Conservative Home's debate blogs

Conservative Home's reference blogs

Blog powered by Typepad

Conservative blogs

How is David Cameron doing?

  • Tracker 2
  • Extreme Tracker

« Latest news from "the beef hunt", by Wat Tyler | Main | Cameron Watt: “We are the real criminals” claims Batmanghelidjh »

October 02, 2006


Michael McGowan

So my MP has suggested a Climate Change Bill which will cut carbon emissions.... As Tim Hames put it in today's Times, this is potentially the most statist solution proposed by a political party since Michael Foot's manifesto of 1983. Come back Worzel Gummidge and Anthony Wedgwood Benn, all is forgiven.


If we are going to have a State it seems sensible to have it work to protect its citizens. Cutting carbon emmissions is a start to securing the future of our species on this planet - so hats off to your MP.

As he said its “no time at all for silly party political games” or indeed idealogical ones.


When you say defeated, I take it you mean the idea that low cost flights are the devil was rejected. Good!

In general, aviation does represent 2% of worldwide emissions. Picking on it is disproportionate. The argument that we should take the train instead is also bogus. It would take six hours to travel from Aberdeen to London by train, but only one hour by plane. The economic effects of time saved cannot be discounted.

And the notion that the economy does not depend on aviation is so laughably ridiculous that I'm surprised the guy had the gall to say it. What globally warming planet is he living on? Mars?

What about all the jobs it supports directly or indirectly? What about the economic edge it gives us having a capable network of national and internaional transport? As I said before, do you think the economy would be unaffected if journey time between the North and the South quadrupled? The time spent travelling is time not spent doing their job. In today's global economy, the ability to move quickly is vital.

Think about it, Conservatives. This party is supposed to respect the principles of Friedman. If train travel was that much better, it would be more affordable (and yes domestic flights pay fuel duty. The exemption from duty under the Chicago Convention applies only to international flights) and people would be using it more. Certainly over distances greater than London-Manchester, air travel dominates. If this were a left wing party, you would retreat with random conspiracy theories about evil corporations. But you know the market should be heeded and the market has spoken. That should tell us something about both the costs of flying compared to the costs of using the train and about what people prefer (particularly time wise. Did I mention the journey time aspect?).

But now there is a more sinister element to this. The debate wasn't just about aviation, it was about low cost flights. David Davis said the Conservatives need to become the party of all the people. The first step to doing that is NOT to attack the transportation options of the poorest people.

The attack on low cost flights wreaks of snobbery and elitism. It is saying that the poor shouldn't be allowed the freedom of air travel. I find it particularly repugnant that Zac Goldsmith, the richest of the rich, should be lecturing us on how evil LCCs are when he's probably never seen an EasyJet aircraft. Drive EasyJet and Ryanair and the others into the ground if you want to. He won't have to worry. He can afford to fly the legacy carriers. It's the less well off people who will suffer, denied the freedom of travel the aviation industry has worked so hard to provide.

And another thing: LCCs use the most modern fuel efficient aircraft. They pack their aircraft full of passengers. They don't add weight with frivolities like inflight entertainment and food service is minimal. You will find that LCCs deliver their passengers to their destination having emitted far less carbon dioxide per head than the legacy carriers.

Attacking low cost carriers is not environmentalism. It is snobbery. The country needs the party of all the people that David Davis says the Conservatives should be. Don't be the party of the affluent, chattering classes.

Michael McGowan

So let's get this right: my MP is proposing massive state intervention in the economy to reduce carbon emissions by such a tiny percentage of the global total that it will have no real impact at all, other than to generate lots of costs and an added regularity burden. At least King Canute knew his limitations.

Simon Chapman


It wasn't a Jeanette Wilks who spoke, it was writer and organic food shop owner Jeanette Winterson - she was magnificently articulate. It was interesting to see that she had clearly despaired of the current government on this issue, but was prepared to look at the Conservatives and be persuaded. She still needs to be convinced, but the door is open.

The comments to this entry are closed.

About Conservative Home

Blog of the week


  • DVD rental
  • Conservative Books

Drugs policy