Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Greens fisk ignorant UK Labour MP

Stephen Byers is a UK Labour MP. It is his political advisor who sent out an email on September 11 2001 suggesting it was “a very good day to get out anything we want to bury”. She wasn't fired on the spot. So he is hardly in the club of the moral politicians. He is also in the club of the idiots for suggesting that there be a tax based on the distance food has travelled to get to the UK. Besides being WTO inconsistent (it is resoundingly a trade barrier) it has no bearing on environmental reality. A point made by none other than the NZ Green Party!
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Yes, they are spot on with this. The Greens are writing to the British Greens to make the point that imported dairy and lamb products from New Zealand are better for the environment than ones produced in the UK. I’ll be interested to see the reaction of the British Greens, because it will go against their adolescent girl like simple arguments – local good, foreign baaad. Good for Russel Norman for pointing this out. I’ve been commenting on UK forums about this since the Lincoln University report came out.
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The Greens will find themselves confronting the UK agricultural lobby, the European Commission and many others who wont want to listen – but it is time to make this point only too clear. In fact, economics isn’t a bad proxy for the environmental impacts. After all, if the UK was efficient at agricultural production, it wouldn’t need a combination of subsidies and protection from imports.
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UPDATE - Classically Liberal has an excellent post on how businesses use environmentalists to do their protectionist bidding.

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