The Telegraph newspaper - bastion of Tory thinking - [well written though] asks what is it with Caroline Spelman, the Environment Secretary, who speaks up for the environment in the international arena and wants to sell of our forests and defang the guardians of our National Parks in England.
I ask the same. What is it with Caroline Spelman?
And I answer - my intuition tells me she is a died-in-the-woold tory who wants to return England to its feudal roots; begin a new round of the Enclosure Acts by stealth, and pave the way for the government to sell the best bits to her chums' chums.
Oh the polarisation of English politics heralds a new reinvigorated day for satire. Bring it on and - Out With The Tories.
Does conservation stop at home?
The Environment Secretary seems intent on weakening our national parks and stifling criticism, says Geoffrey Lean.
What is it with Caroline Spelman, the new(ish) Environment Secretary? She seems enthusiastic about conserving wildlife and beautiful landscapes, just not at home.
By all accounts, she was a hero of this month’s UN conference in Nagoya, Japan, which secured a new agreement to protect biodiversity and wild places – including measures to strengthen and extend national parks.
Back in Blighty, however, Ms Spelman has set about weakening our national parks in a consultation document that threatens to give economic development within them the same importance as conservation. Whereas most countries make their parks inviolable wildernesses, ours have benefited from sympathetic farming, but it’s a delicate balance which Miss Spelman threatens to upset.
Her department’s new business plan also promises to defang the wildlife and countryside watchdog, Natural England, by depriving it of the power to address policy. Taken with a similar restriction on the Environment Agency and her abolition of the Sustainable Development Commission and the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution, this removes all sources of independent advice and – as ministers admit is the point – criticism.
Miss Spelman believes policy should be monopolised by her department because it is “democratically accountable”. Of course she does. This move could only be welcomed by those who think the man (and woman) in Whitehall knows best.
Read more at www.telegraph.co.uk