18
Jan
15

Who will you vote for?

Given the impending election I decided to see what the main political parties were promising around the things I see as being important; Wildlife and the Environment being the key areas. If your priorities lie in a similar plane, here’s a summary of what I found. Obviously if you see other areas as more important you will have to do your own bit of research.

 

Conservatives

I couldn’t find a copy of their manifesto – which says a lot. I enquired. They replied that one would be available in the next few months! Remind me. When’s the election?

After the Badger Cull, the Fox hunting fiasco, the Buzzard ban and the threat of losing our forests I don’t believe the Conservative party have fulfilled their promise to ‘Protect the Environment’ and I helped vote them in to power on the back of that promise.

 

UKIP

The website has a very ‘them and us’ theme – easy to see why many label them as racists. No official Manifesto but they do have a ‘Policies for People’ section on their website which states the following loosely related point.

  • Foreign trawlers would have to apply for and purchase fishing permits to fish British waters when fish stocks have returned to sustainable levels.

 

Liberal Democrats

Didn’t mention Wildlife but the environmental policy was summarised as follows:

  • Creating 200,000 new green jobs by investing in renewable energy. We have already doubled the amount of electricity generated from offshore wind.
  • Planting 1 million trees in England, the first government tree planting programme since the 1970s.
  • Introducing a 5p plastic bag charge to help clean up our environment and protect Britain’s natural habitat.

 

Labour

  • Set a target for decarbonisation of our electricity by 2030.
  • Strengthen the Green Investment Bank with borrowing powers.
  • Prioritise flood prevention and introduce a new climate change adaptation plan.
  • End the badger cull and maintain the ban on hunting with dogs.

 

Green Party

  • Promote landscape-scale conservation, using reform of the Common Agricultural Policy and the planning system to encourage restoration of heathlands, woods, marshland and other important habitats.
  • Reduce dramatically the use of pesticides and introduce measures such as ‘buffer zones’ around sprayed fields to protect humans as well as wildlife.
  • Oppose the introduction of a non-elected Planning Commission, particularly for new roads, runways, incinerators and inappropriate housing developments, and ensure that sustainable development, not just economic development, is at the heart of the planning system.
  • Press to extend the amount of land covered by the EU Habitats Directive in the UK, and ensure that protected sites are in good condition.
  • Set up a national Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) to promote and integrate research and development on public health and environmental protection.
  • Protect wildlife abroad by cracking down on the illegal trade in wildlife products such as ivory, protect biodiversity in British Overseas Territories, and oppose all forms of commercial and ‘scientific’ whaling.
  • Increase the tranquillity of our urban environments, with less litter, less noise, reduced light pollution and more green spaces. Everyone should live within walking distance of natural green space.

 

I guess manifestos can’t state everything. None of these go as far as I would go in protecting the environment but I know where my cross is going. Do you?

2015 01 17 Avocet Cley Norfolk_Z5A7911a

Overwintering Avocets on the North Norfolk Coast this week – a sign of the temperature gradient moving North? How long before groups overwinter in the Scottish Estuaries? Global Warming is here. What are we doing about this single problem among so many concerning the basic water we drink, food we eat and air we breath?

I’m already fed up with politicians knocking seven bells out of each other over things that are comparatively unimportant and we still have four months to go before the election. I have lots of conversations with like minded friends, guests and others about changes our countryside and wildlife need.  It’s pretty plain to me and many others that we need to make changes … and make those changes fast. If we are not to sign our own death warrant the environment should be at the hub of all political manifestos.

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