THIS was the week when the popular complaint about our major political parties was “They’re all damn the same!” – was no longer true.
Rishi Sunak has dared to question the orthodoxy of the new green religion.
We will not ban the sale of new petrol and diesel cars five years before France and Germany.
The obligation to carpool has been abolished.
During the major flushing of gas boilers, the pause button was pressed.
And finally, the Prime Minister looks like his own man.
None of the old accusations against Rishi Sunak – Prada-wearing technocrat, dispassionate prime minister in too-tight suits, caretaker manager already checking flights to California – will no longer stand.
In a country responsible for less than one percent of our planet’s carbon emissions, Sunak will not ask you to pay a price you can’t afford for an unpaid, unworkable green fantasy you’ll never have voted and you don’t want it.
You can love or loathe what Sunak has done.
But no one can claim it is exactly the same as Labor policy.
Sunak has taken carefully timed small steps back from the big, mindless, unpaid lemming-like rush to net zero.
He brought common sense to the climate debate.
This is the triumph of reason over dogma.
From Broadcasting House to the House of Lords the cries of outrage can be heard.
And what Sunak has done is truly brave, because it puts him at odds with all those pious, virtuous talkers who want to stick their bossy noses into every corner of your life.
Brave, yes, but hardly reckless.
And certainly not radical.
Green MP Caroline Lucas calls Rishi’s rethink “an act of environmental vandalism”.
But by delaying the ban on new petrol and diesel cars until 2035, Sunak is only aligning the UK with Caroline’s beloved EU.
Are the policies of France and Germany also environmental vandalism, Caroline?
Environmentalists claim Sunak doesn’t care about this overheating planet.
But the – legally binding! — The deadline for net zero in 2050 remains unchanged.
Rishi has simply firmly sided with working people who care about the planet but who also care about paying their bills.
He took on those who would ban you from driving, ban you from flying, and tell you how to heat your home.
Last month, Greenpeace activists targeted Rishi Sunak’s family home, where his children sleep, and covered it with a black tarp because of his heretical claim of wanting to exploit the North Sea for oil and gas.
“Which side are you on, Prime Minister?” Greenpeace demanded shrilly.
This week Sunak found the strength to say. . . not yours.
Rishi, I have never loved you more.
This sensible rethinking of deadlines – all completely arbitrary, all completely unpaid – not only ensures clear clarity between Sunak and Starmer.
It also shows the difference between Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson.
Some still long for Bojo.
But the cruel fact is that our country is better off now that Boris hopped on his e-bike and headed for the bright, sunlit plateaus of America’s lucrative speaking scene.
It wasn’t Just Stop Oil that decided that gasoline and diesel engines should be banned in 2030.
It was Boris Johnson.
Bojo in his vague, virtue-signaling badness.
This year was always going to be unrealistic.
In fact, scribbling that date on the back of a packet of crisps was probably the stupidest thing Boris ever did.
In a wonderful Churchillian flourish, Johnson sternly warned Sunak that he could not afford to falter on zero commitments.
Boris was fun while he lasted.
But now an adult is back in control.
Spare us the lectures about saving planet Earth from a failed prime minister who didn’t even last one term.
The countries that are among the world’s biggest polluters – China and the US – are not hampering their economies with crazy, completely arbitrary deadlines dreamed up by mediocre politicians like Ed Miliband and Boris.
Undoubtedly, Americans and Chinese share our desire for a greener, cleaner world.
But that’s exactly what net zero should be.
A noble wish.
Rishi’s rethinking of the accidental goals of the new green religion is not heresy.
For millions of Brits it looks like common sense.
STRICTLY’s Bobby Brazier laughs and tells Holly Willoughby he’s never seen the show.
Is it wise to brag about making a show you’ve never watched?
I remember shortly before appearing on the show, I bragged to my family that I had never seen Pointless.
I was eliminated in the first round, Bob.
LABOR wants to expand the electorate to 1.5 million 16 and 17 year olds.
Why not? In 1969 the voting age was lowered from 21 to 18.
The arguments against suffrage for High Brothers were similar to those made today – that young people knew nothing about life.
But are the wrinkles really much smarter?
Conservative Party members – average age 57 – had to choose between Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak.
They chose Liz Truss.
And how did that work?
French ties are a treat
THAT was a party at the Palace of Versailles on Thursday evening.
The speech that King Charles gave – in both French and English – moved me to tears.
We always view President Macron as a Brexit-loathing enemy of the UK.
But what Charles said was true – no one paid a more moving tribute to the late queen than Macron, who called her “the golden thread that binds our nations” and flew the Union Jack at half-mast at the Elysee Palace.
It was a reminder that the recent clashes between the British and French have more that unites us than divides us.
And what a guest list!
What did Mick Jagger talk to Arsene Wenger about?
The new Stones single? Arsenal’s chances in Europe?
And even on such a spectacular starry night, British-French actress Charlotte Gainsbourg – the actress/singer daughter of Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg – made the red carpet her own.
And people wondered why anyone would ever want to leave France.
MANCHESTER United’s new £47.2million goalkeeper Andre ‘Butterfingers’ Onana scored a spectacularly soft goal against Harry Kane’s Bayern Munich.
But then Onana said on TV that his howler had cost his team the game.
It was extremely impressive to be in front of the cameras.
And made me think that Onana will be a fixture at Old Trafford for many years to come.
Unless he does it again!
THE SS GOON SHOW
What kind of idiot goes to a party dressed as a Nazi?
OK, except for Prince Harry.
A group of men turned up to a celebration in Sheringham, Norfolk, in the 1940s, dressed in Nazi uniforms, including full Waffen-SS insignia.
At least Harry could use the stupidity of his youth as an excuse.
These Nazi cosplay gangsters were grown men in their 30s and 50s.
“These regalia are extremely inappropriate, offensive and disrespectful,” said Graham Deans, organizer of the annual Sheringham 1940s Weekend.
“There were some very, very angry people in town.”
Coming as Nazis is now banned at next year’s festival.
In their defense, the pseudo-Nazis claimed that they had previously collected money for war veterans.
Let’s hope they weren’t the kind of war veterans who fled to South America when the Red Army bulldozed into Berlin.
A 0P-EN BOOK
THE Super Models is a four-part documentary on Apple TV that brought Cindy Crawford, Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista and Christy Turlington back into the public spotlight.
Some critics have complained that the document is a bit thin.
But the Fab Four were not nuclear physicists.
They were models. They were beautiful.
As Linda Evangelista famously said: They didn’t stand up for less than ten thousand dollars. And that was actually it.
So if you watch The Super Models expecting Oppenheimer, you might be a little disappointed.