Monday, 5 January 2009

Sympathy For The Devil Gordon Brown

News that the wheels have come right off the ‘recycling’ bandwagon hit the papers yesterday:
Taxpayers are facing a multi-million-pound bill to store 100,000 tons of waste paper and cardboard as the British recycling industry plunges into crisis.

Rubbish carefully sorted by householders is piling up in vast warehouses as the market for waste paper collapses, and experts have warned that the mountain of garbage could double in the next three months.
This won’t come as any surprise to people who read blogs, of course – Tim Worstall in particular has been pointing this out for months.

But it was the tacked-on bit at the end of the report that caught my eye:
Gordon Brown still uses plastic carrier bags for his weekly supermarket shop despite pledging to eliminate them.

The Prime Minister has now revealed in an interview that he and his wife Sarah often order through supermarket websites and receive ‘a lot of unnecessary packaging and plastic bags’.

Last year Mr Brown announced plans to wipe out the 13billion plastic bags given out by Britain’s shops each year, ordering supermarkets to cut the number they give away from 9.1billion to 3.9billion by the spring.
Now, I’m as happy as anyone else to give Brown a kicking, but notice that the bags come from the supermarket – he doesn’t really have any choice in the matter. It’s not like he’s skipping down to Sainsburys with the little woman, ordering a ton of groceries, and then asking for a plastic bag with each item, is it...?

But that won’t stop the other side having a pointless whine about it:
Greg Barker, Shadow Minister for Climate Change, said: ‘It appears that all the noise Gordon Brown was making last year was just for short-term headlines.

‘It’s a shame that he doesn’t do more to make it easier for everybody to use fewer plastic bags and waste less.’
Such as...? If he tried to pass a law ensuring that supermarket deliveries were forbidden to use plastic bags, you’d be (quite rightly) howling from the rooftops over his ‘authoritarian streak’.

Can we get away from this pointless fetishism over things like plastic carrier bags, and argue political points like grown ups..?

4 comments:

Umbongo said...

In the interview of Cameron this morning on "Today", Naughtie asked him to sum up the Conservatives' financial policies in one sentence. I wasn't clear after Cameron's statement where exactly he differed from Brown. However, I was heartened (as are, I'm sure, all of us suffering from the results of Labour's financial incompetence) to hear Cameron reassuring us that, however serious the position becomes, his government's financial policies will be "green".

Were the probability of complete financial and social ruin not so high, I would be tempted to support giving Gordon another 4/5 years if only to enable the Conservatives to sling out Cameron and his ineffective front bench and become a proper opposition with proper alternative policies. As it is, there's little point in voting Conservative where all that's on offer is a return to the ratchet-effect slow-motion socialism of the post-WW2 pre-Thatcher Conservatives.

Gibby Haynes said...

I do wish the Conservatives would ditch this silly Eco bollocks they're enthralled - like so many kittens with dangling string - with. I don't like having to hold my nose when I cast my ballot.

North Northwester said...

Gibby Haynes
'I don't like having to hold my nose when I cast my ballot.'

Indeed -it's going to be a UK equivalent of the Republican bumper sticker which went something like : "Alright, McCain I suppose."

JuliaM said...

"...it's going to be a UK equivalent of the Republican bumper sticker which went something like : "Alright, McCain I suppose.".."

Heh...

Not sure I can hold my nose this time round, though.