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Missing: Croydon’s Bus Shelters

By: Zachary Stiling

Croydon residents will have noticed the disappearance of bus shelters across the borough. The old ones were cheap-looking and nasty, but never so awful as their so-called ‘Smart City’ replacements.

Since early 2020, Croydon Council has been working with VALO Smart City towards the ‘Replacement of existing Croydon bus shelters… with new bus shelters and advertising panels, providing an opportunity to embed ‘Smart City’ technology and to upgrade the existing paper advertising with digital advertising screens.’ The programme concerns all 158 shelters which are the council’s responsibility, but not those operated by Transport for London.

“VALO Smart City is a New York-based company which conceals its purpose behind unintelligible jargon”

VALO Smart City is a New York-based company which conceals its purpose behind unintelligible jargon. According to its website, ‘VALO’s Smart City platform makes cities more efficient by collecting real-time data for city services and infrastructure, such as transportation, utilities, security, and pollution. VALO is a smart city integrator that aims to better people’s lives around the world through the Internet of Things technology.’ Croydon Council tells us the shelters will monitor air quality, noise, footfall and traffic flow.

The scheme is spearheaded by Opama Khan, whose changeable but permanently nonsensical job title is currently ‘Head of Digital Services, Access & Reach’; she is ‘Leading delivery of an ambitious strategy to enhance the borough of Croydon through digital innovation and technology.’ Nobody voted for her, but she wields power over Croydon and won’t be underpaid (the council’s outgoing Chief Digital Officer, Neil Williams, was on over £100,000 a year).

“What are we to make of this, apart from that it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money when the old shelters worked perfectly well, and that a council which has just received a £120 million bailout after bankruptcy ought to be more careful?”

What are we to make of this, apart from that it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money when the old shelters worked perfectly well, and that a council which has just received a £120 million bailout after bankruptcy ought to be more careful? Suffice it to say, the council hasn’t revealed the cost but it claims it will generate £6.75 million in advertising revenue over 10 years. One fails to see how it should generate more than the old bus stops which also displayed advertising, but £6.75 million doesn’t seem much considering the council spent £5.4 million on a 2017 revamp of East Croydon bus station, which amounted to smothering the shelters in crass primary colours best appreciated by small children.

It’s pure hypocrisy for a council which subscribes to climate alarmism to outsource its bus shelters to an American company. Like all tech products, they are surely to be made in undeveloped countries, with raw materials, constituent parts and the finished shelters having to be transported thousands of miles before they arrive in Croydon. There may even be a bit of child labour somewhere along the line. And because they are to be online constantly, they are going to require a constant supply of power.

“They may not look misplaced on central Croydon’s streets, besieged as they are by glass-and-steel Babels, but they have no place in the suburbs”

The aesthetic of the shelters may be described as ‘industrial neo-modern’. At night, they will be tackily lit by LEDs. They may not look misplaced on central Croydon’s streets, besieged as they are by glass-and-steel Babels, but they have no place in the suburbs. Croydon’s suburbs were built in accordance with the Arts & Crafts philosophy intended to combine the beauty and healthy qualities of the countryside with the convenience of the town. To introduce the ugliness of stark utilitarianism to such a landscape would be to the detriment of all residents. Far better would be to supply semi-rural and suburban areas with traditional wooden shelters which could be made by local craftspeople for minimal cost.

Most of all, the great evil of the Smart City which affects us all is the spread of Big Brother. One may wonder how a bus shelter monitors footfall and traffic flow. That’s easy – it has cameras which, with its internet connection, might be viewed at any time from some central H.Q. With our government demonstrating increasingly authoritarian tendencies, surveillance bus shelters are not our friend.

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No Passports Required – Wednesday 15th December #ThirdWednesday

Thanks to all who attended our No Passport Required #ThirdWednesday drinks in November, and great to see some new people there.

Next up are our December Drinks.

Come and meet-up with likeminded freedom lovers, at our No Passports Required drinks at The George, Croydon on Wednesday 15th December, from 7pm. 

We will hold these in association with Dick Delingpole’s #ThirdWednesday Libertarian drinks club. 

Come and meet us at The George. 17–21 George Street, Croydon. CR0 1LA on Wednesday 15th December, from 7pm.

Net Zero – We came together to fight a referendum do we need a new one? – Part 5

As a group that came together to fight a referendum on membership of the EU, we thought we would ask you, what your views are on Net Zero, a possible Referendum, and more generally the environment.

Part 5 in our series of your views. More responses can be found from Part 1.

Thanks to Zack Stiling, and Roald Ribe for their responses.

“it would be arrogant and foolish to suppose that we could arrest a natural and inevitable greenhouse period simply by coercing the public to adopt a lifestyle which blends medieval feudalism with an enforced dependence on smart technology”

Zachary Stiling was the Heritage Party candidate in Kenley in the 2021 by-election, and was on the party’s GLA list the same year. Zachary has been interviewed by us and on our Pubcast.

Is global warming a threat?

No. Glacial and interglacial periods occur naturally across thousands of years and, since we made it through the ice age with little more than basic hand tools, fire and animal skins, we should be quite well equipped to cope with a projected rise of 1.5 degrees centigrade thanks to several millennia of scientific and technological progress. Even if global warming was a threat, it would be arrogant and foolish to suppose that we could arrest a natural and inevitable greenhouse period simply by coercing the public to adopt a lifestyle which blends medieval feudalism with an enforced dependence on smart technology. Presumably, some ‘net zero’ enthusiasts such as Barack Obama and Bill Gates are secretly of the same mind, or they would not both have bought coastal properties within the past year.

Should we have a referendum on enforced Net Zero targets?

No. Few members of the public have a detailed knowledge of climate and there is a danger that the government could increase its fear-mongering to manipulate voters, as the Remain side tried to do with the E.U. referendum. In the event of the government winning such a referendum, it would have a moral imperative of sorts to accelerate its Net Zero authoritarianism.

What action should we be taking on the environment?

The most important environmental action we should be taking is the protection and restoration of our countryside. Other than the fact that the countryside is an invaluable public asset, access to which is a lifeline for many people living in crowded urban areas, the destruction of it leads to phenomena which are immediately attributed to climate change. Before we get carried away with climate, a more immediate cause for loss of biodiversity is habitat destruction; a more immediate cause for flooding is the paving over of green land with impervious materials, which causes excessive surface run-off. We should also make an effort to reduce waste – so much plastic is unnecessary. As far as the climate goes, we should be making use of human ingenuity to adapt, not resorting to fear and authoritarianism in an attempt to control the uncontrollable.

“rational individuals should work for more individual freedom, which is the only action that will unleash the creativity and the economic environment needed to enable all to have enough surplus in their life to care about the environment they live in”

Roald Ribe is the Deputy Chair Political of The Capitalist Party (Liberalistene) (Wikipedia) of Norway. You can read our interview with Roald, and read below for an international perspective.

Is global warming a threat?

Within the current range of claims made, it is my understanding that no existential threat exists. If the sun were to expand, as it will at some point, that warming would be a threat.

