Good piece on the new environment sec who has just waved through the badger cull. More thoughts by yours truly to follow.
Originally posted on Ian Bone:
Owen Patterson has wasted no time at Defra – he’s bringing in a nationwide badger cull this week after months of dithering by his predecessor. He has ignored the scientific evidence against culling and given the powerful lobby of the NFU exactly what they want………..within weeks of taking office. Though coming to cabinet by the usual route of public school and Cambridge university and picking up a viscount’s daughter as wife en route Patterson made his fortune by buying and selling leather – so never a great animal lover! He lists hunting and riding as hobbies. But by riding he does not mean the weedy mid morning trot of the effete Cameron – no Patterson is more Ulan Bator than Chipping Norton. He has ridden across Turkmenistan and Mongolia – wading rivers bare chested like Putin. He represents a new muscular toryism loved by the Tory right who has benefited by Cameron’s need to pacify them.Cameron hopes some of this will rub off on him but in doing so Patterson may emerge as a powerful rival to Boris Johnson. The contrast between Johnson wobbling round on his bike to visit his Petronellas and Lucindas and the Genghis Khan of the Forests may not be lost on the Tory ladies. If Patterson succeeds in totally wiping out the badger population he will move on to the restoration of fox hunting to loud cheers from the Tory benches – a battle Camreron might fancy in costing him nothing, detaching the liberals and rubbing some horse linament on his callow withers.