The Environment: A Toxic Political Issue
I had the most depressing conversation about politics I have had for many a long year the other day. I have been puzzled that the environment hasn't had more airplay during the Brexit debate. There's pretty much a consensus among environmental NGOs and conservation groups that being in Europe has been a good thing for the environment, so why haven't the in crowd made a bigger song and dance about this aspect of the issue, rather than just repeating the same old vague platitudes? Because, apparently, not only is the environment not important for voters, but it can lose you votes. We had an old friend to stay the other weekend who is a long term Tory activist. She has been door stepping for Zac Goldsmith and is privately despairing of his chances in the London mayoral campaign. The Tory faithful aren't going to turn out for him. This surprised me; I have heard a fair amount from Zac Goldsmith and found him well informed and lucid. Why didn't people like him, I wondered. Too Eton? Too rich? Too young? No. It is because - despite being pro-Brexit - he is too green.