Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Piers Corbyn: From the IMG and Squatting to Climate Change Denial and the Daily Express.

with 10 comments

It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a climate change denier is in possession of good fortune, and must be in want of right-wing sponsors.

Spiked-on-Line (ex-Living Marxism, Revolutionary Communist Party)

Hat-Tip: Adam Barnett.

Left Foot Forward carries this story: Why is the Daily Express still quoting this crank in its weather stories?

Climate change denier Piers Corbyn believes the earth is ‘cooling’.

The Express reports: Piers Corbyn, forecaster for WeatherAction, said: “It is going to be very warm and sunny, with strong sunshine making it very hot and dry.
“We could certainly beat 24C (75F) or 25C and even nudge close to a 27C (80F) in some spots which get the best of the sunshine.”

Adam notes: “Here’s Piers Corbyn on global warming, from his website” …we point out that the world is now cooling not warming and there is no observational evidence in the thousands and millions of years of data that changes in CO2 have any effect on weather or climate.”

Corbyn is wont to attack “Green Fools” who believe in climate change.

He is a one-man one-idea one-voice rebuttal of Naomi Klein.

On his more than strange website (Weather Action), this cartoon appears,

Embedded image permalink


This quote gives a flavour of his thinking,

Polar bears did very well in the warmer times. They didn’t die out at all; they didn’t die out in the last 10,000 years, nor during the previous interglacial, nor the one before that. So, they’re just used as a deceitful heartthrob; you know, to pluck your heartstrings because the polar bears might die out.

This has drawn the admiration of London May Boris Johnson (Daily Telegraph. January 2013),

I wish I knew more about what is going on, and why. It is time to consult once again the learned astrophysicist, Piers Corbyn.

Now Piers has a very good record of forecasting the weather. He has been bang on about these cold winters. Like JMW Turner and the Aztecs he thinks we should be paying more attention to the Sun. According to Piers, global temperature depends not on concentrations of CO2 but on the mood of our celestial orb. Sometime too bright the eye of heaven shines, said Shakespeare, and often is his gold complexion dimmed. That is more or less right. There are times in astronomical history when the Sun has been churning out more stuff — protons and electrons and what have you — than at other times. When the Sun has plenty of sunspots, he bathes the Earth in abundant rays.

Adam is not equally  impressed,

But Mr Corbyn is in a league of his own. As a study by researchers at the University of Sunderland into his wacky method of making weather predictions months in advance reported: “Some forecasts are clearly very good, and a few are very poor, but the majority fall in the grey area in between, where an optimistic assessor would find merit, but a critical assessor would find fault.“ In other words, you could get as reliable a weather forecast by looking out of a window.

I looked out of my window during the Winter and noticed it was oddly warm the whole time, with no snow at all in Ipswich. Corbyn proved wrong! In the 1970s Piers Corbyn (Wikipedia) was a member of the International Marxist Group.

His ‘student cell’, based in London University affiliate (independent since 2007) Imperial College, was somewhat separate to other IMG  London student groups. Notably from the Central London Cell, ULU, Central London Poly and FE colleges,  (I was a member, doing my ‘A’ levels at Westminster Further Education College), and the LSE cell.

The little band of Imperial College strugglers that Piers was part of rankled the Uni authorities and the NUS top-knobs. Apart from that I personally knew little of them.

This recounts part of Piers’ political career, described in a highly unsympathetic not to say, sub-Spart, way by an anarchist, (BM Blob. 1988).

One spokesperson that became well known was Piers Corbyn. He was a Trotskyist apparatchik belonging to the International Marxist Group (before the IMG dissolved itself into the Labour party). His influence was immense as regards general Elgin Ave policy and the line taken by the squatters newspaper (EASY-Elgin Avenue Squatters? Yes! ) This newspaper emphasized getting support from this or that institution (e.g. Young Liberals or, Paddington’s then Labour MP) and rubbished the libertarian current which called for “Free Housing for all” instead of the usual “nationalize the land” nonsense. The former demand was put forward by The Diggers who had a few years earlier been based elsewhere in Notting Hill. Later they were to become the backbone of the Rainbow Tribe Tepee people (c/f above photo) and The Peace Convoy.

