We’re all told that Scotland is different but it appears that its politicians aren’t that different really.
The Environment, Rural Scotland, Energy and Resources chapter of Scotland’s Future forgets to leave a place for nature.
It’s all about energy, energy prices, Scottish fishermen and Scottish farmers but very little about the Scottish landscape or wildlife on which much of Scotland’s tourism industry is built.
I’m not Scottish but I have great affection for Scotland. I have a PhD from a Scottish university (Aberdeen), my first job in nature conservation was as a warden of a Scottish National nature reserve (St Cyrus), I did my first bit of real research fieldwork (and met my wife) on Rhum, my first job with the RSPB was based in Caithness and Sutherland and if I were Scottish I would wonder what Scotland’s Future offered in terms of Scotland’s environment. Despite being a 700 page document, natural beauty and richness hardly finds a place or gets a mention.
Wildlife and the natural environment get little treatment in the question and answers at the back of the document either – it’s all about money and jobs.
What this historic document says about the environment is uninspiring, lacking in details and also lacking in vision. It’s lax and lacking.
In fact, what this document says about us, we British, is that our politicians are short-sighted and they think that we are mean and selfish. They appeal to us simply through telling us that we might get a bit more money if we vote for them. There is nothing much here about creating a better world, it’s simply about making sure that the people of Scotland get at least their share of whatever is going. If this document sums up the aspirations of a nation then that nation is uninspired and uninspiring – and that doesn’t sounds like the Scotland or the Scots that I know.
Now, I wonder whether those politicians further south in the UK could do a better job? Not much evidence I admit – but that doesn’t mean that Scottish politicians are offering Scottish people a good deal for Scotland’s environment.
Do remember to vote in the poll to pick the Westminster MP who did the best job for wildlife in 2013. Voting started yesterday and has already attracted over 600 votes.