So for the second time in a short period, the Conservative party has decided to change their leadership – and as the biggest party in parliament it has meant a change in prime minister and potentially a change in direction.
And who got to vote, to decide who will lead the UK? Just Conservative party members, or about 1 in 325 of the population. For many countries this does not sound like a democracy- but in the UK we have a parliamentary democracy, which means we vote for our local MP not a leader of the country. The Prime minister is the leader of the party which has the most MPs and therefore can win votes in the houses of parliament.
Why is this a problem? Well for a very simple reason – the Conservative party is generally older upper or middle class (certainly far more wealthy than the average in the UK).
Why does it matter? Quite simply because Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak were making pledges and trying to win over minds in a part of the population that is not representative of the rest of the population. One of the big issues is that there are a great number of loud voices in the Conservative party who are arguing that climate change isn’t real (despite not being scientists) or perhaps that it doesn’t matter as much as allowing business to thrive.
So the question is, what will happen over global warming?
- Liz Truss has reiterated the countries aims to reach net zero by 2050 (whether this is soon enough to live up to our obligations – or save our future, we do after all live on an island) however, she has stated that her main focus will be on the cost of living crisis and tax cuts (never mind that one of the easiest ways to reduce the increase in the cost of living would be to invest billions into moving the whole of the UK off gas, and building Gigawatts of solar which could allow cheap electric power that is totally clean).
- She is going to cancel the green levy for a time, so that businesses can concentrate on thriving, while looking for a way towards net zero. How much is the green levy on electricity? Less than a penny, which given a current average price of about 20p is pretty much irrelevant
- She is going to review the international development strategy – money would be moved from helping communities to adapt for global warming, as well as assisting people in dropping their emissions – clearly a stupid move at a time where we need to push developing countries to adapt fast. (I am not saying that the new goals are not worthy, merely that they should be in addition not instead of). Despite this, she denied that she was defunding climate change – despite that being what happens when you move funds to another priority.
- Suggests that whether future improvements come through electric cars, or insulation in the home, she does not want to see ordinary people hit with the cost – of course the answer is that, fuel prices (while having declined a bit) are still running at as much as £85 for a full tank, and with record gas prices this winter, any insulation layouts would be recouped over the winter, likely many times.
In recent times, the conservative party has been against the views of the country, from the scraping of solar subsidies (despite the simple fact that for most people if they simply got a credit for all electricity given to the grid they would be happy, companies dont have to pay anything for the electricity they get from solar houses), to the support for scrapping of green taxes. They are out of step. What is increasingly clear, is that there is a disconnect with what the older generations want, and the cost that their actions are foisting on their children and grand children’s generations.
What is clear, is that while Liz Truss has not spouted insane ideas on climate change, she is not requiring sensible views on this, from all her cabinet (I feel in 2022 is is quite reasonable to expect people who serve in the cabinet to run the country, to be intelligent enough to see that climate change is happening – while there are still people spouting stupid arguments, the science is settled, now we need action). In many people, the fact that the government has set some pretty pedestrian targets, now climate change is done and politics should not be talking about it (despite the fact that the government must keep pushing forwards).
Thankfully, it is recognized that a general election must occur soon, and so there is no point in only pandering to the conservatives – with the young global warming is a tier one level for deciding how you vote, yet even with climate sceptics it would appear it still is a tier two issue.
Unfortunately while heavily against solar – already one of the cheapest forms of electricity and likely to drop further, she greatly supports fracking.