Stubborn, thick, petulant Theresa May has decided what her legacy is going to be: she’s going to poison the wells, salt the earth, and make damn sure that her name lives on through all eternity as the stroppy cow who cost the UK economy £1 trillion.
That’s her Chancellor Phil Hammond’s estimate of how much it will cost to implement her legally binding ‘Net Zero’ commitment — to be passed by parliament on the nod, apparently with no scrutiny whatsoever — to 100 per cent decarbonise the UK economy by 2050.
Previously — under the terms of the disastrous and pointless 2008 Climate Change Act — the target was an 80 per cent reduction. Since this was largely a virtue-signalling exercise in the dog days of the last Labour government, dreamed up by an activist called Bryony (now Lady) Worthington from the hard left Friends of the Earth and Environment Secretary Ed Miliband, many thought that this would be one of the first things a Conservative government would repeal when it got into power.
The Brexit Party may have lost the Peterborough by-election but it’s winning the battle of ideas. Just look at the effect it is having on the Conservative leadership contest. You could call it the Farage Effect. For the first time in what seems like millennia, Conservatives are advocating recognisably conservative policies again.
Michael Gove says he wants to scrap HS2, replace VAT with a ‘lower, simpler’ alternative, cut business rates and introduce an Australian-style points-based immigration system.
Boris Johnson wants to slash income tax – increasing the 40p higher rate tax threshold from £50,000 to £80,000 – and to leave the EU on October 31 with No Deal if necessary.
Dominic Raab wants to cut the basic rate of income tax from 20p to 15p.
Even the squishy Jeremy Hunt has promised to slash corporation tax from 19 per cent to 12.5 per cent, the same rate as Ireland’s.
You may say this is all too little too late – and I’d be inclined to agree with you.
Vote Conservative, get Labour. This was one of the salutary lessons of the Peterborough by-election in which Nigel Farage’s insurgent Brexit Party was narrowly beaten — by just under 700 votes — by Labour.
Labour got 10,484 votes
The Brexit Party got 9,801
Conservatives got 7,243
If these vote ratios are replicated in a general election, then Britain will be in serious trouble. It will mean that, just like has happened in New Zealand, the votes of the majority right will have been fatally split so that the party of the minority hard-left ends up in power.
So how do we avoid the terrifying prospect of Jeremy Corbyn, PM?
How many people do you think died at Chernobyl? 10,000? 50,000? 300,000? The correct answer, according to the never knowingly understated World Health Organisation — in a thorough report released nearly 20 years after the 1986 explosion — was ‘fewer than 50’.
Ah, but what about all the mutant babies who ended up with two heads and webbed feet? What about the inevitable epidemic of cancers? Well, yes, it’s true that 4,000 more cases of thyroid cancer were loosely attributable to Chernobyl, mainly in children and adolescents. But the survival rate was 99 per cent.
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’.)
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:
Something extraordinary is happening in British politics right now. I’ve seen nothing like it before and I don’t think that either Labour or the Conservatives quite realise what is about to hit them.
I’m talking about the juggernaut that is The Brexit Party. Having cleaned up in the recent EU elections, it now stands a good chance of winning its first seat in Westminster later this week in the Peterborough by-election.
The Brexit Party has announced its “common sense”, long term plan to rescue ailing British Steel, what they call a strategic national industry.
Party Chairman Richard Tice, speaking exclusively to Breitbart News in advance of a policy launch at British Steel’s Scunthorpe headquarters, said that the troubled company was a strategic national interest which could only be preserved with imaginative long term capital investment.
Steel is a strategic national interest. Our view is that we in this country our government should be able to decide what is required to protect, preserve and invest in such ventures. And of course as we all know if you’re a member of the European Union under state aid rules you can’t do anything which is why we’re in the pickle we’re in.