Extinction Rebellion are back again sparking controversy. The climate change group are now attacking Rupert Read, a passionate supporter. It seems no one is good enough, writes Noel Yaxley.

Extinction Rebellion are at it again. Everyone's favourite Waitrose warriors are back from shouting at petrol or whatever it is that they have been up to this month to intimidate a 94 year old man.

In what can only be described as an act of passive-aggressive intimidation, a half dozen protestors turned up outside Sir David Attenborough's home to challenge his way of thinking. The veteran broadcaster has spoken out about the group and their need to stay within the parameters of the law. Speaking earlier this year saying "I don't think it is sensible to break the law… if you are any good at all, some of your demands will be met and then you will be demanding people abide by those new laws. You can't have it both ways."

Attenborough, who was shielding from Covid-19 in his house in Richmond received a call from a number of green activists when they delivered him a 'starter pack on how to engage in civil disobedience'.

The group are displeased. They believe Attenborough's comments "are contributing to the erasure of the voices and sacrifices of front-line earth protectors around the world."

Although I cannot speak for him personally, it's likely that Attenborough was referring to their stunt last month where they attempted to shut down the free press by blockading the printing plants at Merseyside, Hertfordshire and North Lanarkshire. You see, the group disagreed with what some of the 'right-wing' newspapers were saying about the climate emergency. Fewer than 150 activists managed to prevent the delivery of over one million newspapers during the summer.

The attack on the free press was a step too far for most people, leading some to believe the group have been infiltrated. Conservative MP Tobias Ellwood, speaking to the Telegraph believes "the organisation itself has been hijacked."

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An opinion one long-standing XR spokesman believes to be possible. Rupert Read has been a passionate supporter of the environmental group for a long time. Read – a long time member and supporter of the Green Party – is a lecturer in philosophy at the University of East Anglia. He has often led the charge for 'environment justice' from the front. Most notably in his recent arrest outside Tufton Street in the latest round of protests in the capital. Read, no stranger to virtue-signalling was quick to get the photograph of his arrest out to social media.

But for all his faults, it is hard not to commend him for speaking out on this. Read has spoken out of his fears that infiltration by far-left groups will alienate many supporters. Groups, such as the Socialist Worker's party and the youth wing of the Communist Party of Britain have allegedly instructed its members to join XR to exert pressure on the direction and influence of the group. Evidenced by the plethora of hammer and sickle banners and 'Socialism not Extinction' placards at recent rallies. He was very direct when he said "Any parasitical organisation that is trying to use XR is worrying, and I'm sure there are groups trying to infiltrate us."

But as history has shown time and time again, deviate from the 'correct' opinion at your peril.

As their Cambridge protest showed, members of the group are no strangers to digging up dirt. This time they went for some offence archaeology.

To highlight upcoming events and to discuss all things environmental, the website 'the Norwich radical' hosts views from XR members. The blog posts views from users who can write pre-approved pieces that fall in line with the groups ideology. In a recently published piece, an activist makes the claim that Read's political views are not au Courant with the slogans espoused by the progressive green movement. And for all those of a sensitive disposition, don't worry, the users post comes with a trigger warning. So, breathe. It's okay I will guide you through it. During the local 2014 elections, Read allegedly made a series of transphobic tweets, describing transgenderism as an "opt-in version of what it is to be a woman." Read's position is solidified further with his views on immigration. According to the blog, Read has often called for the end of free movement and limits to immigration, due to falling wages and reduced social cohesion. He apparently had the audacity to produce evidence of his claims, but they were unconvincing to the blogger, who believes Read stinks of "white savourism."

Read has clearly fallen foul of the utopian vision enshrined in the world of progressive politics. What shall be the punishment for Read's transgressions? Well, when the blog piece was posted a few weeks ago, the Green Party were in the process of nominating the next candidate for a Lords appointment. According to the publisher of the piece, this must not be allowed to happen. He must also have his candidacy of the Green Party looked into and if that wasn't enough, his links with XR should be examined, or in the Orwellian language adopted by the writer 'scrutinised'.

Seems no one is perfect eh?

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