Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide levels are rising – that is a fact. Before the industrial revolution, atmospheric CO2 levels steadily remained at around 280ppm (parts per million). This number had remained constant for thousands of years, with very minor increases over the years due to natural processes. In March this year, CO2 concentrations were sitting at 418.81ppm. This huge increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations has already created and will continue to create unprecedented effects on the environment globally. This daunting fact has prompted leaders across the globe to act.
Last November in Glasgow, the COP26 summit was held which was widely regarded as an instance of the UK taking global leadership in the fight against climate change. The UK has worked hard to bring all participants of COP26 to a consensus about the actions needed to mitigate against the harmful effects of climate change and reduce global CO2 emissions as a means of lessening the damage caused by global warming in the future. In doing so, the UK government has sought to fulfil their end of the bargain and beyond, making bold promises in the hopes of accelerating the UK’s charge to becoming net carbon neutral by the year 2050.
Energy production is one of the biggest issues regarding our drive to net zero, producing 21% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions. As such, the government has placed a levy on domestic energy bills, costing the average UK household an extra £159 per year on energy bills as a means of financing subsidies for renewable energy products. In addition to this, the government has recently raised the household electricity price cap from £693 to £1,971. This will put immense strain on the budgets of many households, not even mentioning the skyrocketing inflation recorded at 7% in March 2022. This financial squeeze is not showing any signs of relenting, with disposable incomes predicted to fall by 1.9% this year – an even bigger decline in living standards than the one seen in the year prior to the Winter of Discontent.
With all the economic doom and gloom spreading about, a question must be asked – is net zero by 2050 worth it? The UK sits on top of huge shale gas deposits which could easily be exploited by the government issuing licences for companies to begin fracking on these lands, solving the gas supply issues which drives lots of the inflation currently seen. This gas could also be used to generate electricity domestically, reducing the UK’s reliance on French electricity whilst increasing supply to the point where households’ electricity bills could be drastically reduced. The UK currently contributes to 1% of global emissions, meaning that despite being virtuous, the drive to net zero will have relatively little effect globally when countries like China and India make relatively little efforts to reduce their own carbon footprints. Moreover, exploiting domestic energy supplies will likely result in lower overall carbon emissions than the alternative of importing, as huge amounts of carbon dioxide is emitted when transporting these resources to the UK.
As such, it is little surprise that Reform UK – the largest right-wing opposition party to the Conservative party has begun to campaign against the government’s current plans to achieve net carbon neutrality. Whilst it is a noble cause to reduce carbon emissions, the current economic reality shows that the plans currently in place will massively reduce the quality of life for millions in this country instead of being the ‘Green Revolution’ that was promised by this government. We need pragmatic, not dogmatic solutions to current issues and reviving domestic energy production is the first step to solving the cost-of-living crisis and reducing our dependence on energy imports. We still have twenty-eight years to reach our target. Making sure that people are financially safe should be the government’s priority, only then can we focus on the environment. There is no doubt that this method of mitigating the cost-of-living crisis will encounter large resistance from pressure groups such as the Extinction Rebellion, but a far larger resistance will be seen in the polls if the government does not get a handle on the situation soon.
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Squandering a RevolutionBy Samuel Martin — 4 months ago
Ignore the snarky joylessness of self-important losers and the performative perplexing of Very Serious Political Commentators, the past few days have been hilarious. Brought down by inadvertent kamikaze molester “Pincher by name, Pincher by nature” Chris Pincher, appointed to be (you couldn’t write this) a party whip, amounts to more than another Gay Tory Predator scandal. Instead, we are finally witnessing the end of Johnson’s inert and wasteful premiership.
Here I was thinking we’d be dealt an anti-climactic resignation over a piddly piss-up. All those times half-wit pundits, with their mundane alcoholism, lapsed anuses and hyperlinked relatives on Wikipedia, insisted that “it’s over” for Boris, only for such prospects to be dashed when a big fat *nothing happens*, effectively wore down the belief that Johnson could be removed at all.
However, just as a monkey could write Shakespeare if given enough attempts, journalists occasionally conjure the ability to publish something with a kernel of veracity, in this case – the government is imploding because Johnson feigned ignorance of Pincher’s pinching.
