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Nigel Farage launches Liz-Truss-inspired manifesto

Liz Truss would be proud. Credit: Getty

June 17, 2024 - 4:20pm

Why did Reform UK choose Merthyr Tydfil for the launch of their manifesto? Technically, there’s nothing Red Wall about this part of the world: the Valleys have been solidly Labour since 1922.

But for Nigel Farage, that seems to be the point. He barely bothered with the Tories in his remarks, but rather set out a two-election strategy to establish Reform as the true opposition to Labour — and then storm to power in 2029.

Is this remotely realistic? Well, perhaps he’s inspired by the example of the populist Right in France which has displaced the Left across large swathes of the Gallic rust-belt. However his manifesto — or “contract“, as he insists on calling it — owes rather more to Liz Truss than Marine Le Pen.

Its main plank is a tax giveaway. This includes raising the threshold on inheritance tax to ÂŁ2 million, which he sheepishly conceded might be of more relevance to south-east England than south-east Wales.

Admittedly, some of the promised tax cuts have greater retail appeal than Truss’s politically toxic mini-budget. For instance, in Farage World no one will pay income tax until they earn more than ÂŁ20,000. Sounds great, but how is this generosity to be paid for? Having raised the question, Farage — referring to himself as “Mr Nice” — introduced “Mr Nasty” (a.k.a. Richard Tice) to answer it.

Unfortunately, Tice would have been more accurately described as Mr Flaky. It wasn’t just that he confused billions with trillions, but that his financial master plan falls apart on inspection. He began his speech with a scheme to save ÂŁ30-40 billion a year by no longer paying interest to commercial banks holding deposits with the Bank of England. How clever of him to spot this enormous free lunch. It’s almost as if there must be some sort of catch — which, of course, there is.

Basically it all comes down to the hangover from quantitative easing (QE), which, unsurprisingly, isn’t nearly so cost-free as it was cracked up to be. But though the central bankers have badly screwed up here, the costs we’ve been lumbered with will diminish over time, meaning that Tice’s proposed savings are temporary and cannot pay for permanent tax cuts. In any case, his policy would go well beyond the conventional strictures of monetary policy, exposing the UK to another Truss-style meltdown. Say what you like about the inequities of global capitalism, but the world does not owe this country a living — let alone an unconditional line of credit.

Reform’s contract also promises to save £50 billion by cutting government waste. (Always best to pick a nice round number when pulling it from a sensitive area). And, of course, there’s endless dividends to be had from scrapping Net Zero, which apparently is “crippling our economy”. Quite right, who wants all that wind and solar power when we could be relying on European gas prices?

Furthermore, as Richard Tice reminded us, junking renewables means that we won’t need to build electricity pylons across the British countryside. Though how he intends to transmit power from the “fast-track clean nuclear energy” promised in the Reform manifesto, he didn’t say.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with providing a workable alternative to both Labour and the Conservatives. But, sadly, this isn’t it. Like all dubious contracts, the small print doesn’t add up.


Peter Franklin is Associate Editor of UnHerd. He was previously a policy advisor and speechwriter on environmental and social issues.

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David McKee
David McKee
1 month ago

It doesn’t add up? Well, there’s a surprise! But then, to the Farage faithful, it doesn’t matter. Reform is a protest vote, nothing more. Those planning on voting Reform just want to stick it to Labour and the Conservatives. Basically, Reform is like the Liberal Democrats, only with more beer and fags, and fewer stunts.

Julian Farrows
Julian Farrows
1 month ago
Reply to  David McKee

It was the beginning of the end when smoking got banned from pubs.

Jim Veenbaas
Jim Veenbaas
1 month ago

Ya. You need some meat on the bones. I agree with the author about that. I also agree that if you want tax cuts, they need to be paired with spending cuts. This is where govt has to make tough decisions. How much money is spent on pgms and services that are simply not needed? It’s fine to spend money on arts and culture etc, but these are luxuries that can no longer be supported. How much money is wasted on middle mngt in the NHS, or health promotion pgms that do nothing to improve health.

One thing the author clearly doesn’t understand about nuclear energy is the plants can be built anywhere. You build the plants where there are existing transmission lines. Build them on top of shuttered coal plants. You can’t do that with wind and solar. The author also don’t mention the vast sums of subsidies and tax credits to wind and solar companies.

It’s fair to criticize Reform for vague policy promises, but it’s not like the Tories and Labour are doing any better.

