After a cup of tea and a think…

No Redpolls so far.

This election result is momentous in many ways, and probably in ways we do not yet realise. But the results in places where the Conservatives have not romped home are perhaps as significant for our futures as where they have.

In Northern Ireland there is now, for the first time, a majority of nationalists and republicans, and Scotland has returned a strong SNP majority in its Westminster seats. What does this mean for the disunited UK in the years of trade negotiations following Brexit?

I’m sorry to see Zac Goldsmith lose his seat. He is an environmentalist of real passion and despite the fact that I disagree with him on many, many things I regret his loss from Parliament and from a role in government.

Also I regret the loss of Sue Hayman in Workington. She must take much of the credit for the best Labour election manifesto from an environmental point of view for many, many years.

High Peak and Penistone and Stocksbridge are now Conservative seats and Calder Valley remains Tory (with a majority increased from 600 to nearly 6000).

It’s difficult to spot any good news from my point of view except that Caroline Lucas, the one wonder-woman Green Party, increased her majority in Brighton Pavilion and the Wildlife and Countryside Link supremo, Richard Benwell (see his guest blogs here and here) came a very good second for the LibDems in Wantage.

I’ll come back to what this election result means for environmental issues later in the day. I need another cup of tea…


15 Replies to “After a cup of tea and a think…”

  1. I rather fear that the cup of tea will not dispel the feeling that our new government will replace all their environmental and climate manifesto commitments, not that they were the greatest, with nothing other than clever accounting and creative PR. Mark my words. They will claim that what they are doing is truly great.

    1. There will no doubt be rapid policy U-turns on any environmental commitments. Boris loves a vanity project so expect to see more public money wasted on destroying ancient woodlands and protected habitats. I’m afraid the ban on driven grouse shooting isn’t looking hopeful now, or any end to badger culling. It’s a very short sighted vote by many many people and it’s only going to make the subsequent elections harder when we start having to make bigger changes to our lifestyles to fend off the effects of climate change. Yes it will get Brexit over and done with and I’m sure life will carry on as it ever has done but new regulations will be set with the anti-environment Conservatives in charge and the ever present farming and housing lobbyists leaning over their shoulders rubbing their hands with glee. I’m not sure what it’s going to take to wake people up to the reality of climate change or how to show them the extent of the degradation of the UK natural habitat. The will of the people is that we want more of the same apparently and it doesn’t bode well for the future.

  2. Sad to see Ruth George, Labour MP for Derbyshire High Peak lose her seat. She was hugely supportive of the badger vaccination programme carried out with such gusto by the county’s wildlife trust and totally opposed to the cull. She was also very concerned about moorland management and raptor persecution. She’ll be very much missed.

  3. What’s happened was summed up brilliantly by the Telegraph sketch writer (read in my local café this morning): “I just hope Boris Johnson doesn’t forget to thank the people who made his great victory possible. The membership of the Labour Party”.

    And Johnson couldn’t have done it without Corbyn’s direct help. Tony Blair, among others, warned that the demand to agree to an election was a huge elephant trap. And Corbyn walked straight in.

    And none of this is hindsight – Michael Foot showed just how to be a man of principle and lose big.

    1. Bob W- whereas many of us fear that Boris has shown how to be a man without principles and win big. but we’ll see, I guess.

      1. Thanks, Mark. I agree. It’s happened. There have been so many ‘if only’s along the road that has led to this disaster – I could weep.

        You need to be a realist to gain power and get things done. The hard left will not win a general election.

  4. With party politics sorted for the time being will the environment become one of the defining battle grounds of the next 5 years ? And will the environmenal NGOs recognise that ehaving as if everything is normal and going along with whatever proposals the Government comes up with (eg 25year plan) will shoot them out into the same black hole as Jeremy’s labour.

  5. At the Doctors:
    Doctor Doctor: Well Mr Cobb I’m pleased to tell you your results came in today and the good news is that you don’t have pancreatic cancer, as you feared.
    Cobb: Oh thank you Doctor Doctor that is good news and comes as such as a relief.
    Doctor Doctor: But you still have Type II diabetes so you will have to follow a miserable diet of meat, leaves and alcohol for the rest of your foreshortened life.
    Cobb: Oh thank you Doctor Doctor that is good news and I’m so fuggin grateful.

  6. I wish there was a blog like this which was not so far to the left. So I write this with a little trepidation.

    It is tragic the way David Bellamy was treated for having unconventional views. It reminds me of the way that Alan Turing was persecuted for having an unconventional sexual orientation. Turing was eventually pardoned in a more enlightened era. I for one hope that David Bellamy will eventually be vindicated.

    The environment is always cast as a conflation of “the climate crisis” and every other aspect of the human footprint on our planet. The climate issue has become a huge distraction from all other environmental issues – it saps all of the energy.

    One criticism of Labour’s high-spending manifesto was, where is the money going to come from? To eliminate our 1 or 2% of global carbon emissions would cost trillions. Is this sensible?

    Could we not direct those trillions at the NHS, infrastructure development, social care AND on mitigation of all those other aspects of the human footprint on the environment: farming intensification, loss of habitat, over fishing, fishing by-catch, plastic in the ocean ….

    The hand wringing that I went through before casting my vote was, while not seeing the point of Brexit, I thought it a lesser evil than any possibility of a government pouring trillions into averting a perceived climate disaster.

    Stanley Johnson was the architect of much of Europe’s environmental law, which we all admire. Boris Johnson is Stanley’s son. I do hope that Boris talks to his father.

    1. I think David Bellamy’s rejection of climate science was rather silly and I felt strongly he was deliberately trying to be a contrarian in doing so. However, just the fact he didn’t drop practically everything else to become another megaphone for climate change was rather brave of him, and he was treated pretty scandalously being asked to resign from some high level posts because he was publicly critical of its supposed significance. CC campaigning to my mind has been a bloody disaster – rain forest cleared to grow biofuels!!! I’ve seen issues that almost certainly have absolutely nothing to do with CC being appropriated as symptoms of it (e.g loss of kelp beds off Tasmania – almost certainly due to ecological disruption caused by over fishing).

      This meant that the real cause wasn’t being looked at, so there would be no solution – it was just being used to fuel the CC crusade, actually helping the environment wasn’t really on the cards. If rising atmospheric CO2 levels were somehow driving deforestation, population growth, food waste, wasting of other natural resources such as fossil fuels, conspicuous consumption etc then the current situation of near CC monomania would be entirely justifiable, in fact necessary. But in reality it’s the other way round THEY drive CC, but somehow effectively dropping them from any significant environmental campaigning was necessary to focus upon the over arching issue of CC!?! I keep making this point and will continue to do so until I hear a convincing argument why I’ve got it wrong, and the mainstream environmental movement has not made an enormous mistake and seems to rushing faster and faster down that road.

    2. Last June the Climate Change Act was amended by parliament with just about zero debate or opposition and put into law as Mrs May’s final Act of Spite a target of net zero GHG emissions by 2050. The cost was estimated at £1,000,000,000,000.00 – a curiously round figure – and very considerably upset Mr Hammond (remember him?) who had not been told about it and it very considerably messed up the tidiness of his spreadsheet. Worse – commentators commented that the estimate was too low by far.

      AFAIK this commitment is Law and is in addition to all the other promises made during the General Deception – but was never mentioned. I am left wondering if there are actually any printing presses that can print money fast enough to meet these commitments.

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