Recent polls suggest people are unwilling to throw money at global warming fantasies; no big surprise there. It is a surprise, however, to discover politicians (now in the UK, as in the US) are becoming aware of this:
Gordon Brown is poised to scrap a series of unpopular tax rises as part of sweeping changes to stave off a dangerous revolt over the rising cost of living which last week dealt Labour its worst electoral hammering in 40 years.
Today the Prime Minister will respond to a growing suburban uprising by signalling moves to help motorists and other consumers …
Ministers also want Brown to rethink green taxes – including motoring charges and proposed ‘pay as you throw’ schemes for household rubbish – and to sideline his passion for Africa and the climate to focus on domestic worries.
Internal polling in London found Ken Livingstone’s green policies, such as new charges for gas-guzzling cars, alienated older voters, while the environment was at best a low priority for others, suggesting that, as families’ budgets shrink, so does their willingness to pay to save the planet.
Those green policies were red hot, according to IBD:
In London, green taxes were tacked onto everything from renewable-energy schemes to plastic bags. This month, Londoners are bracing for a $50-a-day tax to be slapped on those driving SUVs or luxury cars.
Labour officials were amazingly clueless about the burden these green taxes placed on ordinary Britons and merrily proposed more.
“If someone drops litter, they should be arrested,” Livingstone threatened during his campaign, thinking his resolve would impress rather than infuriate voters with its ecologically correct pettiness in a city otherwise awash in real crime.
We should be sceptical about the notion of radical shifts in mood in politics … Now is the worst time for the Conservative Party to retreat from green politics.
Why? They’ve just started winning.