PETER HITCHENS: This green revolution will turn Britain into a Third World country
The collapse of the once-free West into a conformist wasteland is grim enough by itself, for anyone who believes in free thought and assembly.
There are so many things that it is now impossible to discuss without being driven into the wilderness. Dissent on these subjects – you know what they are, though there will soon be more – is a suicide mission, which can even bring the police to your door.
And I suppose for most people this is just a nuisance on the edge of life. But the Green Dogma – which has taken over every major government on the planet, and is now pretty much accepted by all media, publishing houses and educational bodies – is different.
Anyone who challenges or doubts it might as well build his own guillotine, stick his head in the hole and drop the blade on his own neck.
China, with vast, newly discovered coalfields in Inner Mongolia, keeps opening such stations. In fact, China’s coal-fired power generation is more than ten times bigger than Britain’s entire electricity output from all sources. It is not just China. Part of a coal mine is seen above in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region of China
So I won’t do that. The kamikaze life is not for me. I’ll just say two things. The British Government’s policy on climate change doesn’t even make sense on its own terms. And it is going to affect you personally whether you have an opinion on it or not.
For reasons I have never discovered, our Government is more rigid about this than almost any other. Unlike many advanced countries, we have written our carbon-reduction targets into law, making it much harder to pull out of them if things get tough.
So far, the main thing we have done is to close perfectly good coal-fired power stations. Well, you might say, so much the better for the atmosphere.
But China, with vast, newly discovered coalfields in Inner Mongolia, keeps opening such stations. In fact, China’s coal-fired power generation is more than ten times bigger than Britain’s entire electricity output from all sources. It is not just China.
India is also a greedy consumer of coal to make electricity. Both countries make airy promises that one day they will stop doing this, but as long as they carry on, our efforts make as much difference as trying to empty the Atlantic with a teaspoon.
It is sheer deluded vanity to think that the rest of the world looks on us as an example. Few now care what we do, let alone copy it. Our economic rivals only snigger behind their hands at our dogged self-harm.
For reasons I have never discovered, our Government is more rigid about this than almost any other. Unlike many advanced countries, we have written our carbon-reduction targets into law, making it much harder to pull out of them if things get tough
To continue this course, we are going to have to cut our huge consumption of gas, not just to run power stations, but in large numbers of homes. If we press on with our plans to be green, then millions of us face being told we must replace our gas boilers with costly and less efficient heat-pumps.
Ferocious insulation rules will make it harder and harder to sell older houses. As for transport, it is just going to get more expensive and less convenient. And now they want to make us change our diets too.
At the moment, in most people’s lives, this is still a small cloud no bigger than a man’s hand, far away on the horizon. But you will find as the years drag on that it will spread across the whole sky.
My guess is that it is the means by which we in the West will join the Third World, finally and irrevocably. How amusing that this should be brought about by a government that calls itself Conservative, and claims to be patriotic.
Sorry, Carey – not all men are rapists
Carey Mulligan is a good actress, and I’ve enjoyed several of her films. But I don’t think I shall be watching Promising Young Woman, her latest.
No doubt Carey, left, does a good job, and bits of it are funny and clever. But I am weary of the idea that all men are rapists and most of them get away with it, which seems to underlie the plot.
I suppose it could be true that, in some Stone Age society, all men would be rapists, though that might be because the men who weren’t rapists would be clubbed to death by the ones who were.
But the current rather awful diplomatic relations between the sexes have quite a lot to do with the ultra-feminist revolution that swept through the wealthy world after the 1960s.
Dressed up as women’s liberation, it was in fact liberation for nasty, selfish, irresponsible men – especially the abortion laws.
Carey Mulligan is a good actress, and I’ve enjoyed several of her films. But I don’t think I shall be watching Promising Young Woman, her latest
The old pre-1960s arrangements were not perfect. Nothing is. But they were better than what we have now, for men and women, and, above all, for children.
Yet a film which even attempted to make that point could not be made or put on general release now. It is quite astonishing how ideas that once only flourished in tiny Left-wing sects are now the currency of Hollywood, and beliefs that once dominated Britain and America are now eccentric, isolated and may soon be banned altogether.
I shall never understand my own country. Faced with house arrest, economic ruin and unprecedented assaults on all forms of personal liberty, plus the shutdown of education and the end of the freedom to travel, the British people retire to their back gardens and have a drink.
Faced with a change in the commercial organisation of football, the whole of civil society, from the Royal Family downwards, rises in angry revolt.
Last week I received a nasty little postcard from my electricity company asking me: ‘When can we install your new smart meter?’
It claimed that a meter was waiting in the warehouse ‘ready for you’ to choose a date to have it fitted in my home, and urged me to ‘call now’ to have this done. I won’t.
I know that I don’t have to have one of these over-sold controversial devices unless I want to. But a lot of people might think from this postcard that they are under some sort of obligation.
You aren’t, and the power companies should make this clear.
Mercer’s best medal: one saying ‘You’re fired’
I must admit I never had much time for Johnny Mercer, the former Army officer, now an MP. Mr Mercer, by joining the Tory Party and taking a job as a junior Minister, became a human shield for that pseudo-patriotic party’s neglect of and contempt for the Armed Forces.
But he now has my respect for refusing to put up with the Government’s shameful abandonment of Servicemen who fought in Northern Ireland.
This, as I once tried to explain to him, was always going to happen, as it is a key part of Britain’s 1998 capitulation to the IRA, under severe American pressure. All kinds of IRA killers and bombers can now stroll about in freedom with no fear of prosecution. But soldiers accused of unlawful acts in the long and bitter struggle between Britain and those same Republican gangsters can never be sure till their dying day that they will not face prosecution, and perhaps ending their days in prison.
This is so obviously wrong and wicked that it cannot be publicly admitted. Mr Mercer’s attempt to put it right by changing the law ran into the bedrock of cynical power politics. Politics required him to shut up and swallow it. He didn’t, and for that he was summarily sacked by text message.
Well, he should value that sacking. It is a badge of honour worth as much as any medal and shows he was doing his job for the soldiers who are every officer’s ultimate concern. And one day, when this Government is long out of power and its reputation is no longer shielded by battalions of spin doctors, it will be clear to any decent person who was in the right.