‘To save the environment from a Conservative government’ – Michael Gove

I’ve never used an autocue but they can work out a bit badly.  I’m pretty sure that Michael Gove said in his speech something about saving the environment from a Conservative government. Well, maybe he said something about how there is lots of action, to save the environment, from a Conservative government. Maybe the autocue didn’t have the commas in the right places.

There was an announcement – Gove is going to try to reduce food waste.

This wasn’t Gove’s best speech but it went down quite well with the assembled throng although they didn’t look as interested in the bits about saving the environment as they did about slagging off the Labour Party.

There wasn’t much new  or exciting in the speech; animals are nice, the seas are nice, foreign wildlife crime is nasty, farmers are nice, Tories are nice, his colleagues are nice, Defra civil servants are nice, trees are nice, Labour is nasty.  The most contentious part of the speech was that Defra agencies are nice.

Reading between the lines; animals are nice (except Badgers and birds of prey), the seas are nice (particularly if they are a long way away), foreign wildlife crime is nasty (but that on our doorstep is not worthy of our attention), farmers are nice (and if I say so they might not notice I’m going to be removing much of their finance), Tories are nice (I might be your leader one day), his colleagues are nice (I really might be your leader quite soon), Defra civil servants are nice (please don’t cock anything up before I get another job – I might be leader you know), trees are nice (we’ve got one as our logo, remember?), Labour is nasty (I could take on that Jeremy Corbyn after Brexit), fishermen are nice (I’m not the usual type of Tory remember). 

Interesting that Greenpeace released this news today – showing that SSSIs are not being monitored properly by Natural England (Defra agencies are nice you know?) and not being managed properly by landowners because all pretence at enforcing environmental law seems to have disappeared.
The obligation to manage protected sites properly was introduced by the last Labout Government in the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000 and is being left to decay by the current government.  I’ll come back to this matter later in the week.  Well done Greenpeace, not so good Mr Gove.

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5 Replies to “‘To save the environment from a Conservative government’ – Michael Gove”

  1. I was just reading the bit in the Manifesto about Natural England - hardly surprising they're not doing their job with 44% budget cut. But reading the description of what has happened far from surprise, I can see many if not most Tories - think Owen Patterson and 'green crap'- looking at it and thinking 'Job Done'.

    I'm still slightly mesmerised that anyone in conservation thought it would be any different - certainly, there can have been few in Forest Enterprise England in 2010 who didn't think there was trouble ahead.

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    1. Yes Rod the government came with a strong antipathy to public services, the environment, local government, the BBC and if course Europe. Rather than get rid of them it has reduced funding so they cannot function effectively.

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  2. A previous and useless incumbent of the post who slashed Defra and its agencies' budgets is now in the Treasury so the chances of any let up in cuts is nil The head of NE is simply a bean counter ferried in to do as little as possible with an overstretched budget and no knowledge of environmental issues. The situation can only get worse and sadly I don't anticipate any alternative administration giving the environment the priority it deserves. When did you last hear a politician give prominence to the environment in any statement.

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    1. But, but ... she did a lot for Pork!

      IMHO - the agenda behind everything what's going on at the moment is the smoothing of the path for trade after Brexit. If I were into betting, which I'm not although once I did win a cake in a raffle, I would put my money on the outcomes for facilitation of trade and food export dominating the near future and when Mr Gove moves on to his personal sunlit uplands as must surely be his ambition his success if any will be measured in commercial terms rather than any spectacular environmental gains. I would like to be wrong and based on the Universal Law of Failed Prediction I probably will be as the only predictions that hold are that there will be A Future, and that it will be Different.

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  3. I think it perfectly sums up the Tories when they will sit down with a minority extremist group (the CA) and yet when 10,000 people walk in the rain with Chris Packham he doesn't even get invited in.

    Unless they can shoot it, chase it and kill it with hounds or make money from it the Tories don't give a *** about the environment.

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