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Walking the walk

November 4, 2021 10:06 PM
Originally published by Babergh South Suffolk Liberal Democrats

hh5s (Photo by Miguel A. Amutio on Unsplash)Three separate news stories in the last day or two have reminded us that for politicians talk is easy. You have to watch their actions to see how much of what they say should be believed. The evidence from these three unrelated stories suggests when it comes to the Conservatives the gap between the two is pretty wide

1 Climate

The Prime Minister gave a speech yesterday at COP26 saying we were at one minute to midnight and urgent action was required if we were to avoid disastrous global warming. We have already covered (see http://southsuffolklibdems.org.uk/en/article/2021/1417942/cop26-time-to-get-serious ) the fact that last weeks budget not only failed to mention the climate emergency it actually saw reductions in domestic flight taxes which will create carbon emissions equivalent to 2.3 million train journeys,

To meet its own carbon goals the government would need to invest an additional sum of at least close to £28bn by the end of 2025. Yet it committed just £7.2bn of fresh funds in Wednesday's budget. Environmental think tank The Green Alliance separately calculated that the spending gap was closer to £55bn based on their own assessment.

An interesting article in the Independent newspaper Britain tens of billions short on its own green investment | The Independent quotes Jonathan Marshall, senior economist at the Resolution Foundation. saying "Public funding for net zero remains well short of that needed to meet the government's own targets. This is particularly acute in support to decarbonise the nation's homes, including large gaps for households on lower incomes," said. They calculate only £7.2bn of the required £28bn was in the budget

Having told a roundtable of leaders of developing nations: "When it comes to tackling climate change, words without action, without deeds are absolutely pointless." the Prime Minister is flying back from the Cop26 climate conference to London on a private plane rather than the train or scheduled flight leaving him open to accusations of hypocrisy

2. Violence against women

All political parties have expressed outrage at recent events in which women have been murdered and when convictions for rape have fallen to 2% making it a crime that almost everyone gets away with

Why then has MP Rob Roberts been given his Conservative Party membership back after being found to have sexually harassed a member of staff.

The MP for Delyn in North Wales will continue to sit as an independent, since the Tories are still withholding the party whip in the House of Commons but he will sit and vote with the party

This despite the fact he avoided recall through a loophole in the rules ( now closed) , whilst senior figures including Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg urged Mr Roberts to do the "honourable" thing and stand down as an MP.

Mr Roberts, who became an MP in 2019, apologised for the "completely improper" behaviour but insisted his actions were "romantic" rather than sexual.

So that's OK then?

3 Fishing

The French are cast as villains in the British press for escalating the issue of issuing of permits to fish for small vessels. Nothing to do with us we are told. We are following the rules and will take legal action if the French take action to restrict trade through French ports

Its a minor issue economically but one with huge political resonance

If we are so clear we are in the right and are following the rules why have another 162 licences been issued to French boats since the issue was escalated?