X

Create an account to continue reading.

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles
For unlimited access to The Spectator, subscribe below

Registered readers have access to our blogs and a limited number of magazine articles

Sign in to continue

Already have an account?

What's my subscriber number?

Subscribe now from £1 a week

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
 
View subscription offers

Already a subscriber?

or

Subscribe now for unlimited access

ALL FROM JUST £1 A WEEK

View subscription offers

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Login

Don't have an account? Sign up
X

Subscription expired

Your subscription has expired. Please go to My Account to renew it or view subscription offers.

X

Forgot Password

Please check your email

If the email address you entered is associated with a web account on our system, you will receive an email from us with instructions for resetting your password.

If you don't receive this email, please check your junk mail folder.

X

It's time to subscribe.

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access – from just £1 a week

You've read all your free Spectator magazine articles for this month.

Subscribe now for unlimited access

Online

Unlimited access to The Spectator including the full archive from 1828

Print

Weekly delivery of the magazine

App

Phone & tablet edition of the magazine

Spectator Club

Subscriber-only offers, events and discounts
X

Sign up

What's my subscriber number? Already have an account?

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

Thank you for creating an account – Your subscriber number was not recognised though. To link your subscription visit the My Account page

Thank you for creating your account – To update your details click here to manage your account

X

Your subscriber number is the 8 digit number printed above your name on the address sheet sent with your magazine each week.

Entering your subscriber number will enable full access to all magazine articles on the site.

If you cannot find your subscriber number then please contact us on customerhelp@subscriptions.co.uk or call 0330 333 0050.

You can create an account in the meantime and link your subscription at a later time. Simply visit the My Account page, enter your subscriber number in the relevant field and click 'submit changes'.

Please note: Previously subscribers used a 'WebID' to log into the website. Your subscriber number is not the same as the WebID. Please ensure you use the subscriber number when you link your subscription.

Blogs Coffee House

Liz Truss is no friend of Mr Badger

17 July 2014

9:11 AM

17 July 2014

9:11 AM

What some people seem to forget is that Owen Paterson wasn’t (and Liz Truss isn’t) just Environment Secretary. As well as having responsibility for the environment, the role also covers food, fisheries and rural affairs. Paterson was one of the few people in Government that many farmers thought of as being ‘on their side’. As Secretary of State at Defra, he always appeared to have the interests of the rural community and the countryside at the centre of his decisions.

As Melissa Kite argues in her cover piece this week, Cameron appears to have given in to ‘the animal rights lot’. As she rightly says, ‘They wanted Owen Paterson’s head on a platter and Cameron has given it to them.’ Friends of the Earth’s Andy Atkins has already been quoted as saying that ‘David Cameron is right to give Owen Paterson the boot – he’s the worst Environment Secretary the UK has had for decades,’ and it’s no surprise that they’re pleased he’s gone.

[Alt-Text]


Will Liz Truss be a minister in the Paterson mould or will she side more with the green lobby? Her past form would suggest the former. Although she doesn’t appear to have a rural background, her constituency of South West Norfolk is most certainly a rural one, and she seems keen to fight for her constituents. Her website has previously stated that:

‘Elizabeth has a number of concerns about the use of agricultural land for solar or biomass plants and the subsidies for these operations…She does not want to see the UK’s food security jeopardised; food and farming is the largest manufacturing industry in the UK and she is keen to see that the importance of this sector is recognised.’

She has twice voted in favour of the pilot badgers cull — one of Paterson’s most controversial decisions in the role. And she has also been a firm supporter of a third runway at Heathrow, something that environmentalists, including Tory MP Zac Goldsmith, are staunchly against.

Many of her previous stances on both the environment and rural policy have been focused on addressing the concerns of her constituents, which is no bad thing. Flooding has been an issue in the area, and her website states that she ‘has long argued that the £1:£8 cost benefit ratio formula provided by the Environment Agency for the funding of flood prevention schemes do not value farmland high enough.’ It isn’t just the residents of South West Norfolk who will appreciate this stance, but many rural communities.

I’m not going to argue that Liz Truss is the best person for the job — or deny that she might have been better placed elsewhere in government. But, at the same time, she’s perhaps not going to be the ally that the likes of Greenpeace and Brian May might have wished for.

Subscribe to The Spectator today for a quality of argument not found in any other publication. Get more Spectator for less – just £12 for 12 issues.


Show comments
Close