From the grotesque abuse and trolling on social media to gluing yourself on to a major road or a tanker. Sometimes I just wonder how we got to a position where anyone thinks this is the right way to behave. This week’s antics by hooligans blocking up the route to the Port of Dover were nothing to do with our area. This was simply a cynical attempt to take advantage of our town to grab cheap headlines. One day the M25, the next Dover. And it looks as if this is set to go on. With this extremist group having a fully-fledged campaign to cause maximum mayhem and misery across the nation. They even plan to come back and cause more trouble in our backyard. That’s why I’m backing urgent changes to our laws to stop these people and their childish actions.
In Dover, parents couldn’t get their children to school. People couldn’t get to work. Much needed stocks of food and goods were stuck in queues. It was all a massive, and unnecessary, inconvenience. We’ve been through a lot as a community over this last period. From the gridlock when the French closed the border just before Christmas 2020, then transition from the EU, although that did go a lot better than had been feared. Through three lockdowns of the pandemic and now issues with food and gas supplies causing understandable concern. There’s more than enough to do without a few selfish people making themselves a public nuisance.
There’s a heavy bill to pay for all of this. The antics of Extinction Rebellion and its splinter group Insulate Britain have already cost the taxpayer more than £50million. We are all paying the price for their day out, and that’s not fair. It’s not necessary either. This is a Government that is leading the way on climate change. The UK is the host of the world summit called COP26. There is even a cabinet minister whose job it is just to lead on this vital issue. This isn’t the 1980s and no-one thinks we shouldn’t be taking firm action on the environment for generations to come. That’s what is happening – from new hydrogen production to giga factories for electric car batteries to tackling the scourge of plastic in our oceans. With detailed plans on everything from transport and food production to energy and ferries. All of this to make sure we meet the ambitious net zero target by 2050.
This is a uniting journey with a common purpose. It isn’t owned by the extremists on the fringes. It belongs to all of us. It is being delivered – at national Government level and at Dover District Council too. Now is the time for us all to stand together on protecting our climate for the years and decades to come. That’s what this Government is rightly doing and they should be supported by all.