Who's the clown?

'When Steve Baker MP joined the Tufton Street denialist organisation the Global Warming Policy Foundation we had to take a stand.'

There’s a lot of fuss right now about this kind of protest but we’re aiming to carry on.

Gemma Rogers has been picketing her MP Steve Baker’s constituency offices on Fridays for over a year now because she was appalled when he joined the Tufton Street denialist organisation: the Global Warming Policy Foundation. She founded Steve Baker Watch to draw attention to this. Part of their work involves standing outside his offices on Fridays with placards. This is her account of the campaign.

When a small group of constituents met Steve Baker in 2021, he didn’t seem to know a lot about climate issues. We had visited in 2021 to see if he might support Net Zero policies. He said he would look into it and then take another meeting with us - but he never did. 

Then we heard he had joined the climate-denialist group the Global Warming Policy Foundation. And we decided to campaign in the constituency to let other residents know what he was doing in our name.

For over a year now we have held a vigil outside his constituency offices on a Friday. It is one of the main strands of our campaign. We do it for two reasons - to let him know we are unhappy about having a climate denier as an MP. And to let the people of Wycombe know what he is up to. 

A laugh

The first time we had a vigil we had about thirty people turn up. Because we were concerned that he might be intimidated, we brought along a group of Christians. Baker is himself a Christian. In fact, on that occasion he ended up praying with us. He also showed us the alarm given to MPs to carry in case of trouble. 

These days he’s much less friendly. He sometimes goes past and rolls down his window. He is never pleasant. He has told us that if he had enough money he would sue us. But that wouldn’t be a great look would it: an MP suing his constituents. Our protests are always peaceful. And sometimes it’s a laugh. After he called us clowns one time, we dressed up in clown costumes. Then he called us muppets, but we haven’t yet dressed up as Kermit and Miss Piggy. 

We have a lot of nice conversations with the public. And get quite a few beeps from cars. When it’s cold, people bring us out cups of tea. There’s a lot of fuss right now about this kind of protest but we’re aiming to carry on. But we would never go to his home. We understand MPs have every reason to be concerned about their personal safety. Look at what happened to David Amiss and Jo Cox. 

But we're non violent. We’ve gone out of our way not to be intimidating. We’re maybe cheeky sometimes. We’re humorous. But we agree with Just Stop Oil that the situation on climate is urgent. I’m here because I’m afraid for the lives of my kids.

This Author

Gemma Rogers is the founder of Steve Barker Watch.