Saturday, 8 January 2011

The greenest government ever - huh?

So, this is the greenest government ever? I guess quite a few of us are scratching our heads on this one. As the Tory (nasty) Party went thorough it's re-branding with Blairite poster boy and PR man David Cameron, we saw Dave cycling to work, followed by a car carrying his suit and briefcase, installing a wind turbine on his house, and cuddling polar bears at the North Pole (OK, not quite be he would if he could have - no doubt).

Of course, this was all a PR con, or as these things are known these days - greenwash. Lets get down to the facts. The Tory-led government is in thrall to the corporations, and if there is one thing corporations hate its environmental regulation which prevents them dumping costs onto the environment in the form of pollution. It's not difficult to work out that we are going to see a weakening of environmental regulation and a knock down sale of our environmental assets.

So what is the "greenest government ever" doing? Well, its scrapped the Sustainable Development Commission and the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution for a start. It's downsizing the public bodies which protect the environment like the Environment Agency and Natural England. It's planning to sell off our forests, its scrapped the fleet of emergency tugs which are there to protect the marine environment, and it wants to start building new uneconomic and unsustainable nuclear power stations - like the Olkilouto plant in Finland which has been an outrageously expensive botched cock-up.

Behind much of this is the disaster of The Public Bodies Bill which gives the government powers to scrap public bodies at will. The bill is audacious, mendacious and dangerous for the environment. These bodies were created by parliament but parliament will have no say in their merger or removal.

The reality is that this is likely to be the least green government ever with falling environmental standards and failure to tackle our greatest problem - climate change. This won't be a surprise to anyone in the Green Party. It's exactly what we expected. We had the right policies to create a green economy whilst providing a million new jobs and protecting public services. We now have to face five years of going backwards environmentally with nothing being done to deal with the most serious issues that face us.


Anonymous said...

Spot on - but the Green Party failed to secure enough seats to do anything about this.

I see people from the public sector 'environment bodies' swanning about in company cars anyway (even to meetings, when surely they ought to be travelling by train or bus!), so maybe this isnt just about the Tories, but about the attitudes of the employees who preach one thing and practice another.....

Next plan of attack - aim for success in May at local elections??


Howard Thorp said...

I doubt whether people from public sector 'environment bodies' swan about any more than anyone else does. I've never noticed not being a car spotter.