Andrew Montford(Bishop Hill) and Andrew Orlowski of the Register quickly pointed out that Oxburgh failed to disclose that he was UK Vice Chair of Globe International. Bishop Hill reports that Oxburgh is one of four directors of the company.
Globe International is an off-balance sheet “private company” funded predominantly by governments and NGOs. As a private company, I guess that it is unaccountable. It brings legislators together – with a particular concern to the advancement of climate change legislation. Its webpage contains glowing testimonials from leading politicians.
In late October, it sponsored an ambitious lead-in meeting of legislators in Copenhagen, hosted by the Prime Minister of Denmark. Oxburgh is listed one of the participating legislators – together with Ed Miliband of the UK, Sam Fankhauser, Chief Economist, GLOBE International and Principal Research Fellow at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, Yvo de Boer, of IPCC and the UN Framework, Ed Markey (video), Nancy Pelosi by video and others. A list of speakers is here. Oxburgh’s profile says that he is UK Vice Chair.
On March 30, 2009, Globe International launched a major iniative in Washington DC, an initiative attended by Ed Markey who warmly thanked then Globe International President Elliott Morley of the UK (speech here). Morley is one of four MPs recently charged with criminal offences arising from the UK MP expenses scandal.
The participants to the Globe International meeting in Copenhagen were given a warm welcome by the current president of Globe International, Stephen Byers, another UK, MP.
Byers also features prominently in recent UK news. A few days ago, the Times broke a story in which Byers described himself as “sort of cab for hire”:
Stephen Byers, former trade and transport secretary, was secretly recorded offering himself “like a sort of cab for hire” for up £5,000 a day. He also suggested bringing Tony Blair to meet clients.
Byers’ charges were for consultancy per diems. The Times secretly recorded the conversation – see here. Make sure that you listen.
Labour defenders argue that Byers’ influence peddling didn’t “matter’, because he didn’t have much influence – see New Statesman here for example. It’s funny how arguments in those sorts of situations tend to follow the same pattern.
I hadn’t heard of Globe International prior to this incident. Naming an officer and director of Globe International as chair of the CRU inquiry seems pretty insouciant. But Oxburgh’s UK associates at Globe International – Elliott Morley and Stephen Byers – don’t seem to feel that rules that apply to others should apply to them. Perhaps Oxburgh feels the same way about impartiality obligations.