Daily Mail


- ITTLEJOHN richard.littlejohn@dailymail.co.uk

BE HONEST, we’re not talking Stop The War here. At least CND had a point. Even if you thought unilateral nuclear disarmamen­t was the act of a madman, given that Russia had no intention of giving up her nukes, there was no doubting the sincerity of the peaceniks.

Say what you like about Monsignor Bruce Kent but, to be fair, he confined his protests to Trafalgar Square. Even the annual Aldermasto­n March by and large stuck to the pavement.

Same goes for the Greenham Common wimmin. They may have been a bit of a health hazard but they never stopped the planes taking off.

Millie Tant and her mates might have chained themselves to the fence at the U.S. cruise missile base in Berkshire and spent all day banging drums and dancing around like Whirling Dervishes on heat, but it never occured to them to block the school run on the adjacent A339.

Ditto when it comes to the poll tax rioters, the Countrysid­e Alliance and the anti-Vietnam war ‘Hey, Hey, LBJ, How

Many Kids Did You Kill Today?’ mob outside the U.S embassy in Grosvenor Square, circa 1968.

They all had a legitimate cause, whether it was pro-foxhunting, against America bombing Cambodia or a selfish reluctance to make any personal financial contributi­on towards the cost of emptying the dustbins.

You didn’t have to agree with them to acknowledg­e their right to protest.

But what, then, to make of today’s agitprop demonstrat­ors? none of them has any credible goal, beyond making life a misery for everyone else.

Yesterday morning saw the most absurd demo ever. A few dozen maniacs staged a sit-in on the M25, Britain’s busiest motorway, causing chaos in all directions.

THEY closed five busy junctions, creating tailbacks for miles and delays of up to three hours, disrupting not just the school run but everything from urgent deliveries and airline departures to hospital appointmen­ts.

And for what? To prevent a nuclear holocaust? To protest against the latest rise in national Insurance?

Er, not as such. They were demanding immediate government action to force people to install roof insulation. You couldn’t make it up. If I’d invented a pressure group called Insulate Britain, dedicated to making everyone lag their hot water tanks, some of you may have concluded I’d finally taken all leave of my senses.

This is The World of Beachcombe­r, or Monty Python’s Flying Circus — a bunch of student radicals blocking motorways and chanting: Two, four, six, eight, Everybody Insulate! But that’s exactly what happened yesterday, as a handful of protesters brought the M25 grinding to a halt from Heathrow in the west to the Dartford Tunnel in the east, and all points south from Swanley in Kent to Godstone in Surrey, thus stopping anyone getting to what’s left of Gatwick these days.

Insulate Britain is described as a splinter group of Extinction Rebellion, which has been causing mayhem on behalf of the polar bears for the past couple of years.

XR’s main complaint is that the Government isn’t bankruptin­g Britain NOW, rather than waiting another few years.

Most of their demands are already official policy, as a nominally Conservati­ve prime minister sets about making the country colder and poorer in pursuit of zero emissions.

The futility of the green agenda was highlighte­d vividly recently when the climate change minister Alok Sharma flew to Beijing in a vain attempt to persuade China to stop building coal-fired power stations. He was sent away with a flea in his ear. Talk about tilting at windmills. Yet no matter how much Boris Johnson’s government abases itself before the eco-mentalists, it’s never going to be enough. no demand is too trivial to prevent showboatin­g protesters disrupting the rest of us going about our lawful business. What do we want? Roof insulation! When do we want it? NOW! Give me strength. They can’t even claim to be ‘raising awareness’. Cavity-wall insulation started becoming popular in the 1970s. Is there anyone left who doesn’t have some kind of roof insulation? With energy prices sky-rocketing, you’d be mad not to. Our last house was a turn-ofthe-century terrace in north London. When the wind blew down Muswell Hill from Alexandra Palace, the whole place rattled.

We could barely afford the mortgage, let alone expensive double-glazing. I can remember lining the ancient sash windows with some kind of clingfilm, which you then had to shrink by firing a hairdryer at it.

I did that out of expediency, not because a bunch of middle-class malcontent­s had decided to block the north Circular Road near Brent Cross shopping centre. The M25 hadn’t been built back then, by the way.

The idea that someone would ever blockade a motorway in pursuit of persuading people to lag their loft would have been the stuff of Fantasy Island.

Come to think of it, Everest double-glazing missed a trick. Instead of spending a small fortune in the 1980s on TV adverts featuring helicopter­s and feathers, they should just have paid Ted Moult to prostrate himself in the fast lane of the M1 outside Watford Gap services. Fit the best, Everest. Or we’ll stop you going to work! Back then, Ted would have been lucky to have had his collar felt before he was run over by a trucker munching a Yorkie bar.

YESTERDAY, traffic came to a screeching halt, proving yet again the power of a hi-viz jacket to compel immediate obedience. Half a dozen lunatics in bright orange vests spread out across the road were enough to persuade motorists to slam on the brakes.

It took several hours of negotiatio­n before Plod carted away the demonstrat­ors. Par for the course these days. The law continues to indulge these self-appointed ‘climate change’ activists.

If and when they are ever hauled up before the beak, they’ll inevitably be let off with a small fine or a conditiona­l discharge — just as they were when they closed down Central London and the City Airport and blockaded newspaper printing plants. Most of them should have been sectioned.

The only surprise was that Scotland Yard didn’t scramble the Skateboard Squad to join them.

Over the past week, police have been called out to disperse 19 pigs from the M62 in Salford and a stray cow on the M25.

In north Wales, the Traffic Taliban once Tasered a sheep which was blocking traffic on the A55 at Bodelwydda­n.

Yesterday, the cops should have adopted the same tactics with Insulation Rebellion, or whatever they call themselves this week. Fifty thousand volts up the jacksie tends to concentrat­e the mind.

Legitimate protest is one thing. But this self-indulgent carnival of madness has to end.

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