Sunday, November 4

Scared to Death

Never before have so few (Christoper Booker and Richard North) disturbed so many with a new book; well not since their last one.
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Today, The Sunday Telegraph publishes a whole page on a new book, Scared to Death, the latest from the Booker-North stable. James Delingpole wrote ''This brilliant expose of some of the most destructive delusions of our time should be compulsory reading for everyone (particularly journalists and politicians) and if people took heed the world would suddenly become a better place."
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The article in the Telegraph however, is a shorter version of that which Booker originally submitted, the full version of the article is posted on EU Referendum.

Follow the links to read more and to order the book.
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Christopher Booker & his colleague, Richard North, are courageous opponents of scares. They ought to be national treasures ... they are relentlessly unfashionable. Their unwillingness to run with the pack makes them sceptical of conventional wisdom and sets them apart from mainstream journalism, which is unsettled by their diligence and their originality.And then - like all sceptics - they are sometimes embarrassing even to their friends. They will insist on checking the facts of the matter ... this excellent forensic book ... Every politician, every journalist, every consumer of journalism should read, mark, learn and inwardly digest it.
Peter Hitchens in The Mail on Sunday.

1 comment:

Christopher Booker said...

Over the past 15 years, my column in The Sunday Telegraph has become notorious for what is scorned in some circles as its obsession with the EU and mad bureaucracy. I have thought
these themes important because, to a far greater degree than is yet generally realised, they reflect a complete revolution in how our country is governed.

Another regular columnar theme, however, has been the readiness of our society to fall for hugely damaging "scares", terrifying threats to our health or
wellbeing that eventually turn out to have been vastly exaggerated.

Our media are in general ready to show a hysterical interest in talking up such scares, but much less inclined to take interest in their often devastatingly misplaced regulatory aftermath (let alone in the evidence which eventually shows how the supposed threat had been largely imaginary).

My first crusade back in the early 1990s was the coverage I gave, thanks not least to hundreds of readers, to the mad "hygiene blitz" being launched on
Britain's food businesses by environmental health officers (EHOs), in response to the food scares of the late 1980s.

I was able to expose its absurdities not least thanks to my collaboration with Dr Richard North, himself a former EHO and a noted food safety expert, who had
been at the heart of Edwina Currie's panic over eggs in 1989.

As countless other scares followed, we noticed how consistently they followed a
similar pattern, as we have now set out in a book, Scared To Death.

We got many inside stories from informed readers of this newspaper: from the bizarre manipulations of science which underlay the demonising of lead in petrol and of white asbestos (which together cost the Western economies hundreds of
billions of pounds) to the hysteria over "Satanic child abuse" which 20 years
ago possessed so many of our social workers.

The latest and greatest scare, as Dr North and I suggested in last week's Sunday Telegraph, is that over man-made global warming - promoted, as our book shows,
with the aid of more distorted and politicised science than all the other scares
put together.

Our politicians may be convinced by it now, but even they should be disturbed by how neatly their latest fashionable obsession fits the pattern of so many other scares long discredited.