Nick Clegg keeps writing to me even though I was only a member of the Lib Dem party for a year and haven't been for about five years. Now he's banging on about green issues when, as he points out, most Tories on the other side of the Coalition have quietly let it drop. This is what he had to say:
This week I made one of my most important speeches of the year. Miss it? I
wouldn’t be surprised: it was on the environment – an issue that used to be the
height of fashion across Westminster but has now fallen out of the political
I met with green groups so that they could hear direct, from me, that the
Liberal Democrats are as committed as ever to the green agenda. Back when the
Coalition formed, the Conservatives said they wanted this to be the greenest
Government ever. We haven’t forgotten and every day we’re holding them to their
It doesn’t make for a particularly quiet life in Whitehall. To be honest, I
think the Tories find it baffling. They’ve decided that there are no longer
votes in green issues because people are too busy worrying about the economy –
and they can’t fathom why we still care. And yet last month all of us sat to
hear Sir Mark Walport, the Government’s Chief Scientific Advisor, set out the
threat of climate change in the plainest possible terms. He said politicians
need to stop asking if climate change is happening, or if humans are
responsible for it. We need to get on with tackling it. What more do the
You would, on this occasion, expect Ed Miliband to get it. He is a former
Climate Change Secretary after all. But Labour’s populist promise to
temporarily freeze energy bills would be a huge blow to our green commitments.
Not only is it a con – with the energy companies bound to hike up prices before
and after the freeze – but it would also massively undermine investment in our
renewables industry, threatening clean energy and thousands of jobs.
So it’s up to us to keep pushing policies that protect our environment –
whether that’s our 5p charge on plastic bags, cutting greenhouse gases, or
getting more low carbon cars on our roads.
I’m green because I want to
hand on the best world possible to our children and grandchildren – tell me why
you’re green too.
So is he just a sandal wearing namby pamby tree hugging liberal or are these policies still relevant as we come out of one of the worst recessions in centuries? What do you think and does it have any relevance to Tonbridge?...