Should we have a referendum on enforced Net Zero targets?

I am against letting any dictator, proletariat, group or majority control and run the lives of each individual. A referendum will not help much given the sense of doom and panic transferred into the population by bias and propaganda.

What action should we be taking on the environment?

The state or collective “we” should not do anything related to hypotheses about the planet’s climate. The “we” of rational individuals should work for more individual freedom, which is the only action that will unleash the creativity and the economic environment needed to enable all to have enough surplus in their life to care about the environment they live in.

This is the fifth set of your responses, further responses can be found from Part 1

Zachary Stiling of the Heritage Party – Hustings Q&A

In May this year a council by-election was held in Kenley.  We spoke at the time to the Heritage Party candidate Zachary Stiling, and had him on our pubcast.

His responses to the prepared questions are below, and give a good insight into the candidate, and the party, ahead of next years London wide local elections.

“In 2016, the council gave £4 million to Boxpark despite local business owners’ fears it would damage their trade. Local, independent businesses play a much more important role in a community than national and transnational corporations”

What do you see as the most important priorities for the people of Kenley? And how will you help deliver on these priorities?

If I may take a minute to introduce myself and the Heritage Party, the party was founded in May 2020 by London Assembly Member David Kurten. We are a socially conservative party founded to champion civil liberties and traditional family values. On a national level, we oppose lockdowns, vaccine passports and ‘woke’ cancel culture, and promote freedom of speech, free markets and individual responsibility. I am entering politics after five years as a freelance journalist and historian, and have lived in Croydon all my life. I am a conservationist at heart, having been actively involved with the preservation of historic vehicles for several years, and I am equally passionate about preserving historic architecture and the countryside. I have developed an affection for the rich history of the borough, which I believe is to be celebrated, and am committed to seeing it prosper in the future.

I believe that the rapid construction of high-density, low-quality housing is one of the greatest threats Kenley currently faces, along with the council’s cavalier disregard for the Green Belt. Housing developments are typically constructed at the expense of green spaces, historic buildings or community venues. I will address this matter in full shortly, but suffice it to say that I am wholeheartedly committed to protecting Kenley’s countryside, historic buildings and community facilities, and I will object to all developments that do not meet the very highest standards.

Often in winter, Kenley suffers from severe flooding, a problem which, incidentally, is likely to increase with more housing, as more hard-standing will prevent water infiltrating the soil and lead to surface run-off into the valleys. Croydon Council was unable to fulfil its planned flood-prevention measures as a result of its bankruptcy in November. Now that the council has been bailed out by the government with £120 million, I will make flood prevention and infrastructure improvements in Kenley a priority.

I am also conscious that many workers in Kenley, especially small-business owners and those working in hospitality, will have suffered severe financial damage because of the lockdown. In 2016, the council gave £4 million to Boxpark despite local business owners’ fears it would damage their trade. Local, independent businesses play a much more important role in a community than national and transnational corporations, and I will see that they are prioritised for grants and loans.

“I am wholly committed to the protection of the countryside and the need for new houses to meet high standards of construction and beauty. I will not approve any development planned for a greenfield site, nor any developments that are ugly and which will have a negative impact on quality of life”

Many people in Kenley are concerned about a rise in housing developments in Kenley – How do you respond to these concerns and if elected, what would you do?

Kenley residents are quite right to be sceptical about housing developments and I share their concerns. Repeatedly over recent years, the council and developers have done great harm to communities with unsympathetic, sometimes barely habitable, housing developments, while the objections of local residents have been ignored. In Kenley’s case, new developments are almost always detrimental to the local character of the area and create longstanding damage.

In January 2020, the council approved plans for a block of nine flats on Welcomes Road, a road occupied only by one- and two-storey interwar properties, ignoring residents’ objections. Then, in May, the council’s in-house developer, Brick by Brick, unveiled plans to build a block of flats on Reedham Park Avenue which contravened the regulations outlined in the council’s own Local Plan. I am fully aware that Croydon is under a lot of pressure to supply affordable housing, but the rapid construction of cramped flats is little more than cheap tokenism, and it is especially wrong in an area like Kenley, which people enjoy for its green spaces, natural beauty and high standards of suburban architecture. In many cases, Croydon’s new housing developments are not affordable for first-time buyers anyway, and are inadequately provisioned.

I spoke today to a disabled lady in social housing who complained that her house has had a serious leak for some time, but the council showed no interest in helping her repair it because it wasn’t what they considered to be an ‘emergency’. The council lazily cited coronavirus as an excuse for not responding to her complaints and, on the occasion when someone was sent to investigate, he informed the resident that the leak was ‘not his department’. One would like to think of this as an isolated problem, but the scandal of the Regina Road flats in South Norwood tells us that it is not. This is the inevitable legacy of trying to cram as many people as possible into the tightest possible space for the cheapest possible price, and it will persist into the future unless there is immediate change to the council’s attitude to housing. Not only that, but it won’t be a problem that exclusively affects social housing tenants; Croydon Council has built very little social housing of late, preferring instead to sell land to developers for private accommodation. The principle of cramming in as many people as possible at the lowest price still applies, but, instead of being awarded to the needy, the houses are being sold for a premium.

Equally worrying is the council’s attitude towards the Green Belt, which it sees as an obstacle to yet more development. Having already sacrificed 27 acres of Green Belt land for a hideous new school building in South Croydon, the council again revealed plans to eliminate sections of Green Belt in Sanderstead, Selsdon and New Addington for 6000 houses. Thankfully, Kenley has not yet been earmarked for anything so destructive, and I will defend its open spaces tooth and nail to see that Kenley residents may always have access to nature, which is so vital for our wellbeing. I am always receptive to the views and criticisms of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, who understand the importance of the Green Belt better than many councillors.

I am wholly committed to the protection of the countryside and the need for new houses to meet high standards of construction and beauty. I will not approve any development planned for a greenfield site, nor any developments that are ugly and which will have a negative impact on quality of life for Kenley residents. With Croydon’s town centre already suffering from a severe affliction of high-rises, the only new housing schemes I will support will be ‘gentle density’ ones. Brick by Brick has been an unaccountable, loss-making failure, and I will campaign for it to be scrapped. On a national level, the Heritage Party will invest in towns in the North and in the Midlands which are neglected by Westminster, thereby relieving the pressure on London for housing.

“With 16 council workers still on over £100,000 per year (compared to 10 in Sutton, nine in Merton and nine in Bromley), this is where the first cuts should be made so that civic improvements can be prioritised”

Croydon Council have stated that they face a £64.2 million gap in funding this year and that this inevitably means cuts to services; what do you consider are vital services in this community and how will you ensure that these services are retained?

The nature of Kenley, with many houses built on spacious plots with large gardens, makes the council’s garden waste collection a valuable service. Although garden waste collection already comes with a cost of £68.29 per year, and is therefore not likely to be scrapped, it ties in in an important way with fly-tipping because a lot of people decide to fly-tip because they find it preferable to paying for waste disposal. I am confident that, if the council’s finances were managed well, the cost of the service could be reduced or even assimilated into the cost of council tax.

