Monday, 2 August 2021

There Is No Level Zero

It is fashionable to profess regret for Brexit, but support for "levelling up and net zero". Yet levelling up would have been impossible without Brexit. And it will also be impossible on the basis of net zero. You can't level up nothing. At least the Greens are honest enough to admit that they believe in zero economic growth.

A much older friend has been telling me for decades that the the shape of British politics was wrong. "It shouldn't be Labour versus the Tories, it should be one or the other versus the Liberals." He may yet live to see that. And there are always going to be the Tories. But at a more profound level, the shape of British politics would still be wrong. It should be the Levellers versus the Zeros.

To us Levellers, the more electric cars, the more electric anything, the better. No more wars for oil. Instead, the generation of electricity at home by every available means, but chiefly from nuclear power and from the exploitation of this country's considerable reserves of lithium and vast reserves of coal, which is itself necessary to make the steel for everything from electric cars to wind turbines. Secure, highly skilled, well paid, high status, unionised jobs all round.

Again, the Levellers versus the Zeros may yet come to pass. And again, there would be no room or role in that for what little remained of the Labour Party.