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WHAT kind of discussion went through Downing Street and its think tanks before Theresa May told her ministers that, once again, blue is the new green and Tories are about saving the planet?
Was there no-holds-barred debate or did May, or someone who does her thinking, suddenly hatch a brainwave to take the initiative away from Labour and the NHS, offering an argument why it wouldn’t cost the Tories or their corporate backers anything?
“Look, it worked for Cameron. No longer the nasty party, hug a hoodie, hug a husky, pose as action man at the North Pole. Talk about clean energy, recycling etc. The kids’ll love it,” she or the thinker might have said.
“But what about the cost to industry?” a moaning Minnie could have whimpered.
“Well, just like Dave, down the line we’ll let it be known we’re done with all that ‘green crap’ and attack anyone complaining as an enemy of jobs and growth.”
Whether this is a word-for-word rendering or not of the Tory blue-skies thinking meeting is irrelevant.
The reality is that anyone who falls for this latest Tory three-card trick needs to have a reality check.
Tory MPs, including new party chairman Brandon Lewis, deployed to media studios have gushed about the need to tackle plastic pollution and seek to convince us that unveiling a 25-year campaign indicates how seriously it is taken.
It looks more like punting the issue into the long grass, especially when questions about banning pollutants or fining guilty firms were given a body swerve.
The scale of government ambition seems to stretch only to announcing the extension of a 5p charge for plastic carrier bags to retail outlets with fewer than 250 staff, ignoring the reality that this has been the case in Scotland and Wales for years.
This is a desperate ploy by a moribund administration. Speedy despatch would be merciful.
Living in dreamland
FORMER Ukip leader Nigel Farage suggests that, “maybe, just maybe,” there ought to be a second referendum on EU membership.
He argues that another ballot would kill off arch-Remainers Nick Clegg, Tony Blair, Andrew Adonis and co “for a generation.”
His real motivation is that he craves public and media attention, readily accorded him by Establishment radio and TV stations obsessed with smearing 17+ million pro-Leave voters as enmeshed with Ukip.
Right on cue, Liberal Democrat spokesman Tom Brake claims growing support for a second bite at the cherry, declaring that his party “will be leading the charge against Nigel Farage to keep Britain in the EU.”
Both men are in dreamland. Last year’s general election saw more than four in five voters back the two main parties, both pledged to respecting the voters’ decision.
Respecting it means carrying it out, not having another run at it so two minor parties can flaunt themselves as true believers meriting media attention and an upsurge in membership.
Jeremy Corbyn has confirmed Labour’s commitment to Britain leaving the EU while fighting the Tories’ obsession with spoon-feeding a parasitic finance sector.
He understands that the best means of defeating the Tories is by highlighting clear class issues, such as defence of the NHS and public ownership of rail.
This is in stark contrast to some Labour backbenchers obsessed, as is London Mayor Sadiq Khan, with spinning post-exit fantasy horror stories rather than getting on with their bread-and-butter day jobs.
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