Kenley has the good fortune of being a quiet area with a semi-rural feel in places. Sadly, the downside of this is that it is attractive to fly-tippers, who feel they can get away with dumping their waste without being seen. To this end, the council’s fly-tip reaction teams, who work with council enforcement officers to catch, fine and prosecute offenders, are a valuable part of the council’s operations. It is just a pity that in the past the council has pursued fly-tippers with more enthusiasm than honesty – several people, including a family member of mine, have been issued with fixed-penalty notices from the council, for which there is no option of appeal, because they attempted to dispose of waste at council recycling sites which were overflowing from where waste collections had been neglected.

I am interested in targeting real fly-tippers only, and I believe no fixed-penalty notices should be issued unless there is proof of an offence having been committed. I will make sure the fly-tip reaction teams operate justly and efficiently. I also believe they should have more of a presence in public so as to deter people from fly-tipping in the first place but also to catch people who drop litter, who so often evade justice. Littering is a vile habit for which there is no excuse, and a blight on many communities. Dropping litter carries a fixed-penalty fine of £150. I will strive to see that this is enforced to the fullest extent, albeit only with proof of the offence being committed.

Obviously, when fines are generated, enforcement teams will pay for themselves to some extent, but I do not believe it is prudent to rely on fines as a source of income, and that mentality is what encourages councils to set targets for revenue from fines, to be met by hook or by crook.

When a council is struggling to meet the needs of its citizens, it ought to look to itself to make cuts before it strips the public of services. With 16 council workers still on over £100,000 per year (compared to 10 in Sutton, nine in Merton and nine in Bromley), this is where the first cuts should be made so that civic improvements can be prioritised. Croydon Council could save thousands of pounds each year by not overpaying its senior staff.

“residents are aware of Kenley’s magnificent heritage. At present, Croydon Council does not seem to be very proud of the borough’s history but it is an aspect I would like to promote”

The Kenley Community Plan was successful in a bid for GLA funding to deliver projects that connect and improve Kenley. What new and existing projects do you think will connect and improve Kenley?

Dare I say that there is not much to improve? Residents of Kenley are generally very proud of their neighbourhood and the council’s attempts to interfere with it, especially where housing developers are concerned, are often very unwelcome.

However, it is clear that because Kenley is a bit out on a limb compared to other areas of Croydon, residents are too dependent on cars and would appreciate better public transport links. A lot of residents have complained of heavy traffic in the area, cars driving too fast, and lack of provision for parking, while also finding that public transport is overcrowded. I believe Croydon Council needs to work with Transport for London to discuss the provision of a more regular bus service in Kenley. There is no convenient public transport between the southern part of Kenley and central Croydon. A regular bus service from the town centre to Kenley Common would be advantageous for residents and would make Kenley a destination for walkers, who could combine a visit to Kenley Common with Coulsdon Common and Riddlesdown, and spend money in local pubs and cafés.

I would like to consult with residents about improvements to Kenley’s road layout. Speed bumps are never a clever means of slowing traffic down as they shorten the life of a car’s suspension and contribute to air pollution as they force drivers to move through the gears and rev their engines. Chicanes are a far more sensible approach and could be employed in redeveloping Kenley’s roads for the better. All this, of course, is in addition to the improvements needed to mitigate the effects of flooding, which I will resume at the nearest possible instance.

As stated already, residents are aware of Kenley’s magnificent heritage. At present, Croydon Council does not seem to be very proud of the borough’s history but it is an aspect I would like to promote. Besides being of general interest to residents, I believe promotion of Croydon’s historic buildings and institutions would encourage visitors and benefit local trade. I have been drawn to Kenley Aerodrome on a number of occasions when it has hosted events and always felt I have had a good day out. The Aerodrome’s events would, I am sure, attract many more people to Kenley if decent public transport made it more accessible.

“Young people generally should be encouraged in their hobbies, not demonised; overbearing regulations are the death of creativity in the young”

Local Youth and Children’s work providers Play Place ask ‘within the youth sector we are increasingly concerned about the lack of positive diversionary activities, poorer transport links and an amplified sense of deprivation for small communities in the south of the borough.  How might we best respond to this?’

This is a subject I feel very strongly about, as I have been trying to raise awareness locally of the problem of young people riding motorcycles around my local woodland. Let me say, so that there is no doubt, that I do not condone this activity for an instant. Riding motorcycles in a space shared by dog-walkers and young children is clearly dangerous and irresponsible and has the potential to go horribly wrong. But let us try to understand our fellow man. The young people riding these motorcycles are not wilfully trying to harm anyone, they are simply trying to indulge a hobby for which there are absolutely no proper provisions. And I will say that, as a hobby, I absolutely do condone off-road motorcycling. Through riding off-road, motorcyclists are able to learn a lot about controlling their machines, all of which serves to make them much safer riders on the road than someone who buys a motorcycle merely for ease of commuting. Plus, as enthusiasts, they are learning about engineering and mechanics and developing practical skills which are not encouraged in schools, and that helps to cultivate an ethos of individual responsibility.

Much has been said lately about the Valley Park car meets, where young car owners display their modified vehicles. Undoubtedly, there is an antisocial aspect to this when drivers rev their engines incessantly and engage in dangerous driving, but this is not justification for trying to ban the car meets entirely. With proper measures in place to ensure safe driving and peaceful behaviour, they could be a great addition to Croydon’s culture, generate visitors and improve local spending. This has been the case in the past with the Chelsea Cruise, the monthly parade of classic, custom and American cars that has been taking place on the last Saturday of the month since 1975. For a time in the early 1980s, the Greater London Council embraced the cruise because it was a popular public event and drew thousands of spectators to the King’s Road. Sadly, that has been in decline as the green agenda that has been prevailing in London for several years has been hostile to motorists irrespective of whatever historical, cultural or aesthetic contribution they may make, and the expansion of the Congestion Charge zone may sound the death knell for the Chelsea Cruise.

Sad though that would be, it is obvious that there is sufficient enthusiasm here in Croydon that we could have our own safe, well-attended Croydon Cruise. The scale of it means that it would necessarily require some policing but so long as people drive safely and do not make a public nuisance, it is something the council ought to encourage. Young people generally should be encouraged in their hobbies, not demonised; overbearing regulations are the death of creativity in the young. As it stands, the council’s current failure to provide adequate facilities for young people and the punishment of them when they try to entertain themselves has all the hallmarks of a joyless, lazy bureaucracy.

Few people today know that Croydon once hosted a motorsports venue. All that remains of the Waddon Lido is the sad ghost of a diving stage. Many south London musicians, from Jacqui McShee of Pentangle to the Damned, started their careers on Croydon’s once thriving live music scene. McShee sang at the Olive Tree folk club and the Damned famously played at the Greyhound – both are now long gone and the current scene in Croydon is unlikely to give rise to any more great musicians. The innumerable houses springing up over the borough are apparently built with the expectation that the people living within them won’t have any hobbies to pursue.

