Europe burns while the Tories’ net zero plans are set to go up in smoke | Stewart Lee

Rishi Sunak needs to understand that investing in green initiatives is a lot cheaper than flying all his hedge fund manager mates to Mars

It’s 2am on Thursday. Wildfires are burning in Greece, Italy, Tunisia, Portugal, Croatia and Algeria. British tourist climate refugees are, ironically, being rescued by friendly locals in small boats. Stop the boats! No! Not those boats! The other ones! The ones with brown people in them!

But the main environmental news in the past few weeks has not been about the Giveaway Package Holiday Dante’s Inferno Supa-Deals. Instead, we learn that British political parties are rethinking their commitment to green policies. And all because Labour somehow lost Uxbridge, by a narrow margin, to a Conservative party so corrupt that it is considering setting up an amnesty bucket at the entrance to parliament, where those on the right of the house can vomit out their consciences before taking their seats.

Apparently, it was the ultra low-emission zone (Ulez) expansion proposals wot lost it for Labour. But the Ulez was initially proposed by a proud Boris Johnson in 2015. This didn’t stop the lying opportunist from criticising Labour London mayor Sadiq Khan, in his £1m Daily Mail columnist capacity, for expanding a scheme the disgraced former prime minister himself had previously described as “an essential measure”. But those expecting consistency from Johnson on anything may as well expect a glob of Hippo High Performance Expanding Glue ™ ® to maintain a considered moral position on adhesives.

Considering his party’s defeat, a spooked Keir Starmer said: “We are doing something very wrong if policies put forward by the Labour party end up on each and every Tory leaflet. We’ve got to face up to that and learn the lessons.” No. He isn’t. And he doesn’t have to face up to anything except the fact that the Tories will lie about him whatever he does. There’s no reasoning with a party so desperate and disgusting it has made Lee Anderson deputy chairman, a decision akin to putting a bear in charge of a golf club.

And anyway, within days, the now spiritually bankrupt Rishi Sunak conflated the Labour party with criminal gangs in another desperate “stop the boats” missive. See, Keir? You cannot appease a ravenous tapeworm by just snivelling at it. You have, according to my late grandad, “to get the doctor from Worcester to come out and tempt it out of your throat with a bit of rotten meat and then, when it jumps out, stamp on its fucking head”.

Starmer, a man given to rolling up his sleeves to show he means business, was shocked by Uxbridge. Things are so serious it is understood a Labour party focus group is suggesting that now, whenever he appears in public, Starmer rolls up his trousers as well as his sleeves, to show he means business twice as much as he meant business before. And if that still doesn’t convince the Uxbridge electorate, Sir Keir must strip to his pants, and roll them up tightly around his genitals, so he looks like Buffalo Bill in The Silence of the Lambs.

Meanwhile, the Tories took the opportunity to prepare the ground for ditching their 2050 net zero commitment, obviously. Remember when David Cameron, the blancmange-faced bringer of Brexit, went from hugging a husky in the Arctic while “investigating climate change” in 2006 to wanting to “Get rid of all that green crap” in 2013? It’s that, again. If only Dave had been so flexible in regard to his nation-destroying EU referendum, the shepherd hut-coveting Peasemore fistula.

Sunak now says ordinary people must not bear the cost of compulsory green initiatives, and that the path to net zero must be “proportional and pragmatic”. But the problem with climate change is it is neither. Some scientists are now saying the Gulf Stream could collapse within two years. I’m already booking live dates for 2025! Will the fenlands go under? Ah, well. I’ve always been looking for an excuse not to play Ipswich.

What Sunak needs to understand – and what he probably does understand but is pretending not to in order to get angry and confused people to vote Tory – is that anything spent on green initiatives now will cost less than having to terraform Mars and fly all his billionaire hedge fund manager mates there in captured alien spacecraft while the rest of humanity dies in 10 years’ time, so he may as well swipe the card he doesn’t really know how to use on the green initiative card reader.

