James Grundy MP: ​Actions of protesters come across as plain selfish

Readers of this newspaper may have observed over the years that sometimes, supporters of certain causes do their cause considerably more harm than good by their actions.
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​In recent times, this has certainly been the case with a range of environmental issues, with supporters of various wacky 'environmental' campaign groups such as 'Just Stop Oil', seemingly determined to exasperate the general public to the maximum degree possible in the course of publicising their campaigns.

Whether disrupting sporting events, infuriating the paying audiences who just wanted to enjoy spectating at their favourite game after a long week at work or enraging motorists by blocking roads causing working voters to be late for work or hindering emergency vehicles such as ambulances from getting to hospitals, often carrying patients with life-threatening injuries, proving not just a nuisance but also sometimes a danger to ordinary people.

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These actions, whilst superficially seeming moral, often come across to the regular voter as self-righteous, self-regarding and just plain selfish, with a callous disregard for the direct harm such actions may cause.

Leigh MP James GrundyLeigh MP James Grundy
Leigh MP James Grundy

Many of you will have seen viral videos of tearful relatives begging protestors to move out of the way because a frail older family member or seriously ill child is being taken to hospital.

It is no surprise to me that increasingly enraged members of the public are now snatching banners out of the hands of protesters or attempting to drag these human roadblocks off the highways as people just seek to go about their ordinary daily business.

Few campaigns have been so ill-conceived or generated such negative publicity for their professed cause.

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I think it is fair to say that in my experience almost all voters care about the environment and want better protections put in place backed by the force of law to ensure our precious green spaces and open oceans are there for future generations to enjoy, but campaigning in a way that antagonises these self-same voters is foolish in the extreme.

So it is with the recent stunt by Greenpeace to climb on the roof of PM Rishi Sunak’s house to unveil a banner protesting about allowing further exploration of our own oil and gas fields here in Britain to ensure that never again do we become dependent on oil and gas that can be shut off at a moments’ notice by foreign tyrants such as Vladimir Putin.

Not only do protests such as this ask for unrealistic objectives but they promote policies often against the national interest and the policing costs to the taxpayer for this one event alone will probably have run into the hundreds of thousands of pounds.

These protesters should ask themselves: “Is this really the best way I can make my case to the public?”