Shirley williams

Letters: The true cost of the green dream

Zero possibility Sir: Katy Balls is right to conclude that the government is ‘not being upfront’ on the bill for net zero and who will pay (‘The green games’, 17 April). As the Covid pandemic has revealed, expectations need managing, and without an urgent agreement on a consistent set of policy guidelines which embrace fairness, energy security and affordability, the whole net-zero project could backfire. Whichever way you approach the problem, the costs of transitioning to net zero by 2050 are massive, with estimates ranging from £50 billion p.a. (Climate Change Committee) to £100 billion p.a. (National Grid), and the burden falling most heavily on those who cannot afford it.

How I’ll remember Shirley Williams

Shortly after the news of Prince Philip’s death was announced by Buckingham Palace, a woman called Karen Geier tweeted the following: ‘Deeply saddened to hear it was peaceful. He deserved so much more (pain).’ Ms Geier is a writer who has been published by, among others, the Guardian and the Huffington Post. That’s the kinder, gentler left for you. Meanwhile, the BBC received 100,000 complaints (a record) for its relentless coverage, the entire schedule having been ripped up on 9 April so that a succession of people could explain to us how nice the Prince was. I suspect it wasn’t only carping lefties phoning in to moan — I grew

Shirley Williams: a woman apart

Shirley Williams, the Liberal Democrat politician, died peacefully at her home this morning, aged 90. In 2009, our columnist Matthew Parris reviewed her autobiography, Climbing the Bookshelves, for the magazine: Anticipate the demise of Gordon Brown. Imagine Labour’s search for a leader with voter-appeal. Picture a younger Shirley Williams, but with the experience and affection she already commands. Wouldn’t she be a powerful contender? Couldn’t a new Shirley Williams, updated for the 21st century and reinserted into the Labour Party, give the rest a run for their money? Lady Williams’s style of politics has weathered better than that of any of her erstwhile Labour contemporaries. She’s just the sort of thing they need. Climbing