...I would have seen the Prime Minister interviewed by John Craven on Countryfile. It is worth a watch. I am not for a moment suggesting that it is a substitute for what I called for in yesterday's blog - a key note speech setting out Mr Cameron's vision for the environment - but it is still pleasing to hear support for the environment from the top of the Government.
As context for the interview, John uses footage of Mr Cameron's 14 May 2010 speech to staff at the Department of Energy and Climate Change where he uttered those immortal words "I want this to be the greenest government ever". He then asks whether, following the Chancellor's autumn economic statement, the intent remains.
Mr Cameron said that he does not see a distinction between environmental protection and economic growth, he suggested that he would no more put the countryside at risk than his own family and that he remains supportive of renewable energy. It is a refreshing to hear him speak publicly of the agenda which figured so prominently when he was Leader of the Opposition.
Of course, I disagreed with his analysis about the planning proposals and think that he is wrong when he suggests that protection afforded to SSSIs is not threatened by the reform (read my blog entry here). But I hope that when he engages in the detail of the policy debate he will be supportive of changes proposed by the RSPB, the National Trust and others.
The second part of the interview will be shown next week and a preview suggests that he will outline his support for reform of the CAP so that more farmers are rewarded for protecting the environment. If Mr Cameron begins to find his environmental voice and fights for policies to match his rhetoric, then 2012 may just be a good year for wildlife.
I must remember to tune in next week.
Did you see Mr Cameron's interview? What did you think?
It would be great to hear your views.
Gill - I cannot add to that. Here's to a successful year campaigning to protect the Thames estuary.
Hi Martin, just watched David Cameron on Countryfile, thank you for the link
The Prime Minister said "I care deeply about our countryside and our environment and would no more put them at risk than I would my own family" So why then do we and the thousands of people living in the rural communities on the Hoo Peninsula feel so threatened by all this talk of a new hub airport in the Thames estuary? Why is it ok for his government to even contemplate the wholesale destruction of our globally important internationally designated wildlife sites?
"Villages can designate 'new' green spaces that they want to keep" those were the words that the Prime Minister used, very commendable. But how about Mr Cameron and his government protecting the globally important green spaces which we already have here in the Thames estuary, that are important to us all and are protected under local, national and international LAW.
David Cameron said "I want us to be the greenest government ever" Then show us Mr Cameron. Please do not attempt to water down the EU protection given to our internationally important wildlife sites. Please do not put our wildlife and countryside at risk with the NPPF reforms and please say no to a new Thames estuary airport at the very earliest opportunity.
Friends of the North Kent Marshes
Conservation and Communities United
HI Martin,we recorded Countryfile so watched it this evening and in my opinion David Cameron came over as sincere as any politician ever will,they always find the right thing to say.I feel he has taken over at a really difficult time and been left a terrible hand by the previous Government,think he has a very difficult job and I have sympathy for him.Lets face it ,in this country I see very little young and poor as all I see is any youngster more than 8yr old with a mobile stuck to their ear costing £20+ a month contract,no wonder they cannot find £14,000 deposit on a mortgage before they are 40.Talk about a feather bedded generation and some people want to land share taking from workers and giving to idlers.Gardens better than farmland for biodiversity,well not those all concreted or paved over thats for sure they are just part of the flood problem.Time friends of the earth looked at that problem as it affects millions of people.
Sooty - a revolution with you at the helm would certainly be one to watch and be a part of!
Redkite - you are right to want more from part 2. But at least he was prepared to be interviewed on this subject. Not sure I can recall his predecessors ever doing Countryfile.
Peter - I really do not agree that RSPB policies on housing are responsibile for increasing house prices.
Hi Martin, watching and listening to the interview with the Prime Minister on your link my initial impression was that Mr Cameron is a very skilled politician. He spoke a lot of words but actually said very little, the main exception being that he would no more put at risk our countryside than his own family which at least pushes the environment up the ladder a little, but hard to say how much. I think you are very right to disagree with him on the planning proposals and every thing these entail. I would also much rather have the trariff continued as it was on solar panels, than a host more wind tubines which, I have to say, I think are terrible and cannot be economic, but which Mr Cameron seems to want a lot more of. I was also very disappointed that no word was mentioned by either John Craven or Mr Cameron about biodiversity loss and halting and reversing that loss. So overall the interview was probably better than nothing but, on the whole disappointing. I think it changes the situation very little. Perhaps part two will be better for biodiversity, maybe!
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