I don’t believe Kenley is the right place for heavy development, but Croydon town centre is in dire need of facilities for the young and I will use my position in the council to encourage the development of sports facilities, hospitality venues and music venues. Sports facilities may necessarily require large amounts of space and I believe the best area for development is brownfield land close to Croydon Airport. With adequate development and improved transport links to the town centre, young people in Kenley would not be deprived of amenities anymore.

More information on the Heritage Party, including its manifesto and how to get involved, can be found at https://heritageparty.org/ or email Zachary at zstiling@protonmail.com

John Poynton – UKIP candidate, Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election

The Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election will be held on 2nd December, following the sad death of James Brokenshire.

Brought up not far from Bexley in our native Croydon, John Poynton is the UKIP candidate for the by-election.

We spoke with John about the campaign. John thank-you for your time.

“The past couple of years have been difficult because of certain infighting between egos, but we have now settled behind the elected leadership of Neil Hamilton”

UKIP has gone through a few years of change, can you tell about where the party is now, and introduce yourself to our readers?

The past couple of years have been difficult because of certain infighting between egos, but we have now settled behind the elected leadership of Neil Hamilton after a contested leadership election in which I stood. Neil is of course far better known than I am! We get on well together as also I do with Ben Walker, our vigorous Chairman.

Libertarians tend to be right of centre for the simple reason they tend to be better off and better educated and thus better able to look after themselves. The poor and disadvantaged on the other hand put far greater emphasis on mutual support, community and solidarity. This is understandable, but I would not want UKIP to be seen a right wing. The majority lie in the centre and, as both the dinosaur parties know, you only win elections if you command the centre ground. That is why I call myself a social libertarian, with a view to maintaining a fair balance between he interests of both rich and poor, reducing taxes as much for the poor as for the rich, and maintaining a reliable welfare state and efficient first class essential services for all. The focus must be on efficiency and alternative funding, whilst maintaining traditional libertarian opposition to totalitarianism, the tyranny of the majority and compulsory altruism (eg. overseas aid).

I see UKIP as the only significant libertarian party on the British political spectrum, though I dare say a number of smaller parties would object to that!

You’ve stood for election a number of times, do you have any interesting memories from the campaigns, and what key message would you like to get across in this by-election?

I stood as the candidate in Ealing Southall in 2015 and 2017 and got 4.1% in 2015, far higher than anticipated though regrettably not enough to save my deposit. In fact, canvassing on my own, I only covered three of the seven wards, so I am sure I would have saved it had I covered them all.

Southall is a fascinating constituency. Although a safe Labour seat, it has a wide variety of communities, including the largest Sikh community outside India. Islamophobia was a big issue with the Sikhs and others all equally concerned about it except the white champagne socialists, but the Labour apparatchiks chose to interpret it as racism and resorted to an extraordinary campaign of lies, prejudice and slander about us behind my back. This became apparent from the uniform way in which a number of people would quietly hand me back my leaflet unread (I just thanked them for it and pointed out they hadn’t read it yet!). Occasionally someone would shout ‘No racism here’ after I offered them a leaflet (Glad to hear it, madam), and one man, of Nigerian origin I think, started talking about gas chambers as I approached him! He was not aggressive about it but would not accept any alternative narrative. I think his wife, standing beside him, was quite embarrassed about it.

The local Ealing rag also airbrushed me out of a photo of the count. There was Virendra Sharma, the sitting MP, who I must say was himself a gentleman throughout, giving his speech with a group of candidates on his right shoulder and a completely empty stage to his left. It looked so blatant!

By contrast as many if not more voters would read my leaflet ostensibly in front of me, as though to say no one was going to tell them what they could or could not read. There is certainly spirit in Southall and it was a pleasure to canvass there, with plenty of opportunity for street and doorstep conversations. I never once encountered personal aggression. UKIP’s constitution commits us to upholding the principle of equality under the law and opposes all forms of discrimination, but people seemed to accept it quite readily on the street when I told them.

It is always difficult to raise people’s sights above the local perspective, but that is what Brexit was all about and is what UKIP continues to be about

Looking at Old Bexley and Sidcup, what do you see as the big issues and opportunities for the area?

My purpose in standing in Old Bexley and Sidcup is not so much to win (unlikely!) but to get our re-launch underway and inform people about our new policies and priorities. Everyone says that local issues are the key, and I am sure that is right. At hustings in the past I have had to remind people that their MP does not run their local council! It is always difficult to raise people’s sights above the local perspective, but that is what Brexit was all about and is what UKIP continues to be about. Of course as an MP I will take issues raised by my constituents seriously and represent their interests to the best of my ability, but I am not is a position just yet to anticipate what they might be. The important thing will be to be available and approachable.

If elected what would you want to focus on in office?

Top priorities are to reduce and eliminate our trade deficit with the EU, establish a Proper Brexit, and to get immigration under control.

John can be found on Twitter, Facebook, has a website, and a leaflet available:

Net Zero – We came together to fight a referendum do we need a new one? – Part 4

As a group that came together to fight a referendum on membership of the EU, we thought we would ask you, what your views are on Net Zero, a possible Referendum, and more generally the environment.

Part 4 in our series of your views. More responses can be found from Part 1.

Thanks to Crispin Williams, Helen Spiby-Vann, and Mike Swadling for their responses.

“I can remember back in the 1960s when the doom-mongers were heralding the start of another ice age!  … so I am by nature and experience a sceptic”

Brexiteer Crispin Williams. Crispin has previously written for us on House of Lords Reform.

Is global warming a threat?

It is Boris Johnson’s (and others’) threat!

I can remember back in the 1960s when the doom-mongers were heralding the start of another ice age!  I have also lived through the panics of Aids and the Millennium Bug, both of which were supposed to ruin life as we know it but fizzled out as a major threat, so I am by nature and experience a sceptic.  However, I am inclined to believe the graphs that show global temperatures have soared since 1980.  Therefore, my proper answer to the question is yes, it is a threat.

1980?  Hmm.  The temperature rise seems to mirror the rise of industrialisation in China and India.  Anyone who has travelled to these and similar countries will have witnessed the high levels of smog and pollution, far worse than we used to have in Britain when we were renowned for our ‘pea-soupers’.  In short, we British are not the cause of the problem.

But should we be taking the lead in addressing it?  In practical terms, it is a waste of time us ruining our economy to shave off a fraction of the 1% of carbon emissions that we generate.  It is well documented that China can – and will – increase their output by this amount in a few weeks, if not days.  So it is patently nuts for us to be spending billions of our taxpayers’ money on reducing our miniscule contribution to the problem.

Should we have a referendum on net zero targets?

No.  That’s not how we do things in this country.  Switzerland can have one as it is part of their democratic processes but there is virtually no precedent here.  Referenda should be reserved for constitutional matters only.  Anyway, the subject is too emotive and the general public would not be given the full range of facts to make an informed decision.

