How Suffolk could have saved the world... but we voted for the Tory Anti-Science Brigade instead.
About a month ago I wrote a blog giving my thoughts on the Ipswich MP Tom Hunt's membership of the so called 'Common Sense' group. This collection of Tory MPs and Peers spend their time lobbying against things like Historians doing their job and have a general hatred for all new ideas and research. (Especially if it involves seeing people of colour in a more favourable light...)
Alas, wouldn't it be wonderful if these elderly grandees (and their unimaginative, silver spoon "Here have Ipswich as a present" MP sons) stopped their damaging rhetoric at the level of historical interpretation? Unfortunately - they don't.
Their distrust of educated people doing educated things - extends beyond the realms of leather patched history professors. The world of petri dishes, slide rules and lab coats is also a much hated target.
Don't be fooled by their talk of being boosters to British science. It's all for show. If they truly cared they would never have endorsed Brexit, pushing out thousands of the world's best scientists and cutting us off from the EU's Horizon programme (we were cut off, then we secured associate membership, and then because we refused to honour our word over Northern Ireland we've been kicked out again...). 150 grants from the £80bn fund to British scientists have been scrapped.
Tories 1, Science 0.
But alas! If only it stopped there. Of course it doesn't. Because now let us introduce the greatest ally of the Anti-Science Tory Paty... the Great British NIMBY.
What am I talking about in particular?
The Tory voters seemingly pathological hatred of wind turbines.
The same group of voters that long for the Glorious British Past; which was built on smokestacks, coal mining and the laying of thousands of miles of railways through the countryside, are the same group that believe zero-emission, near silent, cheap (and actually quite pretty) wind turbines are signs of wokey trans-positive avocado eating weakness.
In 2015, the Tories looked at the evidence of catastrophic climate change... then looked at the cheapest form of clean energy... (that could also secure income for rural communities and make us energy independent) looked back at catastrophic climate change... looked back at wind turbines... and went... "nahhh". None of that for us plea
Dear reader. In the History classrooms of the future this decision will be met by students, in their above sea level mountain retreats, by a mix of disbelieving laughter and a real stomach churning sickness... how could people be so stupid?
"You mean they could have stopped it?"
"But Tom Hunt hunt didn't want to 'spoil' the view from the kitchen windows of his rural constituents!?"
"Afraid so, now you best get back off to scrubbing those air filters that keep what's left of the human race alive..."
I exaggerate (...do I?).
Following this most calamitous of decisions the Tories made a concession - we could build offshore.
It doesn't take a genius to realise the extra costs involved in placing these turbines in the middle of the sea increases costs for British households.
It doesn't take a genius to realise that rural communities and farmers, some of the most forgotten about people in Britain, could have benefitted from the income (The National Farmers Union was aghast at the decision).
It doesn't take a genius to realise that when Putin puts his foot on the energy pipeline, as he has, we find we are dependent on his oil and gas as we don't have enough energy of our own...
The shivering pensioners, the jostling food bank queues, the £2K plus heating bills...
It didn't have to be like this this. A recent study quoted in the FT has shown, and get this, that if wind turbines had been built at the pace they were predicted to (before the ban)... WE WOULD HAVE NO ENERGY CRISIS TODAY.
Read that last paragraph again.
The cost of living crisis was built by the Tories.
But, you know what? As you huddle under your blankets in the middle of the day, as you find you can't pay your bills...
Tom Hunt and his chums have been able to keep their word to Mrs NIMBY...
No bloody wind turbines in her kitchen window view.
And that... that shorted sighted, nation disabiling and future destroying thinking...
Is what Tom Hunt and the Tories are all about.