I can’t find the Conservative manifesto from the 2010 General Election online but I have my copy to hand. Here are some quotes from pages 95-97 with my assessment of how Defra has performed in nearly three years of being in ‘power’.
‘The most pressing animal health problem in the UK today is bovine tuberculosis (bTB), which has led to the slaughter of 250,000 cattle since 1997. As part of a package of measures, we will introduce a carefully-managed and science-led policy of badger control in areas with high and persistent levels of bTB’. Complete and utter failure, irrespective of which side of the debate you sit on. Practically nothing has happened except time has passed and things have got worse. Defra has been useless and ineffective in dealing with this issue.
‘We will take forward the Marine and Coastal Access Act and ensure that the conservation measures are implemented effectively, including the creation of Marine Conservation Zones.’. Complete and utter failure.
‘We will negotiate for further reform of the CAP to deliver greater value for money…’ Not much success, and not much credit to the UK for what success there has been.
‘We will fight for wholesale reform of the CFP to encourage sustainable practices…’ Some success, but it would have happened anyway.
‘…create a more effective system of environmental stewardship’. Comprehensive failure despite, or maybe because of, having a bunch of NFU and CLA supporters in charge for nearly three years.
It’s an awful record so far and there is little sign that things will get any better for the next couple of years. This is not a record of which the coalition government, the Conservative Party nor the Ministers responsible can take any pride. It’s a dismal record, a shabby record and a hopeless record.
Having said that – would Labour do any better?