“ScrÃ¸tum! Where Ã¥re my bÃ¸Ã¸ts?” The Laird was having trouble with the “Danish” accent he was affecting in an attempt to impress the natives. To the wrinkled retainer’s large but withered ears it sounded as though he’d been taking lessons from the Swedish Chef. Monckton’s exquisite English diction was hovering somewhere over the Baltic being mangled by a madman with a chopper. He was in dire need of a vÃ¸wel movement.
After the episode with Mycroft, all had been quiet on the climate front for a few weeks. Monckton did some desultory work on his cure for AIDS and shot a few pheasants from the security of the second-hand armoured car he had acquired to protect himself from attacks by birds of prey, but the Laird had recovered all of his normal confidence and poise following a few long phone conversations with his American sponsors. He’d spent most of the last week at Tannochbrae reading Danish history, and had been most struck by tales of the Nazi occupation during World War 2.
The trip to Copenhagen was turning out to be rather more exciting than Scrotum had expected, at least at this early stage. The Laird had been summoned by his American sponsors to perform at another of their climate meetings, and to be a general pain in the neck for the socialist billionaire conspiracy to force humanity back to the Stone Age. The little climate conference had passed quietly enough, with the exception of an elderly scientist who had insisted that the seas weren’t rising, and had taken to throwing salad forks at the audience when questioned by a journalist. He’d chucked the contents of a large bag of wooden implements at a Guardian writer (the Laird offering advice on range and elevation) before the questioners made their excuses and left. Monckton had glided over the incident in the blog provided for him by the Americans : “All was calm, rational scientific discussion among the world’s leading climate experts”, but he couldn’t avoid mentioning a salad fork.
The real fireworks came a day later, as Monckton began an address to a packed meeting. The audience got up and started berating him. The Laird was notably unfazed:
I used the old crowd-control trick of standing behind the Hitler Youth and talking quietly. The microphones were right where I wanted them, so I began reporting on that day’s progress in negotiating the world-government agreement that, if it is passed at Copenhagen, will shut down the economies and democracies of the West without affecting the climate in any measurable way.
The six people left in the room after the rabble left were moved to tears by the Laird’s eloquence, but that had the unfortunate effect of giving him an excess of confidence. Scrotum had seen rather too many of Monckton’s mad moments to be surprised, but when the Laird started accusing everyone in Copenhagen under the age of 25 of being members of the Hitler Youth it was obvious he was heading for trouble.
Scrotum sniffed the air at the back of the hotel. The night was chilly, but a gentle breeze was wafting scents of smÃ¸rgÃ¥sbord delights, mainly pickled herrings and remoulade sauce. The soft tak tak tak of Danes being polite to each other as they passed in the street renewed the wrinkled retainer’s faith in humanity, and in the giant wicker basket that had arrived that morning from the USA, a very large golden eagle glared balefully at the hand that was about to feed it scraps of liver.
“Aethon, my pretty, you’ll have work to do soon enough” Scrotum murmured. The eagle cocked an ear, and if raptors could smile, there would have been one on its bloodstained beak.
As the UN conference staggered into its second week, the sheer weight of the unscientific evidence being hurled by Monckton and his American allies was beginning to have a visible effect. The Hitler Youth had sandbagged their stand to ward off attacks by the Laird, who had disgraced himself by giving Nazi salutes in their general direction and beating a young bearded lad around the head with a rolled-up copy of the UK Independence Party constitution. Only a swift intervention by the sprightly Fred Singer and his personal security consultant, famed New Zealand kung-fu exponent Bryan “British” Leyland, had prevented serious injury. Greenpeace operatives had foregone their traditional conference attire — polar bear outfits — in favour of suits and ties. Monckton’s sly ruse — walking up to shake hands, only to push warm chewing gum into their fur — was costing them a fortune in cleaning fees.