What action should we be taking on the environment?

Buy lots of sun block, nice shades and swimmies and sod the next generation… 

Yes, that was a joke.  That said, what we could and should do is pressure the worst polluting countries into reducing their emissions.  How?  Well, as a suggestion, we could put a ban (or very high tariffs) on imports from them until they address the problem.  Of course, this would increase the cost of goods we buy but I suspect the total would be a mere fraction of what we are intending to spend on net zero.  And it would stimulate our manufacturing base.

Finally, if we are intent on reducing our emissions, this would best be done through market forces rather than government diktats, artificial target dates and huge subsidies.  Once electric cars are cheaper than petrol ones and heat pumps are cheaper than gas boilers, then we will naturally move towards lower emitting technologies.

“Kenya successfully banned plastic packaging in 2017, Rwanda in 2008. We don’t need plastic packaging. We have paper, cardboard, tin, glass, compostable and natural fibres”

Helen Spiby-Vann of the Christian Peoples Alliance party. You can also read our interview with Helen.

‘I’m not going to replace the polyfoam with paper food trays until the government makes me.’ Said the chip-shop man nonchalantly. Not so long ago I got into an uncivilised wrangle over a chip tray. My teenager left the shop in horror at my indiscretion. 

However unreasonable and hopeless it may seem, small changes will make a huge difference.

Is global warming a threat?

I believe global warming is a threat. However, as a Christian, my divine calling is unconditional advocacy for compassionate stewardship of the earth’s creatures and plants. Plus to foster equitable sharing of the earth’s resources.

Should we have a referendum on enforced Net Zero targets?

I think this would be a good idea as it will create awareness about the implications across the board. Open discussion and critique from a range of opposing positions will stir hearts into action. Assuming it is approved, it will strengthen the resolve and mandate of this movement. Unfortunately, there is so much ‘greenwashing’ at large, a person can be forgiven for thinking they are helping the planet by buying more plastic Petunias.

What action should we be taking on the environment?

Lifestyles:
More cherished, forbearing and Godly. Less materialism, disposable and excess.

Plastic packaging:
‘I was shocked, when I came to the UK, there’s plastic wrappers on everything in the supermarket.’ (Confessions of my Kenyan friend in London).

Kenya successfully banned plastic packaging in 2017, Rwanda in 2008.

We don’t need plastic packaging. We have paper, cardboard, tin, glass, compostable and natural fibres that are part of circular economies. Supermarkets are selling more and more items in plastic packaging. This is not acceptable. We can solve the plastic packaging problem simply by not producing it in the first place.

Moreover, we should be extending this to manufacturing by promoting ‘Cradle to Cradle’ type standards: healthy, socially just and authentically sustainable. Producing no waste and using natural energy flows that do not pollute.

Energy:
We have been building wind turbines and paying for them to be switched off. There must be a better way to manage our sustainable energy assets so we can phase out fossil fuels.

“we have a situation where the political/media classes all agree they need to lower our standard of living, which I firmly believe people don’t want (note they don’t seem to want to lower theirs)”

Mike Swadling one of the Croydon Constitutionalists.

Is global warming a threat?

Humans are exceptional.  200 years ago Global life expectancy was under 30, today life expectancy in the poorest counties is over 50, the global average is over 70.  When I was at school people starved in many countries, today hunger has almost disappeared except where war or governments stop food supplies.  Since the turn of the century the expanding economies of China and India mean China has a middle class the size of the population of Europe, with India only a few years behind. 

Despite expanding populations and doomsday predictions the number of people dying from extreme weather events continues to collapse.  Climate has changed for millennia before mankind, during our existence and will for many more to come without our interference.  For over 30 years ‘experts’ on hefty grants have told us of impending doom from global warming, rising seas levels, agricultural failures, and a scorched planet.  None of this has happened, and the planet is greening every year. 

Is global warming a threat? Maybe, but human ingenuity will not just rise to any challenge, we will excel and overcome it. 

Should we have a referendum on enforced Net Zero targets?

All of the major parties are in lockstep on Net Zero.  For all of the challenges of a referendum, we have a situation where the political/media classes all agree they need to lower our standard of living, which I firmly believe people don’t want (note they don’t seem to want to lower theirs).  Unless or until a party currently outside parliament makes a breakthrough, the people have no real choice.  For all of the challenges off a Referendum on Net Zero, today we have the people pitted against parliament, and like Brexit, I can only see that a referendum will allow us to set parliament back on a path of striving to improve rather than diminish our lives. 

What action should we be taking on the environment?

We should protect the environment we live in. In our borough, every small patch of land is being built on.  New blocks of flats out of character of the area they are built in keep popping up.  Council and government policies have made where we live a less pleasant environment, we need to change this. 

Globally we should protect at risk species of animal and plant.  I believe this is best achieved by balancing the environment concerns and economic concerns of the local populations.  Chickens are not at risk of extinction because they are good source of food and economically useful.  Horses are often well looked after because they work and are raced, so are economically useful.  Dogs are not at risk of extinction because they work and provide companionship.  There is no threat of extinction of lawn grass or corn.  Whether through tourism, food, work or altruism, animals and plants that are economically viable thrive. 

We can best protect the environment by making bio diversity an economic benefit.  To achieve this we should focus on raising the standard of living of the poorest across the globe to the point that they have the capacity to choose to invest in, and protect their local environments.

This is the forth set of your responses, further responses can be found from Part 1 and in Part 5.

David Kurten – Heritage Party leader and candidate, Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election

The Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election will be held on 2nd December, following the sad death of James Brokenshire. 

David Kurten is a former London Assembly Member and is now leader of the Heritage Party.    We’ve spoken with David on our Podcast, he’s spoken at our events on Free Speech and Brexit, and we’ve interviewed him previously when he was running for Mayor of London.

We caught-up with David about the upcoming campaign. David thank-you for your time.

“We are founded on traditional principles that are things that almost everyone considered to be simple common sense 30 or 40 years ago: pride in our nation, traditional family values, free speech and liberty…”

David you’re well known to us and regular followers, but for those less familiar can you introduce the Heritage party and yourself to our readers.

I got actively involved in politics in 2012, because I was concerned about the direction the EU was going in, as well as the rise of political correctness which has become increasingly suffocating over the last decade. More recently, I founded the Heritage Party and launched it last September.

The Heritage Party is a socially conservative party, which is what I believe the country needs right now. We are founded on traditional principles that are things that almost everyone considered to be simple common sense 30 or 40 years ago: pride in our nation, traditional family values, free speech and liberty, low immigration balanced with self-sufficiency in skills, equality before the law and financial responsibility in government.

You can read our full manifesto at heritageparty.org/manifesto

“I am glad I had the opportunity to question Sadiq Khan on his statements and policies and draw attention to how ridiculous they were”

You were a member of the GLA for 5 years, what was it like working in City Hall?

