Zachariah has a George Bush Snr moment

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The Times, 18 February 2006:

Taxes aren’t how Tories will save the world’

A CONSERVATIVE government would not introduce a “green” tax, according to the deputy chairman of the party’s commission on the environment.

Zac Goldsmith, the son of the late Sir James Goldsmith and Editor of Ecologist magazine, who was appointed by David Cameron after he became leader, said that good environmental policy was not about raising taxes or increasing regulations but “shifting emphasis”. “Most environmentalists would come out with a huge increase in taxes,” he added. “I don’t agree. The Conservative Party doesn’t like forcing people to do anything and I don ’t think we have to — most of the obstacles are from bad governance.”

The best way to reduce the country’s dependence on oil and decrease greenhouse gas emissions was to make people aware of the importance of buying local food and introducing energy-efficiency savings in the home.

The Guardian, 31 August 2006:

And, as George Osborne will point out in Japan, we will need to make more use of eco taxes. “We should move some of the burden of taxation away from income and capital, and towards taxes on environmentally damaging behaviour. Instead of a tax system that penalises hard work and enterprise, we need to move towards more effective and fair taxes on pollution.”

This, of course, is a quote from Boy George, who last month described the Lib Dem proposal for a tax shift as a panic measure written on the back of an envelope.

So what’s changed? Why has Zac “Read my lips: no green taxes” Goldsmith and his chums done such a vaulting U-Turn? Could it possibly have something to do with the new Lib Dem policies threatening to strip them of the nice green sheen they have been carefully cultivating for the past few months?

14 thoughts on “Zachariah has a George Bush Snr moment

  1. I hate to ruin a good story, but isn’t it possible to make the current tax burden more green without increasing it? It seems to me that the statements are completely consistent.

  2. I hate to ruin a good story, but isn’t it possible to make the current tax burden more green without increasing it?

    Yes, and indeed that is Lib Dem policy. But you have to introduce new green taxes in order to remove taxation elsewhere.

    It seems to me that the statements are completely consistent.

    Good for you!

  3. The Tories may have twigged to the fact that, while people are willing to be in favour of having an environment, in roughly the same way that they are in favour of getting into heaven, paying more taxes for it is a bit of a vote loser.

  4. I read the article in which Zac Goldsmith argues the case for increased environmental taxes (quote: “We should move some of the burden of taxation away from income and capital, and towards taxes on environmentally damaging behaviour”). I can’t comment on what you’ve been reading in Neil Craig Fantasy Land where anyone who doesn’t want a nuclear power station on every street corner is a signed up member of the Nazi Party.

  5. Well i’ve been reading the posting here which you are allegedly replying to.

    It says “Zac Goldsmith … said that good environmental policy was not about raising taxes” which seems, at least to me, to hint that he doesn’t want to increase taxes.

  6. PS Since you are going off topic to attack me may I point out that 60 nuclear power reactors would supply all our present electricity, lets say 90 if we sincerely want to be rich, which, with several reactors on a site, is hardly 1 on each street corner.

    I also don’t believe you have to be card carrying to be a Nazi. Supporting military agression, including bombing hospitals, for the knowing purpose of carrying out the genocide of Untermensch would do. Calling Jews “war criminals” for doing a small fraction of what you have done & purely in self defence this time, would put the steel helmet on it.

  7. “Well i’ve been reading the posting here which you are allegedly replying to.

    It says “Zac Goldsmith … said that good environmental policy was not about raising taxes” which seems, at least to me, to hint that he doesn’t want to increase taxes. ”

    [slaps forehead] If you’d actually been paying attention you’d have noticed that those comments were made in February and are directly contradicted by his comments this month. Which is the whole point.

    Sorry to be an English comprehension Nazi…

  8. But in the second he is merely reporting what Osborne is going to say not what he himself has said. I never suggested that Zac’s thoughts were likely to be particularly coherent, he is after all a green, but he can only fairly be held personally responsible for what he says.

  9. You really are a piece of work, aren’t you? Osborne’s speech is based on the policy that is being developed by the policy working group that Zac is deputy chair of. Follow that link and then tell me he doesn’t agree with every word.

  10. It actually shows I am bored, especially given that the nub of your argument is that black = white, which appears to be the position you keep finding yourself, hence your tendency to keep calling people Nazis.

    C’est la vie.

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