Lord Bernard Donoughue

Lord Bernard Donoughue

Credentials

Background

Lord Donoughue is a British politician who sits in the House of Lords for the Labour Party. He has been on the board of the climate science denial campaign group, the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) since its inception in 2009. In January 2019, he took over from former chancellor Nigel Lawson as the chairman of the GWPF. [5], [6], [7]

Donoughue was made a peer in May 1985 and served as Minister for Farming and the Food Industry in the UK government from 1997 to 1999. He opposed Labour’s ban on hunting with dogs and has described himself as “antique Blue Labour,” indicating a preference for socially conservative policies. [8], [9]

Donoughue began his career as a reporter for the Sunday Times and Sunday Telegraph, after which he became a Reader in Politics at the London School of Economics. He served as head of Labour Prime Minister Harold Wilson’s newly-created policy unit between 1974 and 1976 and continued at Downing Street until 1979 under his successor, James Callaghan. He was then at the Economist Intelligence Unit before briefly working as an assistant editor at The Times but was soon ousted by Rupert Murdoch. Between 1983 and 1988, Donoughue worked in investment banking. [5], [10], [11], [12]

Lord Donoughue’s House of Lords profile lists “energy and environment” as among his policy interests, and in 2016 and 2017, Donoughue submitted a total of 25 official questions to the government over 15 months relating to obscure climate models. Donoughue’s questions aimed to ask the government why it was so sure global temperature rises are not down to natural variability – a well-trodden climate science denialist path. [5], [13], [14]

The government responded to the questions by pointing to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), saying that if Donoughue looked there he will see that “it is virtually certain (>99% probability) that natural internal variability alone cannot account for the observed increase in global surface temperatures”. [15]

In 2013, the Lords’ Register of Interests showed Donoughue held a financial stake in Premier Oil, the National Grid and Scottish and Southern Energy. Former Prime Minister David Cameron once quoted Donoughue’s objection to the landmark Climate Change Act on cost terms as a reason for the Conservative party to oppose a 2030 decarbonisation target. [16], [17]

Donoughue has numerous investments, including seven funds which hold shares in fossil fuel companies: Canadian Western Bank has provided $50m worth of finance to the controversial Kinder Morgan Trans Mountain Pipeline which carries oil from the Canadian tar sands; First State Infrastructure holds investments in both Kinder Morgan and TransCanada, which is currently building the controversial Keystone XL Pipeline; Perpetual Income and Growth Investment Trust, Troy Income & Growth Trust, Invesco Perpetual Income, and Artemis Inc, which all list BP and Shell in their top five holdings. Ruffer Investment Company's portfolio includes shares in ExxonMobil. [5], [18], [34] [19], [20], [33], [35], [36]

Donoughue is listed on Companies House as having been a director of Strata Technology Limited between July 2004 and January 2005. According to its website, Strata is an engineering company which “designs, manufactures, commissions, inspects and maintains bespoke laboratory equipment, skid mounted rigs and pilot plants in the petroleum, petrochemical, pharmaceutical, fine chemical, subsea and water treatment industries.” [21], [22]

Donoughue is a trustee at the Common Good Foundation, whose homepage strapline is: “A good society is one where people and the environment are not treated as commodities.” [23], [24]

Stance on Climate Change

Lord Donoughue told a travel industry conference in June 2010 that many western governments had “swallowed the global warming agenda”, accusing green activists of often being “Stalinist.” [25]

In a 2015 article Donoughue co-wrote with the Bishop of Chester, Peter Forster, he called Pope Francis “naïve” in his view on tackling climate change and claimed that “to regard economic growth as somehow evil, and fossil fuels as pollutants, will serve only to increase the very poverty that he seeks to reduce.” [26]

Donoughue wrote in 2016 that he accepted “carbon emissions do have a relationship with global warming” but argued the “degree of this sensitivity has not been conclusively established.” In the same article, he backed “the extraction of cheap and relatively clean shale gas”, not “silly and expensive windmills.” [27]

Key Quotes

December 5, 2016

In an article for Parliament’s The House magazine, Donoughue wrote: [27]

I decided to study climate change. The more I explored it, the more I began to question what was being claimed by the evangelical climate change movement, and especially how the Labour party was responding.” [27]

There is no sense in the UK damaging its economy and its consumers with high energy costs in pursuit of some fanciful ‘moral leadership’ of the world, when we emit less than 2% of global carbon anyway. That is fatuous ‘virtue-signalling’.” [27]

July 17, 2015

Donoughue co-wrote an article in the Church Times with the Bishop of Chester, Peter Forster, in response to the Pope’s call for climate action, in which they said:

…to regard economic growth as somehow evil, and fossil fuels as pollutants, will serve only to increase the very poverty that he seeks to reduce.” [26]

Key Deeds

January 16, 2019

Donoughue succeeded Nigel Lawson as Chair of the climate science denial campaign group, the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF). [7]

July 14, 2015

Donoughue co-authored a paper for the GWPF with the Bishop of Chester, Peter Forster, entitled “The Papal Encyclical: A critical Christian response,” criticising the Pope’s call for action on climate change in his recently-published “encyclical” on the environment. [28]

Affiliations

Other Affiliations

Social Media

Lord Donoughue does not appear to be active on social media.

