Understanding government can be a complex business. The stated reason for a policy and the real reason for it are rarely the same. So it was this week when Amber Rudd, the new Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change came to make a statement to the House of Commons heralding the end of onshore wind...
In the Liberal Democrats, it's not the leader who sets policy, it's the membership. But I reckon it's not unreasonable for leadership candidates to set out their own views, and to call for a rethink where they believe the party's got it wrong on any particular policy. And I think we have got it wrong on fracking.
The potential for such a movement is no where more tangible than in Bristol. With one of the largest and most active Green Party's in the country, an innovative and creative economy, and a powerful network of different campaigning groups, Bristol is on the cusp of creating something that could enable us to step up from being awarded Green capital status to really deserving it.
I would like Labour to do more on the environment, and I would like it to become one of their top priorities, and let's be fair, at this election, so far it hasn't. But for this to happen, I believe we need to challenge the party from within, which is why I joined. The more members of the Labour party who care and challenge green issues, the more likely it is that it will become a core Labour policy.
The announcement has been heralded as a fantastic boost for the British economy and industry, but hearing the news that we're delighted to have struck oil really feels outdated in an age where the coupling between carbon emissions and economy is breaking, sustainability is getting traction and green innovations are re-defining business practices around the world.
The toxic politics of fracking in Britain beg important questions: are our leaders serving the interests of the people, or their wealthy friends in the fracking industry? Whatever the answer, one thing is clear: the government's wilful disregard of legitimate public concerns over fracking is a shameful attempt to impose a future on this country that three-quarters of us do not want. Fracking, it seems, can poison democracy as well as the environment.
Everywhere we look, young people can change the country for the better, but feel tempted not to try. There are reasons for this. Many young people feel abandoned by political parties, who they believe are chasing 'marginal' 'swing' votes or those from older sectors of society. Students feel abandoned by the Lib Dems, who broke their promise on tuition fees, the Conservatives, who never even made such a promise, and by the Labour Party, who introduced tuition fees in the first place. They look at their bank balances, and justifiably associate what they see with a political system which offers them nothing.
These people are on the frontline and these planning decisions represent a significant moment in the battle to stop fracking across the UK. If the Council refuses the application it will raise serious doubts on whether any community in the UK would have to accept an extreme form of fossil fuel extraction on their doorsteps and under their property.
The Green Party have a duty to continue to provide for the nation a fresh, fair and radical alternative to the 'business as usual' establishment, just as media chiefs from the BBC, ITV, SKY et al have a duty to promote and encourage a wide, engaging and relevant debate involving those extended the right to vote and elect.