Normally, the Islington Tribune is the Lib Dem bashing paper of choice, but the innate nuttiness of Islington’s Conservative-inclined inhabitants means that every so often they just can’t help making themselves look stupid.
Firstly, there is dear old Boris, calling for “Sharia law for bike thieves“. We must assume that this is meant in jest, but his equivocation about his famous apology to Liverpudlians might be of interest to those of you of a Merseyside bent:
â€œIslington is one of the few places in the country that Iâ€™ve not yet insulted.
â€œIt was the people of Liverpool who got very upset â€“ or rather some journalists who wound them all up.â€
But we don’t need to rely on old Boris to make the Tories look stupid in North London. The local Tories have hit out at the council’s Â£3m investment plan to reduce Islington’s carbon footprint as a “symbolic stunt“. So far, so much politics. But then they have to go and take it that little bit further:
The partyâ€™s chairwoman, Margaret Reese, launched her attack on Tuesday at Highbury Corner, opposite a derelict site believed to be owned by Network Rail.
She said: â€œLabourâ€™s nuclear-free zone was a meaningless symbolic stunt 20 years ago and so is this one about climate change.
â€œThe difference is that the ruling Lib Dems are spending Â£3 million of our cash.
â€œIt is not for councils to tackle global warming by spending council tax. Itâ€™s something governments do internationally.
â€œMeanwhile, we have these appalling eyesores â€“ like this one at Highbury Corner â€“ which make the borough look like a Third World site. This is the first bit of Islington that a lot of people see and Iâ€™m ashamed of it.â€
Tim Newark, local historian and former Highbury Conservative candidate, argued that the council is spending money on a â€œfashionable theoryâ€.
He added: â€œWe have no real scientific proof that links rising carbon emissions and pollution with climate change. Indeed, recently scientists have been arguing that the theory is a lot of hot air.
â€œIn fact, from 1945 to the early 1970s, when carbon was actually rising because of the post-war boom, global temperatures went down.â€
Say what you like about Islington Lib Dems, they’ve done a lot to crack down on anti-social behaviour and crime, with measurable results. When it comes to the environment, the local Tories can’t even be consistent, with Margaret Reese calling for it to be tackled globally – presumably ignoring inconvenient global agreements like LA21 – and Tim Newark claiming it’s all a myth anyway. Do you think they bother to actually agree on a party line, or do they just switch their brains onto ‘vent bile mode’ and let rip?
How does dear Margaret think international agreements get implemented? Does she think a few people just have to sign their name on a piece of paper in New York and global warming will simply vanish? And since when is Tim Newark, an historian, a world authority on climate change? One can’t help but get the impression that the sum total of his knowledge is watching that Channel 4 documentary a couple of weeks ago.
What dissent there is on climate change is miniscule compared to the widespread consensus amongst scientists worldwide. In fact, the only people who seem to be going out of their way to cast aspersions about climate change at the moment are Tories. Cf Iain Dale. It’s beginning to resemble a concerted attempt to undermine Cameron himself, something which appears to have not escaped his attention.
It doesn’t bode well for when Cameron has to start announcing some actual policies.