As funny as it is to see Boris’ top guys do a 180 in less than 24 hours, contrasted to the inexhaustible ride-or-die energy of Nadine Dorries, you came here for Insightful Political Commentary; a lucid outline of What is To Be Done, you came here for The Ideas. Very well, ladies and gentlemen. After all, chaos is a ladder.
Like most conservatives, I am torn between my hatred of Johnson and my hatred of full-time Johnson-haters. The former was handed an unconstrained sledgehammer to smash the Blairite machine. Criminally underutilised, it was primarily used for tasks completely incongruent with the telos of a sledgehammer – Building Back Better, Levelling Up, etc.
Adding insult to injury, the constructivist rhetoric was entirely devoid of actual construction. Housing prices continue to climb, the borders are wide open, the tax burden continues to punish the most productive, supply-side solutions to energy problems are practically non-existent, and all ‘attempts’ at resolving [REDACTED] have mounted to nothing more than superficial lip service to whip up momentary support from disaffected voters. For a man versed in the classics, Boris should know Heraclitus’ First Cause – Construction and Destruction were born joined at the hip, the fire which festers within a blacksmith’s forge and the fire which springs from a Molotov cocktail are the same force.
In the case of the latter, the full-timers sincerely believe that Boris has made extensive use of his loaned hardware, obliterating Those Ancient British Traditions: the NHS (1946), the HRA (1998), Supreme Court (2005), Britain’s membership of the EU (1992), etc. Ironically, had Johnson aspired (never mind achieved) more than a measly fraction of the aforementioned, he would be leading by double-digits.
The derangement of these full-timers makes one wish Johnson had made like Caesar and crossed the Rubicon. If not to pursue a revolutionary agenda, then to amplify the deserved misery of Britain’s worst inhabitants; the type of people that Tumblr-format tweets about having integrity in politics – “The Parties, The Lies, The Cheese and Wine, it’s DISGUSTING” – as they listen intently to the most recent episode of Alastair Campbell’s podcast.
It’s old news, but it’s worth remembering that Boris is not a conservative. He’s a liberal whose self-obsession disrupted what would have been his natural Brexit alignment. He’s managed to court support from people who would otherwise not have supported him, knowing full well they have little realistic alternative. A socially liberal chieftain of a socially conservative tribe, a Globalist commander of a nationalist army, Boris’ betrayal of both sides of Britain’s politico-cultural schism are finally converging, depriving him of what he values the most: popularity. Like Louis XVI awkwardly donning the revolutionary bonnet, Johnson found himself divided between his political inclinations, those of his new compatriots, and his desire to remain popular irrespective of circumstance.
A high-tax, high-immigration, high time-preference, low-wage, low-cohesion, low-growth Britain with a political life routinely interspersed by the misdeeds of a Prime Minister that backstabs his own supporters and elevates pillow-talk policy over national priorities. Brexit was always more than technical independence from the EU. Sovereignty was never the ultimate end. The Leave coalition was underpinned by the pursuit of sovereignty, but it was the prospect of exercising this sovereignty that brought about the electoral realignment. It was why the Nationalist-Brexiteer majority and the Globalist-Brexiteer minority could co-operate. Not a means to an end, but a means to greater means, and from these greater means a true ultimate end. A half-baked means (see: ECHR), but a necessary means, nonetheless. Even without Brexit, to waste such a supermajority, as a Conservative, should be grounds for life imprisonment.
In case you haven’t noticed, I am not outraged at “THE LIES”. Expecting politics to be free of lies, noble or otherwise, is like expecting the sea to be free of fish. It’s that a national revolution, literally decades in the making, has been squandered by a fat, self-absorbed, Etonian mutt that cares more about getting cummies from mid women and supporting The Current Thing like the insufferable libtard he is, rather than using a historic opportunity to liberate his country from institutionally inflicted self-harm; a stranglehold that will certainly be reinforced under a Labour government.
Speaking of Labour, how is the mortician doing? Has he recovered from his divorce yet? If the polls are to be believed, he’s doing better than a country with half-serious political system would allow. I do not believe mass reconversions to Labour will occur. The next election will be decided by the magnitude of [c]onservative disaffection.
