A New Year revolution is on my wishlist


Ken Huggins North Dorset Green Party

The Prime Minister (Rishi Sunak as I write …) has laid out the government’s resolutions for the coming year, listing five issues they’re determined to tackle, with “no tricks” and “no ambiguity”.
The five ‘people’s priorities’, as he described them, are halving inflation, growing the economy, reducing debt, cutting NHS waiting lists and stopping small boat crossings to the UK.
Critics have observed that these are all just vague aspirations and somewhat light on details such as ‘by how much’ and ‘by when’. They also involve events that are likely to happen anyway, to some extent, with inflation already forecast to fall and the economy to grow. It has further been suggested that Sunak’s choices are partly aimed at pacifying the increasingly vocal Tory hard right in order to try and hold the party together.
Our local MP Simon Hoare thinks it was a ‘really good’ speech, perhaps because it avoided mentioning the part played by 12 years of Tory government in creating much of the mess we’re currently in.
More importantly, there was no mention of the worsening environmental situation, with ever more extreme weather chaos and a continuing decline of our already severely depleted natural world.
Surveys show a clear majority of people is concerned about climate change, but the government’s own advisors say still not enough action is being taken.
They are failing us … disastrously.
Failing to rapidly decarbonise our economy, failing to stop the pollution of our waterways, failing to make older houses cheaper and warmer to live in, failing to ensure that all new homes are fit for the future and so on and so on …
Instead they continue to do things like subsidising tree burning by a Drax power station, encouraging more fossil fuel extraction and approving a new coal mine in Cumbria.
It’s not New Year’s resolutions we need, it’s revolutions. A revolution in the way we do politics, to be inclusive and focussed longer term on the common good. And a revolution in our economic system, with our country’s wealth shared equitably instead of relentlessly moving upwards to line the pockets of the already rich. That really would be a Happy New Year!
Ken Huggins
North Dorset Green Party


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