Tom Harwood: It's about time we deal with Insulate Britain

'In my view it’s about time this government uses its massive majority for something other than raising taxes'

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All morning we have been seeing fresh footage of protestors disrupting people’s lives on London’s roads.

An HGV driver missed a crucial job interview.

A pregnant woman on her way to hospital spoke to our London Reporter while she was stuck in a tailback.

Handout photo issued by Insulate Britain of protesters from Insulate Britain blocking the M25 at junction 31, near to the Dartford Crossing in Thurrock, Essex. Picture date: Wednesday October 13, 2021.
Handout photo issued by Insulate Britain of protesters from Insulate Britain blocking the M25 at junction 31, near to the Dartford Crossing in Thurrock, Essex. Picture date: Wednesday October 13, 2021.

With these mostly elderly protestors repeatedly running into roads, and drivers taking creative routes in response, it’s a miracle no one has been seriously injured. Today as in previous days it took the police the best part of an hour to turn up. In that time drivers started taking matters into their own hands.

And I’m not a supporter of vigilante justice, I’m really not. But I have to say I heartily endorse all motorists carefully dragging these eco warriors off the road. The middle of the road is a very dangerous place to be, after all.

Just as we celebrate heroes saving animals from finding themselves in that situation, we should too cheer people who help these poor clearly confused activists to the safety of the curb.

Or better yet to another country altogether - indeed literally any G20 member state other than the UK. Yes, no G20 country has reduced emissions by more than the UK since 1990. Not Canada, not Germany, and certainly not China.

So even on ecological grounds, removing these protestors is the humane thing to do, it is the altruistic thing to do, it’s the right thing to do. In so many cases it is indisputably the safest thing to do - especially if it is done before these disturbed people get a chance to glue themselves to the tarmac.

If more drivers instinctively worked together to whisk them away, disruption wouldn't be that great, or last that long. Perhaps a Government Minister would do well to make clear that calmly dragging someone out of a dangerous road is something a Good Citizen does - an act of kindness and generosity - and completely distinct from aggression or assault.

Perhaps it would be wise to pass a very small bit of legislation to that end. If someone is putting themselves in danger by obstructing a highway, non-aggressively removing that person is not and should not constitute assault. In his conference speech, Boris Johnson mentioned these protestors.

He promised to “insulate them snugly in prison where they belong”. Yet this doesn’t appear to be taking place. Those that are arrested are back out on the streets the very next day.

In my view it’s about time this government uses its massive majority for something other than raising taxes. It’s about time we deal with Insulate Britain.