You couldn’t make it up. The launch of Labour’s green revolution got off to a stuttering start in Edinburgh when the eco-friendly, hydrogen-powered bus booked to ferry journalists to Keir Starmer‘s press conference failed to turn up.
No explanation was given and the vehicle was hurriedly replaced by a planet-destroying diesel, which promptly took the wrong turning after leaving the station.
Instead of heading east to Leith, the driver set off west towards Glasgow. Fortunately, Scottish Daily Mail reporter Tom Eden was able to point him in the right direction. Cue jokes about ‘another Labour U-turn’.
This wasn’t the first time a Labour leader had been left red-faced on the launchpad. Back in 1987, I was one of the Press pack covering Neil Kinnock’s General Election campaign.
Labour had hired a plane — an old prop-driven DC-3, left over from World War II — to transport us around the country.
On day one, as we tucked into bacon banjos in the private terminal at Heathrow, we learned there would be a delay. The plane had suffered a mechanical failure and was stuck on the runway at Southend airport. Kinnochio’s campaign never recovered.
Everybody back on the coach!
Yesterday’s hydrogen-related hiccup is hardly a disaster of Hindenburg airship proportions. If the polls are to be believed, Starmer is on course to be our next Prime Minister. No, the real disaster will come about if Labour’s green revolution ever reaches fruition. In economic terms, that will make the Hindenburg explosion look like a damp squib.
The only surprise yesterday was that Ed Miliband wasn’t driving the bus. After all, he’s in the driving seat when it comes to formulating Labour’s energy policy.
If you thought the Tories’ plans to make us all colder and poorer were bad enough, you ain’t seen nothing yet.
Starmer seems to have sub-contracted control of Net Zero to his North London Green Manalishi. It has been a remarkable comeback by the ex-Labour leader, who should have been dead and buried after losing the 2015 election.
Remember the embarrassing ‘EdStone’ gimmick? That may have been smashed to smithereens, but Miliband now seems determined to revive the idea, by erecting a giant green headstone at the grave of what remains of Britain’s energy capacity and security.
Mister Ed set us on the road to ruin in 2008, when he was Gordon Brown’s climate supremo. He announced an arbitrary 80 per cent of Britain’s carbon emissions would be cut by 2050, a target way beyond any other country, with no clue as to how much it would cost.