Boris must put ‘Net Zero’ to a people’s vote

by Andrew Allison

It has been an eventful few weeks. Boris Johnson has been grandstanding on the world stage, preaching about climate change. He told delegates that “it was here in Glasgow 250 years ago that James Watt came up with a machine that was powered by steam that was produced by burning coal and yes my friends – we have brought you to the very place where the doomsday device began to tick.” He went on to say that “It’s one minute to midnight on that doomsday clock and we need to act now.” James Watt is a hero. His steam engine helped usher in the industrial revolution which brought prosperity and social mobility to millions of people, yet our Prime Minister refers to it as a “doomsday device.”

But true to fashion, Boris Johnson jetted back to London the following day in order to deal with urgent business. It transpired that the urgent business was a dinner at the Garrick Club with old friends from the Daily Telegraph.

Talking about private jets, there were so many of them arriving at Glasgow and Edinburgh airports that there wasn’t enough room for all of them to park. Some had to take off again and land at Prestwick Airport. 

Whilst attending the G20 summit, Joe Biden travelled through the streets of Rome in an 85-car cavalcade to meet the Pope to discuss… climate change. You couldn’t make it up. 

Prince Charles took a private jet to Rome to tell us that we all need to change our ways before it gets too late. This is from a man who has homes in London, Gloucestershire, and Scotland. His excuse is that he insists on using sustainable aviation fuel. That excuse sounds about as plausible as Elton John saying that although Harry and Meghan flew on holiday in his private jet, it was okay because he would offset their carbon footprint by planting some trees. 

Greta Thunberg addressed her disciples on the streets of Glasgow (she has become a secular street preacher), but because she is attacking so many people at the moment, the doom goblin – who really enjoys basking in the media limelight – is getting a cold shoulder from those who used to fawn all over her. Thank heaven for small mercies. 

The eco-terrorists of Insulate Britain are still busy gluing themselves to roads in various parts of the country. The Police arrest them (when they can be bothered), bail them, and then they start all over again. 

St Michael’s Cornhill in the City of London decided to change the name of ‘Choral Evensong’ to ‘Choral Eco-Song’ at the start of the COP26 summit. The church even commissioned a new doom-laden anthem to mark the occasion. Saving souls is not the Church of England’s priority anymore, as I discovered during my unsuccessful attempt to get elected to General Synod. During an online hustings event, one woman, when asked what she thought the main challenges facing the church would be over the next five years, gave us a two-minute speech about climate change. We were even informed that she and her husband decided to have just one child in order to save the planet! 

Now that the jamboree of hypocrisy is over, it is the rest of us who will have to pay the bills for leaders’ grandstanding. We are currently struggling to generate enough electricity and bills are starting to sky-rocket, yet the Prime Minister wants all of us to drive electric cars. Gas boilers out; inefficient heat pumps in. There is even talk about extra taxes on meat, making the cost of feeding a family much more expensive. The Prime Minister is living in a fantasy world if he thinks that the voters will stomach this. After seemingly endless headlines predicting climate Armageddon, voters are concerned about climate change, but they don’t want to pick-up the bill Boris Johnson is about to give them. The sooner the Prime Minister realises that, the better. 

In a recent survey of members of The Freedom Association, just under 70 per cent responded by saying that we should have a referendum on net zero. Although I am not keen on the idea, I am coming to the conclusion that campaigning for one is probably the only way we can have a proper debate about the causes of climate change and the Government’s costly proposals and policies. 

I voted Conservative at the last general election – not that it made much difference to the result as I live in a safe Conservative seat; however, I do have buyer’s remorse. I know that the alternative was Jeremy Corbyn and that despite Boris Johnson leading the most un-Conservative Government anyone can remember, even he is better than Corbyn, but that shouldn’t stop us from voicing our concerns. 

Freedom is not just under threat, it is being attacked on a daily basis, and the Government is responsible for many of those attacks. It’s as if we are back in the 1970s, in a failing country suffering from the policies of the post-war consensus. It was because of those failing policies The Freedom Association was founded. It’s as if Margaret Thatcher had never been in power for eleven and a half years. 

In the words of Pres. Ronald Reagan:

“Freedom is a fragile thing and is never more than one generation away from extinction. It is not ours by inheritance; it must be fought for and defended constantly by each generation, for it comes only once to a people. Those who have known freedom, and then lost it, have never known it again.”

In this month of November, a month where we remember those who have died fighting for their country and for freedom, we are also reminded of why The Freedom Association is needed as much, if not more, than it was when our founders decided that enough was enough in 1975. 

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