We’ve had quite a summer of political announcements from the party who have repeatedly committed to being the party of the environment. They reassured us Brexit would not mean watering down environmental protections, and in fairness, it hasn’t meant the watering down of environmental protections, it’s been more like a biblical flood intensified by the climate collapse!
We’ve been told that we need hundreds of new fossil fuel extraction licenses to help deliver our net zero ambitions and provide ongoing fuel security. Followed up by the claim that anyone not supporting the exploitation (perfect word) of additional fossil fuels is anti-British and pro-Russian, a claim accurately described by one political commentator as the most cynical politicisation of the Ukraine war it’s possible to imagine.
We’ve seen repeated attacks on the move to reduce air pollution in London, which, let’s not forget, has been directly linked to increased deaths. In 2013 we saw the tragic death of 9-year-old Ella Kissi-Debrah – the first person to have air pollution listed as the cause of death.
And then earlier this week the government announced its intention to weaken / remove nutrient neutrality rules, originally designed to ensure that any further infrastructure development would not negatively impact the quality of our rivers and streams. What all these rules were trying to do was not clean up pollution, but instead, to make sure it doesn’t get any worse!
By removing these protections, the government is deciding, on our behalf, that pollution is fine as long as we’re delivering growth and perhaps even more dangerously, removing the principle of the polluter pays!
Who needs clean water anyway…
This is the same government that is also wilfully allowing water companies to repeatedly pump sewage into our rivers and streams, openly, and non-ironically, stating that rivers aren’t meant to be swam in anyway. It’s ok though, we don’t have to worry about telling the aquatic species as most of them have floated to the surface already!
This policy has caused an impassioned response from across the environment sector, including from the RSPB which simply and elegantly declared that the government were in fact liars.
The tweet said, “You said you wouldn’t weaken environment protections. And yet that’s just what you are doing. You lie, and you lie, and you lie again”.
This response was celebrated, praised, and echoed by thousands of people across the country incredibly proud of the honesty, bravery, and leadership. Sadly now, as a result of political pressure and bullying, the RSPB has been forced to distance themselves from the post.
A few weeks ago, I called for the generation of activist business leaders and asked you all to hold me to account for these standards. To the comms professional that wrote this tweet, if you’re reading this then please give me a call, I’d like to buy you a coffee and say thank you! Also, if you’re interested, we’re recruiting!
One of my favourite sayings in life is that “everybody knows”.
Especially in business, everybody knows. Everybody knows who the higher performers are, everybody knows who doesn’t work as hard as everyone else, everybody knows who is helpful and kind, and everybody knows who’s miserable.
And that’s probably why I didn’t decide to call the government liars, I didn’t think there was any point really because everybody knows!