"If a student of mine were to hand in this report [the ‘Stern Review’] as a Masters thesis, perhaps if I were in a good mood I would give him a 'D' for diligence; but more likely I would give him an 'F' for fail. There is a whole range of very basic economics mistakes that somebody who claims to be a Professor of Economics simply should not make. [...] Stern consistently picks the most pessimistic for every choice that one can make. He overestimates through cherry-picking, he double counts particularly the risks and he underestimates what development and adaptation will do to impacts.”
[The environmental economist, Dr. Richard S. J. Tol, Research Professor at the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), Dublin, Professor at the Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, and Associate at Hamburg University.
James Delingpole headlined the news that the Tories were consulting Lord Stern in the following manner:
Cameron and his suicidal eco-rats clamber aboard sinking ship
Hardly a ringing endorsement, is it? Similarly disbelieving ejaculations came from EUReferendum, and Professor Stott opines...
Has Lord Snooty’s Sidekick Gone Stark Raving Bonkers, Readers?
So, what has happened to the Tories? Have they taken leave of their senses? Why on earth was Osborne even approaching Lord Stern in the first place?
Well, quite possibly they have.
But Osborne’s lack of political judgment and timing go even deeper. One cannot believe that the Shadow Chancellor has been so stupid as to make this now seemingly-unfounded pronouncement at the very moment when the Global Warming Narrative is collapsing on every front, political, economic, and scientific; when, in the US, even President Obama is retreating from from the cap-trade bill; when most of his own Tory party are highly critical of the whole ‘global warming’ scenario; when polls show that the public everywhere is increasing in its scepticism; and, when The Sun is once again flaring forth ...
On February 1, that Old Tory trooper, Lord Tebbit of Chingford, writing in the Conservative house rag, The Daily Telegraph, warned that “'Camp Cameron' should worry about the steady erosion of the Tory lead in the polls” - the latest YouGov product has the Conservatives on 38 per cent, down two points on last month. I am sure Tebbit is correct, and I can further warn Boy George that this latest nonsense over Lord Stern will not have helped one iota.
Indeed, Britain is now screaming out for a leading political party that will begin to talk real economic sense on climate change. That way, there might actually be some votes in the topic.
This is an argument echoed today by Burning Our Money; but as Wat Tyler also points out, there really isn't a credible alternative.
It's very difficult all this, isn't it. The horrible fact is, there isn't actually anyone we can vote for who will stop this happening. Sure, there are people we can vote for who will promise to stop it, but that's a different thing - under our grotesquely unfair first-past-the-post Westminster system of government, such people will never get the chance to actually implement their promises. Tyler's constitutional reform package includes separation of the powers and a directly elected President, but absent that, our real world choices are indeed very limited.
Which is why we will be out campaigning for the Tories again this time. They sure ain't perfect, and we share many of the Major's concerns, but in terms of forming a government to replace Brown's disaster, they're all we've got.
This is, of course, a damning indictment of our electoral system—but also of the people in this country. The simple fact is, in a weird fucking conundrum, that the only thing that keeps the major parties in power is the fact that people think that the major parties are the only ones capable of gaining power.
So, whilst Jackart may maintain that the Tories are simply the "shit that stinks least", do not be under any illusions that the Tories will, nevertheless, be utterly shit.