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Jeanette Winterson

11 April 06 09:40 GMT

We asked Whitbread prize-winner and delicatessen owner Jeanette Winterson for her Take Of The Week.

" Everybody loves the big story. When will Blair hand over to Brown? What about the cash-for-honours scandal? Is the NHS going down the bedpan?

But the real big story is happening now, and it won't vanish with tomorrow morning's headlines.

Whether you're in Bolton or Bangladesh, the big story is happening to you. It's called climate change.

Hosepipe bans in April

This week, the government was forced to admit that it can't keep its promises to cut carbon dioxide emissions. Far from reducing emissions, carbon dioxide output has actually risen under New Labour.

Global warming is real and it affects you and me. Next week, the traditionally soaking-wet UK faces a hosepipe ban -- and it's only April! And if you think that's bad, wait 'til this bottle of mineral water costs twenty quid.

Tony Blair talks a big game on global warming, but where's the action? Gordon Brown's so-called "green budget" failed even to tackle the obvious issue of cheap flights.

Passing the problem on?

We need a different kind of politics, and that means a different kind of politician. One not afraid to stand up to big business. One not hoping to pass the problem on to somebody else.

It's no good saying that if India and China don't get on board, there's nothing we can do. What kind of an argument is that? The west is at the heart of the problem. We have to be the ones to start the change.

Unless we tackle the problem of climate change now, everything else that we do is just rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic.

Of course, we all have responsibilities as individuals and there's a lot we can do ourselves to make things better. But we really need government to get behind the problem now.

Tony Blair went to war with Iraq on a lot less evidence than we have here - for a much bigger disaster.

Anybody can start a fight. Saving the planet is going to be a lot harder.


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