Zac Goldsmith, Tory MP for Richmond Park and North Kingston, thinks the British people “have it within them to rise to the challenge” of tackling climate change. According to Goldsmith, a multi-millionnaire aristocrat, “they have done it before”. In The Constant Economy, he writes:
In 1939, a whole generation fought what seemed like an impossible battle – and won. After victory, in 1945, that generation joined with an unprecedented, government-led mission to build a pioneering welfare state, which lifted millions out of poverty and revolutionized the lives of ordinary people. The disaster of war spurred us on to create new priorities, and build a better country. Today, the impending ecological disaster gives us the chance to rise to that challenge again.
Somehow I don’t think the coalition government is quite ready to rise to the challenge. Doesn’t Zac Goldsmith find it a little awkward being a member of a government that is so intent on undermining the foundations of our welfare state? Or maybe the preface to The Constant Economy was simply a piece of pre-election “progressive” rhetoric designed to appeal to the liberal middle-class electorate of his constituency.
So, to answer the question posed by this blog-post – probably not.