Boris Johnson, it is generally agreed, is the candidate most likely to rescue the Conservative Party from the doldrums and deliver meaningful Brexit.
He’s a hard (-ish) Brexiteer; he’s charismatic; he has strong brand recognition from the English shires to the White House.
Also, according to Margaret Thatcher biographer and immensely sound Tory Charles Moore, he’s a more than halfway decent conservative. (As Moore points out, there is much disagreement on what a ‘conservative’ actually is, but you know one when you see one. At least Moore does. He has conservative-spotting antennae similar to a ‘gaydar’.)
Here is Moore’s verdict:
Boris Johnson: not a virtue-signaller (just as well, given his lack of virtue); loves freedom, prefers anarchy to authority; more humour than humbug, more imagination than ideology. 7/10.
I agree with all this. I like Boris personally. I agree he probably is the Conservative Party’s best hope (especially if he gets sensible people like Steve Baker, Priti Patel, Jacob Rees-Mogg to do the difficult, important stuff for him while Boris just swans around the world looking charmingly dishevelled and quoting Horace epigrams at bemused statesmen).
But I could never vote for him personally, after this:
Today is #WorldEnvironmentDay and a pivotal moment for our planet, our climate, our wildlife. A government I lead would win our bid to host COP 2020, legislate for net zero emissions by 2050 & embrace the opportunity of green growth for the UK as a global decarbonisation leader.
— Boris Johnson (@BorisJohnson) June 5, 2019
There is so much wrong in that one tweet that I scarcely know where to begin. (Check out the comments below it. I’m not the only one who is unimpressed.)
What is a conservative doing buying into the hard-left snake-oil narrative that there’s an alternative to free market capitalism, that it’s called “green growth” and that it represents any kind of opportunity?
What is a conservative doing embracing the politicised junk science of the UNFCC’s Conference of the Parties (COP) — the green junket which gave us such nonsense as the Paris Climate Accord (from which President Trump very sensibly withdrew the U.S.)?
What is a conservative doing trying to legislate for net zero emissions in the absence of a) convincing proof that the harmless trace gas carbon dioxide represents any kind of threat to the planet and b) when so far all the evidence suggests that ‘decarbonisation’ is causing immense harm and suffering both to the environment (bat-chomping bird-slicing, eco-crucifixes) and to people’s living standards?
Also, as Ben Pile says, what’s the point of pulling out of the European Union if you’re going to submit Britain to “another, undemocratic global carbon bureaucracy, with even greater reach over economy and the regulation of lifestyle”?
What's the point in Brexit if it is to only result in the UK creating and then submitting to another, undemocratic global carbon bureaucracy, with even greater reach over economy and the regulation of lifestyle?
— Ben Pile (@clim8resistance) June 5, 2019
The Conservatives really need to get over their collective delusion that environmentalism is one of those politically neutral, morally and socially positive causes you can embrace without betraying your principles or alienating your base.
Of course, everyone is on board with the idea of a healthy, thriving planet with abundant biodiversity, clean air, clean seas, and so on. But the kind of environmentalism Boris is embracing here is something else altogether.
Environmentalism is a powerful — and very dangerous — political movement which uses green issues as a cloak to mask its hard-left agenda.
Truly, it is shaming that a man of Boris Johnson’s intellect cannot see this. And truly it is beyond depressing that neither can any of the other lead candidates to replace Theresa May as prime minister.
Does any of them ever bother to read round the subject? Are any of them aware that there is a world of evidence that you never get to hear about in Greenpeace press releases and BBC reports from Roger Harrabin breathlessly asserting that the world is in more danger than ever before?
We’re constantly being told by loons like Chris Packham that the evidence is all around us that climate change is happening and it’s real and it’s worse than ever we feared.
But where is the actual evidence for this?
Here’s Paul Homewood in a post sarcastically titled ‘Climate Apocalypse Hits Britain’.
You only have to look at the climate data for this spring here in the UK to understand the emergency which is now facing us:
Mean temperatures this spring were only the 18th highest since 1910, and not even as high as 1943, 1945, 1952, 1959 or 1961.
Nobody under the age of 20 will have even experienced any change in temperature trends during spring.
As for rainfall, this spring was pretty much average, and there has been no change in trends since the start of the record.
Nope. I don’t think I can lend my support to a leadership candidate who rejects the scientific evidence in favour of expensive, environmentally-damaging virtue-signalling.
Britain’s best hope, I’m starting to think, lies somewhere else altogether.…