Poor old Monckton

Off in Wootsup land someone called Gudfry is having trouble with the portrayal of Monckton on wikipedia, saying:

I see Connelly and his “tag-team” are at it again. This time it’s about the many disputed entries about Lord Monckton, the prominent anti-AGW campaigner.
Many contributors have argued that they have chosen a picture of him which is unflattering, and at worst, deliberately derogatory – which is agaist wiki rules.
After a temporary removal, there has been an edit war which Connelly’s tag-team have won, insisting that it stays. See “Discussion” page on

They’re fascists.

If you like these kind of disputes, this one is quite amusing. The problem, of course, is that the picture makes Lord M look like a bit of a wacko (see endless debate on the talk page). Now you or I might make the obvious rejoinder, but clearly his supporters can’t. The usual folk have been removing the image with some utterly implausible assertions (e.g. [1]). Wiki would be happy to use any other decent pic of him, but he hasn’t made a PD one available. I would have thought that the solution to this problem is to write to his fully-staffed PR dept and get them to OK one, but that doesn’t seem to have happened.

But if you want the piss really being taken out of Lord M, you want Bad Boy Gareth.

Poor old Watts refers.


  1. #1 Phillip IV

    That picture makes him look like a wide-eyed lunatic – so, what’s supposed to be wrong with it?

  2. #2 Stacy M

    The google and yahoo image searches reveal that I loved him in ‘Young Frankenstein’.

  3. #3 Rattus Norvegicus

    He does have Marty Feldman eyes.

  4. #4 Vinny Burgoo

    Prominent? He’s positively leptokurtic!

  5. #5 Hank Roberts

    This is really about his tie, isn’t it?

  6. #7 bigcitylib

    I thought I’d used all the dorky pictures of Monckton out there, but you’ve shown me a new one.

    I think this one


    …is actually my fave.

  7. #8 Hank Roberts

    > I think this one

    Hmmmmm. Same shirt, same tie.

  8. #9 Alex Harvey


    So you have now admitted here that, “the picture makes Lord M look like a bit of a wacko.”

    That is, of course, obvious, but you can’t say that in Wikipedia without “assuming bad faith”, which your gang is fond of hiding behind.

    But now, this post here, on your blog, is, what, just to flaunt publicly your ability to abuse Wikipedia’s policies and get away with it?

    Okay, so before I escalate the matter, you now have the opportunity to demonstrate that I’ve misunderstood, and that in fact you aren’t just taking the piss out of Wikipedia here.


    [You may escalate to your heaarts content, old fruit, as long as you’re honest and accurate. I’ve called plenty of people wackos on wiki; I’m pretty sure I’ve called Lord M a wacko; what are you complaining about? -W]

  9. #10 bigcitylib


    I don’t want to speak for the blog owner, but I THINK the point might be that if Monckton didn’t want to look like a wacko he’d stop having pictures taken of himself.

  10. #11 David B. Benson

    Ugh! Its the tie…

  11. #12 Alex Harvey


    What Monckton himself may or may not want is completely irrelevant to Wikipedia policy.

    Correct, you can’t speak for the blog owner.

    Best regards,

  12. #13 Ed Darrell

    And, did you notice he’s complaining about the photo just as it is revealed he’s pulling in a sizable fee and fantastic expenses to tour Australia? He’s fond of saying anyone making money on this stuff is probably on the payroll of the Chinese and should be investigated by national security units — so I can understand why he’d be nervous.

  13. #14 pough

    Alex, the point is Monckton is funny-looking. You seem to be saying: “there are to be no pictures of Monckton where Monckton looks like Monckton.”

  14. #15 Carmen S

    If he was uglier, it would necessitate using a picture of the back of his head;)

  15. #16 Alex Harvey


    Firstly, if the point was merely that Monckton just is funny looking, which would be a pretty juvenile sort of observation, that would be contradicted by William’s very clear wording, “The problem, of course, is that the picture makes Lord M look like a bit of a wacko.” William is admitting that there is something about this particular pic that makes M look like a wacko. He then blames his defenders in Wikipedia for this connundrum, asking why they haven’t written to him asking for a better pic? Nevermind that we don’t have pics for half of our BLPs and there is no requirement or a BLP to have a pic.

