Monday, 26 May 2008

Any Way You Look At It, You Lose

The news that 'carbon rationing' could be back on the political agenda has been met with a furious response on the blogs.

The proposal has been slammed as representing a "bureacratic surveillance nightmare", for the absurd cost estimates (seriously, they make Boris Johnson's bus costings look pessimistic), and for generally being "batshit insane".

The MPs pushing for the introduction of 'personal carbon credits' acknowledge that "members of the public are likely to be opposed to the move" . Presumably because they will entail unprecedented Government snooping, cost billions of pounds of taxpayer's money, and are generally a stupendously bad idea.

Mark Wadsworth asks:

"Do politicians expect people to vote for them, and in exchange be forced into this sort of bureaucratic surveillance nightmare? (What happens if you fill up you car and realise you've forgotten your card?) Well, clearly politicians do think that we'll still vote for them, and we probably will - that's the frightening bit."
Well, unless they are much stupider than even the most cynical blogger credits them for, the answer has to be no. New Labour are already deeply unpopular with the electorate, and attempting to introduce such policies would surely only deepen that antipathy and make it even more likely than it is already that they will be voted out at the next General Election.

The Environmental Audit Committee, which put forward the proposals at the weekend, is chaired not by Hilary Benn or some New Labour back-bencher, but by a Conservative MP - Tim Yeo. The EAC consists of 16 MPs: 9 from the Labour party; 5 Tories; and 2 from the Liberal Democrats.

So, even if David Cameron were to become PM at the next election, it would be no surprise at all if the EAC were to carry on with this crazy scheme as though nothing had changed - which in reality it won't have.

Although politicians and commentators like to make out that there are deeper differences between the three main parties than the colour of the candidates' rosettes, the current preponderance of cross-party committees and "joint strategies" like this betrays the truth of the matter.

All three parties are thoroughly authoritarian and paternalistic, and all three parties are beholden to corporate interests and to the European Union. This is but one example of the contempt the political class that currently dominates Westminster has for the people. It's certainly not going to be the last. There has to be a better way.

1 comment:

Mark Wadsworth said...

Ta for link. It appears that the blogosphere is pretty united on this one!