Without question, it must have been one of the dottiest public utterances ever delivered by a British Cabinet minister.
This was the extraordinary speech made on Monday — at an event staged by the Met Office — by Ed Davey, our Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.
What inevitably attracted attention was Mr Davey’s attack on those ‘sections of the Press’ who dare question any aspect of the way his energy policy for Britain has become wholly skewed and dominated by the belief that the world is in the grip of global warming.
The timing of his outburst against ‘destructive and loudly clamouring scepticism’ in the Press was not accidental: it was to preface yesterday’s Commons debate on the mammoth Energy Bill by which he plans to ‘decarbonise’ our electricity industry.
Centred on his wish to focus our energy needs on building nuclear power stations and tens of thousands of wind turbines, his Bill will make it ever more cripplingly expensive for us to rely on those fossil fuels, such as coal and gas, which currently supply more than two-thirds of our electricity.
Mr Davey suggested that journalists who doubt the wisdom of his policy only do so through ‘sheer blinkered, dogmatic, political bloody-mindedness’ — probably because they are being paid to do so by nameless ‘vested interests’.
So angry does this make him that he seemed to suggest that any questioning of his policy cannot be tolerated. In other words, he will brook no opposition — at a time, we should remind ourselves, when free speech in Britain seems under threat as never before.
I should say at this point that if this remarkable attack was simply a detached assault on writers like me who are critical of the Government’s green policies, then I might let it pass.
But there are bigger issues in play here, for the decisions the Energy Secretary makes are having a direct and damaging effect on the finances of millions of households across the country, who find themselves paying ever-higher bills as a result of green subsidies.