Santiago Excilio
Santiago Excilio
1 month ago
Reply to  Jim Veenbaas

Hmmm. I could cut at least ÂŁ150Bn out of UK Government spending. Here’s how:
Total State spend = ÂŁ1,189Bn so ÂŁ150Bn is 12.6%
Social Protection = ÂŁ342bn – About ÂŁ112bn of this is pensions. leaving ÂŁ230 this includes the payments being made to 9.5m people who, basically, cannot be bothered to make an economic contribution plus 1.5m unemployed = 11m. Even if you are in a wheelchair you can still use a phone… call centres – around 70% of UK call centres are offshored and about 850,000 people work in UK based call centres – do the maths: 2m call centre jobs saving 20k per head = ÂŁ40bn
Next, NHS and healthcare = ÂŁ245bn pa. Doctors and nurses comprises just 37% of the staff. Not a perfect read across but potentially ÂŁ154bn spent on people who are not involved in delivery. As an old consultant I could EASILY find 30% savings in that, equal to ÂŁ46bn.
Next, Debt interest of ÂŁ116bn. Well 30% of UK debt is owed by the Treasury to the BoE. However because it was issued via the clearing banks to, well, everyone during lockdown, the Gov is paying interest to those banks to the tune of ÂŁ40bn pa. Ridiculous. Treasury mints a ÂŁ1Tn coin, gives it to BoE to honour debt, BoE sticks it in museum, interest payments disappear. Savings = ÂŁ40bn.
So now we just need another ÂŁ24bn. Well we spend ÂŁ8m a day housing illegal immigrants in hotels and other facilities. Stop doing that and you save ÂŁ3bn.
Scotland gets ÂŁ41bn pa under the Barnett formula; ÂŁ126 for every Scot vs ÂŁ100 for everyone else. Parity saves ÂŁ8bn pa
That leaves ÂŁ11bn to find. Well we still haven’t looked at Housing, Education, Public Order and Safety, industry Agriculture and employment, defence, transport and Other = ÂŁ444Bn. I reckon I could Squeeeeeze 2.5% out of that lot.
Done.

j watson
j watson
1 month ago

And what would you be left with? Massive social unrest, societal breakdown and anarchy. Those with some wealth would entirely be unable to enjoy it.
I’d put your spreadsheet away and get out a little more into the real world.

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago
Reply to  j watson

More counsels of despair. “Yes, but it’s all too difficult”.
Do you not agree that we should at least make a start here ? Of course, unwinding all these errors can’t be done overnight.

Santiago Excilio
Santiago Excilio
1 month ago
Reply to  j watson

If they’re well enough to riot in the streets then they’re well enough to work I’d say.

George Venning
George Venning
1 month ago

“As an old consultant” as in senior doctor, or management consultant?
Because your figures on the NHS seem a bit weird.
You say that, since only 37% of NHS staff are doctors and nurses, the rest are “not involved in delivery” and you seem to be implying that 63% of all staff are therefore managment bloat and ripe for the cull.
Here are some people who are not doctors, nurses or “management” but are employed by the NHS: phlebotomists, x-ray, CT scanner and ultrasound operators, the engineers who maintain all those complex machines, cleaners, porters, buildings engineers, medical secretaries, physical therapists, care-co-ordinators, pharmacists, lab techs, dental hygenists, IT people, ambulance drivers, helicopter pilots and so on and so on, for a very long time.
Now, several things characterise all these people. First, they are all involved in delivery, second, they are not generally seen to be overpaid and third, there are shortages of most of them. If you reckon that you could make 30% savings in the staffing levels and salary costs of staff like these then please tell me which ones you consider overpaid or over-staffed.
And before you start going on about “management bloat,” the NHS federation reports that just 3.7% of all NHS employees are managers. That is incredibly low. Please name another industry with a fraction of the complexity of healthcare that has as low a proportion of employees in management roles.
https://www.nhsconfed.org/articles/are-there-too-many-nhs-managers
I’m not saying, of course that the NHS isn’t a frustrating and complex organisation stuffed with a thousand bureaucratic headaches and perversities large and small. But the notion that you could slice 30% out of the staffing costs and cause no harm at all is surely for the birds.
Just sticking to the NHS because you seem to be implying that it’s your area of lifelong expertise.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 month ago
Reply to  George Venning

All your non medical staff figures count as medican staff, including ambulence paramedics, so your claim is dishonest. NHS digital lists medical staff ( including the technicians and paramedics) as 48%. Of the 52%, Pritchard said a few years ago that only 13% were managers,but didnt tell us who the rest were: HR? Secretaries? The usual DEI suspects? Let’s look at Germany, where only 10% of the staff are managers.

