Would you pay an Irish environmental lawyer £232,000 a year to lobby to the government to raise your taxes and to make it harder to do business if he told you it was for the “public good”?
Well if you’re a UK taxpayer you already do.
His name is James Thornton and he heads a charity called Client Earth, which the UK government currently funds to the tune of nearly £1 million a year via the Department for International Development.
The problem is, as Paul Homewood notes, Client Earth is the Green Blob with bells on.
Essentially, it’s an outfit of environmental lawyers who use the courts system to obstruct industrial progress in the name of saving the planet.
One of their areas of speciality is, you guessed it, ‘climate change.’
They are working, for example, with the Bank of England’s Prudential Regulation Authority (PRA) to force “important financial institutions to engage with the risks posed to their businesses by climate change at a strategic level and to demonstrate to both regulators and customers that they are looking ahead to manage future risks as they develop.”
They are encouraging a Shell pension fund member to pursue the company for failing to act on “the threat that climate change poses to its investments.”
They are busily touting for more legal action like the Urgenda Foundation case brought by 886 Dutch citizens against their government for violating their human rights by failing to reduce the country’s CO2 emissions sufficiently.
Now it’s possible — if you’re a climate loon, say — that you’ll thoroughly applaud the kind of prissy, meddling, pettifogging, red-tape-increasing, tax-squandering, virtue-signalling, right-on busybodying in which this outfit specialises. In which case, you’re perfectly entitled to spend your money (presuming you have a job which, as a greenie, you might well not) funding this splendid charity and keeping its hive of lawyers in the style to which they’ve become accustomed.
Judging by their accounts, unearthed by Homewood, they’re very, very good at spending their donors’ money, mostly on themselves.
As for aid itself, precious little seems to filter through to the third world. According to their latest accounts, their annual expenditure of £7.3m all goes on personnel costs, consultants, travel, publications, and Head Office costs.
They have 83 staff on their books, equating to average remuneration of £50K a year.
What is less clear, though, is why the rest of us should have to stump up for their Teslas and their yoga retreats in Greece and their colonic irrigation treatments and whatever else it is that high-powered environmental lawyers do with their money.
This grinning enviro-loon James Thornton defines what his firm does as acting in “the public good.”
But as his expensive Yale education must surely have made him aware “the public good” is a subjective concept, dependent largely on the political outlook of the person defining it.
Speaking for myself — and I imagine most of my readers — I’d define most of what Client Earth does as the very opposite of public good. I think they’re a bunch of do-gooding leftists who have no right to a penny of our earnings, let alone nearly an annual £1 million of them.
We’re told by Chancellor Phillip Hammond that the age of “austerity” must come to an end. But if the shysters at Client Earth are the kind of people our government has been spunking our money on for the last few years, then it looks to me like the age of “austerity” never actually started…