Monday 1 November 2021

Do as I say, not as I do


According to the PM, the COP26 talks in Glasgow this week are in danger of failing, largely because the governments involved aren’t doing enough, either in terms of the commitments they are making or in terms of honouring those commitments once made. For once, he’s right. While there are government leaders attending the talks who continue to encourage the exploitation of new oil fields, propose to open new coal mines, encourage more people to travel short distances by air instead of surface transport, and cut the amount of aid required by poorer countries to help them reduce their carbon usage, it’s hard to see how the talks can produce any real progress. And when the leader of a government doing all the above then takes to the stage to publicly criticise everyone else and demand they do more, he really should not be surprised if people fail to take him seriously.

Surprised, though, is what he appears to be. Yet again, it seems that Johnny Foreigner simply doesn’t understand that the UK has a special entitlement to tell others how to behave whilst doing the opposite itself. It hasn’t helped his case that he admitted last week to having been a climate change sceptic before becoming Prime Minister, only changing his mind after moving in to Number 10 and being shown the facts in detail by people who knew what they were talking about. That would be in contrast, of course, to the journalist who didn’t know what he was talking about, and couldn’t be bothered to find out, for all those years during which he wrote trenchant criticisms of renewable energy and its supporters. One might expect that a man who spent years arguing the exact opposite of what he argues today, and doing so on the basis of what he now admits to be his own ignorance and unwillingness to establish the facts, might show a little more humility before criticising others. But then humility and Johnson are not usually words which would occur in the same sentence. Those other world leaders now being lectured by him might be forgiven for wondering how sincere a person might be who can apparently change his mind so suddenly, but who also continues to behave in ways which are in direct odds with what he says others must do, and whose deeply-held political principles at any one time have a remarkable tendency to match his own personal interests. They might also be forgiven for wondering whether, at some future date when his time in politics comes to an end and he reverts to making a few pennies from journalism, he might change his mind again if that’s what suits whoever pays for his scribblings. It’s not as if climate change is the only issue on which his ‘deeply-held’ principles have changed, nor the only one on which we cannot be sure that he believes what he’s saying.

The headline on the front of Saturday’s i newspaper, in the lead-up to the COP26 talks, read “Last chance to save the planet”, above a large picture of Boris Johnson. If that juxtaposition is anywhere near true, then we really are all doomed.


dafis said...

COP 26 was a disgraceful exhibition of virtue signalling and hot air. Any kind of bullshit index would have exploded due to the stress it was under. Most of those attending were peddling their own "visions" which typically necessitated that the common herd cuts its cloth while they swan about to meetings all over the world preparing for the next big jamboree. I think most ordinary people are predisposed to modifying behaviours to enable a serious reduction in polluting activities but that good will is undermined by fat cats lording it, spouting fanciful ideals but failing to demonstrate any restraint in their own behaviours.

Next time try using modern technology and cut out the convoys of limos greeting the wallies as they get off their aircraft. That might also cut the numbers of sex workers suddenly converging on Glasgow for the spin-fest.

Spirit of BME said...

I think Dafis input is very valid, however the US President -J. R. Biden Jr sent out one signal which has enhanced himself to me, as he fell asleep in one of the sessions and considering the underlying message of this whole bash is ‘Wake Up,’ Jr was sending a much bigger message. Well, done that man!
I only wish that in the decades I attended Plaid Conferences, I had done the same thing while listening to hot-air bilge being pumped out.

John Dixon said...


"I only wish that in the decades I attended Plaid Conferences, I had done the same thing..." [i.e. fallen asleep] I know exactly what you mean. And in fairness, I can only say that there were one or two occasions when I was in the chair that I too might have harboured the faintest of wishes that you had, ever so slightly, nodded off... Might not have been as interesting, though.