George Venning
George Venning
1 month ago
Reply to  Anna Bramwell

SE said 37% were doctors and nurses. Let’s say that’s true. Your source has all medical staff as 48%. Those 9% would certainly include paramedics and phlebotomists but that’s not all of my list.
I was also talking about porters. I was talking about the IT guys, the cleaners, the people who run the laundries, the receptionists and secretaries, none of these are medical, none are management I doubt many are overpaid.
Can you get rid of 30% of those people?
You don’t provide links but my link (NHS Confederation) says 3.7% are managers. You are telling me that in Germany 10% of staff are managers.
On that basis, it may be that the NHS has dramatically fewer managers than Germany.

Lesley van Reenen
Lesley van Reenen
1 month ago
Reply to  George Venning

The problem is that the NHS is free and people abuse that in hundreds of missed appointments without cancellation. I experienced this years ago in the UK witha middle ear infection. There was a notice in surgery. I was granted a 5 minute consult which I paid for and the doctor got the prescription for anti biotics wrong – twice. Who can get things right in 5 minutes? I eventually landed in Cape Town and went directly to the doctor who told me anti biotic prescription was wrong. Sorted in days. Delays to flights and etc cost me a fortune.

George Venning
George Venning
1 month ago

I’m sorry you had poor treatment.
But, you think that the fact that you only got a five minute consult with a harrassed GP was because of all the deadbeats missing their appointments?
Think for a moment. If people miss their appointments, do the GPs just site there catching their breath and twiddling their thumbs until the next appointment arrives? No. of course not. They move onto the next person, and try to catch up on the delay caused by over-running on their last few “5 minute” appontments – which happened because, as you say, you can’t get it all done in 5 minutes.
Missing appointments does cause disruption and it isn’t good. but it isn’t the reason why your GP is rushed off his or her feet to the point of making stupid mistakes.

Arthur G
Arthur G
1 month ago

Why do you need to rely on European gas prices? The UK has plenty of gas, FRACK, BABY, FRACK!

j watson
j watson
1 month ago
Reply to  Arthur G

Farage doesn’t think that’s a Vote winner AG. ‘Fracking Farage’ not the moniker he wants.

Kent Ausburn
Kent Ausburn
1 month ago
Reply to  Arthur G

I was about to make the same point.

Dumetrius
Dumetrius
1 month ago

Well, you have to start somewhere I guess.

j watson
j watson
1 month ago
Reply to  Dumetrius

Favouring a Mad Liz approach to public finances being a good place to start? Says it all.

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 month ago

But, but… Farage and Reform are setting expectations that other parties are unwilling or unable to consider. If whichever party in power has to accommodate some of those expectations then Farage and Reform are already effective.

j watson
j watson
1 month ago
Reply to  AC Harper

I suspect there is a bit in that, but it always part explains why we are in a right mess – expectations and promises without full disclosure of consequences. We of course have to accept some of the blame as too many of us lap up this rubbish only to find later…

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago
Reply to  j watson

Surely the whole point of democratic elections is that different parties can present different options and the electorate get to choose.
If so, then Reform are doing us a service by providing additonal choices. Note: I said exactly the same about Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour in 2017 – that what he was doing was extremely valuable, even if almost always wrong.
Or do you prefer the illusion of democracy and choice where the choices on offer are narrow ? Or worse, totally opaque (who know what Keir Starmer actually intends to do in power – he’s taken both sides of the argument on most issues now at different times).

j watson
j watson
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter B

Reform have right to present a prospectus and stand for election. And we have the right to pull it to pieces for the tosh it is.
I think you struggle a bit with having their tosh pulled apart and take it too personally.

AC Harper
AC Harper
1 month ago
Reply to  j watson

Unfortunately politics is all about persuading voters to ‘buy a pig in a poke’. The Office for Budget Responsibility was set up to validate some of the financial consequences – you can argue how effective it has been or how it is exploited by politicians as another ‘persuasion’ tool.

Ash Sangamneheri
Ash Sangamneheri
1 month ago

We currently spend about ÂŁ2700 per person on NHS every year (ÂŁ182B/68M). What if gov gave each person a ÂŁ1000/yr tax allowance to get private healthcare, with regulation so that the private insurance can’t deny existing conditions, etc so as not to load the NHS with the more complex healthcare issues and skim the more profitable parts. That should reduce pressure on NHS and perhaps a more balanced and sustainable healthcare. I wonder if anyone has done any modeling on this.

