David Walsh, who is training to be a barrister, argues that it is time to add a new dimension to the green debate, one that might just get the Right talking about reducing our carbon footprint.
Last week saw the latest policy group report on ‘quality of life’ issues. The development of policy through this process has undoubtedly been a positive one for the Party and has spearheaded its intellectual regeneration. The challenge now is to translate this important work into policy fit for a manifesto and potentially impending election. In order to accomplish this effectively, it will require the Party as a whole, not just the leadership, to be engaged with environmental policy.
Even before the latest report from Messrs. Gummer and Goldsmith, David Cameron had pledged to offset any proposed tax reductions with tax increases on environmentally harmful behaviour. If the Redwood report was tough to sell to liberal voters (hoping that the Conservative Party was no longer simply obsessed with tax cuts) then the green agenda is likely to be even tougher to sell to the more conservatively minded, especially Cameron’s internal critics (who will be anxious to avoid any talk of tax rises).