The question is – has the government gone mad or is it just wicked?
The Red Tape Challenge potentially opens up any regulation anywhere to challenge but the government has included biodiversity, wildlife and natural environment regulation in this mix.
Following the disproportionate clobbering that Defra received in the Comprehensive Spending Review compared with other government departments, the muzzling, neutering and chaining up of government environmental agencies and watchdogs, and the stalled initiatives to get government out of forests and National Nature Reserves this latest move forms part of a coherent but wrong-headed agenda to put nature conservation into the hands of individuals and the marketplace and drastically remove government influence.
The RSPB and 38 Degrees are standing up to this move and are asking for public support – please give it to them. But I have just searched the home pages of WWF, Greenpeace, the Wildlife Trusts, National Trust and Friends of the Earth to see what they think without finding very much there at all. Maybe they are about to join in soon. If they are then I’ll let you know.
Oliver Letwin and Francis Maude – mad or wicked? You choose.