I have no objection against government offering advice and to an extent it is duty bound to pass it on. I don’t, however, go along with the tiresome narrative that food companies are evil because they deliberately hide toxic, addictive, additives to make profits knowing full well that it is killing their customers. Go along with that and one ends up demanding that the state should protect us by ‘acting’ against ‘Big Food’. It’s a trope that is encouraged by the WHO and ‘health’ activists, peopled as they are by those whose agenda is to use health as a tool for attacking western capitalism via global companies. Simplistic though it is, the idea of sinister corporations covertly poisoning populations to make money is a powerful one and seems to find sympathy with many people. I’m quite sure that in the ideal world as envisaged by the WHO and it’s cohorts that state food rationing would be the norm. Perhaps by manufacturing fears of ‘Big Food’ it will eventually encourage a demand for the state to control the food supply? Some might want this, I don’t know, but it certainly isn’t a world I’d wish to inhabit.
On May 20th, 2019, I gave a talk to the Libertarian Alliance about the damaging political policies being imposed on car drivers in the UK, and the history behind them. Normally, these talks are recorded on video. But on this occasion, an unfortunate combination of circumstances prevented a recording. As this subject is a topical one – and becoming more so by the day – I thought it appropriate to create a “transcript” of the talk, re-constructed from my notes.
On April 8th, 2019, London mayor Sadiq Khan’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) went live in the Congestion Charge area in central London. It now costs the driver £12.50 a day, on top of the congestion charge, to drive in this zone a diesel car built before September 2015, or a petrol car built before 2006. This is an outrageous amount; and it also has to be paid at week-ends! This scheme is planned to be extended to all of the area inside North and South Circular Roads in October 2021. And after that, who knows?
Beyond this, there is talk of charging drivers of diesel cars to enter any of 35 or so cities around the UK. Some cities, like Southampton, have decided not to do this. Others, like Birmingham, are pressing on. Meanwhile, on May 9th the Times began a campaign claiming that “air pollution on the streets is poisoning 2.6 million schoolchildren,” and that this is due to “clogged roads”.
And yet, a recent (May 2nd) Sky News poll showed that more than 50 per cent of a random sample of people in the UK were “unwilling to significantly reduce the amount they drive, fly and eat meat,” either to combat climate change or to protect the environment in a more general sense. This is evidence of a huge disconnect between the political classes and the people!
There is a long backstory behind all this, which not many people seem to be aware of. In the last two years, I’ve managed to pull a lot of this backstory together. So, tonight I’ll bring it out into the open for you. In the process, I’ll identify what I call the Ten Deadly Dishonesties. These are attitudes and ploys that anti-car and other green campaigners have used, many of them more than once, in the course of their political machinations. Read more