Growth won’t save the planet

We continue to destroy our only planet, driven on by the moneymen – and women. Politicians, in awe of the economists, see growth as the answer to every question.

Anyone who stops to think for a moment can see that more and more growth is not any sort of a solution to today’s problems on a planet with limited resources. 

This view of economics is hard wired into our society through the legal system. Most company directors have as a prime responsibility, that they must maximise the money made by their shareholders. Failure to do this means that they can be sued.

Without changing company law to revise director responsibilities, we will remain locked into money being the measure of everything. And consequent ongoing environmental destruction.

If you haven’t seen it already, I recommend spending four minutes watching Greta Thunberg’s “How dare you” speech to the United Nations. Follow this link.

If the politicians and moneypersons don’t stand up now to save the planet, I will also not forgive them. And I am in my 70s rather than a 16 year old.

Route out of lockdown

Our government doesn’t need to fret over how to get out of lockdown. It just needs to look to the Australian state of Victoria.

Their first criterion was to get to less than 5 new cases a day (roughly 1 per million people). That target was achieved by taking the whole situation seriously with strict lockdowns in different areas. Then having achieved the target rate, the changes to each lockdown rule were announced, along with a timetable for the changes.

The rules were clear; everyone knew what they were, why they were there and therefore they were generally well supported. And Victoria was the worst performing state in Australia re Covid! 

The contrast with the way the UK Conservative government, with all its resources has mishandled the pandemic could not be more embarrassing.

Anyone know what the tier 1/2/3 rules are? It’s tricky because they vary for different areas.

Anyone know what the criteria are for moving into or out of each tier? Is it any wonder there is a strong impression of the government making it up as they go? We deserve better.

Selling out our farmers

Mostly hidden by covid-19 and Brexit, the agriculture bill is steadily going through parliament. This bill will define the shape of farming, wildlife, water management and the quality of food we eat.

It will determine whether we continue to push money to big landowners simply because they own land, or whether it is aimed at supporting smaller farmers who are key to protecting our environment. It will decide if we take a serious step towards avoiding climate catastrophe or keep on maintaining the same damaging practices we have so far used. In short, it’s key to what our countryside will look like in the future.

Government ministers repeatedly claim there will be no reduction in food quality or animal welfare standards. In February 2019, Michael Gove (then the environment secretary) pledged that British food standards would not be lowered “in pursuit of trade deals”.

 Why then did the government reject an amendment to the bill which guaranteed that UK farmers would not be undercut by lower standard imports? Clearly, the words they say are not worth anything. Without the safeguard of the law, anything can be negotiated away. Hormone treated beef and pork plus chlorinated chicken may soon be on our shelves. With our food labelling standards also up for negotiation, if the US have their way you will not even be allowed to know what you are eating!

The most recent statement from Cabinet Office minister Penny Mordaunt is that we should trust the consumer to decide and put our faith in government. This shows exactly what they plan to do; to sell the consumer, our farmers and our environment down the river. 

Trustworthy? Remember, this is the government which counted one pair of surgical gloves as two pieces of PPE!

Read more about food standards legislation on Which?