by Colin Campbell
THE papers these days look like they’re being edited by Extinction Rebellion. Virtually every one of them carries the “Last Chance to Save the Planet” mantra.
I don’t know anyone who is particularly excited or energised by the COP26 shindig in Glasgow. A poll carried out found the large majority of those surveyed had no great expectations about what it would achieve.
That might exclude some of those those who mobbed teen idol Greta Thunberg in their hundreds when she arrived in Glasgow.
She may indeed be “a remarkable young woman” but she’ll add to the hysteria surrounding COP26, which at some point is likely to run out of control with anarchist protesters deciding to try and wreck part of the planet, the bit in Glasgow with large buildings and large plate glass windows in it.
To that end a young relative of mine, a police constable in Perth, has been drafted down to Glasgow for 16 days straight. He has nice digs, in the city’s Grand Hotel. He presumably won’t have a room to himself, but will be sharing. So many police have arrived in the city to quell likely disorder that it may be 10 to a room in bunk beds.
If there is disorder, it is to be hoped the cops at COP26 won’t be overly gentle with those violently involved, anything but in fact. The softly softly scenes of seemingly neutered police officers chatting amicably to a few “Insulate Britain” nutcases blocking the M25 and causing massive tailbacks have been nothing short of sickening.
What are the environmental credentials of the politicians around here?
When Inverness MP Drew Hendry arrived a couple of years ago to open the new SNP “hub” in Kenneth Street – which seems to hardly be open these days, presumably through apathy and disillusionment – at the end of proceedings he donned a helmet and rode away on a bike.
I don’t often have much favourable to say about Drew Hendry, but at the time I thought, good for him.
If he’s trying to show an example by using a bike rather than a gas guzzling vehicle, and if we take that at face value and assume it’s his preferred mode of transport, at least he’s getting something right.
But guzzling? The word is synonymous with his colleague across the Kessock Bridge, Ian Blackford, in every sense. If we’re supposed to eat less to Save the Planet, and particularly red meat, how much has he consumed to get in that shape, with a waistline the size of a council recycling bin?
And then there was his ostentatious purchase of a gas guzzling luxury Range Rover, which he flaunted in a picture widely available on social media.
Ross MP Blackford, who regularly claims around a quarter of a million pounds in expenses from the Westminster system he claims to loathe, is of course a money grubbing political hypocrite.
And the “simple 10 acres crofter” jumped aboard the Save the Planet bandwagon with ease.
Yesterday he topped his Twitter site with a photograph of a darkened, seemingly almost doomed planet. He’ll also lecture the Government on missed carbon targets till he runs out of bluster, while swanning around in a big gas guzzler the size of a small truck. That’s some example to set. But being a leading light in the SNP he is, of course, totally, utterly shameless.
And for those of us who actually live in Scotland, as opposed to Ms Thunberg and the planeloads of the elite just dropping in (except the Russians and the Chinese who haven’t bothered turning up), that’s the problem.
The COP26 jamboree, whatever it achieves or doesn’t achieve, will soon up sticks and depart. If it was being held somewhere else, the Extinction Rebellion newspaper editors of the moment would probably devote an inside page to it and that would be all.
But once the loquacious Ms Thunberg and co move on we’ll of course get back to normal business. And that means the incessant, inescapable whining about “indyref2” and independence. Blackford, the joke “Shadow Trade Secretary” Hendy, trainee accountant Finance Secretary Kate “more, more, more” Forbes and the rest of these grievance mongering charlatans will be back in full flow.
It’s a grim prospect as the nights close in ahead of a long winter.
In the meantime, when all is considered, bloated Ian Blackford would be wise not to splash out and flaunt the purchase of any more luxury Range Rovers.
But sometimes you wonder whether the Neverendum whingeing and grievance-mongering emanating from him and the other SNP chancers and freeloaders will last longer than the planet.