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Insulate Britain Member Who Told Radio Host You Can’t Grow Concrete Speaks Out

by : Julia Banim on : 27 Oct 2021 16:22
Insulate Britain Member Who Told Radio Host You Can't Grow Concrete Speaks OuttalkRadio

You’ll have no doubt seen the moment by now, the ‘Accidental Partridge’ clip to end all ‘Accidental Partridge’ clips.

Within the first few moments of talkRadio host Mike Graham’s interview with Insulate Britain activist Cameron Ford, it becomes abundantly clear that the radio presenter was intent on painting Ford in a hypocritical light for being both a carpenter and an environmental campaigner.

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Unfortunately for Graham, it was he who, in Ford’s words, ‘fell off his horse’ in a spectacular – and extremely memeable –fashion.

With comic timing beyond anything Steve Coogan could have dreamt up, Graham confidently declared ‘you can’ after Ford stated the fact that you couldn’t grow concrete. I can only imagine the rising panic he surely felt while hurriedly wrapping up the disastrous interview.

Graham’s visible realisation that he had said something quite silly paired with Ford’s amused yet disbelieving half-nod added a breathtakingly cringe chef’s kiss to what has to be one of the funniest and most frustrating viral clips I’ve seen this year.

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Bizarrely, this clip has since been publicly shared by talkRadio, and indeed a number of other outlets, and framed as an embarrassing moment for Ford. However, as all those who’ve actually watched the clip can see with their own two eyes, any attempt to humiliate Ford backfired and then some.

Furthermore, it’s clear that people are overwhelmingly on Ford’s side on this one. As illustrated by poll shared by the talkRadio Twitter account, 83.2% of people believe it isn’t possible to grow concrete, while a further 11.3% believe you can ‘metaphorically’.

Growing concrete (@talkRADIO/Twitter)@talkRADIO/Twitter

Up until a couple of weeks ago, Ford had never so much as heard of Graham, but learned he had never before hosted any Extinction Rebellion or Insulate Britain campaigners on his show. Before going on air, Ford was also aware that Graham was against the group and that he would ‘probably be quite unkind’ to him.

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Ford, who describes himself as being an ‘everyday person’ who runs a ‘small carpentry business’, first became involved with Insulate Britain after having taken ‘a good hard look at the truth of what the scientists tell us is coming’.

Noting a concerning gap between the steps needed to address global warning and the arguably inadequate response from the British government, Ford joined Insulate Britain with the strong sense that ‘everything else has failed’, a sentiment shared by many others up and down the country.

Ford suffered a sleepless night before the interview, but it turned out that he wasn’t the one who should have been nervous:

It just all sort of came to nothing, really, because he is just a bit of a moron that went out on a crusade to destroy me and fell off his horse in the process.

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Cameron Ford (@cameron_the_carpenter/Instagram)@cameron_the_carpenter/Instagram

Speaking with UNILAD, Ford reflected on how he felt during that cringeworthy moment, revealing he – like so many of us – couldn’t believe his ears:

I felt that these people who are the face and voice of our media are supposed to have integrity, conviction, truth. And he said it with such certainty.

[…] They just sort of lie through their teeth for their agenda. His agenda was to make me look ridiculous.

Ford feels that Graham was attempting to undermine him by suggesting his profession was somehow contradictory to an environmentally-friendly lifestyle, when in fact Ford works hard to ensure that his timber is sustainable.

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For example, Ford explained:

When I’m doing decorative pieces, I use locally-sourced timber that’s been felled because half the tree came down in a storm and it became dangerous. I seek out that sort of thing.

Concrete, however, is a massive carbon emitter. And so working with timber is a much more sustainable approach to building.

As noted by Ford, while concrete makes up a shocking 8% of our CO2 emissions, the French government actually mandates that 50% of houses should be built using timber, in accordance with environmental guidance.

If I was in Graham’s shoes, I would probably have taken a couple of days away from social media and would perhaps even have a bit of a flick through an encyclopaedia in the meantime.

However, the broadcaster has opted to stick – loudly and firmly – to his widely-mocked comments that you can grow concrete, making arguably shaky comparisons to how a person might talk about economic growth.

‘If you were to say to me, you know, what do you call something that gets bigger?’ was one particularly unfortunate remark made during a radio conversation with former daytime telly star Jeremy Kyle.

During this same segment, Graham even went as far as to suggest Ford might not actually be a carpenter (‘I mean, these people say they’re carpenters’). I mean, as you can clearly see on Ford’s Instagram page, he absolutely is a carpenter, and a skilled one at that.

Considering Graham’s double-down approach, Ford told UNILAD that ‘we’re getting a glimpse into the machine when it’s hurt, when it messes up’:

You can see them squirming and how painful it is because they’re so full of ego, so full of righteousness.

They have this façade that they’re trying to put forward. Their job is drama. My job is the truth. They don’t care whether they’re telling the truth or not. Their job is the number of viewers listening to their show, and we’re at a very sad state where our media is lying to us and our government is lying to us.

Ford hopes that after people watch Graham’s backtracking and attempts to justify his previous statements, they will think to ‘question the media’ going forward, reading scientific reports for themselves. ‘We need more people to question authority,’ he added, ‘especially young people’.

Ford said:

What happened is really quite funny, and it’s good if humour can help bring people to this issue of insulation and lies of the government. Great.

I encourage your readership to look more at why Insulate Britain is here. Because what’s really not funny is the government’s building strategy.

It is not in alignment with the fact that scientists are saying we have three to four years to massively curtail CO2 emissions. That is really not funny.

[…] These are the people who who are in charge of our futures. And I just urge people to stand up and say, you know, ‘not on my watch’. We need to come together. We need to do everything we can to stop this government from destroying our future.

The British government has this month published its net zero strategy, ahead of the UK hosting the UN COP26 climate summit in Glasgow. However, many feel this strategy simply doesn’t go far enough to prevent catastrophic effects on our planet in the near future.

For example, although heating accounts for nearly one-third of the UK’s total emissions, the strategy here merely outlines an ‘ambition’ for no new gas boilers to be installed beyond the year 2035.

Furthermore, grants introduced to install low-carbon heat pumps for 90,000 households have been regarded as being more of a gesture than a mark of real change.

Hopefully when people stop chuckling at the various concrete memes and spot on tweets – and believe me it will be a long while before I do – they will sit up and listen to what people like Ford are actually trying to say on this issue.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]ad.com

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Julia Banim

Jules studied English Literature with Creative Writing at Lancaster University before earning her masters in International Relations at Leiden University in The Netherlands (Hoi!). She then trained as a journalist through News Associates in Manchester. Jules has previously worked as a mental health blogger, copywriter and freelancer for various publications.

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