Never mind sabotaging Brexit. The sight of MPs clamouring to be photographed alongside Greta Thunberg yesterday dealt yet another harmful blow to our democracy. The Swedish clairvoyant is the constituent of no British politician. She contributes not a penny in taxes to HM Treasury. And yet our parliamentarians lined up to listen in wonder to her ramblings about the future. Thunberg’s message, echoing the prophecies of Extinction Rebellion, comes as music to a politician’s ears. Humanity is doomed, says the pig-tailed time-traveller. MPs love the rhetoric of global catastrophe because it means more influence for them, and less for oiks like us.
At PMQs the understudies took the stage. Emily Thornberry shuddered theatrically over Donald Trump’s forthcoming visit and she suggested that he be seated at the state banquet between David Attenborough and Ms Thunberg. Nothing would get the president to cancel faster.
Eco-nuttery had spread across the backbenches. Danielle Rowley wailed that the country is ‘hurtling towards a climate disaster.’ Bill Esterson, sounding like an unemployed traffic-cone inspector, muttered something about ‘declaring a climate emergency’. Rebecca Pow said she wanted ‘net zero emissions ahead of 2020.’ Then she changed her mind. ‘Ahead of 2050.’
Ian Blackford of the SNP was called and he got to his feet wearing a flowery dress. The Speaker failed to point out his mistake. The member standing was in fact Kirsty Blackman, the SNP’s economy spokesperson. She had two questions and she made the most of them. She berated David Lidington (the PM’s stand-in) for various crimes against the planet which had forced a semi-apology from the environment secretary, Michael Gove. She called on the Tories to reverse their investment in nuclear energy which, rather oddly, she called ‘damaging.’ (Most people call nuclear power ‘carbon-free.’) And she boasted that the Holyrood government, the wonder of autocrats everywhere, has already vowed to purge Scotland of carbon by 2050. Blimey. There goes the North Sea oil industry.
Her second question was the stinger. She ordered Lidington to commit the government unconditionally, and in her presence, to ‘all the targets’ suggested in a Whitehall report on the environment. The report has yet to be published.
‘I’m going to wait till I see what the advice is,’ shrugged Lidington, reasonably.
Blackman’s line of questioning said much about the daft absolutism of the tree-huggers. Every green policy is sacrosanct. Every green budget is limitless. Every green brainwave must be adopted within seconds of its conception or the result will be worse than genocide – it will be pan-genocide.
The greens don’t offer a manifesto. They spread a neurosis.
Lidington finished his reply with a statistic that should cheer the souls of eco-heads everywhere. Since 1990, he said, the UK’s carbon emissions have fallen by two fifths while the economy has grown by two thirds. ‘Prosperity and green policies are not incompatible.’
Woe-monger MPs should have been whooping with joy. Instead they sat in their seats like pots of glue.
That this nutjob parliament has ditched rationalism in favour of hysterics proves that its detachment from reality is complete.