Nosemonkey's EUtopia

In search of a European identity

Margaret Beckett, the future of Europe, and rampanty hypocrisy

You thought David Cameron’s EU vision was full of platitudes and meaningless phrases? Check out those of Foreign Secretary Margaret Beckett – oddly published in a Romanian newspaper, far out of sight of the British public… (via)

Lots of guff about climate change and “building the world’s first competitive, energy secure, low carbon economy” – and precisely tit-all on the more important, short-term problem of, erm… precisely what is the UK’s current position on the much-needed reform of the EU and the constitution?

And then, of course, there’s the (by now all too familiar) hypocrisy of the whole thing:

an analysis showed that [Beckett] had taken 134 flights on ministerial business between 2002 and March 2005, clocking up 102,673 miles and 191.08 tons in CO2 emissions.

The latest figures produced from a careful study of all flights by Mrs Beckett include long-haul flights on scheduled airline services, not included in the list of trips she made using the Queen’s Flight, which caused an outcry yesterday. She has used the Queen’s Flight for short hops from London to East Midlands airport, near her constituency, and also for one-day return trips to Brussels for EU ministerial meetings.

And that, please note, from BEFORE she was Foreign Secretary and actually had the occasional genuine reason to jet off all round the world…

Nice one, Marge. Ever heard of “practice what you preach”?


  1. I particularly enjoyed that each point is a misunderstanding or completely hollow:

    the first point, that we require a stable climate ignores that climate has always changed. The second part of the first point, that ceasing emissions will slow or reverse climate change is just unsupported by any evidence.

    The second point is that "the prisoner's dilemma" or "the free rider problem" operates. They're different. It's not clear which is the real problem (or neither if in fact the problem is a chimera). In fact, her only contention here is that by tackling climate change we can reap economic benefits.

    Her final point appears to be that the EU needs to keep itself busy.

  2. Marcin said 'her only contention here is that by tackling climate change we can reap the economic benefits'

    Very much part of the political dicourse. Barriers have been thrown around what can and cannot be said. Economic benefits are fine, economic costs are taboo. These barries prevent an honest and open discussion, though the scienftic evidence is pushing harder and harder against those same barriers, forcing the issue.

  3. You forget the CO2 emissions from dragging her caravan around the UK countryside…

    On the Cameron vs. Beckett issue, I would at least have some hope that Cameron might have some ideas – he's in opposition after all, and it's his job to lead the Conservatives. It's quite the opposite for Beckett – she's there precisely because she has no ideas. That suits Blair fine, although from my standpoint its indefensible.

  4. [[[This comment has been deleted as an extended exercise in plugging a website which is only tangentially related to the post – but, as I'm nice, I'll allow the link to remain in the comment chappie's name. NM.]]]