Our long, national nightmare may finally be over. At 8 am this morning, Insulate Britain (sort of) waved the white flag: “It is with an extremely heavy heart that today we have to announce that as Insulate Britain we have failed.” So long, farewell…
After blocking ambulances from hospitals and standing outside half-empty government buildings for months, the brave eco-warriors have now realised they’ve wasted everyone’s time, not least their own. They even acknowledge they “failed in getting enough of you to join us on the roads”. A refreshing moment of introspection.
They do, however, also warn that they plan to return at some point with an “even more ambitious” campaign, and promise they “haven’t gone away” though “more of you need to join us”. Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
Full statement below:
“We are not heroes, we are not clairvoyants; Insulating Britain’s cold and leaky homes is the first no-brainer step in reducing our energy needs as a nation. The construction industry is primed and ready to go. The experts are all saying a national retrofit programme to insulate our homes is vital to tackle the cost of living crisis. More and more ordinary people are joining the dots: Insulate Britain now to save money and save lives.
On August 20th we wrote to Boris Johnson laying out why we were demanding that he get on with the job of protecting the public. In September we began our campaign of civil resistance by blocking the M25 repeatedly, the UK’s most potent symbol of our carbon intensive way of life. Ministers claimed we were endangering the public, while police officers thanked us as they released us from custody with no charges. Journalists said we had ‘no right’ to disrupt the public and drivers told us they just needed to get to work.
During our campaign we have repeatedly said, “We will get off the roads as soon as we have a meaningful statement we can trust from the government that they will Insulate Britain’s homes, starting with social housing”.
After 4 weeks on the roads, in October, we paused our campaign and once more wrote to Boris Johnson, asking him to do the right thing to keep us all safe and Insulate Britain by 2030. We had no response from Johnson except his remarks that we should be ‘insulated snuggly in prison”.
Is with an extremely heavy heart that today we have to announce that as Insulate Britain we have failed.
We failed to move our irresponsible government to take meaningful action to prevent thousands of us from dying in our cold homes during the energy price crisis. We have failed to make this heartless government put its people over profit and insulate our homes to do our part in lowering the UK’s emissions. We have failed to encourage our government to get up from their drinks parties, go to their desk and get on with the job.
And we failed in getting enough of you to join us on the roads to hold this treasonous and corrupt government to account.
We did not take part in this campaign to start an insulation brand. We did not cause you disruption to make history as Britain’s quickest growing advertising campaign. We took part to force our government to stop failing its people.
We will continue our campaign of civil resistance because we only have the next two to three years to sort it out and prevent us completely failing our children and hitting climate tipping points we cannot control.
Now we must accept that we have lost another year, so our next campaign of civil resistance against the betrayal of this country must be even more ambitious. More of us must take a stand. More of you need to join us. We don’t get to be bystanders. We either act against evil or we participate in it.
We haven’t gone away. We’re just getting started.”
‘Till next time.