And what of future Conservative leadership? Oh joy, a choice between Loony Liz and Total War Tom; an accidental hot war with Russia vs an intentional hot war with Russia. Decisions, decisions. Then again, what do you expect when given the option between an ex-Liberal Democrat and a dual-citizen neocon? It all screams “Look at me, I’m a rat that will jump wherever!”.
Rishi? The ‘Diversity Built Britain’ guy? Okay sure, he didn’t run cover for Pincher but he’s still a dull gremlin with a non-dom wife – not a good look! Besides, he’s still “implicated” by “Partygate” – an even worse look! Hunt deserves more contempt than can be articulated by the human tongue. Javid is an NHS fundamentalist. Not only does he worship the NHS, but he also unnecessarily attacks people on Twitter that dare to criticise it. Braverman is a Judas Goat – either she puts up or shuts up. Does anybody have an opinion of either Gove or Zahawi that isn’t associated with unnecessary underhandedness?
Mordaunt will be Theresa May 2.0 – the untainted candidate that slides in from the side-lines, garnering popularity from the prospect of some maternal reconciliation. Indeed, thoroughly disgusting prospect. This country can’t endure five seconds of political excitement without wailing like an infant. Speaking of Theresa May, she’s rumoured to be a potential “caretaker Prime Minister”. Does nobody remember her premiership? She embodies this country’s infuriating sentimentalism towards mediocre politicians. Furthermore, the timeline will be unbearable. Every sycophantic bint with a “Bloody Difficult Woman” tote bag from 2017 will re-emerge, squawking about the totally-not-astroturfed-and-definitely-politically-attractive notion of Compassionate Conservatism.
For all his faults, at least Boris had some charisma. One suspects people were banking on 2019 to make Parliament a little less boring, replenish it with at least a few interesting people. But no, we got potato sacks.
It is easy to imagine that Johnson will become a Girardian scapegoat for the coming Parliament – an environment defined by his ostracization and anything that can be construed to be representative of his presence (very easy for a man with the track record of an erratic ape). Onto him, all the ‘sins’ of the past 3 years will be unanimously piled; his resignation will represent an exorcism that alleviates whatever is political convenient for his ex-compatriots and the neurotic full-timers. An insulated circlejerk which will barely disguise an aggressive repositioning against the progressively minded – “if Johnson’s premiership was the result of Brexit, then nothing like Brexit can happen again”, and so on.
In the end, whatever maximises political randomness may best serve the betrayed. January 6th kino isn’t coming to Britain (we’re far too boring for something like that), but there’s certainly no reason to support the Conservatives at the next election. At this point, democratising the Conservative Party should be on the table. We cannot carry on with a system which consistently produces such terrible representatives – ones which can so easily abuse (literally and figuratively) the party’s support base and continuously get away with it.
Brace for the self-righteous gush that will begin to flow courtesy of Johnson’s neuron-cranking retardation. The BBC will find another reason to put Ian Hislop on the television and use “Should I Stay or Should I Go” in whatever slapdash documentary comes out of this. Unfunny comedians will tune into radio shows to compare Johnson to their ex-boyfriends. “The 2022 UK Government Crisis Shows the Enduring Problem of White Male Fragility. Discuss.” (40 marks).
Enoch Powell said that “all political careers end in failure”. On a technical level this is true, but few political careers end with the squandering of a revolution. The boy who wanted to be king was gifted the crown on a velvet cushion and, when placing the crown onto his head, dropped it into the gutter. Here’s hoping the crown can be retrieved by someone of kingly calibre and salvage the future that could have been.
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The Whitewash – A Review of ‘War on the West’ by Douglas MurrayBy Oscar Rhodes — 5 months ago
To begin, it’s worth saying I owe something of a debt to Douglas Murray. He brought me to many of the positions I hold today, and while my overall impression of ‘War on the West’ was disinterest, it is only upon looking back at my own political journey I’m beginning to understand why I felt that way.
