Wednesday, March 21

An Enviromental ''Arms Race''

As David Cameron planted a tree in north London two weekends ago, it was his funky trainers as much as his handy spadework that caught the attention of onlookers and the assembled media. Cameron was officially marking the Conservative Party's "Green Action Day", but there was also a message in his green-laced, camouflage-soled footwear.

Conservative Party Central Office was happy to let it be known that they were, in fact, recycled from old firemen's trousers (they did not say which one) and car seats, part of a limited edition of 400 pairs produced to mark last year's 15th anniversary of The Big Issue. Now that is really trendy.

As a symbol, it was true to form from a politician who, since taking over his party's leadership, has rarely missed an opportunity to advertise his green credentials, whether by cycling to work (with his driver following in his official car with his briefcase and shoes) or putting a windmill on the roof his (very posh) house (which did not work because there is a lack if wind in London).

It is clear that in the UK an environmental "arms race" has begun amongst our politicians. For the foreseeable future, our politics will no longer be simply blue, red, yellow or purple, but made up of different shades of green. Voters should be warned that our political elite are determined that Britain is going to save our planet, often with contradictory and prohibitive measures wrapped in green recyclable trendy and cool environmental policies.

What is not being asked is how can our country, that contributes just 2 per cent of the world's carbon emissions really make much of a difference to the planet? Similarly prohibitive measures are not being undertaken by China, India, America, and Russia who are the world's largest polluters.

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