Working in City Hall was like a mixture of walking through a swamp and going into a bear pit every day. Almost all the other Assembly Members were fully signed up to the agenda of ‘woke’ ideology and climate alarmism. I am glad I had the opportunity to question Sadiq Khan on his statements and policies and draw attention to how ridiculous they were. However, towards the end, I was increasingly silenced and censored particularly when I asked about grooming gangs, gender ideology and the safety of experimental mRNA injections, which the other parties and mainstream media call ‘vaccines’.

“they are threatening vaccine passports and bringing in ’no jab no jab’ policies for care home workers and NHS staff, which is going to further damage healthcare”

You lived in constituency for 5 years, what are the big issues and opportunities you see in the area?

Old Bexley and Sidcup is a constituency that largely voted for Brexit. People here voted for Boris to ‘Get Brexit Done’ and because they believed he would provide conservative government. Instead, he has made a hash of Brexit and we have a red/green administration masquerading as conservative. They are fake-Conservatives and people are upset and angry about how this regime is destroying the nation.

They have introduced lockdowns which destroyed businesses and children’s education, they are threatening vaccine passports and bringing in ’no jab no jab’ policies for care home workers and NHS staff, which is going to further damage healthcare, and to top it off he is ploughing on with ridiculous ‘green’ policies. People do not want to have to get rid of their perfectly good cars and buy electric cars or rip out their gas boilers and replace them with inferior heat pumps.

The Heritage Party provides a simple common-sense alternative which is resonating on the doorsteps.

Parents are also extremely concerned for their children. The Johnson regime want to jab them all with experimental mRNA that is linked to heart problems in injected children. They have also introduced compulsory Sex and Relationships Education that is exposing young children to gender ideology and highly sexualised lesson content. The Heritage Party is the only party I know of that opposes both these things. I have spoken out on them since the beginning, and we offer voters a choice to protect their children from the things the government is doing to harm them.

“I’ll also keep fighting against political correctness and cancel culture which has become endemic and is corrosive to our everyday life”

If elected, what would you want to focus on in office?

I’ll be a voice for common sense and traditional British values in Parliament. I want to end mass rapid immigration, which is the cause of the housing crisis, I’ll speak out against the climate alarmist agenda which demonises carbon dioxide while ignoring real issues like deforestation and pollutants which really do cause damage like heavy metals, BPA, and PCBs. I’ll fight for financial responsibility and for the government to stop wasting billions of pounds on useless and unnecessary spending.

I’ll also keep fighting against political correctness and cancel culture which has become endemic and is corrosive to our everyday life. People should have the freedom to talk about whatever they want without the fear of being thrown out of University, losing their jobs, or even worse, being criminalised and imprisoned for whatever the regime deems to be ‘hate speech’ or ‘misinformation’. This is where all the other parties are taking us, but it is vital that we fight to keep our freedom, and I’ll do that in Parliament if I have the chance.

David can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and has a website.  The Heritage Party are on Twitter, Facebook, and online

Carol Valinejad – Christian Peoples Alliance candidate Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election

The Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election will be held on 2nd December, following the sad death of James Brokenshire.

Carol Valinejad fought the seat for the Christian Peoples Alliance in 2019 more than doubling their vote from the previous election, and has been selected again to run for the party. We spoke with Carol about the upcoming campaign.

Carol thank-you for your time.

“The basis of our manifesto has its roots in a biblical world view. This should not be unfamiliar to many as Britain was once called a Christian country”

We’ve interviewed a number of members from your party, but for those not so familiar can you introduce the Christian Peoples Alliance, and yourself to our readers?

The Christian Peoples Alliance targets its politics to all individuals who hold Christ like values, including defence of disadvantaged groups such as the poor, widows, prisoners, and the fatherless. The basis of our manifesto has its roots in a biblical world view. This should not be unfamiliar to many as Britain was once called a Christian country which is confirmed by the scriptural verses that are engraved in the concrete tiling paved in the foyer of Parliament.

I joined the Christian Peoples Alliance because it is the only party in existence which has in its manifesto that it will seek to open the debate to bring creation science in schools. “When this nation returns to creation it will return to God”. This will have far reaching impact upon our nation’s children as it will satisfy their developing minds by allowing them to look at the evidence (which has been around for the past 17 years or so) which confirms the existence of a creator who developed the earth by Intelligent Design. It is only right that children be provided with the opportunity to decide for themselves what are their origins, via evolution or creation.

You stood in the GLA elections for the CPA and in the 2019 general election. What are some of your memories from those campaigns?

I enjoyed attending the hustings, where I had the opportunity to take questions from the electorate within Sidcup and Old Bexley. I remember speaking to a man who had about 3 children and his family were regular attenders to foodbanks. I was so sad to hear this as I had never heard of food banks when I was a child and I did not come from a rich family. I thought how low Britain has stooped that food banks have become the norm of our society. This is humiliating for Britain and it is not a position we should be content with.

You have lived in Sidcup for 15 years, what are the big issues and opportunities you see in the area?

I have enjoyed living in Sidcup. I am from a Caribbean background living within a population which is predominantly white middle class. My impression is that there is minimal appreciation amongst the electorate about the value that cultural diversity can bring to the community.

I would be interested in focussing on addressing the impact of poverty, family breakdown and criminality in the area.

“As a clinical psychologist I am acutely aware of the lack of knowledge in our communities about how psychological therapies can assist with mental disorders. I hope to support such initiatives”

If elected what would you want to focus on in office?

If elected, I would focus on bringing the creation/evolution debate back on the political agenda.  I will of course spend some time to understand the needs of the local community and dutifully bring this back to parliament.  I knew our previous MP Rt Honourable James Brokenshire personally and will seek to build on his legacy where I thought it overlapped with CPA policy.

As a clinical psychologist I am acutely aware of the lack of knowledge in our communities about how psychological therapies can assist with mental disorders. I hope to support such initiatives . In addition I would like to help support the reduction of long waiting lists for people to access psychological therapies.

I suffered physical consequences of covid-19 this year to such a severe degree I almost died and subsequently ended up being treated in ICU. I would like to support the development of breakthrough treatments that will bring an end to this pandemic.

The CPA can be found online, on Facebook and on Twitter.

Net Zero – We came together to fight a referendum do we need a new one? – Part 3

As a group that came together to fight a referendum on membership of the EU, we thought we would ask you, what your views are on Net Zero, a possible Referendum, and more generally the environment.

Part 3 in our series of your views. More responses can be found from Part 1 and Part 4.

Thanks to Nick Mane, Dan Liddicott, Mal McDermott and Mary Lawes for their responses.

“We need a full scientific evaluation, a full understanding of cost/benefits, otherwise, what is the point of a referendum”

Local Brexiteer Nick Mane.

Before considering a referendum, I believe it’s vitally important we fully evaluate the full implications of going electric.

  1. Nuclear is not clean, it has radioactive waste, where do we store this?
  2. A massive increase in usage will entail a massive increase in electricity production, will more nuclear power stations be safe from :-

a) natural disaster

b) conventional terrorism

c) hackers (including rogue states, terrorists and spotty teenager geeks)

d) will over reliance on one fuel cause potentially catastrophic breakdowns in essential infrastructures such as heating, logistics, water treatment centres etc.

e) the real cost of alternative energy sources such as the production carbon footprint of wind farms and the escaping gasses from wind captured electric switching gear. It seems there is no foresight.