‘War on the West’ follows ‘The Madness of Crowds’ and the ‘Strange Death of Europe’ as Murray’s third book discussing the state of political affairs in the Western world. Murray’s thesis is best laid out by Murray himself:
“People began to talk of “equality”, but they did not seem to care about equal rights. They talked of “anti-racism”, but they appeared deeply racist. They spoke of “justice” but they seemed to mean revenge.”
Herein lies the problem with ‘War on the West’, and why I moved away from Murray in my own life: there is no examination of what equality is to mean, what anti-racism is to look like, or what kind of justice is to be enacted, if any. The primary objection Murray has to the armies waging a war on the West is that their vision is not a classically liberal one. Explicitly antagonising white people with terms like ‘white fragility’, ‘white tears’, or ‘white privilege’ is bad because it racialises things Murray believes to have been deracialised by the Civil Rights Movement and other changes that occurred between the 1950’s to early 2000s. In his previous work, Murray uses an analogy of a train of equality pulling into the station, only to careen off down the tracks at a greater speed than ever before without allowing its passengers to get off. Throughout Murray’s work is an unexamined liberalism, that at best, is only ever criticised for being too pure. Liberalism, by its nature, criticises social orders for creating barriers for individuals. The many freedoms the West has provided have always come at the expense of the social orders liberalism eroded. Freedom for women came with the erosion of a patriarchal social order, and took with it the benefits such a system provided – such as the ability to raise a family on one income, a high degree of social trust, and a defined relationship between the sexes. It was inevitable that liberalism would eventually critique itself, and many of the authors Murray cites, from Kendi to DiAngelo, often build on those drawing on Herbert Marcuse and Theodore Adorno. The former was given money by the Rockefeller Foundation, and even worked for what would become the CIA. In many ways, it was Western liberalism with its free flow of capital and revolving door between the academy and influential roles of state that enabled these theories to promulgate.
In his interview with the Telegraph promoting the book, Murray states:
“As long as people are armed with the right facts and the right arguments, I just don’t see how the cultural revolutionaries can win. I don’t know about you, but I’m not spending the rest of my life cringing and being told I’m guilty of things I never did. Not doing it, not guilty.”
This really begs the question of how exactly we got to this position to begin with. What’s most striking about ‘War on the West’ is that it does read almost like a recap of a war. Battlefields are specified, different players and their decisions are named, and Lord knows there are a huge number of casualties in the culture wars Murray describes. But, were the people who permitted things to reach this stage simply incapable of posing arguments against it? In one chapter, Murray notes that claims that America is founded upon stolen land are self-refuting because the many tribes of America stole the land from one another. Are we to believe Americans are so ignorant of their own history that this argument has never been made? Murray himself notes in the conclusion that outlets such as MSNBC and the New York Times will deny that Critical Race Theory is taught in schools, but acknowledge that it exists when forced. There are no arguments that can be used against such a thing.
Left out of ‘War on the West’ is any truly systemic analysis of the problem. The aforementioned New York Times moved to a paywall model in 2011, and from that point forward, the focus on things like ‘racism’, ‘sexism’, ‘homophobia’, and ‘transphobia’ increased many times over. Around this time, legacy media was dying slowly. So newspapers moved from selling papers to many people to selling stories to a niche audience. The niche audience of the New York Times is the kind of cosmopolitan liberal who is very interested in niche identitarian trends, and in pitching themselves as radical while at the heart of the very system they claim to dislike. Despite this being a veritable War on the West, according to Murray, the emergency powers of war are never called upon. There are no calls to take decisive action to halt or prevent these systemic changes that led to this point. And in the conclusion, he defends the same economic system of capitalism that gave the New York Times its power, and forced it to change its business model to appeal to a niche audience of people hostile to Western people.
This attachment to a liberal historiography, in which individuals are given The Arguments and Make The Case, with spontaneous and emergent bottom-up change coming about as a consequence blinds Murray to the economic and legal realities that influence and shape this War on the West. Multiple universities are stated as battlegrounds for this war, but there is not a single mention of the fact universities are public authorities under the Equality Act (2010). That they have an ‘equalities duty’ to publish routine equalities reports, and must legally keep permanent members of staff dedicated to pushing this anti-Western message.
