Please tell Labour to get a nature conservation policy

The Labour animal welfare plan is a pretty good document. It is open for consultation until the end of the month – please send in some comments – I have!

I welcomed the plan – which includes some conservation measures as well as primarily welfare measures. That’s good.  But Labour does need a nature conservation policy as well as an animal welfare policy. They are needed to stop the bleeding away of votes to the LibDems and Greens in some of those rural marginals which Labour needs to win if it is to become a government. The last general election involved the Tories gifting Labour the environment and animal welfare as free issues and votes for nothing.  That won’t happen again.

But even if there weren’t votes in these issues, which I believe there are, if Labour is to govern then it had better get its act together now.

One suggestion I made would be to include a ban of driven grouse shooting in its manifesto.  But at this stage I would suggest that highlighting the need for a Labour view on nature is more important than attempting to decide what that view should be.

 

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19 Comments

  1. Terry Crow says:

    I don't see why Labour shouldn't appeal to voters in urban areas, too, with a policy on nature.
    I take the view, as a Corbyn-supporting LP member, that wildlife conservation should be at the core of many of our policies, and in particular, housing. Decisions made on new developments will have a lasting impact, so it is vital we get it right from the outset - meaning we should all have access to nature on our doorstep, and habitat/corridors, etc need to be central to any plan (expanding the slithers that we have in urban areas to enable them to thrive.

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  2. jbc says:

    Labour's lack of interest in conservation is one reason I usually vote green.
    Labour's inability to understand that conservation and animal welfare are not the same issue (though sometimes they overlap in interests) is another
    And I despise the way that Labour acts as if simply talking about climate change is the environment box ticked.

    Not being the Tories isn't enough to win my vote. Sorry Jeremy, but you Must Do Better.

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  3. Ian Robinson says:

    Promising to ban driven grouse shooting really ought to be a no-brainer for Labour. It cannot possibly lose votes with this commitment, only gain them. Similarly, it is hard to see how reversing the creeping privatisation of the Forestry Commission will antagonist any of left - leaning folk.

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    • Random22 says:

      Some wide scale nationalisation of land within National Parks, to be run entirely for the nation, would be a promising start. Farmers can be allowed to remain in place as hobby/heritage employees as long as they obey good environmental practice and gamekeepers can be retrained as wildlife maximisation officers to boost wildlife numbers instead of shooting it all.

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      • Eric Buckley says:

        Land reform is something that is urgently required and not just in National Parks, there is far too much of it in the hands of far too few.

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      • Iain Gibson says:

        Gamekeepers retrained as wildlife maximisation officers? Pigs might fly.

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        • Random22 says:

          It would pull the teeth from the argument that wildlife tourism would cost gamekeepers their jobs. Sure they might get themselves fired (or quit in a huff) by reverting to their evil weaselly ways, but by promising them they'd be able to continue in employment under a new title and with new duties, it would remove the scare tactics put out by Beefy's mob.

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  4. Stevenson says:

    Labour is unlikely to form a UK government unless it revives in Scotland where it has been buried by a progressive party and where most of us are dancing on its grave.
    Conservation policies or not, there is no way back for charlatans, time servers and traitors, who actually advise their voters to vote Tory where it will stymie the SNP, bringing a whole new meaning to 'Not being the Tories'.

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    • Random22 says:

      All Labour did in the last election in Scotland was to split the progressive vote and let the Tories in by the backdoor. It is past time it accepted its place as the new third party in Scotland rather than one of the main two and didn't compete in SNP/Tory face offs which only lets the Tories in the backdoor. Labour in Scotland is now what the Lib Dems were before Clegg led them to destruction. It needs to either accept that, or break from the English Labour Party and take up some truly Scottish centred policies even if it means opposing the London Office.

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  5. Alan says:

    I am a member of the Green Party, but I write to my local MP Emily Thornberry about environmental issues. She's a perfectly good constituency MP but I don't get the impression she understands that it's an opportunity for her party. It can't help having a party leader in the constituency to the north who thinks that the environment doesn't go much further than the street trees on the Holloway Road.

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  6. Random22 says:

    Needs to include a requirement to keep cats strictly as indoor pets, and add feral free ranging cats to the animals which can be destroyed as vermin without licence.

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    • Murray Marr says:

      A catastrophic suggestion -- but your nationalising land one (above) takes the cream.

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    • jbc says:

      That'll go down well with the voters! Not.
      Please let Labour not go back to the bad old days of ideologically pure policies that are so off putting to the majority, so ill thought out practically and financially, that they will never leave the page they were written on.

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  7. Keith Dancey says:

    Thank you, Mark.

    I will write as good a polemic as I can.

    Cheers...

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  8. Filbert Cobb says:

    "- Require motorists to report accidents where an animal has been injured"

    Will there be a de minimouse?

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  9. Mike says:

    Personally I avoid membership of political parties as it only breeds disappointment. I was a member of the Labour Party for a number of years but left in total disgust after being told repeatedly by officials and MPs from all wings of it that they would never stop supporting the shooting industry. They kept their word on that as they are tied to the hip to BASC and have been for years. On conservation, many of their reps locally could not care less.
    The Greens are an odd lot, I have lost count how many of them I have met who cheerfully support bloodsports and they say nothing about population growth and would leave us with totally open borders.

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  10. Gerard Hobley says:

    I just wrote a rant to my MP (Dennis Skinner). I don't think that any political party really has the will to tackle the key environmental issues. True leadership is called for and this will not involve giving the electorate what they want.

    For starters everyone in the country who travels to work needs to swap jobs with someone who travels to work in the opposite direction. I have always hated traffic jams and the depressing pointlessness of half the population of Ashborne driving to Derby and back every day, with an equal number of people driving from Derby to Ashborne and back daily, really bugs me.

    Plastic should be totally banned from consumer products by 2020. If the neolithic people of Siberia could derive everything they needed to live there, from Woolly Mammoths, then with all the existing materials technology and skill available modern people can live without plastic.

    Society should be completely re-organised so cars become redundant. Towns will need to be completely re-planned so settlements are based around public transport hubs. The rest of the country can be national park.

    Pesticides, herbicides, agro-chemicals generally really need re-thinking.

    There should be a firm commitment to long term environmental restoration.

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  11. Sandra Padfield says:

    Please tell the Labour Party to get rid of Jeremy Corbyn and his cronies. They might then have some chance of being elected to government. Until then they will be of little use to anyone.

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  12. Roderick Leslie says:

    We'll have to wait a long time beforeany political party produces the sort of conservation policy the country needs - so whyis everyone sitting on their hands saying 'somebody should do something ' ? Some years ago I was at a meeting with Alan Mattingley, leader of the Ramblers, where he kicked off with 'this is what we are going to tell Ministers we want. Surely that is the right approach: we need to create a compelling vision of the future. There is a limit to how far being against things gets you.

    For staters, the Natural Capital Committe proposal to create 250,000 hectares of community forest around our towns and cities is transformational - so transformational it has been almost completely ignored by environmental NGOs. I predict that quality of life issues are the coming trend, and nature is a vital component. With McDonald's clear willingness to intervene against the financial speculation in land the door is open for some big, different thinking - like, for example, 5 or 10 hectares of new green space for every hectare of greenbelt developed.

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