    Secondly, I am not saying that “there are to be no pictures of Monckton where Monckton looks like Monckton.” A quick scan of google images shows that he looks perfectly normal in most photos, as to most photographs of most people when taken by normal, sympathetic photographers.

    So I am still waiting to hear from William on why he is flaunting his abuse of Wikipedia here, just a few weeks after Lawrence Solomon’s latest article.

    Who is he taking the piss out of: Monckton, or Wikipedia?

  16. #17 Marco

    @Alex Harvey:
    Your claims of William abusing Wikipedia are as accurate as Solomon’s claims (already noticed his lies about Google?): there is none.

    [AH is a wiki person, intemperate [1], rather over-focussed on skeptic bio’s, and ill-advised, but not fundamentally bad -W]

  17. #18 Thomas

    Right now the picture of Moncton has been replaced by a more neutral one.

  18. #19 bigcitylib

    He still looks wacko in the new picture.

  19. #20 Marco

    Point me to a picture where he doesn’t look wacko, and I’ll invoke Photoshop!

  20. #21 lumpy

    The new picture crops out the kilt.

  21. #22 Boris

    The picture in question is pretty bad, so I don’t think it should have been used at all.

    That said, Monckton still looks batshit crazy in the current one, so everything worked out.

  22. #23 GoRight

    Heh. If you REALLY want to embarrass me, [NPA removed -W], try learning how to post a link properly. :)

    [Fixed, thanks. Your mask of politeness, always rather insecurely attached, has slipped somewhat -W]

  23. #24 pough

    William is admitting that there is something about this particular pic that makes M look like a wacko.

    And that “something” is: Monckton.

  24. #25 Eli Rabett

    Monckton’s eyes bulge because he suffers from Graves’ Disease. It’s a bug not a feature although YMMV, but given that, any recent photo is going to make him look like Marty Feldman.

  25. #26 Gareth

    Bad Boy, eh? You ain’t seen nothing yet.

    [Scrotum eyed the Laird’s battered leather luggage grimly. Two weeks in Australia with the Laird and his good Lady meant a tottering heap of personal effects that he would have to manhandle around. The one with Monckton’s new body armour was particularly heavy. “Vicious little buggers, koalas” he’d told the personal security man. “Claws on ’em as sharp as knives. Got a set I keep at home for defacing copies of Nature”…

    To be continued. dot dot dot dot]

  26. #27 romunov

    Why does anyone rely on wikipedia on such subjective matters like politics?

    [Can you point to a better source? You’re not going to tell me “a newspaper” are you? -W]

  27. #28 Tom C

    William, old boy, you guys are losing the PR war badly at this point; the IPCC pontiff has been exposed as a crook; and honest scientists are bailing ship. So, I hope you find some comfort in such juvenile postings.

  28. #29 ligne

    Tom C. you clearly have no idea how climate science works. otherwise you’d know that the head of the IPCC isn’t the pope of science, he’s the *president-for-life* of science.

    [Tell that to Watson -W]

  29. #30 P. Lewis

    Apologies in advance (as this is probably in poor taste), but …

    When I first saw these images, they just reminded me of …, well, I’ll leave it to your imaginations.

  30. #31 Warwick Evans

    Monckton’s eyes bulge because he suffers from Graves’ Disease. How come you are making fun of the symptoms of a disease? Don’t you feel ashamed at doing that?

    [No, I’m making fun of Lord M for *being* a wacko, not looking like one -W]

  31. #32 Warwick Evans

    [No, I’m making fun of Lord M for *being* a wacko, not looking like one -W]

    My mistake then… I thought you were making fun of his appearance.

  32. #33 Gareth

    I couldn’t resist the elephant.

  33. #35 P. Lewis

    Courtesy of a Dirk Hartog comment over at Deltoid, Debunking the myths behind the pontificating potty peer has a delightful cartoon of the potty peer. I just can’t work out whether the Glen Le Lievre cartoon takes its inspiration from that new Melbourne pachyderm or a Collodi creation.

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