Saturday, December 4, 2021
HomeNewsThe futile gesture of Johnson’s rush to Net Zero

The futile gesture of Johnson’s rush to Net Zero

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WHILE the population at large will be bracing themselves for the inevitable tsunami of ‘carbon neutral’ ectoplasm that will spew forth from COP26 in Glasgow next month, I was reminded of a Beyond the Fringe sketch from the early 1960s

The Aftermyth of War features Peter Cook as a senior RAF officer alongside the eager Perkins played by Jonathan Miller.

‘Perkins, I want you to lay down your life: we need a futile gesture at this stage. It will raise the whole tone of the war. Get up in a crate, Perkins, pop over to Bremen, take a shufty . . . don’t come back’.

‘Right you are, sir.’

‘Goodbye Perkins. God, I wish I was going too.’

‘Goodbye, sir, or is it au revoir?’

‘No, Perkins.’

It would be easy to update the skit with Boris Johnson reprising Cook’s role and the hapless Perkins played by the British public. However here the amusement ends abruptly. We are, uninvited, continuing with what can only be described as one of the most un-costed, un-thought through, economically and socially damaging experiments in our island’s long history.

The headlong rush to ‘carbon neutral’ has been achieved by a potent mix of groupthink shot through, no doubt, with laudable sentiment. Sadly however, common sense and rational analysis were jettisoned when David Miliband piloted the 2008 Climate Change Act through the Commons.

At every turn, elected representatives, supposedly with their constituents’ best interests at heart, abrogated detailed examination of the Act and (with a handful of notable exceptions) voted to pass this absurd legislation.

The early and financially unpleasant consequences of this calamitous regulation are already making themselves known but compared to what is coming down the line it is chickenfeed.

Green levies on energy bills, rocketing costs of gas, a creaking energy infrastructure, wind turbines standing proudly idle, solar power not delivering as expected and on top of this, industries pleading with the Government for loans to help them through this difficult time.

Far from admitting errors and suggesting a pause for mature, sober reflection and re-calculation, we are served a doubling down on the dogma. The media are awash with ‘talking heads’ hectoring us to ‘go greener faster’ and the battalions of ‘eco-warriors’ happy to inconvenience the working public, the sick and those most vulnerable are allowed to run riot.

The public have been brainwashed by a compliant and unquestioning media into accepting that all this change has an air of righteous inevitability about it. The sad spectacle of our monarch recently being dragooned into bolstering the green cause was a nadir I never thought we would witness.

The imbecilic setting of unilateral goals will wreak untold harm on energy intensive industries. Currently, we are enjoying an early amuse-bouche of what awaits us further down the line as self-imposed legal deadlines draw ever nearer. The current fiasco of the wholesale price of gas, alongside industry bailouts (or ‘loans’ as the Treasury euphemistically calls them), should be a deafening klaxon heard the length and breadth of the UK.

The ever-escalating domestic fuel bills are an obscene stain on a country that sits atop huge untapped reserves of shale gas that could literally bring about a revolution in energy. Far from embracing this asset, we have allowed ourselves to be browbeaten by a cabal of interested parties into rejecting the one resource that could transform both the fortunes of the country and its people.

The jamboree of virtue signalling taking place from the end of this month in Glasgow would, in the real world, rightly be excoriated for what it is. The spectacle of wealthy individuals lecturing the put-upon electorate as to how they should accept wholesale, economically and socially damaging changes to their lifestyle in pursuit of some unattainable Arcadia will be a nauseating spectacle. More so when we wave them off cosseted in their private jets, no doubt congratulating each other on a job well done.

In the real world, the old and those struggling to make ends meet will simply be collateral damage in this headlong rush to Nirvana. The Labour Party, still ostentatiously trumpeting themselves as being on the side of the working man (or person) should be ashamed. Content to see a supposedly first world economy needlessly push hard-working families below the poverty line, happy to see older people choosing between ‘heat or eat’ and oblivious to the suffering of children. What a shocking indictment of the chasm that now exists between the governed and government.

The recent Conservative Party conference would have been an ideal platform for Boris Johnson to level with the electorate, explain their thinking and present detail costed plans. Absent was any discussion of how people can fund expensive heat pumps, no talk of how homes need considerable remedial work to accommodate the same, no discussion of where the electricity will come from to power them – let alone power the battalions of electric cars shortly to be on our roads.  Instead, we were treated to a second-rate ‘end of the pier’ knockabout routine larded with WEF slogans The public are being misled and the government’s mendacity will at some stage be all too apparent. Regrettably, when that moment comes, the progenitors of this farce will have left the stage, cosy with their taxpayer-funded pensions and sinecures.

Those pious nostrums that currently tumble so easily from the mouths of politicians from all sides should be chiselled into a large monument. A monument that we can all spit at as we silently and sullenly realise how the whole country has been betrayed by hubris, incompetence and stupidity.

Whilst GB Ltd accounts for less than 1 per cent of global carbon emissions and the world’s largest producers cannot even bother to attend our carnival of indulgence, it is an unedifying thought that this endeavour, costing hundreds of billions of pounds and causing multiple hardships, crippling costs and upheaval will have not an atom of impact in the grand scheme of things.

‘We are looking for a futile gesture . . .’

We have certainly found it in this Government and its lackeys happy to prop up this rickety narrative at our cost.

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Alexander McKibbin
Alexander McKibbin is a retired media executive who worked across domestic and international media.

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