Defra – a shameful department (2)

George Monbiot’s article in today’s Guardian reinforces the view that Defra has sunk to about as low as it can get. He points out that Defra announced the impacts of NOx pollution on human mortality and a consultation on how to fix it on the Saturday just before the media were swamped with the news of Jeremy Corbyn’s lection to the Labour leadership. Talk about hiding bad news!

Here is the link to the consultation and I suggest that we respond to it – though I might have to phone a friend to discover the best and cleverest things to say.

It is so easy to list Defra’s failures as an environment department – so let’s do it (although some will escape me, I’m sure):

  • siding with prejudice and the NFU rather than with science over badger culls
  • siding with agri-business rather than science over neonicotinoids
  • siding with the indolence rather than science and activity over marine protected areas
  • siding with its mates rather than the law over raptor persecution
  • siding with indolence rather than the public good over air pollution
  • siding with indolence rather than public and wildlife health over lead ammunition
  • siding with its mates rather than environmental protection and climate change over burning of blanket bogs
  • siding with developers rather than environmental protection over notifications and planning

You’ll be able to think of many more.

But what would you say is Defra’s greatest environmental achievement since May 2010?

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9 Replies to “Defra – a shameful department (2)”

  1. Given the news about Volkswagen in the last few days you have to wonder if theyv'e conspired with big car manufacturers and the EU to give these criminals a free pass on making an extra £220 per car too. That's the cost of having a really clean engine that doesn't kill asthma suffers now and future generations through climate change caused by worse greenhouse gas emissions.

    I don't know much about the management of Defra but it looks like their regulatory capture by business is not confined to landed interests. They are clearly capable of extreme duplicity and fraud so your revelations of their corrupt processes over the last few days will seem like small beer to them.

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  2. "Defra’s greatest environmental achievement"

    Taking responsibility for transport emissions from the DfT without them noticing

    Likes(9)Dislikes(1)
  3. I think it's important to make a clear distinction between a Government Department as an administrative body and as a political entity - and put the blame where it deserves to be. This Government, politically, is engaged in a strategy of degrade the destroy - cut and cut, prevent people doing their jobs and then turn round and say 'well you said it was no good, now we've solved it, we've abolished it - and given its functions to our pals in the private sector, where even harder to hold Government inspired actions to account to account.' Imagine working for bosses who actually want you to fail - not exactly leadership is it ? If you want it writ big, look no further than Jeremy Hunt and health, but the same applies to Defra - who in the Conservative party would care if Defra simply disappeared and its functions were farmed out as unwanted extras to other departments with more serious matters on their minds ? The simple answer is farmers, and farmers alone, who quite rightly must have realised that they'd fare no better than wildlife in an abandoned corner of the Business Department.

    Greatest environmental achievement since 2010 ? Without doubt putting the National Forests of England beyond Minister's reach through a stunning, spectacular own goal that really sums up the last 5 years.

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  4. Pardon me Filbert for believing DEfra has any interest in UK air quality. On Newsnight just now (Friday 25th) the former Tory transport minister in the coalition government says Cameron delayed new UK emission standards in 2013 at the behest of Merkel for some unknown quid pro quo. The EU knew about it too. This is genuinely shocking. Cameron conspired with his cronies to continue to kill 23,500 people in the UK per annum. He is worse than Putin in my book. It's an open goal for Jeremy Corbyn. And Nigel Farage my faith in EU environmental regulation has taken a massive plunge. If the government are happy to kill off citizens on this genocidal scale what hope for hen harriers?

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  5. Constantly let the wild boar down by refusing to accept they are native once more and not giving them the closed season and protection they deserve from hunting all year round; animals being killed when pregnant and suckling mums being shot and piglets starving to death.

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  6. Defra are nothing more than the go to guys for the NFU, the CA and big agri business when they want something done and their way, usually at the expense of our wildlife and environment as a whole. It seems no matter how ridiculous their proposals they'll back it up with cherry picked and out of context data, they've become a parody of themselves and are corrupt to the core.

    Natural England have become nothing more than an extension of Defra, what happened to the independent body that would look out for the environment and have the real power to put the shackles on damaging or ill conceived policies?

    It's a disgrace and we're paying for it with our taxes and our wildlife.

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