The only law Murray appears to mention in this vein is the Civil Right Act, which he defends as an example of the kind of good equality that he desires. Yet it was the Civil Rights Act which created the Civil Rights Commission, which in 1973 wrote to the Civil Service Commission and had them drop the standards for algebra in order to allow them to hire more non-white civil servants. Similar acts can be found in the UK. The Race Relations Act of 1973 (which performed the same anti-discrimination function as the Civil Rights Act he praises) created the Commission for Racial Equality. Today, the Race Relations Act has been assimilated into the aforementioned Equalities Act, and the Commission for Racial Equality has become the Equality and Human Rights Commission, which forces compliance with the Equalities Duty. There is a clear through-line from the civil rights legislation both in the USA and the UK, to the situation we are in now. The back of ‘War on the West’ reads as follows:
“The anti-Western revisionists have been out in force in recent years. It is high time we revise them in turn …”
Fundamentally however, there isn’t much of a revision of dominant left-wing narratives within ‘War on the West’ at all. Instead, it seeks to remind leftists that their own heroes, from Marx, to Foucault are also not spotless figures. This can only go one of two ways: either they ignore this, and nothing changes, or they recognise this, and move away from those figures, and as a consequence have doubled down on their principles of removing any and all unsavoury figures from public life. Regardless, none of this is at all revisionary, nor does it fundamentally challenge the values and beliefs of the cultural revolutionaries. A truly revisionist view of things would challenge the dominant understanding of things like the Civil Rights Movement, which was not (as Murray describes) people ‘making the case’ for rights, that the American public was so blown away by that they accepted and endorsed. Academic studies like that done on Rosedale show the side of desegregation that was forced upon people, and came at the cost of schools, neighbourhoods, communities and lives. Rosedale was a segregated community, but desegregation and the tensions that came with it made it difficult for authorities to maintain peace. The result was that many of the former residents who didn’t move out of their homes, found themselves the victims of racial violence by those who moved into the area, and had no regard for the police, who stopped policing the area out of fear of creating tensions. When Brown v. The Board of Education ended the desegregation of schools in America, and people protested, the national guard was sent in to disperse the crowd at gunpoint.
All of these changes were not the natural unfolding of human progress. They came today as they did in the civil rights movement, through force. Eisenhower and the national guard did not make the case for desegregation in light of Brown, they imposed it down the barrel of a gun. Whether that was right or wrong is irrelevant, that fact alone disproves the notion Murray insists upon in his recent public life – that the train of equality was chugging along gently, and only recently got out of hand. Equality is not a train chugging along set tracks, it is an amorphous blob that seeks to desacralise everything and dissolve all boundaries between all things. It does not progress in one direction alone, like a train, but expands in all directions and infects all things, including our supposedly right wing public figures.
In light of this, I still see some utility in Douglas Murray. Challenging double standards and hypocrisy is a cheap tactic which ultimately will not defeat those Murray opposes. Yet it is often the first chink in the armour for many people. I know I first came to move away from liberal beliefs because I found them to be contradictory, it was only in time I rooted out my own inherently liberal views, and ultimately moved to the political views and positions I hold now. In this respect, Murray is useful – he can confirm people’s suspicions about the modern left, and give them comfort that there is a public figure who opposes these things. It’s incumbent upon people with more bravery and introspection to take that one step further, and marry it with a systemic analysis of the situation, and propose and action a plan to undo these things and institute something new in its place.
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This Great Stage of Fools: Thoughts on the Church of EnglandBy The Mallard — 5 months ago
There was a time not very long ago when I wanted to become an Anglican priest. I thought I had discovered my vocation; it filled me with hope for the future. Now, however, I cannot think of a more unattractive prospect.
I was warned. At a book signing a couple of years ago, a non-stipendiary priest looked at me and said that the Church of England would eat me up. Another priest expressed such a lack of enthusiasm for his role that he might as well have told me to convert to atheism. I could hardly gainsay them. It wasn’t my place to claim that I would have been a moral, spiritual or intellectual asset to the Anglican fold – though, admittedly, I did wish to ape those clever, eccentric country parsons who so enriched the culture. As Bill Bryson wrote in his book Home:
“Never in history have a group of people engaged in a broader range of creditable activities for which they were not in any sense actually employed.”
