Azara Blog: The Lib Dems declare war on Britain

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Date published: 2007/09/17

The BBC says:

The Lib Dems have backed a radical series of proposals to tackle climate change - including a ban on petrol powered cars by 2040. Environment spokesman Chris Huhne said tackling global warming would need an "enormous economic change". He set out plans to make Britain carbon neutral by 2050 at the party's annual conference in Brighton.
Some of the other key proposals in the Liberal Democrats' Zero Carbon Britain plan are:

The conference voted to reject a call by MEP Chris Davies to end the party's opposition to nuclear power.

Before his conference speech, Mr Huhne told reporters: "With these plans we can restructure the economy towards a basis that is based on renewable energy not on fossil fuels.

"It's an enormous economic change but it's an economic change in line with changes which we've seen in the past, for example between the end of the 19th Century and beginning of the 20th Century moving from steam power to the petrol engine, moving from gas light to electric light."

Mr Huhne's proposals received the overwhelming backing of the party conference.

Not surprisingly some of their proposals make sense but many do not. They want to introduce a carbon tax but refuse to make it fair or leave it at that. So they want to introduce super-carbon taxes on airplanes and super-duper-carbon taxes on (petrol) cars. Drivers are currently the only people who pay more than a fair carbon tax, but don't let that get in the way of the Lib Dems. And for airplanes they will introduce extra arbitrary taxes, such as the £10 tax on domestic flights (except for flights to Lib Dem Scottish constituencies, or as they quaintly call it, "essential “lifeline” flights", so once again the people of England will be forced to subsidise the Scottish). And heating of households will escape carbon taxes completely.

And they want to throw more money at the rail network. So one minute they are complaining that "those who produce greenhouse gas do not face the full social costs of their actions themselves" and the next minute they see no irony in subsidising energy consumption by their favoured form of transport. Rail users do not come even close to facing the "full social cost of their actions". Unfortunately, London rail commuters run the country, so will never have to pay the full cost of their journeys.

On the (seriously flawed) Kyoto Protocol they say "Liberal Democrats would seek to broaden engagement to include the key Parties outside the Kyoto Protocol, the US and Australia" but unbelievably fail to mention China and India, except that "industrialised country emissions would be allocated on a per capita basis, whereas developing countries will take on emission limitation targets or intensity targets or no commitments at all, depending on their level of development". They even brazenly say we should have "mechanisms to prevent unfair competition from the small minority of countries that refuse to accept their obligations to reduce their emissions". Well, what do they think China is doing? The Lib Dems evidently believe that if Britain produces steel it is immoral, but if China produces it for Britain it is ok. (And the fact that China does it with much dirtier technology is beside the point.)

So the Lib Dems have promised to screw the ordinary people of Britain and give others a free pass. That ought to be a vote winner. And they have steadfastly refused to deal with the real underlying problem, which is over-population. So a per capita allocation is fundamentally flawed in that countries which breed irresponsibly are rewarded, and the exact opposite should be the case.

And you have to laugh when Huhne says that this "enormous economic change" is only what happened a hundred years ago. A hundred years ago governments had no real hand in the change. Here, in contrast, the Lib Dems think they can masterplan the world in order to accomplish this change. Given that the Lib Dems, like the Greens, are just the academic middle class, this is not very credible. They are masterful control freaks, but not much else.

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