41% des français favorables à la proposition d'un quota de 4 vols par personne dans une vie, avancée par l'ingénieur Jean-Marc Jancovici
41% of French people support the idea of a quota of 4 flights per individual lifetime, proposed by the engineer Jean-Marc Jancovici
M Jancovici is not merely an engineer but an "expert du changement climatique" - a climate-change expert - so he knows whereof he speaks. Among those aged 18-35, 48 per cent are in favour of the proposition.
I am in France for medical reasons at the moment, and am quite enjoying the company of the under-35s I encounter. But it is sobering to reflect that apparently half of them support restricting the citizenry to four flights per lifetime - or at least feel it's prudent to say so when asked. Were this policy to be implemented in the next few weeks, I would never see New Hampshire again. And France is the world's Number One tourist destination, with over twice as many visitors per annum as its nearest rivals. Yet they're willing to take the hit in the cause of lowering sea levels in the Maldives in the twenty-second century.
Will Bill Gates and Al Gore be restricted to four flights per lifetime? Oh, don't be ridiculous. As John Kerry has patiently explained to you hicks and rubes, flying hither and yon on private jets is "the only choice for somebody like me who is travelling the world to win this battle". And forty-eight per cent of young Frenchmen willingly defer to that critical distinction.
~What does this boil down to in practice? I was watching Katie Hopkins the other night, mainly for a rather merciless bit on the latest travails afflicting GB News, but amidst all that Katie casually mentions she's just dropped off her better half for his flight to Australia for a family wedding. Er, hang on, why isn't she accompanying hubby to celebrate with all the kin? Well, because she's banned from Australia for "breaching quarantine" - specifically, for posting on Instagram a threat to answer the door to her quarantine hotel room naked and maskless, thereby making herself a one-woman super-spreader to the bellhops and waiters of New South Wales. And this ban has another three years to run - so no family weddings for you!
When the subject of "fifteen-minute cities" comes up, people say, "Aw, what's wrong with schools and doctors and restaurants all within a short walk?" Nothing. It's the other schools and doctors and restaurants just beyond the horizon that you won't be able to access without state permission and a penalty charge. And, as Katie's situation demonstrates, they're not going to be operating that regime with a light touch.
~In an interesting conversation with Tucker Carlson, my old Hillsdale comrade Victor Davis Hanson says that we are living in revolutionary times. He's right. And, as we see in the GOP presidential debates, normal politics are insufficient to deal with what's going on. All the most basic liberties - freedom of movement, freedom of speech, freedom of association - are under assault. And, as those French poll numbers suggest, millions and millions of our fellow citizens are entirely cool with that.
~Over at the indispensable Conservative Woman, Kathy Gyngell has a far too generous column about me, starting with some words from Laura Perrins:
It's why they got rid of him – he cuts through the bullsh*t.
I don't know about that. Any show, any network has to have balance: you can't do the collapse of the entirety of our civilisation 24/7; people need a bit of light and shade. But, when all you do is trivia, what exactly is the point? Somewhere or other, Mrs Gyngell responded to a Tweeter or commenter that it was not true to say she had been banned from GB News once I left. It's just that they never asked her in to talk about Covid vaccines or free speech or anything that mattered. It was merely low-hanging culture-wars stuff, where all you need is someone to come in and go, "'Ave we all gone flippin' daft?" And Kathy preferred not to waste her time with that.
It's not even clear to me that GBN's obsession with such stuff is sincere. I have been into the station's headquarters at Paddington Basin just twice - once for a quickie interview with Dan Wootton; next to host our vaccine victims special, which was such a technical nightmare that every other show I presented in London came from Neil Sean's Westminster studio (where we have been filming Mark Steyn Shows long before GBN was a twinkle in anyone's eye). And, on those two brief visits to GB HQ, I never had occasion to use the bathroom. Which is not TMI, but highly relevant to what follows.
My colleague and compatriot Andrew Lawton did use the bathroom. Because he flew over from our North American studios and spent a fortnight or so with the London guys seeing how they did things. Nigel Farage was sufficiently solicitous to wander over and say hello to him. Those were the days, eh? Anyway, on Friday's Clubland Q&A, Andrew gave this rather colourful vignette:
I think that there is a great challenge for people at this organization that say one thing and, when push comes to shove, don't behave in that way. Just one stupid example - and maybe I shouldn't tell this... I'll tell the story; who cares that much?
GB News is, you know, all about the gender stuff, and you know, their shows are all about, oh, we need to push back against the gender insanity. The one thing when I visited the GB News studio in London for the first time that I was struck by is how they have gender-neutral bathrooms.
So you go into the bathroom, and it's a bunch of individual stalls - and then one common area that is where the sinks and blowdryers are. And you walk in there, and you know, I'm not particularly comfortable around women. I mean, I'm not comfortable around anyone, but you know, women worse than men. But they're women in television, they take their appearance very seriously.
So you've got women doing their makeup and you know, all these things. And then you've got the slobby guy from the control room that wants to go in and get rid of his bean burrito. And they're all in the same bathroom.
And again, these are the people that on air will talk about how terrible, you know, gender-neutral washrooms are, but off-air this is what the powers that be decided they would do to design their studio space... You don't want to read too much into stupid stuff. But I think there's something very revealing in all of that - when you are on one hand committing to be one thing that you won't even offer to the people on your team.
After a decade-and-a-half in and out of Fox News, I cannot even imagine going into the bathroom and finding Shannon Bream or Harris Faulkner in there. But at GBN Bev and Nigel finish up railing against the gender insanity and then nip off set to use the one gender-neutral bog. Together.
That's my big worry about media conservatism: No one really means it.
~Let me thank all the newcomers to our ranks in recent days, from Minnesota to Mauritius, New Brunswick to Nyons - a French town my darling daughter and I drove through during my Christmas convalescence. We hope to welcome many more of you in the years ahead. For more information on The Mark Steyn Club, see here - and don't forget our special Gift Membership.