Monday 25 September 2023

Going Ahead

We need an all-of-the-above transport policy as one of the fruits of an all-of-the-above energy policy. Only the State can do this. This kind of thing is why we have a State. And if the Go-Ahead Group can run the Bee Network in Greater Manchester, then it can settle the dispute and avert the planned strikes here at home. Indeed, it must do so, if it is to aspire to any part in Jamie Driscoll's Total Transport Network. I very much hope that Jamie will say that explicitly.

Rishi Sunak has not made the slightest move away from Net Zero. He has pretended to have cancelled measures that never existed, and he has followed the EU in pushing back a target from when he would probably have left office to when he will certainly have done so, although the likes of Nissan are in any case going to stick to the old one. The Government writes the King's speeches, and both on this and on the Greens' first war in Ukraine, the content of the one in Paris was as much the voice of Sunak as were the EU flags by which the King would never have been flanked without the permission of his Prime Minister. We are following the EU on both issues. Our involvement in its war in Ukraine keeps us enmeshed in the EU's institutional life.

Expect nothing from Keir Starmer, of whom Peter Oborne has the measure. But when I tell you that there is going to be a hung Parliament, then you can take that to the bank. I spent the 2005 Parliament saying that it was psephologically impossible for the Heir to Blair's Conservative Party to win an overall majority. I predicted a hung Parliament on the day that the 2017 General Election was called, and I stuck to that, entirely alone, all the way up to the publication of the exit poll eight long weeks later. And on the day that Sunak became Prime Minister, I predicted that a General Election between him and Starmer would result in a hung Parliament.

To strengthen families and communities by securing economic equality and international peace through the democratic political control of the means to those ends, including national and parliamentary sovereignty, we need to hold the balance of power. Owing nothing to either main party, we must be open to the better offer. There does, however, need to be a better offer. Not a lesser evil, which in any case the Labour Party is not.

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