To Robert Jackman

I started this reply on Robert Jackman's blog and realised it was turning into a long rant. So here it is instead:

You see Enoch Powell's speech wasn't wrong in sentiment, it was just that is was racist. His warning about multiculturalism has been shown to be right and will be shown that way more in the future. In Channel 4's poll 41% (Update: thanks Stop Whining it's actually 33%) of Muslims want Sharia law here in the UK -- that's not hysteria, that's a fact. If that proportion doesn't grow with the world's increasingly extreme religious groups (Christians and Muslims mostly) then we will still have a very large number of Muslims in this country who believe in Sharia law by 2050.

That's not scare-mongering.

But the environmental thing is.

You said "Climate change could tear the very fabric of our everyday lives to shreds"

I have yet to read anything that shows me how this can be done. In El Nino the net effect to the US agricultural sector was an increase in yield. The US produces 25% of the world's food. If global warming turns out to happen as per the approximations then we will have slightly more food. A dire warning indeed.

If sea levels start to rise (they haven't yet -- check) then we may have trouble on the coasts, but that will be minor trouble. It won't be the loss of the south of England or the islands off Scotland. It may be, at worst, that we need more defences along the East Anglian coast.

Environmentalism is a great way for the left-wing parties (Lib Dems, Labour and the Tories (oops)) to tax us more. We needn't pay these taxes, they say, because they are only be used as a disincentive to non-green activities. But what of people who must fly, or want to, God forbid, go on holiday? Should these people sacrifice a good life because some scientists have made some wild predictions that haven't come true and so have made some more? No. Actually what we should be doing is saying to ourselves: Oil dependence is causing wars, damaging the ability of third world countries to progress and is silly as it is a finite resource -- let's do some research into alternatives.

Taxing petrol has not reduced car use -- it's just damaged the economic effectiveness of those people who would rather not stand on a wet and rainy street corner waiting for a bus full of damp people sneezing or worse. Taxing aeroplanes and other, apparently non-green activities will not change behaviour. Tax is not a behavioural management tool -- it is a revenue device.

How many people, for example, have given up smoking because of the cost? People pay such high tax not because they are keen to top up the coffers but because the government has decided it wants people not to do something. How liberal is that?

William Hague did say that there was a danger from the Euro and do you know, I don't think the Italians or Germans would disagree now. One exchange rate across Europe -- has that been tried? (Yes) Did it fail? (Yes) Should we try it again? (Er, no).

And Michael Howard did not turn "tabloid paranoia over immigration into a political weapon" -- he made policy that is much in keeping with what the majority of people want. Immigration is not a bad thing in and of itself, but the amount of immigration we have had recently has been too much to allow sensible assimilation or cultural attitudes.

The Conservatives may have a historical reputation for "whipping up hysteria" but that is only because socialists make such a hash of running the country. It is not hysterical, for example, to suggest that the mismanagement of the NHS since 1992 (sorry Mr Major) has caused it to come nearly to its knees in England.

And the thing I wish most was that the Conservative Party was the one saying the things I have said above. Increasingly they are not and it is UKIP which is taking the libertarian and economic issues as their own.

But Mr Jackman, I like your writing so onto the blogroll you do go...

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