21 March 2010
Review of Green Ideas in General Election
The UK's General Election will be held soon - the weight of money is for it to coincide with the Council elections slated for 6 May 2010 but these could probably be shifted to coincide with a later General Election which must be latest of 3 June 2010. My gut instinct is that Labour will call the General Election pretty soon after Budget Day on 24 March 2010. Gordon Brown loves detail and he will feel that this gives him an advantage as he will be able to state that he has a fully costed programme and "where are the other parties' costed budgets!"
However, I think he misses the point which is that Prime Ministers must have vision and focus on the "whys of life" rather than the details of the "what and how of specific policies". This made Tony Blair more inspiring for the electorate as a whole rather than specific Labour interested groups, i.e Blair could look outside to the wider electorate rather than just look inwards to his core voters - in fact, Blair perhaps made mistakes by sometimes appealing more to voters outside his Labour core base and hence got kicked out by his own.
In fact it is vision that seems to be missing in politics generally at present and I need something to stop me joining the most popular party of all - the non-voters! Even Obama in the US does not seem to be really living up to his hype, and may just be about to repeat the policies of former US Presidents by continuing with policies on nuclear weapons largely unchanged from the past.
That's a fairly waffly introduction to stating that the General Election will be soon whatever the details of the actual timing. So we thought we would look to the Green Vision that will be hidden inside the main parties' manifestoes and will read through the political programmes of all major parties plus a few extra, so that will be Conservative, Green, Labour, Liberal and SNP, doing them in strict alphabetical order. That will be hard enough work I reckon.
We thought we would look at a few major things:
- How much space is given over to green ideas?
- How plausible are policies on the Environment, Energy and International Development?
- What money (if any) is given over to support Sustainable Development, Renewable Energy etc?
- Are there any surprises lurking in the text, eg on Afghanistan or Genetically Modified Crops or Nuclear Weapons?
We'll have a go, but perhaps we will have bitten more off than we can chew on this one.