Bit of a PR disaster for the normally sure-footed Mr Balloon today, as his new environment policy failed to get off the ground.
The BBC went to an airport to ask passengers if they'd like Mr Balloon to CANCEL THEIR HOLIDAYS and funnily enough the answers were all pretty NEGATIVE.
In another ASTONISHING move, the airlines have widely condemned the Conservatory plans!
No! Do no LAUGH! Normally we should condemn this sort of reporting.
But if the Conservatories are STUPID enough to make themselves sound like a HIGH TAX PARTY then I say we let them have it!
This is IMPORTANT POLITICS and we need people to know that they have a CHOICE between REAL green action with the Liberal Democrats and some half thought through, half baked me-too band-wagon jumping from the Conservatories.
In addition to looking like they want to RESTRICT flying to the RICH, the Conservatories this week added to the appearance of confusion when they announced plans to have Mr Al Gore fly in and, er, tell them about the evils of flying.
(Fluffy wave to Mr Paul.)
This comes on top of Mr Balloon's new Euro-sceptic allies from the Czech Republic turning out to believe that Global Warming is a "false myth" while the European Peoples' Party that Mr Balloon has turned his back on, led by German Chancellor Ms Angela Meercat, have just managed to secure an historic deal on renewable energy targets.
It is not that Mr Balloon has no GOOD IDEAS AT ALL in there. But they are all of a mish-mash with other stuff and without practical considerations. Targeting unnecessary short-haul flights sounds reasonable, but if you put tax on INTERNAL flights won't that push people into flying London-Dublin-Glasgow instead, which actually makes the problem worse not better. And Green Air Miles might sound like it puts the burden of tax on people who fly more but how are you going to work it? Some monster bureaucracy or maybe electronic tags on everybody's passports?
This all plays up the WISDOM of our own environmental policies: the Green Tax Switch. We emphasised our intention to GIVE MONEY BACK to people – and by spelling out exactly how and who will benefit – and THEN saying that they will have the choice of whether to spend that money on more expensive travel or to look for a cheaper, less polluting alternative or to save it altogether.
Mr Balloon and Mr Boy George had only got the vaguest idea when they nicked the policy, so they end up saying "we'll tax you more" with some meaningless promise to "reduce tax for families" tacked on at the end. People are all too familiar with – and all too cynical about –STEALTH TAXES.
(And don't forget, that although Mr Frown has become the MASTER, it was Conservatory Chancellor Fatty Clarke who first came up with a whole load of hidden taxes to try and balance the budget after Black Wednesday.)
We already know that Mr Balloon is not above MISREPRESENTING us in order to grub for votes. He says that only HE wants to get the Labour out.
Well, that's just not true. He wants to change the names round the cabinet table – BUT HE WANTS THE POLICIES TO CARRY ON THE SAME.
Just this week, for example, we know that he is going to vote FOR the government on Trident – only the Liberal Democrats are offering an alternative. We want to CUT TRIDENT NOW!
And do not forget how Mr Balloon was the one who saved Lord Blairimort's education top-up fees policy. Only the Liberal Democrats believe in helping students – just like we have done in Scotland!
We HAVE to be telling people that the choice is between More-of-the-Same-Labour from Mr Frown and Mr Balloon or a REAL CHANCE OF CHANGE with the Liberal Democrats.
So, on the environment, the message is clear:
The Conservatories are JUST LIKE the Labour – they want to tax you MORE.
Only the Liberal Democrats offer you the tax cut UP FRONT and then trust you to make your own choices on the environment.