'Ulez has become about more than air quality - it's about money, privilege and hypocrisy'

By TalkTV's Rosanna Lockwood

Our capital city London is now the world's largest low emissions zone. I think that's something to be proud of. But I know many of you think otherwise.

I'm talking about Mayor Sadiq Khan's expansion of Ulez today - costing drivers of older vehicles, noncompliant ones, at least £12.50 extra to move around the city every day. Painful, yes, horribly painful for some. But that's how deterrents work.

And this whole thing has become about more than just air quality traffic cameras in London. It's become about money, privilege and hypocrisy. In this brave new Ulez world, you're either pro motorist or anti motorist, which means you're either on the side of hard working ordinary people or you're not.

We know that people in power who make unpopular decisions about the way we live, often take planes and get driven around in big cars in order to do their jobs.

They are not struggling to get to work or running a small business. And we want to see them suffer too, to practice what they preach, which they're telling us to do what they're legislating us to do.

We could actually insist on that in the way that we vote, we could choose the leader that uses a bicycle and wears hemp clothing. But for many reasons, many of us don't.

We could also insist the cost of tackling climate change gets heaped less on ordinary people and more on those still profiting from the stuff that is causing all of this fossil fuels. That would be very worthwhile. But again, we don't do that.

So instead, we have to sit with the fact that sometimes in life difficult decisions will be made for us by the people we put into power, decisions about our health and our future.

And we should be reminded of and aware of our privilege to shout about these decisions as loud as we want - which is going on at the moment with Ulez - and we have the power to vote differently next time if we so choose.

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