The first history of dirty jokes, the Jack Russell terrier, Bayes’ Theorem, the power loom, Tristram Shandy, and even the submarine were all products of bored clergymen.
Of course, to believe that today’s Church of England resembled yesterday’s was my own, rose-tinted failing. Deep down, I knew it had changed almost beyond recognition. But change is inevitable – and often salutary. I could perhaps have embraced the 21st century Church of England. Unfortunately, I doubt it would embrace me. Its recent “yeeting” (to use the scientific term) of Calvin Robinson alerted me to just how far the Church has fallen. Robinson’s politics comport with my own as do his convictions: pride is a sin, marriage is between a man and a woman, and the Gospel is rather more significant than an imported racial ideology, of which Black Lives Matter is the conduit. Robinson’s treatment showed that the Church of England’s hierarchy is committing slow-motion idolatry.
When Robinson rails against what has happened to him, I have no doubt that he speaks for many, if not the majority, of churchgoers, who all but despair of what has happened to our national Church. But Robinson has a platform. We hear less often from young Anglicans, for whom the Church’s every statement seems designed to cater. Thus we get mini-golf courses and helter-skelters in our cathedrals, pride and NHS flags draped over our altars, and statements to the effect that the Church is racist but you should join it anyway. My own local church recently played host to a rock concert, for which the altar was whisked embarrassedly out of sight. Would a mosque tolerate such a thing? No, and nor should it. And of course, the Church hierarchy announced only a couple of weeks ago that they, too, couldn’t make heads or tails of what a woman was – undoing centuries of dogma and theology, not to mention insulting women.
It would be remiss of me to claim to be able to speak on behalf of all young Anglicans, especially given my continuing attraction to both Rome and Constantinople. But, after years of contact with other young Anglicans, I am confident that what I have to say now would attract something close to a consensus. So, Mr Welby, if you’re listening (which I suspect you’re not): we don’t want what you’re offering. We want heaven and hell. We want angels, powers and principalities. We want prayer, orthodoxy and conviction. We want good and evil, right and wrong. Above all, we want Christ. Your generation – the children of the 1960s – became enamoured by the secular. You think that heaven on earth is possible, if only we join the right causes and shun the wrong politic – you have surrendered to the world. But the Kingdom is not of this world. As T.S. wrote in Thoughts After Lambeth:
“Thought, study, mortification, sacrifice: it is such notions as these that should be impressed upon the young—who differ from the young of other times merely in having a different middle-aged generation behind them. You will never attract the young by making Christianity easy; but a good many can be attracted by finding it difficult: difficult both to the disorderly mind and to the unruly passions.”
If this truth isn’t soon heeded, I fear that the Church of England will be all but extinct in a decade or two. It will linger on in London and Birmingham, perhaps, where immigrant Christians still take seriously what the English do not. But it will no longer be the spiritual organ of the nation. Possibly the Catholic Church will fill the vacuum. Who knows?
I say all this as someone who is, technically, a member of the newly established religion: LGBT. It is said to be a community, though I’ve never seen it except when it rears its sponsored head to bully some poor recalcitrant for saying the wrong thing about gay marriage. Exactly this was what happened in my town last year. A Christian councilman said to some committee or other that, while he supported the right of gay people to live happy lives, he could not condone gay marriage. It has become a cliche to compare cancel culture to witch hunts, for good reason but the councilman was subjected to weeks of bullying and the foulest of threats and insults all, of course, in the name of tolerance and compassion. It upset me that the local Anglican church did nothing to snuff the flames – and may even have wished secretly to fan them.
There is, I believe, a ground swell of small-o orthodoxy among the young. New atheism (of which I was a devotee) proved insufficient in answering our moral, spiritual and intellectual needs. Many of us turned to God, whatever our politics. But if we were conservative, we naturally sought sustenance in the Church of England. I cannot be alone in saying that to find it so debased has been one of the great sadnesses of my early life. As Lear says, “we cry that we are come to this great stage of fools”.
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