“I may be but one man against a global conspiracy” the Laird had told Scrotum while dressing for dinner, “but I will stop the march of this neo-Fascist movement, with its crude denigration of opponents, breaking-up of meetings, taxpayer-funded propaganda at every street corner, and vast, expensive Nuremberg Rallies such as that which is now taking place at the Bella Centre.”
Scrotum blinked impassively.
The highlight of the peer’s Copenhagen trip was to be a public rally outside the Bella Centre. A crack team of German sceptics had converted a minivan into a portable speaking platform. The nondescript van would be parked in the street, the crowd would gather, eagerly looking forward to the free rollmops and Aquavit laid on by the Scaife Foundation, and then at an opportune moment — sun setting, TV crews arrived and filming — the back of the van would crack open like a Kinder egg, and Monckton would emerge on a modified lifting device (a deliberate parody of the moment in Gore’s sci-fi horror movie when the politician is raised up to point to the top of a giant graph). He would ascend into the night sky, his vibrant prose amplified by a powerful Tannoy system, his face lit by the beams from LED headlamp torches sported by the A team of sceptical scientists. Lindzen had been training them for weeks, and their choreographed light show was a Choi to behold.
All was going well. The crowd was gathering, the roll mops had been delivered, and the Laird had taken up his position in the van. After passing Monckton his pith helmet and Kevlar corset — he wouldn’t be seen out of doors without them since that business with the eagle — Scrotum scuttled away to a nearby street where a black van waited. It was the work of mere moments to open the back doors and undo the leather straps on the wicker cage. Aethon blinked in the street lights, and climbed onto Scrotum’s leather gauntlet. The retainer fitted the titanium tips to the eagle’s claws, raised his arm, and with a whispered “be gone, my pretty” sent the great bird flapping into the night sky.
Aethon climbed high above the rooftops of Hans Christian Anderson’s city, and began to circle over the Bella Centre. He let out a piercing screech, but no one in the busy streets below heard. Others did. From all round Copenhagen, birds of prey began their final approach.
Monckton’s great peroration was going mostly to plan. The van had cracked open as it should, but he’d had to deliver a swift kick to one half when it threatened to block his elevation. And who was the idiot who had turned the headlamps green? Lindzen looked unperturbed, but Monckton was sure it was sabotage by the bedwetters. He began to build towards his climax:
Those brave dissidents who have not yet had their meetings broken up by groups of savage goons are more and more openly saying that the nastiness that was National Socialism/Fascism/Communism now stalks the world again, in a new and more terrible form. This time, it is global. This time, leaders of once-democratic nations subscribe to its half-baked, unscientific notions and are themselves increasingly intolerant of anyone who dares to dissent.
The intolerance, of course, stems from the realization on the part of those behind the ’global warming’ scam that it is entirely false. It is always liars who have to shout loudest in the hope of temporarily prevailing over the truth.
James Hansen, a fully-paid-up member of the new regime, has notoriously called for anyone who disagrees with the new superstition to be put on trial for ’high crimes against humanity’. Now, crimes against humanity are punishable by death, as Saddam Hussein discovered. So what Hansen is asking for is the judicial murder of those of his fellow-citizens who disagree with him — one of the unfailing hallmarks of Nazism and Fascism everywhere.
Monckton’s voice cracked with emotion as he forced out the words. He was approaching his closing remarks, and another light, this time from behind lit him up like a fat angel on the top of a leafless Christmas tree. The Laird paused, a little nervous. This wasn’t in the plan. Still, he must keep going.
Aethon’s claws struck him in the middle of his back, and broke through the Kevlar to his skin. Monckton screamed. Two more eagles grasped each shoulder, and a fifth grasped to the top of his helmet. He screamed again. The crowd gasped. Great wings flapped. Monckton’s vain attempts to hold on to his speaking platform were defeated by sparrow hawks lacerating his fingers. He slowly lifted into the starry sky, lit by the quivering beams provided by the cream of shocked (and appalled) sceptical science, his arms flapping ineffectively.
Mycroft turned to Scrotum. “Will they be gentle with him?”
Scrotum smiled. “No.”