Government Virtue Signalling and a Parliamentary Icon

The British Government’s current policy on climate change does not even make sense on its own terms. And it is going to affect us all personally whether we have an opinion on it or not. 

For reasons that I am afraid are beyond me, Bunter’s Government is more rigid about this than almost any other. Unlike most advanced countries, this lot have written carbon-reduction targets into law, making it much harder to pull out of them if things do not work out.

So far, the main thing Britain has done is to close perfectly good coal-fired power stations. Well, you might say, so much the better for the atmosphere but this is virtuous rubbish. 

Let’s face it, China, with vast, newly discovered coalfields in Inner Mongolia keeps opening such stations. In fact, China’s coal-fired power generation is more than ten times bigger than Britain’s entire electricity output from all sources. And nor is it just China. 

India is also a greedy consumer of coal to make electricity. Both countries make airy promises that one day they will stop doing this, but as long as they carry on, Britain’s efforts make as much difference as trying to empty Lake Kariba with a teaspoon.

It is sheer deluded vanity to think that the rest of the world any longer looks on Britain as an example. Few now care what this country does, let alone try to imitate it. Economic rivals merely snigger behind their hands at Britain’s dogged determination to self-harm.

To continue on this course, Britain is going to have to rely on huge consumption of gas, not just to run power stations, but in large numbers of homes. If this country presses on with current virtuous plans to be green, then millions of us face being told we must replace our gas or oil boilers with costly and less efficient heat-pumps. 

Ferocious insulation rules will make it harder and harder to sell older houses. As for transport, it is just going to get more expensive and less convenient. And now they want to make us change our diets too. What are they trying to prove? I am too old to give up meat – or anything else – at this stage.

At the moment, in most people’s lives, this is still a small cloud no bigger than a man’s hand, far away on the horizon. But we will all find as the years drag on that it will spread across the whole sky. 

My guess is that it is the means by which we in the West and particularly Britain will join the Third World, finally and irrevocably. How ironic that this should be brought about by a government that calls itself Conservative and claims to be patriotic.

Is our revered leader that much in thrall to Carrie Antoinette I wonder?

Betty Boothroyd was the first female speaker of Parliament and certainly the best one in my lifetime, but it seems that the former Tiller Girl is being investigated by Parliament’s ethics watchdog for failing to attend a sexual harassment course – at the ripe old age of ninety one.

Last week a row erupted over the Lords’ decision to open a formal probe into Baroness Boothroyd, despite knowing that she has been recovering from open-heart surgery.

MPs described it as ‘political correctness gone mad’ and accused officials of harassing the peer, who made history as the first and only female Commons Speaker.

She is one of sixty peers under investigation by the Standards Commissioner for failing to attend a training session called Valuing Everyone, run by a controversial consultancy firm that uses giant blue puppets in some of its courses. 

After she was first contacted by the standards watchdog, Baroness Betty replied, in correspondence seen by a number of newspapers: ‘The reason I have not been able to respond to requirements is due to the fact that early in March 2020, I was advised by two consultants to leave London and isolate at my home in the country.

‘I have had an aorta valve replacement followed by a leak in the mitral valve. The respiratory consultant in particular insisted I stay out of London and in isolation in the country.’

She went on to say: ‘I was born in 1929… I remain in shielding which is a requirement. I neither indulge in Zoom or remote meetings.’

Good for you Ma’am. I heartily approve.

She went on by offering to answer any questions about standards that the commissioner might have but said commissioner, a hatchet-faced wench called Lucy Scott-Moncrieff responded: ‘As it is a requirement of the Code of Conduct for all members to have done the training session by April 1, could you clarify whether you mean to convey that your medical condition has prevented you from attended the course online?’

In what should in any sane society have been the final word on the matter, Baroness Boothroyd replied: ‘My medical condition has prevented me from attending the course online.’

Remarkably, the following day Ms Scott-Moncrieff announced she was investigating the baroness anyway. 

Baroness Betty responded: ‘I’m very happy to be trained when this is all over – you’re never too old to learn.’

Tory MP Neil O’Brien said: ‘The idea that Betty Boothroyd, who is one of the most widely respected parliamentarians of her generation, is some kind of threat because she hasn’t done some online course is beyond laughable.

‘Actually this is not a joke. This is not the way to go about raising standards in Parliament. There are real problems in some cases, but I can’t think of a worse way to go about addressing them than by harassing a ninety one-year-old who is held in the highest esteem across all parties.’

Another Tory MP said: ‘The entire parliamentary world will be aghast at the lack of self-awareness of anybody investigating an icon like Betty Boothroyd under these circumstances. It’s breathtaking.’

Breathtakingly stupid in my humble opinion but it is being done. Baroness Betty’s possible penalties include being banned from the Lords or from claiming its daily allowance. Asked a few days ago whether it will consider dropping the investigation, the commissioner’s office declined to comment on ‘active investigations.’

Other peers under investigation for skipping the course, run by Challenge Consultancy, include breast cancer campaigner Baroness Morgan, Lord Trimble and Lord Heseltine. Last year the Lords made the training compulsory for all peers, despite criticism from MPs that the sessions are run by ‘expensive consultants who are laughing all the way to the bank.’

Challenge Consultancy has received more than three quarters of a million quid in contracts from Parliament for running two online courses. Another, called Unconscious Bias, encourages MPs to take on young black men to act as ‘reverse mentors.’

Why not young black women I wonder? Surely that too is discrimination?

The firm, whose clients include the BBC and Bafta, has also used a giant blue puppet called UB as part of its unconscious bias courses.

This is taxpayers’ money dammit! Why is it being squandered on this sort of politically correct nonsense? Surely the people in the Lords are sensible enough not to need this idiocy.

Betty Boothroyd probably has more common sense in her little fingernail than all these politically correct shysters combined. In spite of her magnanimous comments, she is not going to learn anything from this corruptly idiotic ‘course.’

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