Friday, September 22, 2006

Liberal Democrats are green, and in government

We have long suspected the Green Party of being little Englanders. A few years back, their official policy was to quit the European Union. They now realise that the best way of changing the EU's protectionist policies is to fight from the inside, but their attitude to the rest of Europe is still rather equivocal.

The confirmation came this morning, on Radio Wales, when the Green Party Wales Campaign Coordinator (or some such title) stated as fact that our party is not only not really green, but where it has any power, it puts anti-green measures into effect.

We suggest to her that she looks at the largest (in area) nation of the United Kingdom, ruled from Edinburgh since 1999 by a coalition of Labour and Liberal Democrats.(The photo shows Willie Rennie MP for Dunfermline having a diagnostic check at the LibDem conference.) Nicol Stephen, the leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, and deputy First Minister, holds the key portfolio of Enterprise.

Liberal Democrats led the way in Scotland in improving their resource management through the National Waste Strategy based on the three Rs - Reduce - Re-use - Recycle and by setting a Recycling Target of 55% for 2020.

They are well on the way to meeting the first stage of that target by reaching a level of 25% this year which will put Scotland ahead of England and Wales.

Scottish Liberal Democrats also led the way on Renewable Energy by setting a Target of 40% by 2020. This was double the target of 20% set by the UK Government for the same period. Nicol Stephen confirmed in Brighton last Monday that, while Labour in Westminster is behind its target, the Scots are ahead of theirs.

(PS - I have just learned that Green councillors in York have voted against eco-housing and a flagship world class sustainable recycling centre and in favour of higher ticket prices on park and ride. What was that about power and anti-green policies again?)

- Frank Little
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