Posted on: May 4, 2020 Posted by: Brexit Glory Comments: 0

This is an opinion piece written by BrexitGlory who is the MP for Essex and Business, Industry and Digital Secretary.

This is my first article I am writing to this paper and I must admit I was struggling to decide on what to cover. So much has happened since I wrote my last opinion piece in the Telegraph that it was hard to choose what to talk about. Do I talk about Labour’s racism scandal? Labour’s failed negotiations? Labour’s internal chasms and subsequent inevitable (and rather hilarious) split? As enormously entertaining as it all is, I thought I would comment on policy instead. Policy is, after all, what really matters when it comes to politics, and I’m afraid to say that Labour’s “terrible incompetence” has leaked into policy – not that this is news.

Labour are a party that has a lot to talk about, but very little meaningful action to push. They talk so lovingly about the climate change fight, and I do somewhat agree with them, we must take action on the matter. I believe that greening transportation is the key to emission reduction and achieving our international targets. As Transport Secretary I took firm action to fulfill the special responsibility of meeting our international targets, I didn’t talk about it first, I did it first and now I am talking about it afterwards – take notes Labour!

I introduced a bill that aims to kick start the fossil fuel phase out in our buses, prohibiting the sale of new fossil fuel buses by the end of 2020. I was glad to have Labour support this bill, but disappointed when thy claimed it didn’t go far enough. I was surprised they were that desperate for a talking point, and it was just that; a talking point. In their coalition agreement (of which they botched the negotiations for) with TPM and the DRF they copied by policy but pushed the date back to 2026! They talked about greater action, but in fact that sought to delay action on green infrastructure.

Also during my brief tenure as Transport Secretary, I had the pleasure of being in charge of HS2, a national infrastructure project that benefits the economy; but also does it’s part in securing greener infrastructure and taking some drivers off the roads and back onto our rail system. The government planned for this project to be completed by 2035 and fully funded it for this term. Yet, Labour put forward a motion that included a set of proposals to alter the project, one of those alterations was to delay HS2 by three years to 2038! Another example of poor action from Labour, but I am sure they continued to enjoy talking about green infrastructure despite having no positive action to take.

This failure on policy unfortunately does continue. Just recently on a bill on cycle safety, the Labour party were out on mass talking about how great and how green cycling is. Unfortunately when I checked their manifesto, they had not mentioned it a single time. They talk about it, yet they take no action on it. On the contrary, the Conservative party backed cycle superhighways and more cycle lanes, something that the government is currently working on.

It’s a clear record of failure. Failure on committing to leveling up our railways, failure to tackle polluting buses with swift action and failure to have a policy on encouraging cycling. Only vacuous words and virtue-signalling come from the packed Labour frontbenches. I want this government to have a strong opposition to hold us to account, but it we aren’t finding it in Labour who are quickly becoming nothing more than a protest party.

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Brexit Glory

BrexitGlory is the Conservative MP for Essex and the Secretary of State for Transport