The same could be done with other services, eg schools, etc. If the private sector is better at running schools, let’s try and give more people access to it by paying 50% tax rebate of what the gov spends per child.

We need a healthy competition between gov and private sector, as monopolies don’t server customers well, public or private.

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
1 month ago

Agreed, competition needs to be introduced so they can identify economies.

j watson
j watson
1 month ago
Reply to  Bret Larson

Competition works at the margins for some profitable procedures. It doesn’t work for emergency care, which is almost 60% of the total.
As regards planned care if something goes wrong with a complex procedure private hospitals often rush to transfer the patient to an NHS hospital where they’ll be an ITU and all the back-up needed. Hence the private sector generally cherry-picks lower risk more profitable work, thus raising the unit cost in the NHS. Of course private sector doesn’t train one doctor or nurse either. Expects Government and thus the NHS to do that for them.
It’s much more complex than you imply. Over simplification may generate some interest but it’ll disappoint later.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 month ago
Reply to  j watson

Strange that in Italy, where the NHS hospitals dont allow private patients, cutting edge medicine such as Da Vinci and Mobe take place exclusively in private hospitals and clinics.

Bret Larson
Bret Larson
1 month ago
Reply to  j watson

Working to fix 40% is better than not fixing 100%. The wife has been an emergency nurse for 38years or so, I think your example underestimates the problem. People don’t just go to the private sector in country. They take their needs to foreign locations which are a lot more affordable. And then of course they come back home and get free healthcare. If you think outsourcing your manufacturing is bad outsourcing procedures and having all the risk on legacy agencies is mind numbingly dumb and likely the end of the economy. Dentistry hip replacements, these are the canaries that are succumbing. Things like the nhs are already history.

Martin M
Martin M
1 month ago

Healthcare in Australia broadly runs along these lines.

j watson
j watson
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin M

That’s incorrect. Health care in Australia operates under a shared public-private model underpinned by the Medicare system. That’s a national single-payer funding model. Government – state level – operate public health facilities where eligible patients receive care free of charge.
It’s a more devolved model – but to the States. Partly reflects the geography. But fundamentally funded in much the same way as the NHS. Overall they fund significantly more per capita than we do in UK. You gets what you pay for largely.

Matt F
Matt F
1 month ago
Reply to  j watson

The great majority of Australians have private health insurance which, though not cheap, means those that have face vastly shorter waiting times for procedures than with the NHS (those without it have to pay additional income tax). Others that are reliant on Medicare face waiting times similar to the NHS. Charges to see a GP mean shorter, or no delays, here too, though it varies around the country. In Western Australia, several state government hospitals are actually privately owned and run,and the ambulance service is contracted to St John’s. Its not a perfect system, but I think it’s the most sustainable compromise between public and private funding.

j watson
j watson
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt F

Yes mixed system. Interestingly though insurance exclusions are increasing whilst fees are rising faster than wages.

Martin M
Martin M
1 month ago
Reply to  j watson

Government – state level – operate public health facilities where eligible patients receive care free of charge. That is the theory, but not much health care in Australia actually happens “free of charge” (including GP visits). In theory, there are doctors who “bulk bill” (as the term is here), but good luck getting in to one.

j watson
j watson
1 month ago

Your NHS ÂŁ1k each doesn’t stack. Current per capita cÂŁ4.8k so you are cutting it by 75%. Private sector won’t insure folks with only that level of per capita contribution, and it certainly wouldn’t unless it could avoid those with pre-conditions. In addition – who’s paying for the training of doctors and nurses, who’s ensuring the private sector actually delivers – given your suggestion is still folks are given public money, who ensures the private sector doesn’t fleece people, who advises folks on what service offerings are valid or not – the information is v asymmetrical etc. And here’s a thought – the average cost of a Nursing Home bed is ÂŁ1.5k per week. Yes, per week! And you say the private sector is better at running things. Well why is the life expectancy is the US lower than the UK yet they spend, overall, twice as much on healthcare?
Role for competition and the private sector, but you need to do some more work to properly understand.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 month ago
Reply to  j watson

Thank goodness we are back to comparing the UK with the US. 9therwise we might learn sonething from systems that are cheaper with better outcomes, in the 26 countries that have better outcomes than the UK, which spends as much as the top five. All state run bodies become swollen and hypertrophied. The NHS is just the worst example.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 month ago

Interesting, the voucher system. But that would never be accepted by the big bubble of non workers in state institutions.

j watson
j watson
1 month ago
Reply to  Anna Bramwell

Role for a voucher at the margins. But not for emergency care – you don’t have time to shop around. And where you do shop around how well qualified are you to judge the competing offerings? It’ll be variable depending on your personal knowledge, marketing etc. It ain’t like buying a car and getting it wrong is it. Fancy an endoscopy for example which you didn’t actually need?

