This month 550 wildfires have been burning in British Columbia, with whole cities shrouded in smog. Who can say for sure this is the result of climate change? But it’s a fair question to ask, not least since the Canadian government was willing to pump billions of dollars into a new ‘Trans Mountain’ oil pipeline to get more product from the Albertan tar sands to the Pacific coast. But the good news is that a Federal Court of Appeal has thrown out the planned pipeline – on the grounds of objections by the indigenous Tsleil-Waututh Nation, who it appears were illegally sidelined in the whole business and who objected to the pipeline on environmental grounds. Thank heavens somebody can put two and two together, and on this occasion it doesn’t seem to be Justin Trudeau. Looks like his difficulties with Trump may get a bit bigger.
Frank Field’s resignation of the Labour Whip in parliament seems an odd thing to do, since his much aired complaint these last two days seems more to do with the Labour Party per se than the Parliamentary Labour Party (PLP) itself. He’s surely not so daft as to imagine that the two things don’t go hand in hand, and he will have to leave the Party, one way or the other. I suspect he wants to milk it for all it’s worth and hopes to be expelled, then he can stride with a martyr’s steps into the sunset. At 76 years old, I suspect he was near retirement anyway. His grandstanding reminds me of the sad affair of the late Brian Sedgemore’s departure in 2005. He came from the opposite end of the political spectrum but resigned over Iraq and then joined the LibDems. He was a regular rebel, and in an interesting parallel with Field, Sedgemore was ‘one of only five Labour MPs to vote for the Third Reading of the Maastricht Treaty in 1993, defying his party Whip, which was to abstain.’ (Wikipedia) At least Jeremy only had four rebels to deal with in the last E.U. ‘crunch’ vote. I do hope that now Field is no longer in the PLP he will relinquish chairing the Work and Pensions Select Committee without a fuss – in this parliament, that position is allocated to a Labour MP. He knows this. Will he go quietly, or will it be a case (yet again) of Jeremy being dictatorial/authoritarian/autocratic (also autocratical)/bossy/despotic/domineering/ imperious/overbearing/peremptory/tyrannical (also tyrannic)/tyrannous?*
*delete as appropriate; thanks to Merriam-Webster online dictionary