Poor Rishi Sunak. He’s just about got his No 10 desk how he likes it only to find his two predecessors chucking green paint at his digs upstairs.
Wind was kicked offshore and left there in 2014 by one David Cameron. Remember David Cameron? If only we could forget. It was his calling for the Brexit referendum that landed us with Johnson and then Truss, and left us wading through economic quicksand.
Cameron might have visited the Arctic accompanied by a pack of huskies, but he was a pussycat in the face of a lumpen band of Tory activists drivelling on about the despoiling of Britain’s bucolic splendour by windmills. It goes without saying that the run of superheated days we experienced this summer didn’t leave the countryside looking terribly pretty either.
I doubt John Constable ever envisaged olive groves when he was romanticising Dedham Vale with his brush. But that’s where we’re headed. Except that even olives don’t like it much hotter than 36C.
Wind farms, on the other hand, are a lot prettier than the Tories’ beloved nuclear power plants, the “solution” to a heating planet they’ve loudly championed. I invite you to look at the landscape blot that is Sizewell B from the adjacent RSPB nature reserve at Minsmere and compare it with the pleasant site of white windmills gently turning in the breeze close to, say, Beverley in Yorkshire.
It’s not just that the windmills are much more aesthetically pleasing. It’s also that they’re a symbol of hope for our children at a time when reports suggest that the heating targets agreed to in the Paris accords will be missed.
But try tabling that sort of argument with the science-denying members of the true-blue brigade who think we should describe radiation as “faerie fire” and wouldn’t get a Covid jab because of make-believe microchips.
It doesn’t even seem to get through to them when you point out the pressing need to source as much of Britain’s energy at home as possible. You know, to avoid the problems created when the crazies in control of some of the world’s richest reserves of fossil fuels decide to rain bombs and missiles down on their peaceful neighbours.
So, yes, go the Tory rebels. If only having the gruesome twosome onside wasn’t so thoroughly discomforting.
To be fair to Truss – though I’m not sure why we should be – she had planned to do this herself. She’d also planned to lift the ban on fracking, a technology that causes heart palpitations in those living nearby because of its links with earthquakes and environmental devastation. Which is one reason why I’m not inclined to be fair to Liz Truss.
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Johnson, despite occasionally putting on a pale-green pair of cords on a weekend, never backed lifting the ban. Given his fondness for living it up in the Caribbean when parliament is in session, it is therefore very hard not to view his involvement with a heavy degree of cynicism.
But is this genuinely down to his commitment to the cause of green energy? Or is his rebellion motivated as much by a desire to stick the boot into Sunak, who’s embarrassing both him and Truss by showing that it is possible for a Tory prime minister to be something other than hopelessly incompetent?
Do the ends here justify the means? Maybe. Just about. It is high time Cameron’s ban was dumped. It would be good to see a few more windmills springing up around the country, helping to keep us warm in the winter at a less than exorbitant price.
But my goodness it’s painful because, really, it would be so much better for all of us if the pair of them would just sod off.