  1. The danger from computer viruses to infrastructure. 

We need a full scientific evaluation, a full understanding of cost/benefits, otherwise, what is the point of a referendum if people don’t know all the facts?

“if ‘climate change’ is not ‘man made’, but part of a natural cycle – something many scientists believe – then none of the great power grab and associated loss of liberty is necessary”

Dan Liddicott is part of the Independent Libertarians group.  He often contributes to our site, and can be heard on our Podcast from last year.

The earth centric view of the universe is back! Not quite abandoning Copernicus and Gallileo, but getting there.  The belief that climate change is man-made in spite of repeated bad predictions and a relatively tiny window of observation is in my view the equivalent of being a flat-earther – because the horizon looks flat from here. How convenient that this worldview becomes the excuse to give more money and power to those who like having money and power – I’m sure there’s no connection.

Is global warming a threat?

It’s important to separate the notion of ‘global warming’ (now more expediently called ‘climate change’ for lots of inconvenient reasons) from the notion of anthropogenic, or manmade, climate change. They are not the same thing, yet the obfuscation and equivocation around the differences has only served to muddy the waters of the debate. The difference between ‘climate change’ and ‘man made climate change’ is fundamental to what happens next. If ‘climate change’ is ‘man made’ then it stands to reason that it can be ‘man un-made’ by changing our behaviours accordingly. This is the explanation those in power are pushing onto us and, no surprise, their proposed solution is to give them even more power and money to control our lives. Once they get a bit of power there is just no stopping them. However, if ‘climate change’ is not ‘man made’, but part of a natural cycle – something many scientists believe – then none of the great power grab and associated loss of liberty is necessary, and Net Zero is a complete non-requirement. There’s a lot of power and money hanging on the difference between ‘man made’ and ‘not man made’ – the effect of that on the motives, biases and actions of those seeking power is worth thinking about.

In my opinion the arguments in favour of the ‘natural cycle’ causes of changes to climate are more convincing. This doesn’t mean there is nothing to be done, it means those things which are to be done are very different things. Pursuing Carbon Zero becomes pointless, indeed it would be detrimental to what needs to be done. And penalising people for being productive, warm, and free is also pointless. Instead efforts should be directed toward living with the changes to climate, rather than futile King Canute style attempts to command the tide to turn back.

Should we have a referendum on enforced Net Zero targets?

A referendum on ‘Global Warming’ or ‘Climate Change’ feels a bit like voting to decide whether the world is flat – it makes no difference to reality, but having decided everyone will accept policy which imagines the world the way they voted. Of course it comes down to the precise questions asked in a referendum, but sadly I think most would decide on balance that the world is ‘flat’ and a referendum would simply be an exercise in validating the direction the ‘powers that be’ wish us to travel. We’ve been relentlessly fed just one narrative – that climate change is caused by human activity and can be stopped by changing human activity. I do not believe either statement is the whole truth and great damage to communities, families and individuals will occur when false policies are pursued which erode liberty, economic freedom, and increase central planning and control in pursuit of something that will ultimately fail to deliver.

Viewing the possibility of a referendum more optimistically, a referendum could provide the space to present the truth about climate change more openly and freely. To have that opportunity to present the facts which are ignored by the MSM and politicians, but which are material to the case, is essential. If a referendum is the way to do it, then let’s do it. I’m sure the ‘fact checkers’ (censors) will be out in force, along with cranks real and planted, so it will be a war of words to be sure. But a necessary one I feel, if we are to have any chance of keeping the door open to freedom. We can’t let the climate ‘flat earthers’ get their way without a fight.

What action should we be taking on the environment?

None of this is a reason to not care for the planet, and look after the environment for ourselves and future generations, but it makes a huge difference to where we direct our attention. Effort should be directed toward living with the inevitable and unstoppable changes to climate – be that better river management, better forest management, better agriculture and food production, better water management, better guidance on where and how to build, for instance. All of which can be more easily and effectively solved through the collective ingenuity of the free market providing effective and cheap solutions to all these problems. This seems obvious to me on two fronts. First, because I find the ‘natural cycle’ arguments more convincing, and second, because even if I didn’t the reality is that the efforts of the UK to achieve Carbon Zero are not being matched by the biggest carbon producers at all. This means whatever we do to reduce Carbon in the UK will make no material difference to the global outcome. To pursue Zero Carbon on those terms would be a self-destructive act of futility. We’d trash our economy, cut great swathes through individual liberty, and achieve nothing – nothing except giving power and money to people who want more power and money. Whichever way you look at it, whether you agree with me about the natural cycle or not, the only logical approach the UK could take is one of preparation, and mitigation of effects. The most destructive part of pushing the man-made climate change argument is that we will find we were wrong, and having failed to both prevent change and to prepare for it, the impact on people will be devastating. We can either learn to live with change, or reap the consequences of not preparing. Nothing the UK does can prevent change.

“International pressure on Russia, China and India would be better overall as the UK’s output pales into insignificance when compared to these nations”

Libertarian Malachy Mcdermott.  You can read Mal’s interview with us, or listen to him on our podcast.

Is global warming a threat?

Yes, I believe that global warming is real and that the data shows this to be the case. Man-made global warming is a reality that we have to deal with, the physical evidence has been quite clear in the last decade or so, ignoring this problem will soon be impossible as every year it comes closer to our doorstep.

Should we have a referendum on enforced Net Zero targets?

No, I think it’s a bad road to go down to have a referendum on economic affairs. I disagree with the need for Net Zero targets to be enforced by law as demand is shifting away from these types of industries anyway. International pressure on Russia, China and India would be better overall as the UK’s output pales into insignificance when compared to these nations. A “buy clean” policy in which the state promotes local manufacturing that is environmentally friendly as a direct competition to imported goods that have a heavy carbon footprint would be a vastly superior way of tackling this issue globally.  

What action should we be taking on the environment?

Unfortunately, except for small scale, individual consumption changes, there is not much more the average person can do, we are really at the whims of foreign powers who are refusing to change with any kind of expedience, not to mention the fact that it is of benefit to many of these countries that global warming continues (Russia becomes more and more arable every year as the temperature changes). What we need is more resolute political action to stand up to these powers regardless of what they are capable of, if you are on the right side, should you not fight for that position?

“The plans of the government will harm the poorest in our country. We cannot leave the poorest people without heat for their homes. We need to build more nuclear plants. While the hypocrisy of leaders from around the world fly in to COP26”

Cllr Mary Lawes of the Foundation Party shares her views. Mary is on Twitter and Facebook. You can also read our interview with Mary and listen to her on our podcast.

Is global warming a threat?

The simple answer would be yes. What I would like to see is all the alarmism and hysteria stop. The debate has not really been held by the scientists on both sides of the arguments. These people need to debate in a civilised way. How we grow our food, how we build homes, plan our communities in everything we do. We should not be pushed into unrealistic targets.

