Hertfordshire Police this week arrested 78 people who were deliberately blocking the M25 and its slip roads. Essex, Surrey and Kent constabularies have made similar arrests. The protests are in the name of climate change and have caused seriously long traffic jams. I have watched a number of videos of angry motorists confronting the hi vis-wearing protestors as they squatted at junctions, all members of the Insulate Britain organisation. These eco-warriors are an off-shoot of the more famous Extinction Rebellion, a larger campaign group that seeks to disrupt people’s lives in order to prevent emissions from permanently altering our climate.

Watching the videos, of which a great many are posted online, one sees that it is effectively an old-fashioned class war. The protesters are members of the university-educated middle-class, with their soft hands and enunciated accents; the people whose lives they disrupt are working-class van drivers and people who must earn a living. While the uni students and posh pensioners of Insulate Britain enjoy several afternoons basking in the sunshine and the glory of their own self-righteousness, the workers whose taxes pay for them are held up in pointless traffic jams. One roadside cafe owner approached them, saying:

"Excuse me protesters, you do realise that you're disturbing my business? I've made no money today…I've got kids to feed, a mortgage to pay and insulation in my walls to put up. How am I supposed to do that if you lot aren't getting out the way and letting my business work? No answers...from any of you?"

One protester feebly responded, "We're very sorry” and went off to organise a whip round for him, which was refused on the grounds that his was not the only business the self-indulgent ones were destroying. You can watch the exchange here.

The group’s aims include the UK’s ‘transition to full decarbonisation of all parts of society and the economy’. In other words, costing working people their jobs while middle class poshos like them would be largely unaffected. Graphic designers, artisan candlemakers and PhD students don’t drive delivery vans or make things in factories. They don’t have cars because they live in cities with great public transport networks. They have well-paid jobs and nice families to help them out. As Tom Slater remarks about Extinction Rebellion protestors:

Here is a group so shot through with class privilege that even white and posh George Monbiot has said the group is too white and posh. Here is a movement so riddled with eco-hypocrites – people who say we must give up our cheap flights to Spain before jetting off to a psychedelic healing retreat in Costa Rica.

The rich have always loved to oppress the poor. Whether old fashioned noblemen in castles or simpering bourgeois climate protestors, the end result is the same: the poorer people become poorer. Work is a good thing, given by God to Adam well before the Fall, that he might be properly occupied and exercised by improving himself and the place he lived. I’ve seen clergymen declare that Jesus Himself, were He on the earth today, would join the protests, such would be His love for ‘climate justice’. I think He would sooner be on the side of the earnest motorists trying to earn a living, rather than the well-heeled hypocrites disrupting their journeys.

Image by Suzanne Morris from Pixabay