A revolution, of sorts, in Britain

New: Palmer Report is moving to a reader-supported format with a significantly reduced number of ads so we can reach a broader audience at this crucial time for our democracy. Donate to Palmer Report via PayPal (click here) or GoFundMe (click here).
–––––

Of all days, it happened on the Fourth of July. For the first time in fourteen years, Britain is finally rid of the tone deaf, elitist, self-satisfied, roguish, racist, hypocritical Conservative Party. We have handed the (near) billionaire Rishi Sunak and his non-dom wife their walking papers. We have a new prime minister and everything is hunky-dory again, right?

Not so fast. There are things about the new prime minister, Keir Starmer, that I very much do not like. For one thing, he has more than a politician’s share for making promises he does not keep. For another, like so many members of the Labour Party, he is either in favour of Brexit or is at best laissez faire concerning it. And, above all, his platform mentioned absolutely nothing about the most important existential crisis of our time, global warming.

I know what you’re thinking, there’s no satisfying this Harrington. We’re finally shut of the Tories, isn’t that at least a minor reason to celebrate? Certainly, and I have spent much of the last few days gloating. But it’s a hollow victory, because today’s liberals are looking more and more like yesterday’s (small or large “c”) conservatives, and today’s conservatives are looking more and more like the Nazis. I can’t help but think that’s becoming a worldwide trend.

Permit me to give you an American example. Wouldn’t it be great if, along with global warming, American politicians also campaigned for extending social security, increased federal assistance to low income communities, political asylum for refugees, extended minimum wage protection and guaranteed equal pay regardless of gender? Well that (apart from global warming) was the platform Republican Dwight D Eisenhower ran on for his second term as president of the United States in 1956, the year of my birth. Crazy, huh? Eisenhower sounded more like a far left liberal of today, and certainly nothing like today’s MAGA Republicans. Were Eisenhower alive today he’d be executed by Donald Trump, alongside Liz Chaney, for “treason.”

The trend is clear. While the world is turning more and more to the far right, liberals are responding by becoming increasingly conservative. Today, with minor variations, we are almost indistinguishable from the middle of the road conservatives of the year of my birth. The right isn’t just going crazy, we’re accommodating them.

This trend is showing up in Britain’s new Labour Party prime minister in very disagreeable ways. Most importantly, he makes me wonder, have we abandoned global warming as an issue altogether? Or has it become so minor an issue that it’s no longer worth mentioning?

In the recent presidential debate, global warming was introduced by the moderator and Trump, because he’s a moron, once again confused it with “clean air and clean water.” But President Biden failed to call him on it! I don’t think such a mistake would have been allowed to happen ten years ago. There’s a reason for it, I think. In most polls today global warming is no longer counted as a top ten issue. If it’s mentioned at all it’s usually subsumed by the catch-all term “the environment.”

Like Covid, global warming has now become so much a part of our lives that most of us hardly ever think about it. But unlike Covid, it’s becoming an increasingly deadly reality with each passing year.

Of course, if the world turns full-on Nazi, nothing will ever be done about global warming, at least not until it’s so obviously too late that any effort to save us would be pure tokenism. Meanwhile many of the rest of us may not be Nazis, but we’re not much better than the Munich appeasers of Hitler. That global warming has taken a backseat in this election cycle is obvious. Whether or not it will stay in the car remains to be seen. I, for one, think global warming needs to be our single most vital issue. And, as ever, ladies and gentlemen, brothers and sisters, comrades and friends, stay safe.

New: Palmer Report is moving to a reader-supported format with a significantly reduced number of ads so we can reach a broader audience at this crucial time for our democracy. Donate to Palmer Report via PayPal (click here) or GoFundMe (click here).