Worst Environment Secretary In UK History Picks A Fight With Neil Young Over GMOs
Plus: The Donald rips Neil off
Owen Paterson is a right-wing imbecile, a prominent climate change denier and the Conservative Member of Parliament for North Shropshire in England -- an area of the West Midlands so politically backward that it has elected a right-winger to every Parliament since 1832, when it was first established. Paterson was UK secretary of state for the environment, food and rural affairs from 2012 to 2014 and until this week was best known for his hysterical opposition to the banning of fox hunting.
Now the man The Guardian dubbed "the worst environment secretary this country has ever suffered" has decided to pick a fight with Neil Young. Paterson penned an op-ed for Rupert Murdoch's NY Post, "How Neil Young, Greenpeace work to starve the world's poor." That's because Paterson is a shill for Monsanto and he and his GMO pals are offended that Neil's new album, The Monsanto Years, raises issues that Monsanto is desperately trying to cover up and mislead the public on. It's Neil's 36th album and his first with Willie Nelson's sons, Lukas and Micah, and their band, Promise of the Real.
The nasty Paterson claims, "The aging songwriter is following the lead of activists who claim that GMOs are harmful to health, farmers and the environment," and asserts Neil is "tragically wrong. In reality, GMOs can save millions of lives. It’s the environmentalists who are doing real harm."
He seems especially incensed by the lyrics "I love to start my day off without helping Monsanto. Monsanto, let our farmers grow what they want to grow. From the fields of Nebraska from the banks of the Ohio, farmers won’t be free to grow what they want to grow. If corporate control takes over the American farm with fascist politicians and chemical giants walking arm in arm."
"Monsanto," said Neil, "is the poster child for the problems we’re having with the corporate government." Lukas Nelson backed up the anti-corporate sentiment. "Nobody likes Monsanto," he told Rolling Stone last month. "I’m really proud to be on this side of history with Neil."
POSTSCRIPT: Trump, Latest GOP Music Thief
When Trump announced his comedic bid for the GOP nomination yesterday, about which Noah will have some thoughts this evening, he followed a long line of Republican intellectual property thieves using songs without paying for their use (which is, by the way, the law). Trump, who strutted up on the stage to brag-- falsely-- that he has a net worth of $9 billion, kicked off his campaign with Neil Young's classic "Rockin' in the Free World." Trump's campaign claims they paid to use the song, although it's apparent that Trump has never listened to the lyrics of this profoundly anti-GOP composition.
Neil is a Bernie Sanders supporter, and he stated flatly: "Donald Trump was not authorized to use 'Rockin' in the Free World' in his presidential candidacy announcement." Neil's long-time manager, Elliot Roberts, has contacted Trump's office and told them to stop using the song immediately.
I was once president of Reprise Records, Neil's label, and if I was still there I would be suing Trump for damages today, since his use of the song in that ugly racist announcement permanently devalues the composition and twists Neil's entire meaning. The only Neil song Republican politicians should be allowed to use in their campaigns is "Southern Man."