I was sacked by David Cameron to appease ‘the green blob’ says Paterson
Former environment secretary suggests he was removed from cabinet because of ‘powerful, self-serving’ environmental lobby.
Owen Paterson has suggested that David Cameron’s decision to sack him as environment secretary was driven by his desire to appease the “powerful, self-serving” environmental lobby dismissed by Paterson as “the green blob”.
In a lengthy article for the Sunday Telegraph, he described it as a “mutually supportive network of environmental pressure groups, renewable energy companies and some public officials who keep each other well supplied with lavish funds, scare stories and green tape”, and said that much of his work as environment secretary was devoted to loosening its grip on government policy.
“This tangled triangle of unelected busybodies claims to have the interests of the planet and the countryside at heart, but it is increasingly clear that it is focusing on the wrong issues and doing real harm while profiting handsomely,” he wrote.
In the article, Paterson, did not directly criticise Cameron’s decision to sack him. But Paterson reportedly told Cameron that his dismissal would alienate voters in the countryside. Paterson wrote in the article that he left office “with great misgivings about the power and irresponsibility of – to coin a phrase – the green blob”.
Michael Gove has used the phrase “the blob” to describe the leftish education establishment that he saw as the enemy when he was education secretary. But being over-confrontational made him unpopular with teachers and parents, which contributed to Cameron’s decision to demote him. Paterson’s decision to appropriate the word suggests that he, too, believes he has been punished for fighting his ground.
Paterson said that he believed in improving the environment and the rural economy and that many in the green movement believed in neither.
And he was particularly scathing about the Green party and Friends of the Earth. “It was not my job to do the bidding of two organisations that are little more than anti-capitalist agitprop groups, most of whose leaders could not tell a snake’s head fritillary from a silver-washed fritillary,” he said.
- The Guardian,