This continues in a similar vein:

Despite all the mystifications and contradictions surrounding an alternative lifestyle, they nonetheless in Elgin Ave and elsewhere called for a radical approach to housing. Although Corbyn was an adept entryist and able, at times, to push para-state bodies like Student Community Housing (SCH) and the obsessively legalistic, Family Squatting Advisory Service (FSHS) he also kept getting way-laid by the libertarian atmosphere of Notting Hill. He once noted for instance how a guy known as “Shaky Dave” found in building street barricades, more therapeutic help than anything social workers, asylums or drug dependence had to offer. Later – befitting the trajectory of the IMG – Corbyn became a Labour party councillor in Southwark (Elgin Ave was rehoused in Camberwell) where from his bureaucratic perch, he defended the Pullens Estate and other Southwark squatters against the more Militant controlled Southwark Council who were evicting them. Many a Southwark squatter has mouthed-off about Corbyn, often saying how his presence spreads the illusion that something can be done by reforming the Council, thus pacifying the necessary direct action. One anarchist even punched him in the face.

There was an interview with Corbyn about the Notting Hill period on the BBC 4 series, “Lefties”. He has we learn, left the Labour Party. Down in his manor another opportunity opens: The Republican Socialist Campaign in the General Election for Bermondsey and Old Southwark, 2015

Republican Socialist Stands for Bermondsey The Republican Socialist Party (RSP) has chosen its first ever parliamentary candidate for the constituency of Bermondsey and Old Southwark, the seat currently held by Simon Hughes. Steve Freeman, who stood for the constituency as an independent in 2010, has agreed to stand.

Pundits are confidently predicating that Steve may well, possibly, get into double figure votes. With all that lovely climate change denying dosh sloshing about Piers will no doubt be tempted to support a fellow struggler for truth. Or perhaps he is happy with the UKIP backing Daily Express.

10 Responses

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  1. There is great rejoicing in heaven.

    Kevin Algar

    April 11, 2015 at 11:07 am

  2. I don’t understand Kevin.

    You mean you finally got somebody you canvassed to say they’d vote for you?

    Pic of Ipswich Tory’s best known achievement (not the toilets: the bluebottle swotting statue is their major arts contribution, in case you ask)

    Andrew Coates

    April 11, 2015 at 11:20 am

  3. so you agree with Galloway here:


    April 11, 2015 at 1:10 pm

  4. Yes. This blog agrees with Galloway about something for which there is incontrovertible evidence.

    I hesitate to put myself up for a Godwin, but would you call it a fascist blog because it is (I assume, not having read anything here on the matter, but non-metropolitan southern English Leftists tend to be far more virulently opposed than some of their “that’s all you deserve” urban, Northern or Celtic counterparts) anti-hunting?


    April 11, 2015 at 2:43 pm

    • I am sure there’s a logical fallacy, Argumentum ad populum, at work here.Popularity is not the issue.

      Is there another fallacy at work here?

      A simpler one: I agree with G, G thinks burning witches is right, so I agree that collecting faggots to burn them is a good idea……

      However, as February says, on climate change there is one view which happens to be right, just like we would both agree that today is Saturday.

      Mind you, I live not too far off sea-level (the last floods went right up the Ipswich sewers near the Orwell) so I am an “interested party”.

      Andrew Coates

      April 11, 2015 at 4:40 pm

  5. Wouldn’t burning wooden sticks contribute to global warming and deforestation?

    Sue R

    April 11, 2015 at 7:41 pm

  6. The main point is that it’s a shame about Piers.

    I always thought he was a good bloke.

    Now there’s this.

    Andrew Coates

    April 12, 2015 at 10:19 am

  7. The potentially positive irony of all this is that the Express advising its readers to vote UKIP might just help Labour in some marginals. Not that I want a “backdoor victory” but if that is all that is on offer …


    April 12, 2015 at 11:30 pm

  8. Piers IS a good bloke. The reason he’s got into the climate change debate is scientific, not political. He’s an astrophysicist by trade and he’s been studying the effect of sunspots on the earth’s weather and climate for decades. He sincerely believes that it’s the sun which affects the climate and not CO2.

    I really don’t know enough science to say if he’s onto anything, but I do know that we’re actually in a brief warm period in the middle of an ice age. Also, the earth has been both much warmer and much cooler in the past than it is today, without wiping out all life, so the idea that the planet will become unsustainable through CO2 emissions is certainly nonsense. AGW could be very disruptive, of course, if it does exist.



    August 18, 2015 at 10:03 pm

  9. […] Roger Helmer, the frequenter of a ‘sleazy massage parlour‘, and Piers Corbyn, the one-time Marxist and brother to the Labour […]

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