Letter: Labour's U-turn

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The old adage that New Labour is really Old Conservatism with different clothes has never been truer ("Mr Blair must prove his commitment to the environment", 24 August).

The Government has shown that the environment is still an add-on at best and non-existent at worst. People are beginning to realise that, for all the glossy publications and much-hyped announcements, nothing much has really changed in the last two years.

The Government has consistently sidelined environmental concerns in favour of big business, GM foods being but one example. Even when the Government's own polling showed that only 1 per cent of people thought GM food was beneficial to society, Jack Cunningham in particular seems determined to ram it down our throats as surely as John Gummer force-fed hamburgers to his daughter.

Added to this is Tony Blair's blocking of any attempts by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions to introduce much-needed legislation, including efforts to improve our transport network. Trains cannot run on White Papers alone.

This year's Queen's speech must include an Integrated Transport Bill and a Wildlife Bill as a minimum. Failure to do so will mean yet another year of transport chaos and more of Britain's wildlife heritage being destroyed.

NORMAN BAKER MP

Liberal Democrat environment spokesman

House of Commons

London SW1

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