On his appointment as Environment Secretary to our ‘not-government’ Michael ‘Treachery’ Gove promised to protect the environment. In a 2014 speech he declared himself a “shy green” so what’s the problem? Well he’s shy to the point of subterranean.
Let’s start with his parliamentary record.
- In 2016 he voted against reducing carbon dioxide in new homes.
- In 2013 he voted against greenhouse gas emission targets.
- In 2012 he voted to against the Green Investment bank having to support carbon emission reduction targets.
- In 2011 he voted in favour of selling off our public woodlands and forests.
- In 2015 he voted against a review of the impact of fracking on climate change and the environment, and he voted against requiring environmental permits for fracking.
- In 2016 he said, during the Brexit campaign, that the rules restricting the building of new homes in environmentally sensitive areas should be scrapped.
- He supports lifting the ban on fox hunting and voted for badger culls in 2012 and 2013.
Perhaps even more disturbing is that in 2013 when Eduction Secretary he tried to remove global warming from the geography curriculum!
Gove’s official title is Her Majesty’s Principal Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. This reminds us that until 2001 responsibility for environmental issues and ‘agriculture, fisheries and food’ lay with separate government departments. This made perfect sense because it enabled environmental concerns to be considered independently of the agriculture, fisheries and food lobbies. Now, unfortunately, the farmers friend Tories find it much easier to promote their interests whatever the environmental impact. Sadly the merger of interests happened under a Labour government.
Just to add salt into the wound, Michael Gove has also consistently voted for greater restrictions on campaigning by third parties, such as charities, during elections! I guess he doesn’t want the green lobby pointing out just how shy he really is!