Publications

  • Bernard Donoughue, Janet Alker. “Trade Unions in a Changing Society,” PEP, 1963.
  • British Politics and the American Revolution: the path to war, 1773–75,” Macmillan, 1964.
  • Bernard Donoughue, W. T. Rodgers. “The People into Parliament: an illustrated history of the Labour Party,” Thames and Hudson, 1966.
  • Herbert Morrison: Portrait of a Politician,” Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1973.
  • Prime Minister: Conduct of Policy Under Harold Wilson and James Callaghan, 1974–79,” Jonathan Cape, 1987.
  • The Heat of the Kitchen: an autobiography,” Politicos, 2004.
  • Downing Street Diary: Volume 1 – With Harold Wilson in No. 10,” Jonathan Cape, 2004.
  • Downing Street Diary: Volume 2 – With James Callaghan in No. 10,” Pimlico, 2009.
  • Westminster Diary: A Reluctant Minister under Tony Blair,” I.B.Tauris, 2016.
  • Westminster Diary Volume 2: Fairwell to Office,” I.B. Tauris, 2017.

Resources

  1. Bernard Donoughue,” Penguin Books Australia. Archived January 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/y3g8v

  2. Lincoln College News, September 2018,” Lincoln College, Oxford. Archived January 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/2XXVa

  3. Lincoln College Record, 2016-2017,” Lincoln College, Oxford. Archived January 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/jY2DI

  4. Bernard Donoughue, Baron Donoughue,” The Peerage. Archived January 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/exXnk

  5. Lord Donoughue,” Parliament. Archived January 17, 2018. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/O9O58

  6. Lord Donoughue,” Global Warming Policy Foundation, November 20, 2009. Archived January 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/P2eP6

  7. Lord Lawson steps down from GWPF chairmanship,” Global Warming Policy Foundation, January 16, 2019. Archived January 16, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/Fgpmb

  8. Michael Kallenbach. “Peer warns of a war with countryside,” The Telegraph, March 20, 2002. Archived January 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/KIWhD

  9. Michael White. “Diaries,” The Times Literary Supplement, October 11, 2016. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  10. Harold Evans. “Good Times, Bad Times,” Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 1983. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/IqbBb

  11. Roy Hattersley. “No one likes a sneak,” The Guardian, July 10, 2005. Archived January 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/mtsv8

  12. Dennis Kavanagh. “Some unfinished business at No 10,” The Telegraph. Archived January 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/UqjxW

  13. Brendan Montague. “Peers Attack Government Climate Scientists at Taxpayers' Expense - Official Memo,” DeSmog, August 17, 2015.

  14. Internal variability swamped by human-caused global warming,” Skeptical Science. Archived January 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/SUkEj

  15. Mat Hope. “Peer Repeatedly Asks Why Government Believes in Global Warming, Always Gets Same Answer: Because, Science,” DeSmog, March 31, 2017.

  16. Register of Lords’ Interests (14 October 2013),” Parliament. Archived January 17, 2019. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  17. James Bloodworth. “PMQs: Is Lord Donoughue the best person to quote on climate change, Mr Cameron?,” Left Foot Forward, October 30, 2013. Archived January 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/0B3Ac

  18. Tucker McLachlan, Chris Hatch. “Who's banking on Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline?” National Observer, July 21, 2017. Archived January 28, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/LldCU

  19. Perpetual Income and Growth Investment Trust Plc,” Money Observer. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/7LvLI

  20. Troy Income & Growth Trust plc Ord 25P,” Trustnet. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  21. Strata Technology Limited,” Companies House. Archived January 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/ladbR

  22. About us,” Strata Technology Ltd. Archived January 17, 2019. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  23. Bernard Donoughue,” Companies House. Archived January 18, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/ZtcdL

  24. Homepage,” The Common Good Foundation. Archived January 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/WWSa8

  25. ITT 2010: Global warming targets are ‘politically motivated’,” Travel Weekly, June 9, 2010. Archived January 18, 2019. Archive.fo URLhttp://archive.fo/d7ZjF

  26. Peter Forster, Bernard Donoughue. “Francis is naïve on climate change,” Church Times, July 17, 2015. Archived January 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/Bia4J

  27. Bernard Donoughue. “Lord Donoughue: Labour must ditch its climate change obsession,” The House, December 5, 2016. Archived January 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/dIpdF

  28. Peter Forster, Bernard Donoughue. “The Papal Encyclical: A critical Christian response,” Global Warming Policy Foundation, July 14, 2015. Archived January 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/Zmlb7

  29. Bernard Donoughue,” Companies House. Archived January 17, 2019. Archive.fo URL: http://archive.fo/jzCYE

  30. 'Diaries' - Lord Bernard Donoughue, Lord Tom McNally and William Keegan.,” Mile End Group, 2008. Archived October 11, 2011. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  31. Register of Lords’ Interests (13 October 2008),” Parliament. Archived January 17, 2019. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  32. Register of Lords’ Interests (23 July 2009),” Parliament. Archived January 17, 2019. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  33. Invesco Income (UK) Inc,” Trustnet. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  34. First State Global Listed Infrastructure B Acc GBP,” Trustnet. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  35. Artemis Income R Inc,” Trustnet. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

  36. Ruffer Investment Company (Ordinary Share) RICA,” Citywire. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.

Other Resources

Image credit: House of Lords/Wikimedia Commons CC BY 3.0