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It’s the 7th of May, one day after what we were told would be the closest election for years. What was meant to be the rebirth of three party polictics, the yellow pheonix rising gloriously from the flames of it’s past and joining the red and blue at the ascendency. This, we were told, would be true democracy in action. As it happened, the Liberal Democrats ended up shuffling home with five seats less than 2005. Some great yellow hope that was.

Apart from that, everything went rigidly to plan. That is if your plan was to have hours upon hours of election counts and still not actually know who won. Cue a bemused David Cameron, a (probably) relieved Gordon Brown and Nick Clegg, who has pre-empted the countries disappointment next month when the English football team inevitably gets pounded by those ever-efficient Germans (incidently, can you imagine the Germans floundering around for a leader after ten hours of vote counts?). We are now threatened with a Labour-Liberal Democrat ‘party of losers’ running the country or, even more sinisterly, a Frankenstein’s Monster made up of dug-up parts from the Lib Dems and the Tories, with Dr. Cameron Frankenstein the insane creator.

Basically, it’s a confusing time and no-one knows where it’s going. However, the prospect of the Tories and the Lib Dems collaberating got me thinking; what does this all mean for the environment? A quick glance at the BBC’s excellent ‘Where They Stand’ shows us that the environmental policies of the two parties contain some strong contradictions.

Nuclear power is the obvious stand-out, with the Tories backing it and the Lib Dems firmly against it. With two contradictory policies in force, where does nuclear power go? Are we going to be subject to months of flip-flopping on the subject, with constant in-fighting on the subject?

The green taxation system throws another spanner into the works. Whilst the Lib Dems propose taxes on domestic flights to encourage rail use, as well as per-plane taxes rather than passenger duty, there is no mention of such policy in the Tory manifesto.

Even with the more matched Lab-Lib coalition, things aren’t much better. In fact, I would say the Labour and Tory manifestos are the two which would work best together on the environment.

Of course, this is all speculation in a confusing time. Of course, negotiations will go on, figures will be drawn up and various environmental policies will be drawn up. It’s just the key issues where the parties hold such significantly different views that worry me. How do the Tories propose to ‘speed up the nuclear planning process’ when a proportion of their cabinet of mercenaries is completely against it? It could lead to years of desolation in planning for the future of energy, time we don’t have when power cuts could come as soon as 2016.

Hung parliament? It’s looking increasingly like a Hung Environment…


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