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It Ain’t Half Hot, Mum

It Ain’t Half Hot, Mum

wildfires in the Australian bush

Okay, it’s anything but, here in bracing Blighty. But, across much of the planet, climate change is making its apocalyptic presence terrifyingly felt. At the same time, our leaders are making their ability to spot everything except the obvious equally, glaringly, apparent. As our Political Correspondent Peter Spencer reports, they won’t even be able to wake up and smell the coffee if, as is widely feared, the crops fail.

‘Pray don’t talk to me about the weather, Mr. Worthing. Whenever people talk to me about the weather, I always feel quite certain that they mean something else.’

Gwendolen was surely on to something when she came up with that line in The Importance of Being Earnest. And right now, in an inverted sense, Westminster’s wags are just as guilty.

To adapt the sport commentators’ fatuous description of footie being a game of two halves, this week is just that.

On the one hand, all-time temperature records are being broken. On the other, both the Prime Minister and Labour leader are considering cutting back on what David Cameron once described as ‘green crap’.

There are those on the Tory right trying to equate efforts at ensuring we’re not all French fried potatoes when we fry with yoghurt-weaving woolly wokeism.

To say this is disingenuous is like suggesting Pinocchio’s nose only really grew a teeny weeny bit. Nothing to see here.

The fuss over some people’s divine right to identify themselves as cats, or bars of chocolate or whatever, but other people’s absolute non-right to say that’s a bit silly is a now thing. But it will pass.

Unlike the climate crisis.

When the United Nations Secretary General warns the era of global warming has been supplanted by ‘the era of global boiling’, he’s not actually kidding.

And this, potentially, would leave the lot of us free to identify ourselves as one thing only. A corpse.

All this just as Rishi Sunak and Keir Starmer stroke their chins and rue the result of the Uxbridge by-election, triggered by the resignation of that up-to-the-minute Pinocchio, Boris Johnson.

Labour’s lament that it didn’t win is matched by the Conservatives’ concern that they only held on by a whisker.

Their narrow escape was thanks to the London Labour Mayor’s decision to extend the Ultra Low Emission Zone from the town proper to the outer burbs. Thus ensuring the voters in question will cop it, if they’ve got older, polluting cars.

The Tories conveniently overlook the fact that this particular green measure was first announced by one of their own. Er, former Mayor Boris Johnson.

But what they, and the Labour leadership, are fretting over now is how many votes other such measures might cost them come the general election.

Of course there’s a valid debate to be held over whether policies should tilt towards the stick or the carrot.

For example, a government could use its heft to ensure more electric car charging points are installed across Britain’s roads network, instead of just penalising people who hang on to their gas guzzlers.

But it’s the underlying premise that’s at issue here. And the hideously overused expression ‘the bigger picture’ might be worth keeping an eye on. Especially when it’s such a clear, present and potentially terminal danger.

Meanwhile, another, albeit by comparison trivial, bigger picture seems equally elusive. Just what the hell IS behind Nigel Farage getting cancelled by Coutts?

First off, the posh people’s bank claimed he wasn’t rich enough for the likes of them. Only later did it emerge that they didn’t like the cut of his political jib. Two top dudes’ heads have rolled so far, and more might follow.

Farage himself insists he’s not returning to frontline politics, or at least not this side of the general election, but he is having a lovely time with all this attention. And, boy, has he got form.

Worth remembering that he pretty much single-handedly got us out of Europe, by spooking Cameron into promising the referendum that cost him his job and the nation an awful lot of money.

Then, not so long after, Farage’s Brexit party was heavily instrumental in smashing Theresa May’s moderate deal with Brussels, thus getting her booted out as well.

Quite how much flavour of the month he is among the public these days is a matter of debate, however.

Tony Blair may never be forgiven for taking us to war in Iraq, then making such a pig’s ear of the peace. But he might have had a point when he suggested last week we’ll one day return to the European fold.

Cue the latest Deltapoll survey, which showed the highest level of support for rejoining the EU since it started asking people five years ago.

Comfortably over half those questioned said they’d go for it like a shot if a second referendum were held, while scarcely over a third reckoned we’re still better on the outside.

Funny how fashions change, though two things remain constant.

One confirms Blair’s most acute observation ever: ‘The single hardest thing for a practicing politician to understand is that most people, most of the time, don’t give politics a first thought all day long.’

A slightly depressing thought for yours truly, that. But the second seemingly unchanging more is what punters make of politicians, when they do trouble to think about them.

Last week Times Radio got together a focus group of traditional Tories who now plan to switch to Labour, and asked them what they made of the two main party leaders.

About Sunak, they used the words: ‘Out of touch… out of his depth… clueless… wasn’t voted in … a smug clone… weak.’

Little surprise then that they’re switching sides. Except that here’s what they made of Starmer: ‘Intelligent … sly… no real direction … smug.’

Suck it up, guys. If those horrid people are the great unwashed, you’re the great unloved.

But hell, it’s the silly season. Holiday time. And while the body politic’s getting soaked over here or frazzled over there, over The Pond they’re talking about little green men.

Former intelligence official turned whistleblower David Grusch has told a Congress hearing that the Yankee government’s been keeping shtum about crashed UFOs it’s collected over decades.

He also maintains they’ve haven’t just got bits of machines, but also non-human body parts of their pilots.

The US military does admit it’s trying to investigate the small number of things that can’t be explained away, but Grusch claims they refused to let him see stuff that it was his job to analyse.

At the same time, boffins are saying it’s just possible that something Nasa’s Curiosity Rover photographed on Mars earlier this year really was an alien spaceship.

It was the pointy bits sticking out from the rocks that got them going, and what look like rows of plates and wedges.

Such curious shapes are, apparently, comparable to formations that can occur naturally. Rather less so other stuff pictured not that far off. Wheels, an axle and bits of debris.

Just fancy that. Who (Dan) Dares wins …

Watch Peter’s report HERE

Peter Spencer has 40 years experience as a Political Correspondent in Westminster, working with London Broadcasting and Sky News. For more of his fascinating musings on the turbulent political landscape, follow him on Facebook & Twitter.

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