Should we have a referendum on enforced Net Zero targets?

Following the evidence from a debate with scientists on both sides of the argument. People would be better informed and would be able to make better choices. So yes, I do think we should have a referendum. What in the whole scheme of things, does Net Zero mean? The plans of the government will harm the poorest in our country. We cannot leave the poorest people without heat for their homes. We need to build more nuclear plants. While the hypocrisy of leaders from around the world fly in to COP26 and pollute the hell out of us all and tell us all not to fly.

Will Net Zero targets in the UK stop climate change alone, no it won’t. Without the co-operation of all countries, especially of the 10 most polluting countries per capita according to the UN report, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Canada, USA, Germany, China, Spain, France & Thailand. We cannot stop any emergency alone, but we can chose how we deal with it going forward.

If a referendum was called for, the question should not be ‘Net Zero’ yes or no. It needs to be ‘Net Zero’ or move as a country at a slower pace but with climate incorporated in everything we do.

What action should we be taking on the environment?

We need to become more self-sufficient in this country. We need to stop importing on a mass scale. We need to move at a reasonable pace to change and replace our energy sources. We need to stop importing cheap goods and plastic goods. We use to build quality products in this country. Now we just have a cheap throwaway society. Reduce millions of truck movements to and from Europe. Those goods we do need to import should be transported via freight trains, to cut down on pollution, traffic jams and carbon footprint. Our infrastructure needs a lot more investments but needs to stop building high end homes on a large swaths of farming and green field land. Investment is needed in our sciences, technology, innovators and engineering. To look at how we can get even more inventive in how we can use our waste to recycle and replace for the future. We need to discover more efficient types of energy that are cheap to run.

If we look after the planet, the planet will look after us.

This is the third set of your responses, further responses can be found from Part 1 and Part 4.

Net Zero – We came together to fight a referendum do we need a new one? – Part 2

As a group that came together to fight a referendum on membership of the EU, we thought we would ask you, what your views are on Net Zero, a possible Referendum, and more generally the environment.

Part 2 in our series of your views. More responses can be found in Part 1 and Part 3.

Thanks to Josh L. Ascough, Tam Laird, Georgina Guillem, and Sandy Wallace for their responses.

“We could throw billions at the environmental cause, but if we don’t address the tragedy of the commons we will never improve anything. In order to address the environment, we need the market process”

Libertarian, economics writer Josh L. Ascough has contributed many times to our site. He can be followed on Twitter and be heard on our Podcast from earlier this year.

Is Global Warming a threat?
Yes I would argue it is a threat, but doomsday predictions by people desperate to be proven right about humanities demise are useless actors. While we should acknowledge what negative effects pollution has, we must also acknowledge what we have done well.

Should we have a referendum on enforced Net Zero targets?
Net Zero no matter the target is an impossible venture, as all choices have trade-offs. It’s in human nature to adapt our environment around us in order to survive, rather than the rest of the animal kingdom which must adapt to its surroundings in order to survive. Because of this nature there will always be negative feedback. So yes, we should have a referendum but we must instead of targeting figure out how to internalise the costs to those who made the trade-offs.

What action should we be taking on the environment?
We could throw billions at the environmental cause, but if we don’t address the tragedy of the commons we will never improve anything. In order to address the environment, we need the market process. We should campaign for mass privatisation of all land, allow for the private ownership of seabed’s, do away with subsidies, abolition eminent domain laws, completely privatise rubbish collection & rubbish dumps. As long as we persist in the idea of “common ownership”, & “the public good” through eminent domain laws, we will never incentivise innovation; we will simply spread out the time it takes for costs to be socialised.

“Global warming is and never has been an existential threat. It’s one of the many hobgoblins used by government to justify it’s own incompetence, interference and increasing authoritarianism”

Tam Laird is the leader of the Scottish Libertarian Party.  You can read our interview with Tam, and browse other articles on the party.

Is global warming a threat?

No. Global warming is and never has been an existential threat. It’s one of the many hobgoblins used by government to justify it’s own incompetence, interference and increasing authoritarianism.

Should we have a referendum on enforced Net Zero targets?

The danger of a referendum is that the government might win. Simply strengthening its position. Scientific fact should not be decided by consensus but by reason and empirical evidence.  By all means vote out the perpetrators at the next General election.

What action should we be taking on the environment?

Government should concentrate on fostering an environment that encourages human flourishing and wellbeing. The best way it can do that is by leaving us alone.  Polluters should be made pay for damages through the courts. Instead of big business and pharma being afforded government protection.

“I do not think Global warming is a threat… The Climate as we call it has been changing and indeed is constantly changing since the beginning of time”

Brexit campaigner Georgina Guillem, is a former UKIP candidate in Purley and has run many street stalls and station leafleting sessions across the borough.

Is global warming a threat?

I do not think Global warming is a threat. I think the climate is so complex a system that we should not meddle with it. The Climate as we call it has been changing and indeed is constantly changing since the beginning of time.

Should we have a referendum on enforced Net Zero targets?

Yes, I do think there should be a referendum on whether we want to spend trillions of pounds on Green Energy to end up with Lukewarm houses in winter.

What action should we be taking on the environment?

I do think though that we as human being owe the planet care and management as to not pollute in the way that we are doing. We must Behave better starting with plastic and throw away packaging, that is sometimes unnecessary.

“There is a close to absolute establishment consensus that the way forward is the imposition of costs and restrictions on liberty upon ordinary people, with predictable exceptions for those who are important enough.”

Aberdeen Councillor Sandy Wallace brings our second contribution from the Scottish Libertarian Party. Sandy can be found on Twitter and you can read our interview with him.

Is global warming a threat?

Life is not that simple, climate change is both a threat and an opportunity, depending on who and where you are, the actions of mankind clearly have an impact, how much is hard to gauge, what effect different actions would have is harder to gauge and certainly not proven and the cost of those actions versus the hoped-for benefit of them is at best marginal if every wish comes true and at worst far worse than the effect of climate change

Should we have a referendum on enforced Net Zero targets?

There is a close to absolute establishment consensus that the way forward is the imposition of costs and restrictions on liberty upon ordinary people, with predictable exceptions for those who are important enough. The only possibility that the establishment row back is if normal politics is disrupted and governments see the possibility of losing power. Calls for a referendum seem to me to be part of that, but there needs to be some sort of political movement emerge to cause Tory MPs, in particular, to fear for their future

What action should we be taking on the environment?

We should be planning for environmental change, not planning how to avoid it. The latter is wholly unproven technology, the latter even with official state opposition across the developed world is wholly proven. Can we terraform Mars? Probably. Can we terraform Earth? Of course we can. Desalinate water, irrigate deserts, plant trees, capture carbon. Deliver nuclear power. Reclaim land. Permit and enable economic migrancy.
Mankind needs to believe in itself.

This is the second set of your responses, further responses can be found in Part 1 and Part 3