I see that the fox hunting season is almost back again. Letting the middle classes torture animals seems to stir the Tory blood, but it also reminds me that in politics the first and most important task for any party is to shoot their opponents’ foxes.
Take Rishi Sunak’s appallingly cynical and shamelessly decision to reverse years of progress on climate change and throw away any pretence of leadership, moral authority and care for the future.
It was obviously done to put Labour on the back foot. Now the Tories think they have six months for them and their press allies to accuse Labour of supporting compulsory car sharing, meat taxes and forcing hard-working families to spend £15,000 on useless green crap.
But this is a fox that Labour should find it easy to shoot. All they have to do is stand up in the Commons and say this.
“Mr Speaker, we are delighted, as is the whole country – nay the whole world – that the Government has found a way of saving the planet at no cost. Many experts for decades have been warning this was impossible but the prime minister says it is and he is an honourable man. He will therefore have our full support.
“Furthermore, Mr Speaker, the PM says that there is no need to insulate homes, replace polluting cars or change boilers and cookers for at least another 12 years. His predecessor Boris Johnson disagrees, but he was found to be a perpetual liar and the current PM is an honourable man. So, we welcome this move.
“We also note on this side of the house that British industry is aghast at this U-turn, the wasted billions and the betrayal of the assurances they had received that 2030 was the deadline for saving the planet. But the PM says that he is saving households up to £15,000 by reversing his own policies and he is an honourable man.
“In all conscience, when he has piled misery and a cost of living crisis on millions, we could not stand by and support such huge additional costs for hard-working families and now we won’t have to because Mr Sunak tells us they are unnecessary and he is an honourable man”
“We were, I admit Mr. Speaker, amazed to discover that the government has sneaked legislation through the House to make car sharing compulsory, to issue diktats trebling the number of recycling bins and taxing meat eaters and holidaymakers, we would have fought them tooth and nail if we had spotted them. The prime minister tells us he has got them through parliament but has now suddenly had a change of heart and is throwing out the new laws. We support him in this humiliating climbdown, which he has undertaken to suffer in the national interest, because he is an honourable man.
“Mr Speaker, the prime minister has also asked for a consensus on climate change policies and an end to party politics on the subject. Strange that as he said those very words, Conservative Central Office was issuing lists of questions apparently designed to somehow embarrass the SNP, the Lib Dems and Labour. But we believe the Prime Minister for he is an honourable man. We therefore await with keen anticipation our places at the Cabinet table so we can unite with him to drive through a truly green policy in the national interest.
“All in all, Mr Speaker, we on this side of the House welcome these measures, I am sorry to see some of his own MPs doubt his word, his ethics, his morality and his motives but we still think this is a great country and we trust the PM, for he is an honourable man. It would help the PM’s cause immeasurably if he were to release the new data and the new scientific advice that he has based his volte-face on, but even without them we trust Mr Sunak because he is an honourable man.”
“Above all, Mr Speaker, the country, its people and its economy need a government that they can trust, one that puts their interests ahead of its own, is reliable, honest, and bases its policies on sound science and principles. One that leads the world, sets an example and acts with honour, no matter how unpopular and desperate it is. Mr Sunak tells us that is exactly what he is doing and we must trust him, because he is an honourable man. So Mr. Speaker on just this one occasion we will ignore political convention and vote with the Government to support all the measures proposed by the right honourable gentleman.”
It would be a great pity if after having placed such faith in the Tory government, a new Labour administration was to immediately find that this disgusting series of U-turns by a totally unprincipled bunch of creeps was based on nothing but dishonourable lies.
But them’s the breaks.