Translation of latest post on Nick Bourne’s blog:
"Understandable angst and concern about the massive hikes in fuel prices shouldn’t obscure the need to continue to take green measures."
I’ve spotted a massive political opportunity for the Conservatives, but it isn’t very green.
"It is quite compatible to ensure that the tax on fuel is postponed for example, and some of the VAT is abated, whilst still concentrating on green efforts, for example, encourage homes to insulate and to adopt small scale devices like small turbines on houses or indeed solar panels (an area that has been much neglected in this country as compared to say Germany)."
We can be populist, cut taxes, encourage people to continue making profligate use of oil, and claim that we are still being green by transferring all the responsibility for taking action on climate change from the government to the electors (the German Conservatives have already spotted this one, and appear to be getting away with it).
"I think there is a great danger in people seeing there being one or other camp and I don’t think that is the case at all."
There is a serious danger that people might spot that what we are proposing is incompatible with what we’ve said previously, so we’re going to have to find a form of words which bridges the gap.
"I think it is quite feasible, indeed desirable, to do something on the price of fuel but at the same time press ahead with a green agenda."
We can win a lot of votes by cutting taxes and giving in to the roads lobby, but we need to sound as though we’re still serious about the environment.
"The Chancellor will have a £600m fuel windfall from extra VAT from domestic fuel alone, quite apart from the VAT windfall on petrol and deisel"
The windfall income which the government is getting from unexpectedly high fuel taxes might enable them to plug the gaps in their budget, and that would destroy a major part of our election strategy.
"It is quite possible to abate some of this tax but at the same time to press ahead with green energy measures."
We can promise tax cuts and win votes now, and people with more money in their pockets will forget about the environment.
"Indeed there are huge economic, social and environmental gains to be achieved by doing just this."
It can help us win the General Election.
“The government response of simply seeking to produce more North Sea oil is really a woefully inadequate response.”
Producing more North Sea oil will make very little difference, but I still wish we’d thought of it first.