Net Zero is going to destroy Boris Johnson’s administration in the way that Brexit destroyed David Cameron’s. None of Boris’s clever advisors and colleagues — not Dom Cummings, not Michael Gove — appears to have understood this yet. But others can see it coming a mile off.
One is former Conservative and UKIP MP, Douglas Carswell.
I wonder if this net zero commitment will replace Europhilia as the delusion of the governing classes? Like EU integration, the elite obsesses about it, uses it to press an agenda on the public. And the public won’t wear it.
— Douglas Carswell (@DouglasCarswell) March 3, 2020
Another is Lord Ridley, perhaps the most scientifically literate figure on the Conservative benches.
As a loyal supporter of this government I'm dismayed at this regressive and environmentally harmful decision to give crony-capitalist lobbyists the subsidies they crave at the expense of consumers. After HS2, Heathrow and stoves, another blunder. https://t.co/fmxRLKB5yp
— Matt Ridley (@mattwridley) March 5, 2020
But the most gloriously damning analysis of the Conservatives’ looming catastrophe comes from Telegraph columnist Sherelle Jacobs who says ‘the political storm over green targets will be even bigger than Brexit.’
She’s dead right.
Here are some of the highlights from her scorcher of a piece:
Beyond the Red Wall are rumblings of a new revolt, utterly unanticipated by No 10 and overlooked by a liberal media still shell-shocked by the election. With its drive to “green” the economy at any cost, the Tory party has seemingly decided to celebrate its populist landslide by bogging down the country in zero-carbon paternalism. And so we career towards another People vs Establishment conflict that could be more explosive even than that sparked by the referendum.
It is becoming disturbingly apparent that the Government prizes green targets over “unleashing” Britain’s potential. The cast-iron case for a road-building revolution, for example, clangs a little too harshly against the hollowness of eco-politan sensibilities. Whitehall is genuinely convinced that Red Wall utopia is cycling to work from a rabbit hutch on the outskirts of Birmingham. They find the idea that people might actually aspire to drive to their downtown office from their semi-detached in Dudley, and at the weekends cruise, sunroof down, to the Bullring for shopping, completely ghastly.
Yes. Jacobs is well worth reading because, as a working-class Midlander, she understands much better how ordinary Brexiteers think than does almost anyone in the Westminster bubble. She called the Boris landslide far more accurately than most commentators because she encountered on the campaign trail in the Midlands and the North all those working-class traditional Labour voters who had decided to lend their vote to the Conservatives in order to ‘get Brexit done’.
Note: to ‘get Brexit done’; not to bog down the economy in red tape, kill jobs, carpet the countryside with bat-chomping bird-slicing eco-crucifixes, drive up electricity prices, make driving even more expensive, stop cheap holidays — or even flying altogether, etc.
If some deranged sadistic genius had had to dream up a strategy most guaranteed to infuriate and alienate Brexit voters, Net Zero would be exactly it.
That’s because Net Zero is, like the EU, the embodiment of what Jacobs calls “the zealotry of unaccountable elites”.
Just as the EU establishment derives its legitimacy from the teleological assumption that the future is borderless universalism, the green establishment poised to take its place sees the planet rather than the people as the highest authority. As a result, the country is heading in a direction at odds with the ambitions of ordinary people.
Precisely. Net Zero is the new Remain. The liberal elite who fought so hard to stop Brexit happening have now retreated to their second line of defence: the so-called ‘Climate Emergency’.
It will enable the Remain Establishment to do much the same thing it did when Britain was a member of the European Union: reward cronies; increase regulation; bump up prices; restrict freedoms; spend like a drunken sailor; crush the little people.
This is not why people voted for Boris Johnson. It represents the most terrible betrayal not only of ordinary folk’s aspirations but also of Boris’s promises of a dynamic future outside of the EU.
Already we are seeing signs of rebellion. According to a poll conducted for the Sun, nearly half of Tory-voting motorists say they will ditch the party at the next election if the Chancellor hikes fuel duty in his Budget.
And that’s only the beginning. Boris may be rubbish at policy but he’s very good at politics. Let’s hope his finely tuned self-preservation skills will make him see sense before it’s too late.
The green agenda is steering Britain towards disaster.