Oil cloth and ashes
Friday 4 August 2023
Protesters wrap PM’s house in oil-black cloth
Rishi Sunak took the win from the Uxbridge and South Ruislip by-election – which the Conservatives held onto after opposing the expansion of a clean air car tax – as a sign that he should position himself as a man on the side of motorists. Since that by-election he has ordered a review of low-traffic neighbourhood schemes and backed plans for hundreds of new oil and gas licences for the North Sea. That caused Greenpeace activists to stage a protest at his Yorkshire home, climbing onto his Grade II-listed manor house and draping oil-black fabric over the property. The pro-car strategy seems to be working. Sunak has moved to the middle of a Cabinet league table among Conservative members, logging a 20.7 satisfaction score, up from -2.7 points last month. The Greenpeace protest, aides told Politico, was “not unhelpful”. Perhaps Sunak will celebrate his poll bump with a dip in the sea while he’s on holiday. He might find it warmer than usual – the world’s oceans have hit their hottest recorded temperature, says the EU’s climate change service, as they soak up the surplus heat of climate change.