GREEN BROWNED

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.

Via Benny Peiser. In the face of this Greenism rejection, the warmenist Independent is suddenly sceptical:

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.

Posted by Tim B. on 05/04/2008 at 12:21 PM
    1. Liberal (and liberal) shit for brains (that’s brown for green too, isn’t it?) runs in Canada too. Let’s hope it ends the same way as in London, England.

      Posted by andycanuck on 2008 05 04 at 12:38 PM • permalink

 

    1. #1

      It wouldn’t be the Red Star without some finger-wagging condescension, now would it?

      Although everyone would be better off if all countries adopted a uniform carbon tax…

      If Canadians are truly committed to doing their part to fight climate change, they will keep an open mind to what Dion is suggesting and join in a healthy debate on the economic and environmental merits and costs of a carbon tax versus the Harper government’s alternative of doing as little as we possibly can.

      Sod off, Swampie!

      Posted by Spiny Norman on 2008 05 04 at 12:55 PM • permalink

 

    1. Don’t underestimate the venality of the Conservative Party.  Prior to this election, they were tripping all over themselves to be “greener” than Labor.

      Posted by Mystery Meat on 2008 05 04 at 01:06 PM • permalink

 

    1. Yeah, MM. Canada has had (and still may have) a problem with Red Tories just like RINOs in the U.S. (And, oddly enough, no matter how red or pink the Red Tories, the MSM still calls them ‘fascists’ unless they’re attacking True Blue Tories. As McCain is discovering in his recent NYT‘s coverage.)

      Posted by andycanuck on 2008 05 04 at 01:13 PM • permalink

 

    1. Tax rises? That’s interesting. Forgive me here, I’m a linguist and can’t help it, but it’s interesting that one would choose an intransitive, that is, a verb without a direct object, you know, as if it didn’t do or affect anything. We say tax raise, you know. It’s transitive, because it has an effect: You raise taxes, and I pay more.

      Okay, I’m done with my sociolinguistics tangent.

      Posted by rightwingprof on 2008 05 04 at 02:53 PM • permalink

 

    1. Okay, so I wasn’t done. More here, if you can stomach it.

      Posted by rightwingprof on 2008 05 04 at 03:49 PM • permalink

 

    1. Labour officials were amazingly clueless about the burden these green taxes placed on ordinary Britons and merrily proposed more.

      Is that the best line ever written?  If not, it’s very close.

      Posted by blogagog on 2008 05 04 at 04:02 PM • permalink

 

    1. The environmental groups in the UK seem quite upset by Boris Johnson’s victory, according to the Conservative Home website leading greenie Jonathan Porritt says

      “The prospect of Boris as Mayor of London is just so scary. The prospect of Boris taking over London’s Climate Change Action Plan is even scarier. He may have learnt not to reveal his full contrarian bigotry on climate change, but he really doesn’t get it, and would rapidly scale back or completely get rid off the ambitious targets in the Action Plan. And that would be a massive set back. I just hope all the environmental NGOs can rally the troops in London in a pro-Ken campaign, even if they can’t come out and explicitly endorse him.”

      Have you got that, if you don’t subscribe to what the tree huggers say then you aren’t simply wrong or mistaken, you’re a bigot.

      Posted by Ross on 2008 05 04 at 04:04 PM • permalink

 

    1. For Chrissake, the air in 19th c. London was pretty much just a filthy murk like, say, we’d imagine the air of Mordor would be.  And the air got cleaner.  Because ordinary humans worked on the problem and cleaned things up without depriving everyone of livelihoods and money/

      The Thames was a slowly-flowing cesspool of shit, corpses, and trash.  Now it’s cleaner.  Above ditto.

      Have Londoners forgotten their own history?  Have they forgotten they’re not serfs to be dictated to by their so-called betters?

      Posted by ushie on 2008 05 04 at 04:23 PM • permalink

 

    1. Now is the worst time for the Conservative Party to retreat from green politics.

      Win the election first.  Then “change everything” like Kevin07.

