Events at a Dorset council meeting made national headlines, but ultimately overshadowed the
importance of the vote, says Labour’s Pat Osborne.
You may have missed events at a Dorset Council meeting last month. First, the Tories voted against a motion calling for national legislation to be strengthened to allow councils to reject fossil fuel applications. Second, a vote favour of a motion calling for the opening up of more oil and coal fields in the UK.
It seems clear that Dorset Tories were never serious about taking action to avert a climate catastrophe, and their support of a Climate Emergency Declaration in recent years feels nothing more than ‘greenwash’. In short, this is a significant backwards step for Dorset Council that shows the Tories can’t be trusted
Sadly, these events were overshadowed by two ladies with a tube of glue who stuck themselves to a table to interrupt proceedings as a protest against the motions. With the ‘glance and scroll’ many of us now consume the news, it was this desperate but ill- conceived way they expressed their message (rather than
the message itself) that took the headlines both locally and nationally.
The Tories will no doubt be feeling relieved that they were gifted the opportunity to brush off legitimate climate concerns by fanning the flames of controversy around what appeared to be little more than a storm in a teacup.
Dorset Tories shouldn’t simply be let off the hook for inflicting a deliberate act of climate crisis self-harm on all of us. Neither is it necessary to take extreme, headline grabbing action to hold them to account.
If you’re as serious about the climate emergency as I am, you’ll write to your local Tory councillor and tell them what you think about those votes. Then you’ll vote in the next election in favour of a candidate that you feel you actually can trust on climate.