In the meantime, we continue to convict the future heroes of Just Stop Oil with draconian laws Sunak himself admitted were inspired by suggestions put forward by “non-partisan educational charity” Policy Exchange, a thinktank belonging to the “Tufton Street” gang of organisations, a grouping awash with cash from American funders of climate change denial such as the John Templeton Foundation, the National Philanthropic Trust and the Sarah Scaife Foundation.

It’s easy for rightwing talk radio hosts to sneer at the well-meaning middle-class youths of Just Stop Oil, all named after herbs and Farrow & Ball paints, crying on camera as they consider what is in store for us. But Sunak actually used oil-funded strategies to silence them, and if you knew what these kids know, you would be crying too. I just saw a photo of Europe from space, looking like a burning Breville toaster with inappropriate pikelets catching fire inside it, as all the smoke alarms go off, and I wet myself a bit.

And that’s what you should be doing, weeping and pissing and shitting yourself, not getting out of your car to slap around a nice little girl in sustainable trousers, slow-walking in the high street on a Monday morning, because, let’s face it, your wife won’t have sex with you due to the fact that you’re obviously an arsehole.


Stewart Lee

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
Never mind the fate of life on Earth, what about the cat-children? | Stewart Lee
Confected controversies and Jonny Bairstow’s supposed heroics generate more concern than genuine unfolding catastrophe

Stewart Lee

02, Jul, 2023 @9:00 AM

Article image
Labour’s meat tax is just another Tory lie that we’ve all been forced to swallow | Stewart Lee
The Conservatives’ fake story about a nonexistent Keir Starmer policy is typical of the party’s desperate attempt to win votes

Stewart Lee

08, Oct, 2023 @9:00 AM

Article image
God save the king? What about the planet? | Stewart Lee
The eco-minded king’s silence about the detention of climate activists at his coronation speaks volumes about his convictions

Stewart Lee

14, May, 2023 @9:00 AM

Article image
Pity the poor standup in Boris Johnson’s kleptocracy | Stewart Lee
How’s a comedian supposed to be keep pace with this ever more farcical government and its diktats?

Stewart Lee

16, May, 2021 @9:00 AM

Article image
The Observer view on how the climate crisis should not be used as a political football | Observer editorial
The Uxbridge byelection has reopened arguments about how far to push a green agenda but global heating calls for a non-partisan approach

Observer editorial

22, Jul, 2023 @6:02 PM

Article image
Byelection results: Keir Starmer blames Uxbridge defeat on Ulez and calls for Sadiq Khan to ‘reflect’ on it – as it happened
London mayor’s plan to extend ultra low emission zone blamed by some for Labour’s defeat in Boris Johnson’s old seat

Kevin Rawlinson, Andrew Sparrow, Helen Sullivan and Nadeem Badshah

21, Jul, 2023 @4:54 PM

Article image
Alastair Campbell: ‘Liz Truss as PM is so appalling it’s almost unthinkable – which means it could happen’
The former Downing Street spin doctor on the Tory leadership contenders, the need for political reform and Tony Blair’s legacy

Tim Adams

17, Jul, 2022 @8:30 AM

Article image
Never mind Extinction Rebellion, let's consider Boris Johnson's charge sheet | Stewart Lee
Blockading newspapers may cross a line for some, but is the PM a bigger criminal?

Stewart Lee

13, Sep, 2020 @9:00 AM

Article image
As Greece burns, we see the existential climate crisis dragged into shoddy UK party politics. That can’t happen | John Harris
A terrible lesson is being taken from the Uxbridge vote. Labour must stick to its green agenda, and decent Tories must raise a voice, says Guardian columnist John Harris

John Harris

23, Jul, 2023 @1:43 PM

Article image
Tory death-priests have our lives in their hands | Stewart Lee
Surely last week’s inferno must focus Conservative minds on the one real issue, the climate crisis – mustn’t it?

Stewart Lee

24, Jul, 2022 @9:00 AM