Terrorism pays; ignorance pays; crony capitalism pays.
These are the depressing lessons from today’s parliamentary shenanigans in which the Conservative government and the Labour opposition have been competing as to which can commit Britain to the most fanatically wrong-headed and economically suicidal climate change policy.
Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn ought to have been the hands-down winner with his motion — justified by no real-world evidence whatsoever — that Britain is experiencing a national climate emergency which can only be solved by reducing its CO2 emissions to “net zero” by 2050 — or earlier…
But Corbyn is a Marxist loon with limited intelligence and economic insights that make Hugo Chavez look like Milton Friedman — so we expect that sort of nonsense from him.
When you hear it from a senior member of government renowned for his intellect and acumen, on the other hand, it gets much more worrying.
Enter Environment Secretary Michael Gove. Rarely have I heard a more dishonest, canting, virtue-signalling, economically illiterate, scientifically inaccurate, intellectually bankrupt, death-of-the-Conservative-Party-confirming farrago of utter bilge than his speech on the environment in Parliament today.
“I want to make it clear that on this side of the House we recognise that this situation IS an emergency, it IS a crisis, and it IS a threat that all of us have to meet.”
To which the only sensible answer is: it IS none of those things, Gove. You are talking out of your bottom.
What’s more, I suspect that Gove must know he’s talking out of his bottom. He has read my book Watermelons — and even if he wasn’t paying attention during the bit where I mention Margaret Thatcher’s recantation on the subject of climate change, it has been written up several times by the likes of my good friend Christopher Booker, and is well in the public domain.
So what on earth did he think he was playing at milking all that cheap, undeserved applause from his party’s benches today, by hailing Margaret Thatcher as the first politician to take the threat of climate change seriously?
Let me quote the relevant passage from my book:
Among the many wise individuals who have seen through this political madness is the author of a 2003 book called Statecraft. In a passage entitled ‘Hot Air and Global Warming’, the author pours scorn on the ‘doomsayers’ who exaggerate sea level rises, demonise CO2 and ignore the lessons of the Medieval Warm Period that global warming is more a blessing than a curse. She goes on to argue that these distortions in the science are being used to advance an anti-capitalist, left-wing political agenda, which threatens the progress and prosperity of mankind.
Yes. That was Margaret Thatcher as far back as 2003 seeing right through the global shakedown being conducted by the Climate Industrial Complex.
I think it’s safe to say that Lady T is turning in her grave right now at the insult of having her name misleadingly invoked — by a Conservative minister, of all things — in order to justify the kind of increased taxation, regulation, and government meddling she devoted most of her political career trying to reduce.
It also confirms the truth of something the great Sun political columnist Trevor Kavanagh wrote earlier this week:
The Tories are facing extinction – without even the pleasure of a rebellion.
Having beaten themselves to a pulp over Brexit, they are now too punch-drunk to defend themselves over global warming.
Spot on, Trev. When the Conservative government’s position on climate change is virtually indistinguishable from that of Labour, the Lib Dems, or indeed the Green party it’s hardly surprising if the Conservative grassroots should start asking: why on earth should I waste my vote on these charlatans and chancers who are betraying all the things I believe in?
Here are a few of things that the Conservatives should be doing — indeed, should have done long ago — in order to establish ‘clear blue water’ between themselves and their various left-wing opponents.
- Bring down the cost of energy by killing subsidies for crony-capitalist Potemkin industries like wind and solar.
- Exploit Britain’s abundant shale gas resources by removing all the needless red tape surrounding fracking.
- Withdraw — as President Trump has done — from the UN Paris climate accord, in recognition that it will make zero difference to ‘global warming’ and that it is really just a way for hell-for-leather growth economies like India and China to shackle their opponents.
- Acknowledge the damage that has been done to the landscape and to wildlife by wind turbines .- both offshore and onshore .- and begin a process of phasing out this expensive, environmentally destructive form of unreliable, intermittent, destabilising energy.
- Come clean about the reality of ‘climate change’: that there is simply no convincing evidence that it is predominantly man-made or unprecedented or a threat of any kind .- and that the expensive measures introduced by governments to ‘combat’ it have invariably done more harm than good.
The last point is especially important. First, because everyone is quite sick to death of politicians’ cant and lies — and it will be so refreshing to hear some them telling the truth for a change. Second, because so long as the Conservatives go on paying lip service to the Watermelon narrative about imminent climate doom they are ALWAYS going to end up being outflanked by their more reckless opponents on the left.
We saw an example of this when Gove — fresh from his tongue-lolling photocall with greenie poster child du jour Greta Thunberg — attempted to appease the left-wing activist group Extinction Rebellion.
Here’s how their friends at the BBC reported it:
Extinction Rebellion says a meeting with Environment Secretary Michael Gove was “very disappointing” because he refused to declare a climate emergency.
The group – who carried out 10 days of climate change protests across London – met Mr Gove on Tuesday for talks.
But its youth representative, 14-year-old Felix Ottaway O’Mahony, said: “The rebellion has to continue because… our futures are not safe.”
Right. So here’s a group of economic terrorists who effectively held London tourists and workers to ransom with ten days’ worth of bridge-blocking, die-ins, demos, and general passive-aggressive harassment — professional agitators from the Occupy school who’d never vote Tory in a million years. And here’s the Conservative government trying to buy off these unemployable malcontents — who’ve just cost the UK economy many millions of pounds in lost business — by promising the kind of measures guaranteed to make life harder for the kind of honest, hard-working people who traditionally DO vote Tory.
And what thanks do the Conservatives get in return for this unwarranted appeasement? A slap in the face from some brainwashed kid called Felix — and a threat that the protests are going to carry on for the foreseeable, regardless.
Listening to the applause from the Conservative benches that greeted Gove’s canting speech today, I have never been more convinced that the Tories are heading for oblivion.
Where was the principled opposition to all this green drivel? Where were the voices from the Conservative backbenches to point out that, far from being the enemy of the environment, unshackled economic growth (the kind of thing Conservatives are supposed to believe in) generates the prosperity which helps to protect it?
If only, instead of rehearsing his boilerplate eco-doom mantra straight out of the Greenpeace manual, Gove had quoted this piece by Paul Homewood celebrating how much cleaner and healthier and abundant the planet has grown in the last few decades as global GDP has soared.
The Conservatives should be about prosperity and hope — and empirical truth — not socialistic misanthropy and junk-science-driven whining. Until they understand this point they’re not going to get my vote. Which, the way they’re carrying on, probably means never.