STATEMENT BY DIANA WARNER (FORMER GP) TO THE HIGH COURT
To your Lordship, National Highways and Transport for London,
We are all intent on keeping the public safe. This is 100% my motivation. This court has not heard evidence that Insulate Britain is acting dangerously, the two articles cited on the injunction are hearsay. Insulate Britain is committed to nonviolence, and I am sure I speak for all of us here, when I say that it is paramount to keep the public safe.
However, my understanding of people’s safety is at odds with the understanding of some people here. We do need to understand each other, if we are to work successfully to keep everyone as safe as possible. There seems to be a wide gulf between my understanding of what constitutes safety, and the stand taken by National Highways. I ask for a few minutes of your time for me to explain.
I am a retired GP, as you know. I am also a mother, potential grandmother, and the granddaughter of Martha Lewen, who was killed in a Nazi gas chamber.
In October 2018 I was performing a six week baby check, examining the hips of a baby to make sure she didn’t have congenital hip dysplasia. If I missed the diagnosis, that baby would be pleading for a hip replacement in her 20s or 30s. I wondered what her life would be like when she was thirty and suddenly realised I was missing the point in terms of health prevention – the biggest threats to her health, and possibly to her life, that she will be facing when she’s 30 are the climate and ecological emergencies.
As a GP I was failing her. In fact, the whole of my profession was failing her.
At that moment I experienced a sudden change, affecting the whole of my being. At that instant, I made a vow to do everything I can to ensure that she would live into her thirties, as safely and securely as possible. This is what I work for now. Her future is severely endangered. There is hope only if we make full scale changes to the way society runs, the way we live and the way we produce things, and if we do it right now. We have run out of time.
Behind me is my grandmother Martha, unspoken of, murdered. Nobody saved her. But everything I do is also for my grandmother. I will save our grandchildren if I possibly can. I take up that courage Martha Lewen showed when she sent her own children to Birmingham, knowing that she herself may then die alone.
This is where I work from. Yes, I am willing to give up my freedom, and my house. These are all the material things I have. But there is everything to lose, if we lose the very fabric of our society, our economy, and such loss is what we’re heading for right now. That is why I continue to return to the roads with Insulate Britain. In my opinion Insulate Britain gives us the best chance of forcing real changes at COP26, starting with the first significant and straightforward step the UK government can take - insulating Britain’s leaky homes.
If National Highways are committed to safety, they will slow the traffic to 20 mph, or 10 mph, when there are people on the motorway. I am asking that National Highways do this.
National Highways claim that they have called for this injunction for safety, as well as for economic reasons. We are in agreement about the need for safety on the motorway, even if we disagree about what constitutes public safety in wider terms or about what is necessary for the good of the economy. Therefore, I ask that National Highways work with Insulate Britain to ensure safety for everyone, given that I for one will continue this campaign of civil resistance until we get a meaningful statement from the government that we can trust.
Press contact: 07737 457105
High quality photos and video footage available here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1Kucq-NfhnZLGJWwLx1HX03cWR7M9Y2-m
Notes to Editors
About Insulate Britain
Insulate Britain is a new campaign group that is calling on the UK government to put in place policy and funding for a national home insulation programme starting with all social housing.
We demand the Prime Minister and the government to #getonwiththejob, face up to their responsibility and lead our country through the climate crisis.
We are ordinary British citizens with simple and achievable demands to #INSULATEBRITAIN
The UK government must immediately promise to fully fund and take responsibility for the insulation of all social housing in Britain
We demand a national home insulation strategy that gives British people the justice they deserve: a future for our loved ones, lower energy bills and safer living conditions
We are scared: our livelihoods are at risk and the futures of our children are uncertain
The Climate Crisis is a threat to all: we demand the government to act now
1. That the UK government immediately promises to fully fund and take responsibility for the insulation of all social housing in Britain by 2025;
2. That the UK government immediately promises to produce within four months a legally binding national plan to fully fund and take responsibility for the full low-energy and low-carbon whole-house retrofit , with no externalised costs, of all homes in Britain by 2030 as part of a just transition to full decarbonisation of all parts of society and the economy.
Further information about Insulate Britain and our demands here: https://www.insulatebritain.com/
Technical Report on home energy efficiency here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1jt5FI-kinEXoqZtPDrCvnAVQ2EFn8Aea/view
Insulate Britain ‘Blue Lights’ policy: our policy is, and has always been to move out of the way for emergency vehicles with ‘blue lights’ on.