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George and the Green Dragon

December 3, 2019 11:12 AM
By Simon Oliver
Originally published by Green Liberal Democrats

George Monbiot, in an article in the Guardian on 27/11/2019 says numerous positive things about the Liberal Democrats Environmental offering:

  • "The Liberal Democrats, mostly, get it."
  • "The Lib Dems have made a crucial breakthrough, arguing that GDP should no longer be a government's central objective; it should focus instead on wellbeing."
  • "The scope of the Lib Dems' new thinking is one of the biggest surprises in this election. The new duty of environmental care it proposes for private and public bodies, its proposed zero-waste and nature acts, its suggestion of new taxes on frequent flyers, legal protection for public space and support for rewilding are all new and welcome."

And recognises the departure from honesty indulged in by Labour:

  • "It is profoundly disappointing to see Labour fudge the 2030 target for a net-zero economy that was agreed at the party conference."

He then ignores his own argument, defaulting to authoritarianism and ignoring reality by saying, about the Libdem offering:

  • "But there is still too much voluntarism: it urges but does not compel banks and corporations to reform their environmental standards. We cannot rely on market forces and corporate goodwill to defend us from catastrophe."

He ends with a self-defeating statement:

  • "No one has the right to choose whether or not to destroy our lives."

The obvious exception he fails to spot being, of course, all those voters he is urging to vote for Labour and the Greens. They can choose whether or not to destroy our lives.

And if you fail to acknowledge all of their day-to-day concerns about taxes, the cost of living, jobs, leisure pursuits and all that pesky quality of life, including voluntary changes of behaviour that lead to market forces which shape coporate goodwill, you are not offering people a solution to the climate emergency that will work.

And it is the awkward requirement for proposed solutions that work that mean voting for Labour and the Greens (except where they are clearly in favour of remain and there is no Libdem candidate poised to beat the Tories) is the wrong way to go about saving the planet.

NB this is the personal opinion of the author and may or may not reflect wider opinions of the organisation.