A cliché that became popular during the disastrous Blair-Brown years was that Governments should always do ‘joined-up thinking’. In other words, that policies should not be pursued in isolation, but that the links between different items on the Government’s agenda should always be borne in mind.
The same, of course, applies to voters. When considering a Government’s record, the connections between different issues, which may not be immediately apparent, often become crystal clear once the electors do their own joined-up thinking.
I thought of this today when I heard a couple of headlines on the morning news. One item reported that energy companies are all set to hike up their prices in the coming days following the whacking great 8.2% price rise on gas and electricity bills decreed by the energy giant SSE.
The other reported that our blue-green-pink Prime Minister David Cameron defended as ‘necessary’ the 9% levies that the Government imposes on energy companies to subsidise its useless and unworkable ‘renewables’ – including the forests of wind turbines increasingly defacing our once green and pleasant land.
So, if you join up the 8.2% price rise that will put £106 on the average household’s SSE energy bills and the 9% levy that the Government imposes on energy companies, a pattern starts to emerge, does it not?
We are all paying for a demented energy policy that is literally blowing our money away in the wind. And I am sure that poor pensioners, as they shiver this winter, wondering whether they can afford to turn on the heating, will be warmed by the thought that they are contributing a necessary sacrifice to Mr Cameron’s Green agenda.
But let’s take the joined-up thinking one stage further. Another news item reported that the EU – in the shape of Jos Delbeke, a bureaucrat rejoicing in the job title ‘Director General of the European Commission’s Climate Divisions’ has threatened to clamp down on ‘fracking’ – the extraction of shale gas by fracturing rocks – because methane gas produced by the process may contribute to – wait for it – global climate warming.
‘We don’t want to copy and paste what happened in the US’ declared Delbeke.
No, indeed. But what actually did happen in the US? The explosion of fracking there has turned the US from a net importer of energy to a net exporter. And we wouldn’t want to follow suit, would we? Much better to remain utterly dependent on oil imported from the Middle East and gas from that nice Mr Putin’s Russia for all our energy needs.
UKIP is the only political party advocating a sane, sensible and sustainable energy policy. We would allow fracking – under strict controls and with the co-operation of local communities – with the aim of meeting, as far as possible, our own energy needs and ending our dependency on expensive imports from disturbed and dangerous areas of the world. And we would not allow a hostile foreign power like the European Commission to dictate how we generate our energy.
Now that’s what I call real joined-up thinking.
Nigel Jones is a UKIP MEP candidate for South-East England.