If ever there was a sentence to articulate the entire Conservative policy and ideology towards the environment in a concise and direct manner then this was it.
The official line coming from a Downing Street spokesman was that Number 10 ‘did not recognise the phrase’ which is of course a deliberately vague and delicately worded political response which translates as; ‘yes he did say that but for obvious reasons we can’t actually use the line “get rid of all this green crap” as it would only reconfirm to everyone that we couldn’t give a [enter your own choice of profanity here] about climate change, renewable energy or environmental issues and might only antagonise our Lib Dem footman further.’
Of course, we don’t know with 100% certainty that David Cameron did in fact utter the “green crap”; nor do we need to. We only need to look at his Government’s record on ‘green’ policy to know that he wants rid of ‘all this green crap.’ His choice of climate sceptic ministers, his promotion of fracking, his threat to repeal green levies, his slow strangulation of the renewables industry, his preference to listen to the right-wing media’s headlines and not the polls they conduct, his Premiership over a country that has the highest level of fuel poverty in the EU bar Estonia; all point to a Prime Minister who is restricted by his Party’s deep rooted political dogma, his fear of opposition from his own ranks and in the media and the crumbling of the pretence to rid the Tories of the ‘nasty party’ image.
The Conservative tree that was ‘scribbled’ in 2006 has been bulldozed as part of the deforestation efforts across the world and Cameron’s promise of ‘vote blue, go green’ will go down in the environmental history of this country as a ‘peace for our time’ moment. The promised influx of huskies into the UK has never come into fruition either, presumably because of tightening of immigration controls. I think that was the point of Cameron’s business trip to Norway in 2006 anyway.
If Cameron and his PR team believe that this new and improved brand of 21st Century Tory Scepticism™ will be a vote winner it won’t. As mentioned previously, the vast majority of the public support ‘green’ policies and renewable energy so all this can possibly do would be to save current voters switching to Ukip; protectionism rather than expansionism. For a minority Government this is really bad news and perhaps is an indication that the Conservatives will be content to consolidate rather than win the General Election in 2015.
“We have got to get rid of all this green crap” isn’t a shocking watershed moment nor does it represent a dramatic U-turn in governmental ‘green’ policy; the superficial Conservative hybrid ‘greenest government’ promise has long been traded in for a 4mpg Monster Truck of an approach. The only difference now is that whatever was left of the ‘green’ façade has been fished out of the recycling and into the general waste along with compassion, equality and just about everything else previously great about this country.