In 2010, the Liberal Democrat manifesto did not have a section on the environment because these matters were scattered through the whole manifesto – very trendy and imaginative and rather hopeless! This time around it’s easier to see what they are on about, which is good, because there is much in here to like although the record of the two Lib Dem ministers in Defra (you can’t remember either of their names, can you?) was so invisible that it makes me wonder what is the point in voting for the make-weight party if they are going to be light-weight in ‘power’. On the other hand, Chris Huhne was a fine Climate Secretary and Ed Davey a good one too.
For readers of this blog looking for headline points to persuade them to give the LibDems their votes then I guess the ‘Five Green Laws’ are the most eye-catching. The Lib Dems will give us, if they are the party of government (1000/1 !):
- A Nature Act
- A Zero Waste Britain Act
- A Green Transport Act
- A Zero Carbon Act
- A Green Buildings Act
There are some very good things in here, but we aren’t going to see Nick Clegg as Prime Minister. So the question is, if there are enough Lib Dem MPs to be a force in the next parliament, and I’m sure there will be, then what good will they do? And the answer to that depends on which of the main parties they pal up with. And then it depends how hard and well the Lib Dems can use their influence to do good for the environment.
These Lib Dem environment policies are better than those of either Labour or the Conservatives, in my opinion, but whereas in the past there was pretty much certainty that we wouldn’t have a Lib Dem government, now, although there is pretty much certainty that we will have a Lib Dem say in how the UK is run we still have considerable uncertainty over which, if any, of these policies will get any sort of profile in the next government of Britain.
The LibDems haven’t told us what they will die in a ditch for… Maybe there isn’t anything…
Other political party manifestos are available: