All credit to the Lib Dems. They beat us to it in proposing the Kirklees Campaign Against Climate Change inspired motion on the ‘Tipping Point’ – the point at which we go past the point of no return on Climate Change and the urgent need to act now. I couldn’t let the moment pass without mentioning the Lib Dems actual record in Government as the Party actually in charge of the Department of Energy and Climate Change. When Chris Huhne was in the driving seat of DECC (and definitely no one else!) they declared they were going to be the ‘Greenest Government Ever’. The truth has been somewhat less than that. Massive cuts to the Energy Company Obligation Budget to placate the readers of ‘The Sun’, severe reductions in the Feed In tariffs for solar energy, the UK heading for total failure in our obligations under the EU 2020 Renewable Energy Directive and a disgraceful role in removing binding targets at the EU level on energy efficiency and renewable energy for the 2030 targets. It would not be responsible of anyone who really knew the issues to leave the Lib Dems to ‘get the onion out’ and talk about how deeply they felt about Climate Change without comment. So I did comment and a fair bit of personal animosity came my way thereafter. I played the ball, the Lib Dems decided to play the man. No problem for me.
Lib Dem Cllr David Ridgeway said that all I could do was ‘snipe, mither, moan and bicker’ talk ‘tripe’ and make ‘crass comments’and claimed that I was saying that only the Green Party knew about these issues. In fact the concerns I raised were those raised by the energy efficiency and renewable energy industries. These are people who employ skilled workers across a range of technologies who are laying off staff, scaling back work and sometimes going out of business altogether.the people who often suffer are those on low incomes who don't get a new boiler or the insulation they might have expected. My comments were legitimate but a bit tough for a loyal Lib Dem to take I guess.
Some of the real venom came from Lib Dem Cllr Andrew Marchington. A bit of a shame really I used to know him in the distant past in the 80s in my old Young Liberal days. It is pretty obvious he has an issue with me in particular but then I am critical of the Party he represents. He definitely went off on one about the Greens in general and even got onto talking about the Swiss Green Party which he obviously knows more about than me. He accused me of saying, “The Greens are the only ones who understand it” actually my information is based on the science and the oft expressed views of the sustainable energy industries. He even accused us of being more left wing than Labour - not a difficult task really. He did confess to being a bit wound up during the debate. Ah well!
If you want to see it all its true horror I start speakingat 2.23.30. and the Lib Dems start losing it shortly after that. http://connect.kirklees.public-i.tv/site/player/pl_v7.php?a=152944&t=&m=flash&l=en_GB
The other thing worth noting is that the Conservatives abstained on the motion with no explanation why. This should have been acutely embarrasing to Conservative Leader Robert Light who understands the issues and has been the Deputy Lead at the Environment Agency. I guess the climate change denying /anti wind turbine wing in his Party held sway on this one. Poor Robert!