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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Some think the Tories are only doing all this green stuff to get good pr, others fear they're serious. Well, the truth is sort of both. As Conservatives put it privately the just-announced air travel taxes are politics, not policy, and aim at marking their opposition against the government, and with the hope it will increase tension between Brown and Milliband.
But it goes further than that. Whilst there is strong scepticism on the science of global warming, the view appears to be that the public has decided that the debate has been concluded decisively. So, the public wants action. So the politicians should act, despite their own scepticism and possibly better judgement.
Is this spineless? I have mixed feelings about this. On the one hand politicians should do what voters want them to do. On the other hand I believe that politicians can and sometimes should provide leadership on important issues. This is one of the things that's been going wrong with the Consevatives under DC I think. On many other issues, Iraq and defence generally, on relations with the US, on public spending and many other issues we are just pandering to received wisdom, and abandoning the positions that are in fact right. If we don't stand for the right policies consistently, won't this make actually governing tremendously difficult as we face an uphill battle with public opinion instead of having built up public support consistently?
I for one, am at least quite doubtful.

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