CCHQ didn’t get a big media hit from its ‘green heroes and zeroes’ list (pdf) but The Sun did do as Peter Ainsworth must have hoped and covered the fact that page three green beauty Keeley Hazell made the list of heroes. Keeley Hazell became the public face of a Sun website that is dedicated to environmental issues. Painted in green her saucy advice to Sun readers included:
"Turning off lights can be a big turn-on."
"Cycling will tone you up, giving you a fantastic physique and making you irresistible to the opposite sex."
"I insist my sexy pics are taken by digital camera, so invest in one. Film processing and developing uses toxic chemicals."
"Using water whacks up your energy bill. A shared dip in the tub will cut a couple’s costs."
The Daily Mail – which describes Ms Hazell as "as a Page 3 girl in downmarket newspapers" (!) – warns that this "latest press stunt is expected to bring renewed criticism that the party is dumbing down its message."
Other heroes on the Tory list are Prince Charles (David Cameron’s recent dining partner), Sir David Attenborough (just voted Britain’s Greatest Living Icon), Arnold Schwarzenegger (who recently signed a climate change pact with Tony Blair) and politician-turned-moviemaker Al Gore.
More controversial is the list of green zeroes. Michael O’Leary of Ryanair is identified as one of nine groups and individuals "who have continued to ignore threats to the environment." In a different Conservative era Mr O’Leary would have been praised for bringing cheap travel and sun-drenched holidays to millions of lower income families. Few have done as much to dismantle the overpriced European airline market.
The list of zeroes might have been a little more credible if it had also included former Tory Chancellor Lord Lawson as one of the climate change deniers. Lord Lawson (along with Bjorn Lomborg) made a strong critique of the Stern report (Stern being one of the party’s new heroes) but Central Office clearly wanted to avoid drawing attention to this ‘inconvenient truth’. Click here to see an 18 Doughty Street Talk TV clip of Iain Dale talking to Lord Lawson about the "fraudulent" Stern report.