Dr Illbit
Dr Illbit
1 month ago

Impressive how positive the Unherd Comments are on this article.

Contrasts somewhat with the tone of the article itself, and manages this without descending into a myopic perspective equal/opposite to that of the author.

God bless the Unherd!

Plus – Reform are as much about culture as they are about economics, something a typical politico always misses
 Unherd hit a wrong note with this muted criticism of Reform if the tone of the Comments are anything to go by.

j watson
j watson
1 month ago
Reply to  Dr Illbit

They are about amplifying rage and not solving problems. That may get them only so far.

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago
Reply to  j watson

You’re doing it again. Projecting your view of why other people vote and take decisions. Without ever stopping to think and ask these people why they’re doing what they are and what they actually think.
You did it with Brexit. And again here. I’m adding Farage Derangement Syndrome to Boris Derangement Syndrome !
Who says this is about “rage” ? Who says this is not about “solving problems” ? These are simply your projections. Talk to some of these people and you might learn something.

j watson
j watson
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter B

Give me an example of how they’ll solve a serious problem that isn’t a load of nonsense?

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago
Reply to  j watson

You’ve totally missed my point from earlier in this thread (just below this one) …
Besides which, you should have recognised by now that the only reason the Reform party exists at all is because the existing major parties *are not solving the serious problems*. The alternatives haven’t worked. None of us can say for certain that new policies won’t succeed – unless yoy can reliably predict the future.

Martin M
Martin M
1 month ago

The “Truss-inspired” bit is a worry. After all, she almost single-handedly tanked the economy. Still, it’s not as if Reform are going to form the next government.

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin M

It’s either sloppy journalism, clickbait article tagging or part of the MSM condescencion we’re going to be firehosed with whenever Reform are mentioned. Or possibly all three.
Who know, perhaps some people actually believed in some of these things before Liz Truss ever came on the scene ? Or was even born. Perhaps there’s historical evidence from Britain’s past that these policies have been successful. But that would require intelligence, knowlege and some research work for these journalists.

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin M

Truss’s proposed tax cut would have paid for itselfvf, just as Brown’s 20% hike never produced extra revenue.

Gordon Welford
Gordon Welford
1 month ago
Reply to  Martin M

None of Truss policies were ever enacted so no tangible effect on the economy at all

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago
Reply to  Gordon Welford

Quite.

Martin M
Martin M
1 month ago
Reply to  Gordon Welford

Even the threat of those policies caused the markets to recoil.

David L
David L
1 month ago

Tens of billions could be saved by abolishing the quangocracy.

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago

Basic category error by Mr. Franklin here. This is neither intended nor needs to be a practical program for government. Reform aren’t going to be the next government.
It is what it needs to be – a clear set of priorities setting out a direction and making it clear that a significant group of people’s views have been heard and understood. There comes a point when people get fed up with the “it’s all too difficult” excuses from officials who think they know best/just want an easy life/are too lazy/whatever to solve real world problems.
I wasn’t aware that Reform were proposing “junking renewables”. Where did he discover this ? Dropping Net Zero is not at all the same thing as being opposed to renewables or sensible environmental policies. This feels rather like MSM FUD. I hope Mr. Franklin is better than this.
I’d argue that the current Net Zero policies are going to produce worse outcomes than more realistic and sustainable policies would do. For all the talk about “sustainability”, we’re still encouraging producers to create products with ever shorter lifespans (planned obsolesecence). How long do you think the first generation of electric cars will last before they’re scrapped as too expensive to repair ?

George Venning
George Venning
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter B