      Posted by anthony_r on 2008 05 04 at 05:59 PM • permalink

 

    1. Livingstone’s ‘pettiness in a city otherwise awash in real crime.’Yeah, but Ex-Mayor Livingstone’s a Marxist, and they believe property is theft..

      Posted by Barrie on 2008 05 04 at 06:16 PM • permalink

 

    1. I wonder what John Quiggin will make of all this, surely it has to be the end of the world as he knows it.

      Posted by Louis on 2008 05 04 at 07:39 PM • permalink

 

    1. If the electorate thinks it is worse off, it ditches the government. Work Choices killed the Howard government, nothing more. If Rudd’s plans to cut greenhouse gases starts to bite financially, he will be tossed out too. The electorate as a whole couldn’t give a toss about the environment, as Brown now knows.

      Posted by Contrail on 2008 05 04 at 08:13 PM • permalink

 

    1. #13 “Work Choices killed the Howard government”, like GST killed previous Liberal opposition. Whatever happened to GST? I expect to see Work Choices return because employers/employees will see it as a win/win.
      Green extremism will go the way of all previous extremes.

      Posted by stackja1945 on 2008 05 04 at 08:47 PM • permalink

 

    1. Let’s see now. hmmm?

      Now is the worst time for the Conservative Party to retreat from green politics.

      A lefty newspaper counsels the Tories to stay green. Why? because they need to boost the loosing cause. The PaLoosanistas?

      Posted by Wimpy Canadian on 2008 05 04 at 09:25 PM • permalink

 

    1. #2 I’d go further. Burn the Saudi gas as fast as we can, keep ours ready-to-go but off-line.

      The strategem is obvious.

      Posted by Wimpy Canadian on 2008 05 04 at 09:35 PM • permalink

 

    1. #5 OK I always never understood transitive and intransitive, but you explain it as passive/active. That I can understand.

      Posted by Wimpy Canadian on 2008 05 04 at 09:39 PM • permalink

 

    1. #13 Gas (petrol) prices are rising, who knows why? However, if a government comes along and says: “You folks all gotta pay more for gas (petrol) to save the planet”, that gu’ment will be deselecte tres quick.

      Posted by Wimpy Canadian on 2008 05 04 at 09:44 PM • permalink

 

    1. #14 stackja1945

      What I said doesn’t mean work choice won’t return. But in November 2007 enough of the electorate was convinced they were worse off under Work Choices than they were before. So they voted Labor. I believe it was one and only issue that changed the government.

      The government will change again as soon as voters think they are worse off under Labor. Work choices under a different name will come back as a second term Liberal promise.

      Posted by Contrail on 2008 05 05 at 02:48 AM • permalink

 

    1. #19 I think a lot of people realised after only a couple of months that they were wrong, and the more they see Labor, the more they’re sure.

      It’s going to be sad to see the “ohhhh, but we didn’t know!”

      Posted by Ash_ on 2008 05 05 at 03:14 AM • permalink

 

    1. #20

      It’s going to be sad to see the “ohhhh, but we didn’t know!”

      We were boooooooored. We wanted a change.

      More scary are the ones who think $orry $eemed to be the harde$t word and think that everything is just hunky-dory. Kevin, a hero in his own lunchbox.

      Posted by kae on 2008 05 05 at 04:24 AM • permalink

 

    1. Has no one else noticed how closely Gordon Brown resembles Monty Pythoner Terry Jones?

      Posted by Graham on 2008 05 05 at 09:35 AM • permalink

 

  1. #16 Wimpy

    When I worked in Sask about 27 yrs ago, there were a lot of oil wells that were drilled and capped. When I asked the boss why this was he said that the plan was to use up all the arab oil first, then use ours. It’s certainly been a long term strategy.

    Posted by Pickles on 2008 05 05 at 07:31 PM • permalink