Party Time.

It’s party conference time. Needless to say the environment has not featured prominently among the headlines. But here’s Mary Creagh’s speech.

It’s a bit heavy on the affordable food message, but at least a Labour Government would drop the Badger Cull. It’s worth noting that the previous Labour Govt were moving towards the cull, so that is good news.

There is little about the continuing biodiversity crisis, but good news about more Marine Conservation Zones – though see Dave Dunlop’s comment-  he remains unconvinced..

There is also a clear message that The Coalition’s Red Tape Challenge to cut regulation will be abandoned. Though again the last Labour Government were also keen on cutting regulation or at least ignoring it – as I found during 5 years of trying to get them to effectively implement the EIA Directive for agriculture.

In fact, Labour have a relatively easy time on the environment at the moment as all they have to do is show how much better they would be than the Coalition. Let’s face it they could do nothing and still achieve this, so it’s an incredibly low bar to get over.

Only concerted pressure between now and when the manifesto is written will see anything positive on the environment from Labour, other than them abandoning some of the most destructive Government environment policies and positions we have seen in decades.

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About Miles King

UK conservation professional, writing about nature, politics, life. All views are my own and not my employers. I don't write on behalf of anybody else.
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8 Responses to Party Time.

  1. Ash says:

    I read this with interest, however, I wouldn’t trust any one of the current Labour team to deal with the awful mess this country is in. They didn’t deal with the environmental issues when they were in power for the 20 years prior to this coalition so why would you trust them now? What is needed is a completely different view, otherwise this country & the world for that matter, is going to destroy us all.

    • milesking10 says:

      Thanks Ash. To be fair to Labour they did introduce the Countryside and Rights of Way Act 2000, which included a requirement to manage SSSIs positively for nature, the NERC Act 2006 and the Marine Act 2009. Then there’s the Climate Change Act 2008 which created a statutory requirement to reduce climate changing emissions.

      However they were also responsible for introducing the Entry Level Scheme which spent a great deal of money achieving very little for the environment in agricultural landscapes.

  2. David Dunlop says:

    I’m not sure about the Marine Conservation Zones: no timetable and an unclear use of “community”. The Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats could use the same words; and all three parties to as litte effect. And there’s absolutely nothing about the natural environment in the version of the speech on the Labour Party website.

    • milesking10 says:

      Thanks Dave. I don’t know whether the version I saw changed much in the presentation.

      • David Dunlop says:

        It seems to have reappeared! http://labourpress.tumblr.com/post/61966631139/mary-creaghs-speech-to-labour-party-annual-conference

        This is the FULL TEXT for the ‘E’ bit of DEFRA:

        “When Labour was in government we led on environmental issues. With David Cameron in government it’s a few large companies who are now leading on environmental issues.

        That’s just not right.

        Which is why a One Nation Labour government will work with communities to introduce marine conservation zones to protect our fish stocks, improve biodiversity and stop the destruction of the seabed.

        Which is why a One Nation Labour government will complete the coastal path around England because we want everyone to have access to our wild and special coast.

        Which is why a One Nation Labour government won’t be rolling out the disastrous badger cull.”

        Though two of those commitments could be said to be about food and rural affairs.

  3. nirgunapa says:

    The problem is we need a government that does much more than nothing and certainly more than overturning some of the disastrous policies of the present government. It seems that there is a mindset amongst politicians that the environment and nature conservation is a luxury that we can only deal with once the economy is sorted. Nothing could be further from the truth. A constant sustained effort is needed – but who will commit to that?

    • milesking10 says:

      Thanks Colin.

      Political parties of all persuasions only create new policies when influenced by others.

      The Coalition appear to be overwhelmingly influenced by industry lobbyists, right wing thinktanks and the mainstream media. Indeed, when one sees the free flow of individuals between these 3 and the conservative party, one could argue that the four are so intimately entwined as to be 4 faces of the same institution.

  4. milesking10 says:

    thanks again Dave.

    I’m very surprised there was no mention of Bees by Mary Creagh.

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