Coffee House

What a bill about National Parks tells us about the Coalition

4 June 2014

3:34 PM

4 June 2014

3:34 PM

One of the surprises in the Queen’s Speech is something called the Draft Governance of National Parks (England) and the Broads Bill. Unless you live in a National Park or the Norfolk Broads, you may struggle to muster enthusiasm, but the reason this surprise is an interesting surprise is that it tells us something about the way the Coalition works.

This bill, which will provide direct elections to National Park authorities in England, was, as I understand it, an important Lib Dem policy and a Coalition commitment. I’m told that Nick Clegg requested it, and this legislation may well have taken the place of a Forestry Bill to establish a public body to manage the forests. Campaigners had been pressing for this Bill as a way of burying the hatchet of the great forest sell-off row, and an impressive list of them wrote to the Telegraph last week saying it would ‘enable the public forest estate to contribute fully to a bright new future for the environment, people and the economy’.


Choosing National Parks over forests seems even stranger when you consider that Dan Rogerson is the Liberal Democrat minister for, er, forestry. But it makes a little more sense when you factor in another campaigner: Lib Dem party president Tim Farron, whose Lake District constituency would benefit from the bill that the government plumped for in the end.

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  • Jonathan explains it all

    And I thought Isabel was the young one but actually she is the grown up keeping these 15 year old kids in check! Sit up straight James!

  • JoeDM

    Bloody Limp Dims Plastic Bag Tax !!!!

  • Blindsideflanker

    And there I was thinking it was the coalition dealing with the West Lothian question. So while the Scots and Welsh get tax setting powers, the compensatory constitutional ‘gift’ to English people to allow them to elect officials to run national parks, wasn’t, it was a gift to the Libdems.

    • DaveTheRave

      Exactly right. The English have no rights, we are not a people, England does not officially exist and the football team is merely tolerated as an ambassador for the rest of the former UK. The English have been reduced to cash cows for the rest of the former United Kingdom… and the EU by the look of it. Where is the anger and outrage? Well, here for one. Make it tell quietly, reservedly, in a very English way at the ballot box next spring!

      • Blindsideflanker

        The football team is hardly tolerated. As we see the British media is attempting to stir up as much trouble as they can. Its a four yearly event, the World cup comes along, and the British media tries to be a destructive as they can to English prospects. And as we have seen argued here, the best result for the British establishment is if the England looses all its World Cup games.

  • itdoesntaddup

    Wasn’t most of the speech about appeasing Lib Dems? Cameron needs his poll ratings to improve before risking an early election. Blaming the programme on Lib Dems may suit his purpose nicely.

  • Pootles

    Interesting body language in the still at the beginning of the clip.