2010, the new coalition government, and Mr Gove's whirlwind arrival at the DfE and the loss of all the rainbows, came back to me as I read Jonathon Porrit's post about the 25 year non-plan. I've been waiting for some substance around all this even since being rather taken aback by some of the egregiously positive comment from the usual suspects. See this for example. But JP gave us substance + attitude.
This is how he ends his blog (NB, this is not for those seeking safe spaces):
So whilst I appreciate that organisations like WWF, the RSPB and the Soil Association, all have to be rather more balanced in their response than I have been, do they really have to be quite so naïve? Isn’t it completely obvious that Gove’s principal intention here (apart from personal detoxification) is to try and persuade voters that our post-Brexit environment really will be safe in their hands. We already know nothing could be further from the truth. Post-Brexit, it will be trade first, and everything else (including environmental and animal welfare standards) just so much chaff to be negotiated away. Liam Fox makes no bones about this, happy to let Gove blather on knowing how these things will play out once the deals are being done – especially with the USA.
So why would anybody in the Green Movement be going along with this transparent deceit? Having completely failed to make the pro-environment case for Remain in the Referendum campaign in 2016, every one of our environmental NGOs should now be forensically focussed on ensuring that the Gove/Fox hard Brexit is avoided, reminding citizens of the calamity that awaits us if those free trade Brexiteers eventually get their way. This is absolutely not the time to be toadying up to Gove, even if he has promised to do a couple of things (to support the EU’s ban on neonicotinoids, for instance) that represent real victories for campaigners.
As for Theresa May herself, she must be only too happy to have Gove out and about as a born-again greenie – indeed, as the standard-bearer for wooing young people back into the Party on the strength of its new-found passion for the environment. From what I know of young people, this is a completely preposterous expectation, and Gove must know that. B ut that won’t stop him ‘reaching out’ to gullible environmentalists, wherever he can find them, to smear them with a little bit more green slime."
Well; we shall see ...