I was talking to a former, very distinguished, colleague yesterday about the environmental question time event the week before last, and how Rupert (Lord) de Mauley was so slippery and smooth that nobody could get hold of him. He was like a Turkish wrestler covered in olive oil.
But his statement, which I have now checked on the recording of the event (at 16 min 20 secs), that ‘the Chief Executive of Natural England is confident that we can achieve our strategy to halt the loss of biodiversity by 2020’ has been worrying me. Surely no long-serving government Minister could believe this? Did Lord de Mauley misread his notes? Mis-speak? Or misunderstand? Whichever it was he misled the audience as there is not a snowball’s chance in hell that we will halt the loss of biodiversity in England by 2020 – and certainly not with the feeble measures, badly implemented, that have been the inadequate response of Lord de Mauley and his fellow Ministers.
Maybe Defra would like to clarify this amazing statement.