appear to have made a young woman cry.

As I write, the elders are addressing a mob in the village square and, carrying flaming torches, they will shortly be marching down the track to the Welsh Hovel to deal with Mr Goldstein. I jest. But there is an online witch hunt now underway to deal with my “crime”.  

The Mrs says that I must not respond on the Holt Facebook page, even though she concedes that I have actually done nothing wrong at all and that what I wrote was factually accurate and fair. But this is 2021 and I dared question a green warrior princess and I used my inherent male privilege and so I am the villain and there can be no doubt about that as long as you don’t give two hoots about inconvenient matters like FACTS.

This all started in early June when I noticed that our local celeb, Ms Eleanor Farr, who is a beauty queen and the current holder of the title Miss North West Charity, was asking folks to donate money to plant trees to save the planet. I am, as you know, an active tree planter because I regard them as objects of beauty not because I am a follower of the global warming cult. But each to their own. What I objected to was the dubious logic Ms Farr used to get folks to donate cash. I wrote HERE:

“She claims that if one in 4 Brits plant 240 trees each then this island would be carbon neutral at once. Ok Eleanor let’s do the maths. There are 66.65 million folks in the UK so 1 in 4 of us is 16.65 million. So Eleanor wants 3.996 billion trees planted. Now here at the Welsh hovel in my new orchard, the trees will never be massive but, even so, in order to give them space to grow to their full height without tangling branches, they need a minimum of 10 square metres. Of course bigger trees will need far more but I will work with my lower number as it makes the maths easier for Eleanor and myself.

All we need to go carbon neutral in the UK is 39.96 billion square metres. Luckily the UK is 242 billion square metres but where would these additional trees go? Allowing for the existing land under tree, we could start by planting one tree every 10 square metres across the whole of Wales, Greater London, Northern Ireland, Lancashire, the Isle of Wight and Cheshire. Of course we would need to relocate the entire population of those areas but it is still a small price to pay for making absolutely no difference whatsoever to the temperature on this planet.”

Writing this was apparently wrong. Eleanor has tonight posted on the Holt Ministry of Truth Facebook page that she may not be very good at maths but at least she does not make women cry as I have done with my article from almost three months ago. And natch everyone thinks that she is a poor sweet girl and I am a complete and utter b*stard.

This is so 2021.

What Ms Farr is doing in raising money for trees may be laudable, but she is asking folks to hand over cash on the basis of a preposterous prospectus. My “crime” was in pointing that out but in the crazy logic of 2021 I must be a bad guy because she is on the side of saint Greta thus by definition a good person so in offering up any critique at all, I am by definition a scoundrel, a rotter, a bad person. And because I am a man and she is a woman, I must be a bully. In years gone by those who used their celebrity status to raise cash on a misleading prospectus would be exposed and journalists who exposed such things would not be vilified.

But this is a Brave New World we live in is it not?

As a fellow tree hugger, I hope that Ms Farr raises oodles of cash but does so with assertions and claims that are not sheer fantasy, illogical and ill thought out. When I raise large sums for charity, as I do each year, I am careful to make sure that claims about why the money is needed and where it will go are completely accurate and backed by fact. 

But the debate on the Facebook page is not about Ms Farr’s ludicrous data and the ethics of raising money using it, which would seem to be a fair debate. It is about vilifying someone who points that out. The “right” thing to do in 2021 is, it seems, not to challenge someone raising money using spurious data to encourage donations. 

If you do not point out false claims and errors and instead stay silent you cannot offend either the cause or the fund raiser and as we all know, offending anyone in any way is more or less a hate crime, especially if the ”victim” is higher up the pyramid of victimhood than the offender. And as a straight white male I am pretty much at the bottom of the pyramid of victimhood so should just STFU and say nothing at all ever again.

Of course, I shall not shut up and will not stop writing about folks who raise money on a false or misleading prospectus whether they by stockmarket fraudsters who do so deliberately or local beauty queens who do so accidentally because maths is not their strongest suit. I can see that a day will come when the pressure on myself and my family to desist will become unbearable and I shall be silenced. Then fraudsters on the Stock Exchange will get away with more lies and crimes and folks like Eleanor can claim whatever they want to drum up support for good causes. And the Holt facebook page will need to find a new Emmanuel Goldstein.

If Eleanor thinks one entirely factual blog post is an act of such cruelty that she is reduced to tears and I should be ashamed, she might want to try my life for a few weeks: the death threats, the menacing midnight phone calls, the attempts to get my wife sacked from her job, the harassment of my (late) father and of an ex wife, the constant trolling. Eleanor, that really would make you cry.

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About Tom Winnifrith
Tom Winnifrith is the editor of When he is not harvesting olives in Greece, he is (planning to) raise goats in Wales.
[email protected]
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