Like you, I think it’s helpful to have Farrage in the electoral process and for his point of view to be debated and debunked or adopted as appropriate. And I’m willing to take the expression of that view in good faith since you had the grace to take a similar view of Corbynism (whatever your evaluation of its merits).
As to Net Zero, here’s the thing. The consensus view in climate science is that we cannot continue adding any further carbon to the atmosphere – that we need to achieve Net Zero. Now, their view may not be correct. But let’s agree that it is different from, say, a view that we needed to reduce carbon emissions by 25%.
The reason that matters is because aiming at these two targets implies very different solutions – even before we achieve either of them.
If you needed to cut emissions by 25% then you’d phase out coal, and shift to gas, try to make industry a bit more efficient and there would be no reason even to contemplate the societal disruption associated with Net Zero.
However, if you need to get to zero, then the shift to gas is a distraction, it is wasting time and money that could have been used building out the nukes you need for a zero carbon baseload and to manufacture the materials etc that you require to refit the world on a zero carbon basis.
Similarly, if you need a 25-50% reduction in carbon output, then the electric car makes sense. However, if you really need to get to zero then moving 2 tonnes of car around at 30 miles per hour every time you need a pint of milk is insane however the car is propelled. What you need then is not a different kind of car but a city you can walk and cycle around.
If you insist that the world should be essentially the same as it is in the early 21st century but with zero carbon emissions then you’re pitching a rather bleak future (this is what most contemporary politics is about). The goal of a better politics is surely to identify a net zero future that people would actually choose over the present reality. That means nicer, walkable cities rather than electric cars, it means lower personal indebtness – since debt is a big part of the reason that people do the sort of unrewarding busywork that produces the unsustainable products of which you complain. It means a manufacturing economy geared towards durability, repair and upgrade and so on and so on.
Farrage’s only engagement with this quality of life argument is about pylons in the countryside – small bore stuff. I should concede that none of the other major parties are any better but what he is saying is wrong.
Now, I think that Corbyn’s Labour was (a bit) better on these issues – I think they were making a good faith effort to square people and planet. I think that would have been a better starting point than any of what we are looking at now.
And it seems to me that, unlike Farrage we did not get to discuss any of this, because Corbyn’s Labour was constantly being attacked for its supposed heresies on anti-Semitism and Brexit (the former real but overstated and the latter a genuine policy dilemma in view of its electorate being split 50:50)

Anna Bramwell
Anna Bramwell
1 month ago
Reply to  George Venning

Why should Britain do anything? Only Western countries believe in this mantra, and in any case if everyone in Britain dropped dead tomorrow, it would mane no difference at all to global carbon emissions.

George Venning
George Venning
1 month ago
Reply to  Anna Bramwell

Look, if you don’t believe that humanity is messing up the environment then, at this point there’s probably sod all I can do to convince you.
You have presumably heard of the consensus on the relationship between greenhouse gases and global heating and you are unimpressed. You have seen the footage of shrinking ice caps, heard tell of the thawing of the permafrost in the Siberian tundra, the bleaching of the Great Barrier reef, the acidification of the oceans more generally and you shrugged. You probably quesiton the “narrative” about accellerating animal and plant extinctions and since you can’t quite remember how many bees there may have been in the 70s, how would you know whether there are really so many fewer now? Who can possibly tell? Not people who don’t give a toss, that’s for sure.
And, look, that’s fine, you be you. Go with God. Focus on something else.
But, the point I was making was specifically framed inside the consensus view and in that view, we need to get to or near to Net Zero.
And, if you accept that framing (which you don’t) then the question isn’t why should we do anything when we’re only responsible for 1% of emissions? It’s, given how rich and clever we are, why shouldn’t we be the ones to figure out how to do this thing and then show the people responsible for the other 99% how to do it? Why would you sit back and wait for the Chinese to fix it?

Peter B
Peter B
1 month ago
Reply to  George Venning

It’s not a “supposed heresy” if you immediately go on to admit that it is “real” !

George Venning
George Venning
1 month ago
Reply to  Peter B

Fair comment. Poor choice of words.
My point is that, whilst he was leader, Corbyn’s policy offer was broadly popular whilst he personally was held to be unutterably toxic.
Once he was safely out of the way, Starmer campigned on Corbynism without Corbyn in order to get elected leader of the party and then repudiated all of the (broadly popular) policies as if they were the cause of the 2019 election result.
This two-step is, at the very least, cynical factionalism. And I suspect, it will prove politically inept.
Starmer will win next month but however insane his majority, he will be weak from day one because he is promising change but planning for continuity.

Mark epperson
Mark epperson
1 month ago

Flawed but you have to start somewhere.

Gordon Welford
Gordon Welford
1 month ago

a problem with the public sector is that noone is even faintly concerned with the economic growth needed to fund public services.How about increasing wages and pensions only equal to the per capita GDP growth per annum.All private sector is constrained by the profitability of business and surely it would change attitudes if we were all in the same boat economically

Damon Hager
Damon Hager
1 month ago

“Peter Franklin […] was previously a policy advisor and speechwriter on environmental and social issues.”

Environmentalism is middle-class onanism, paid for (as usual) by the working class. At least Reform seem to understand this.