Mark Dolan: It's time to engage the public on this eco journey after futile COP26
'The approach of the authorities has been top down, well going green must be bottom up'
After two weeks of hot air and with hypocritical leaders and billionaires producing a carbon footprint bigger than that of the whole of Scotland in a year, we are back to square one.
I don't know anyone who doesn't want to look after the planet, pollute less and embrace the economic opportunities presented to Britain by the green economy. When it comes to green innovation, we are already among the top global players.
But I'll tell you now, what I could've told you two weeks ago. All of those private jets needn't have landed in Glasgow, Joe Biden could've left his 85 car cavalcade at home, because without the likes of China and India participating in this green revolution, efforts by low polluting countries like Britain are not just costly and damaging, but ultimately futile.
How unsurprising that the biggest polluted by far China didn't even turn up. And both China and India hobbled the agreement at the 11th hour yesterday with a request to phase down rather than phase out coal. Just as we've committed to get rid of it altogether, at considerable cost.
And there's a big difference between phase out and phase down. I might phase down rather than phase out the number of pints I have when I go out to the pub. I think either way, I'll be staggering home afterwards.
What else could we phase down rather than phase out. Eating biscuits in front of the telly? Making regrettable late night internet purchases. If only we lived in a world where we could phase down rather than phase out.
And we can debate the climate Science – my mind is open - I want to hear from all sides. It's clear that we are polluting the planet, the seas are full of plastic, the air is dirty and we should think about a future beyond fossil fuels – they are filthy and will run out eventually anyway. And when it comes to green innovation, Britain might as well lead the pack.
But only if it works for our economy, if it produces jobs, if it’s affordable, if it raises the standard of living and if it's in the national interest. But if it's about going it alone and committing economic suicide while others pollute for fun, I'm not interested at all.
Let's not make the mistakes of the pandemic, slavishly following debatable science, silencing debate and scrutiny, destroying economies and impacting the poorest in our society.
The approach of the authorities has been top down, well going green must be bottom up. It's time to engage the public on this eco journey, because it our money, it's our quality of life and it's our planet. So we should have our say.
Remembrance Sunday, is a national opportunity to remember the service and sacrifice of all those that have defended our freedoms and protected our way of life.
We remember the Armed Forces, and their families, from Britain and the Commonwealth, the vital role played by the emergency services and those that have lost their lives as a result of conflict.
We will never begin to process the horrors that befell the courageous men and women that fought for this country, that fought for the world. And the many heroes who continue to do so. Courage, valour, sacrifice – no words are enough to sum up what they gave to us.
This is the moment of the year when we reflect on the values that we hold so dear and for which such a high price was paid. I cannot in all conscience, with this platform, not speak out when those values are eroded.
Nothing compares to the horror of what happened in both the first and second world wars, and in other campaigns abroad over the last hundred years. But everybody that has served did so with a picture in their mind of what they were fighting for.
They were fighting for freedom, for democracy, for decency, for humanity. If we don’t govern by, and live by those values, it was all for nothing. The botched Allied departure from Afghanistan, which is precipitating a colossal humanitarian crisis as we speak, is an example of the west rowing back on those values, and rowing back on the promise of peace.
Closer to home, the tearing down of statues, the re-writing of our history, the cancellation of our culture – books, sitcoms, music and art - and the policing of our words and thoughts, are an attack on those values for which so many fought.
In both wars, we saw off tyrannical states, but are witnessing in the west state tyranny on its own people. Countries with their own dark recent history, re-visiting the idea of segregating members of society, in this case based upon their medical status.
A lockdown for the unvaccinated. How would you identify the unvaccinated if they walked the streets? A chilling question indeed. Medical apartheid is a now a theme across the so-called free world, with the rollout of measures like vaccine passports.
Or police state bullying for those who choose bodily autonomy. None of this is on the same scale as the nightmare of the past. These are not parallels of what went before, but they are echoes.
And I'd love to know what those who fought in two world wars would think about some aspects of our current society. I'm not sure whether this torn, divided and in some quarters self-hating country, would be one they recognise.
Those who bravely fell, who sacrificed everything have left us a legacy, they gave us a gift. The only way we can repay them is to preserve that gift, to nurture it and hand it over, intact, to future generations.
Matt Hancock 'looking for £100,000' for the rights to book about pandemic
This prise numpty is back, like a particularly stubborn case of chlamydia. The author of all of this Covid collateral damage wants to be the author of a book all about how brilliantly he did.
The Mail report he is looking for £100,000 for the rights to this self-congratulating tome. Perhaps he could put that one hundred grand towards the £34 billion quid’s worth of taxpayers money, wasted on a test and trace system that didn't work.
The fact that the book is said to be entitled “how I saved Britain from Covid”, suggests it will be the greatest work of fiction since war and peace, and probably just as dull. Former Health Secretary, you didn't save Britain from Covid.
A secret corridor camera at the health department, saved us from you. I will give the big man credit for the vaccine rollout, but otherwise Hancock was the man behind the mask mandates, the man behind contact tracing and the man behind our mad, testing mania, that continues to this day. Our European neighbours, test a fraction of the people. Lucky them.
The former Tory strategist Tim Montgomery suggested to me on this programme, we may not have had freedom day on the 19th of July in England, if he was still in charge, because Matt Hancock was a lockdown hawk too.
Mr zero Covid achieved zero in dealing deal with this pandemic and I wish we heard zero from him in the future.
This guy should have had the book thrown at him a long time ago. He might have great expectations for this project, but I think it will be much ado about nothing and 50 shades of rubbish.
I can only think of one use for this book, if I'm given a copy, and that’s to prop open my rather unpredictable kitchen door.