Letter: A paler shade of green

IT WAS a surprise to read that the director of Friends of the Earth has fallen for New Labour's rhetoric about "putting the environment at the heart of policy making" ("Brown's green tax revolution", 14 March). