...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.
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