Welcome political forthrightness

I felt a twinge of envy watching a recent BBC Hardtalk interview with Chris Huhne, Britain’s Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. The tone of his statements was much more forthright than anything we’re likely to hear from New Zealand government ministers. It was no more than we have a right to expect from our politicians, but so rarely do we hear leading figures from major parties speaking with directness and conviction that I was grateful for the interview and thought parts of it worth reporting. (It doesn’t seem to be available on line to non-UK viewers, though there’s a snippet here.)

Huhne said he is going to Durban with the continued pursuit of a global legally binding agreement firmly in his sights:

“…because no serious global problem, [whether] of an environmental nature like chlorofluorocarbons or of a defence nature like international disarmament has ever been left to voluntary pledges. It’s simply not realistic. Anything that involves the serious long-haul dealing with major changes in the way in which we power our economies, with all the vested interests that are involved, requires a legally binding global deal so that we’re all assured that we’re travelling at the same pace and each doing our bit – in different ways, because obviously the developing world has to be taken account of with its particular problems. The developed world could do more, but we all have to be sure that we’re moving together.” Continue reading “Welcome political forthrightness”