Conservative MP and Cabinet minister, David Gauke, is defending his South West Hertfordshire seat against 27 year old Tom Pashby, the new Green Party candidate (‘Party candidate’, 8 May). Unfortunately, any intelligent argument that Gauke might deploy against a Green Party member has been removed by his own party’s ‘green’ manifesto commitments which include the fashionable aspiration to ‘save the planet’ - plus his EU fealty which he shares with his opponent.

The Greens (known as ‘watermelons’: green on the outside, red on the inside), are way ahead in the battle of ideas, waged between aspiring ‘globalists’ and defensive ‘nationalists’, that has so spectacularly split European politics in the recent EU elections.

Greta Thunberg, the autistic 16 year-old, was left with “crippling depression” and “obsessive thoughts” following her educational indoctrination: “In school, our teachers showed us films of plastic in the oceans and starving polar bears... I cried through all the movies. Those pictures were stuck in my head.” The UK Council for Psychotherapy and the Wellcome Trust have highlighted symptoms of “eco-anxiety, including depressed mood, insomnia and feelings of loss, fear and helplessness, psychosomatic stomach aches, headaches and extreme fatigue”. The advice for worried parents: “Take action”. “Help them (the children) to act in ways they believe are important”. Well, they are doing!

The young are idealistic; their brains are still growing well into the 20s. They are wonderful utopians and believe they can create a perfect world if only they can be given the freedom to eliminate its imperfections! The young have also bravely fought and died throughout the centuries for ‘ideals’ - usually articulated by those who do not choose to join them on the battle field.

It’s time children were taught reading, writing, arithmetic and the scientific method - rather than being deployed as the expendable, political tools of an aspiring global elite. When they have the knowledge that makes us human, young people will do their own thinking - and continue to invent the technologies that create cleaner and more energetically-efficient lives for precious humanity.

Putting planet before people will not always be popular with the people!

Prof. Christine Wheeler McNulty