David Cameron's pledge to rip up green regulations really brings out my inner cynic. The Guardian chronicles the long term move away from pledging the "greenest government ever" to wanting to remove the "green crap". It is ironic that this latest attempt to reduce environmental protections comes as climate change denialist Owen Paterson gets told by the people of Somerset what the real cost of ignoring environmental protection is.
Aside from ignoring the damaging effects of climate change, David Cameron appears not to understand the potential role of environmental regulations in potentially boosting the economy. For instance, a major investment in cutting the emissions from the UK's notoriously draughty housing stock could create lots of jobs in the building trades, investing in alternative power generation could help fuel exports, or investing in flood defences could create direct jobs and sellable services for other countries.
Instead, we have the tired Tory ideology that assumes all regulation is automatically bad, coupled with Cameron's studied vagueness as to what he wants to cut. David Cameron's previous record of half baked announcements makes me wonder whether this latest speech is more than a headline grabber. It may be that it is possible to streamline, say, Conservation standards for homes, but has anyone in the Government really looked through the details to think what the costs and upsides actually are?