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Why Rishi should be more like Greta

Greta Thunberg at Glastonbury. Jim Dyson/Getty

Rishi Sunak got “clobbered” when he said he wasn’t planning to attend the Cop27 climate summit, says Michael Deacon in The Daily Telegraph. He quickly U-turned, “but perhaps he should have stood his ground”. After all, he had available to him an excuse even a “fanatical anti-Tory” would have lapped up: “The reason I’m not going to Cop27 is that Greta Thunberg isn’t going, either. She says it’ll just be a load of worthless ‘greenwashing’ – and, like every respectable modern person, I vigorously agree with her.”

None of his critics could possibly have demurred. For the past five years, countless middle-aged politicians and celebrities have gushed over the 19-year-old Thunberg. Jeremy Vine recently shared a photo with her with the caption: “honoured”. “I assume he meant that he was honoured to meet her, rather than the other way round.” When Thunberg made a speech in Parliament in 2019, Michael Gove “gurgled” that she was “the voice of our conscience”. Ed Miliband cooed that she had “woken us up” to climate change – a surprising claim coming from him, “given that he’d been the minister for climate change all the way back in 2008, when Ms Thunberg was barely five years old”. Greta’s groupies need to act their age – and remember hers. When a recent interviewer asked her about how governments could pay for her demands, she retorted: “I am a teenager.” Exactly. “Let’s start treating her like one.”