The British House of Lords has once again disavowed any association with the embarrassing Christopher Monckton, Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, even as his Lordship has labored to earn even wider notoriety by threatening a lawsuit against yet another U.S. academic.
The Lordly disavowal came in response to a very funny letter of inquiry from the wonderful wiseacres at Friends of Gin and Tonic (temporarily the “Lords of Gin and Tonic” in faux tribute to the self-promoting Viscount).
Monckton himself launched the unconvincing legal threat against Scott Mandia, a professor at Suffolk County College in Seldon, New York. In addition to operating an excellent informational website on climate change, Prof. Mandia also runs his own blog, on which he had the impertinence to call out Monckton for his earlier ridiculous attacks on University of St. Thomas Professor John Abraham.
Mandia had encouraged his readers to write letters to mainstream media sources, urging them to look into the issue and, “Expose Monckton for the fraud that he is.” Monckton chose to interpret that as an accusation that he had committed fraud, a topic on which much rich discussion could follow. For example, lying so frequently about being a member of the House of Lords that the House itself feels moved to take countermeasures might reasonably be interpreted as fraud.
But Mandia was so clearly saying that Monckton IS a fraud, a contention well-supported by the definition of that word in my Oxford English Reference Dictionary: “3. a person or thing not fulfilling what is claimed or expected of him, her, or it.”
For clarity – and because Monckton seems to have difficulty understanding things on first reading – useful synonyms might include, “imposter, pretender, masquerader, mountebank, quack, charlatan, fake, phony, fourflusher, flimflammer, trickster, bamboozler or dissembler.”
I personally like mountebank, as in, Christopher Monckton, Third Mountebank Monckton of Brenchley – although, like Monckton himself, such a title would dishonor the members of his family who actually earned the hereditary peerage in the first place.