Sunday, September 13, 2015

Corbyn's countryside?

Recent days has seen an array of meetings, debates, editorials and media coverage relating to the Labour Party leadership contest.  In many senses I guess there'll be a collective sigh of relief that it's all over, or is it? The somewhat surprising extent of Jeremy Corbyn's victory will ensure that the whole issue is kept alive and that the performance of him, and his yet to be appointed key players at Westminster, is followed closely.

But another dimension occurs and interests me.  On several occasions Jeremy Corbyn has expressed concerns on a variety of environmental issues both at national and worldwide levels.I'm encouraged by this as it's such a welcome departure contrasted against other leaders.  Why?   Because recent Party Leaders have shown little or no interest or commitment to the brief and, increasingly, our own natural heritage has being downgraded. It seems it's always the first sector to have funds and other resources withdrawn both at national and local level. Additionally, if the position of our current Secretary of State for the Environment ( Liz Truss ) is concerned, one might almost conclude the issues surrounding our natural heritage are a dirty words. It seems that unless issues arising are connected with farming or food then they will receive no consideration, indeed, serious steps associated with neocotinids and the culling of badgers appear to be progressed despite a different mood in the country and in support of commercial practices despite advice to the contrary.

The Prime Minister appears to have little understanding or empathy with the countryside or environmental issues. Indeed, his Best Green Government Ever is little more than a joke and will provide a suitable epitaph on the Government's role in this respect, with an accomapanying big question mark of course..  Surprisingly, the past Labour Party Leader ( Ed Milliband ) has pledged that he will take up an active role in climate change matters which is welcome.

So might we see countryside matters rise up the agenda a little, which is more than welcome. Given Corbyn's intention to try and create an "inclusive democracy" the possibility that such concerns will also filter down into local politics is tempting to consider. Finally, the environment might receive its true desserts! Undoubtedly it will take time , but anything is better than the current atmosphere where "the environment" is seen to be little more than a commercial resource to exploited and abused. Let's be patient.

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