Sunday 3 May 2015

Where are the Fucking Husky Dogs?

So far during the this election period, while the politicians have been bickering on twitter and appearing in staged events we have had
  1. Air pollution so bad that the government has been telling some groups of people to stay indoors and not do strenuous exercise (i.e. breathing heavily).
  2. The supreme court telling the UK government to actually do something on air pollution -an action which would have profound implications for cities and urban motoring.
  3. CO2 levels not getting any lower. Massive droughts in California, worse predictions of the impact of global warming —including more heatwaves in the UK.

And what do we see in the election?

Absolute fucking silence

Public Transport
Tory promise to fix costs of train commuter fare rises to inflation. Does nothing for those off-peak tickets, does nothing about the amount of space on an bristol-london train dedicated to first class travel, with impact on the total train carrying capacity. Nobody who has ever taken a 7pm train from Paddington to either of the Bristol stations will want to do it again.

Buses? Nothing. Their contribution to diesel-related pollution (along with that of taxis) ignored.

Nothing but some fatuous promises, "strive to achieve". from the Tories, Labour saying something when asked about cycling, but something different when speaking to the press about cars. UKIP: same old bollocks. Lib Dems: enough to show that the pittance which did come out towards the end of the last parliament came from them.

No mention of air pollution issues. Using fuel duty rises as an attack, pointing at the other saying 'they will raise fuel duties'. Osborne using Labour's proposal to stop the least economic road in the £15B road project as a sign of an anti-motoring party. Cameron saying the SNP won't care about road dualling in Cornwall (though given their record on the A9, dual carriageways is not something they oppose).

Heathrow and the third runway
Something kicked into the long grass last term, but which will surface this time. Does the silence LHR thinks their ULEZ plans will help, —which is not only ignoring the contributions air travel makes to global warming, its ULEZ plans are fucking hypocritical given they've banned cycling into the T1-T3 zone, with some out of area "cycle hub" that  may benefit some staff, but does nothing for convenience of that staff or indeed anyone actually trying to cycle to the airport for a trip.

Renewable energy?
Again, it's only UKIP that have much to say there -none of it positive. They like their fracking as it doesn't imply that there is anything wrong with the current lifestyle.
The tory party are moving beyond a block on wind turbines, to actively discouraging solar farms —an action that would be more negative on Cornwall than a dual carriageway that will only fill up with caravans pulled by diesel crossover SUVs every summer weekend.

Whatever coalition ends up in power is going to have to act on some of these. The December 2015 air pollution deadline is a one that cannot be ignored. LHR expansion will surface —again— hence the adverts from Gatwick appearing in the press recently. Climate Change? It's not going away.

These things are going to shape Britain. What our cities look like. How we get between them. Where electricity comes from. Even the shape of the shoreline: will Somerset end up underwater in 50 years time?

But nobody is making a fuss of this stuff, at least not enough to get into the press.

One party has been making a fuss about global warming —at least enough to get into the press. That's UKIP, with their plans to abolish the Department of Energy and Climate Change. No doubt once they get the human rights laws abolished and leave the EU, they'll be able to ignore those pesky supreme court judgments which they disagree with.

The Tory party has good reason to keep quiet. All their "greenest government ever" claims were clearly bollocks; Cameron hasn't seen a Husky dog since that one press event. 

But Labour? Why aren't they exploiting this? With the air-pollution warnings they could have got up and blamed the conservative party for their inactions. With the supreme court judgement they could have got on stage and said "this has to stop". This would have made for headlines, as there were events in the country people could relate to.

Either their campaign team is fucking incompetent or they've made a deliberate decision to shut the fuck up. In the latter case —why? Don't they wan't the green vote? As they need it in some places, such as Bristol West, where the greens appear to be in second place. Why the showing? It's a university area and the students care about their future. The fact that after interviewing Ed Milliband, Russell Brandt went on to endorse the Green Party shows that having a green agenda would be progressive.

Instead, what do we have? The UKIP, the party of the past, one that cares more about death (abolish inheritance tax) and funding dementia research over any other science. The tory party chasing that UKIP vote (inheritance tax, pensions). And the Labour party? Following the Tory party -into the grave.