The global economy was in a death spiral and Britain was at the centre of the financial tornado. The legacy of Chancellor Nigel Lawson – reliance on the deregulated and seemingly craven denizens of the City of London – meant Britain, in particular, was in serious peril.
At the same time, environmental groups and campaigners had finally persuaded the Labour Government to address the serious risk that profit-seeking oil companies posed to the global ecology. The Climate Change Bill passing through Parliament in 2008 would introduce statutory reductions in carbon emissions.
It was at this moment that Lord Lawson, retired to a picturesque and sleepy French village, and conspicuous through his long absences from the House of Lords, decided to stage a remarkable political come back.