The period leading up to the parliamentary summer recess is usually characterized by the government winding up non-controversial business as the final days draw to a close. That is not the case this year as we find ourselves in the midst of the Conservative Party leadership election.
I deliberately remained detached from the fray, but I must say that I am not impressed that we find ourselves changing prime ministers once again. Some might argue that Boris had to go: his mistakes, lack of attention to detail and other misdemeanors were too big for him to stay. Whatever his faults, he delivered a huge Tory majority, once in a generation, overcame the constitutional Brexit stalemate and kept Jeremy Corbyn and his Marxist brand from close to government. I had voters in the street deeply unhappy with his defenestration. I would recommend that we write down all the reasons why he “had to go”, put in an envelope and open it again in a few years and see what those reasons look like afterwards. Just a thought.
I was in Gibraltar on a parliamentary trip with the European Audit Committee as ministerial resignations piled up and the inevitable resignation arrived. A little-known fact, and the reason for the trip, is that negotiations are at a critical stage for the new UK-Gibraltar-EU tripartite agreement. Gibraltar left the EU with the UK, but an ongoing deal for Gibraltar’s unique situation has yet to be finalized and so it finds itself in a halfway house.
The trip was fascinating, meeting the Chief Minister and members of his Cabinet, senior civil servants, the British Armed Forces and finally residents facing border delays and in some cases adamant refusal to cross into Spain by some Spanish border agents whose determination on free passage depends on the mood of the border guard of the day. An inscrutable position given that 15,000 Spanish workers enter bustling Gibraltar daily to work and bring their wages back to Andalusia, a region with high unemployment.
Additionally, many Gibraltarians and temporary residents spend millions on shopping in southern Spain, adding to the mystery of the behavior of the Spanish government. I guess little changes as the border has been used regularly for decades as a sticking point.
As we bask in the hot weather, many will claim, as always, that this is the reality of global warming. That may be true, but we’ve had heat waves before and just look at the weather in the United States in the 1930s, which was really brutal with prolonged record hot weather. One thing I can guarantee with a high degree of certainty is that the weather will return to being overcast, windy and rainy for the summer holidays.
Strange isn’t it that we seek to travel abroad in similar temperatures with a smile but grumble when we have similar temperatures here, even irregularly. But let’s say yes, this is due to human activity and will be a permanent feature of the UK weather model. We’re looking at a cost of £3 trillion to get to Net Zero, probably more now that the £3 billion was based on building the infrastructure, laying the cables, making the concrete, smelting the metals , battery manufacturing, etc. on the back of lower cost energy and on copper and commodity prices much lower than what we see today. Just to put that into context, that’s around 150% of the total annual output of the UK economy or 1,500 times the size of Kent County Council’s annual budget. We are responsible for only 1% of global CO2 production; growing countries like China, India and Indonesia are increasing their coal production so that their economies can grow with cheaper energy and their people can lift themselves further out of poverty.
Even if our costly efforts have reduced our 1% CO2 output to zero, I can hardly see that spending £3 trillion or more can be good value or will do anything beyond being a ” virtuous signal » costly. Better I would have thought to spend on adaptation to climate change. This staggering sum of money could buy lots of home insulation, expand traditional home energy supplies, eliminate virtually all national funding shortfalls, plant lots of trees, improve sea defenses if needed, and be a force for good. real in the world.
On local issues I have worked with Dover District Council leaders to secure an offer of leveling funds in a better location and am spending more and more time in Thanet District Council offices as that the allocation of the £20 million leveling fund progresses to action and other matters of local importance.
I had a meeting with the new CEO of East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust which included a tour of the maternity suite at QEQM. A substantial investment from a local company is on the horizon. I have tried to encourage those with the corporate purse strings that Thanet is definitely the place to do business.
We know it, we love it.