Without going into a whole lot of politics, it does feel like this election was a bit of a watershed for the natural world. Nature, wildlife, the environment all merited scarcely a mention in the media coverage of the campaign. And yet the Conservatives had suggested a number of measures that they would implement if elected that are hugely controversial.
They were open, enthusiastic even, about their support for fracking. Despite evidence that we shouldn’t even be burning the fossil fuels already stockpiled, the Tories are keen to prop up fuel companies’ share prices by allowing fresh exploration in the UK using discredited and environmentally devastating methods.
Secondly, the almost comically malleable Liz Truss has indicated that a Tory government would carry on and expand the NFU’s insane, baseless and likely counter-productive badger cull.
Thirdly, and even more inexplicable, they have promised a free vote to repeal the Hunting Act. Whether there are enough pro-hunting MPs in the new Parliament to get a verdict may soon become clear. The fact that Cameron and his set want to ride roughshod over the wishes of 80% of the population in order to preserve their perverse, archaic and bloodthirsty rituals really says a lot about him and his attitude to the rest of us.
The new government does have a slender majority. It will struggle to pass legislation that can’t carry the support of all Tory MPs. This may curtail its worst excesses. But if we care about our natural world, we will have to be vigilant and alert, ready to hold our politicians accountable and question their decisions. If we don’t, we may find that in five years’ time there’s not much left worth fighting for.
OK, a bit political. Sorry, I can’t stop myself.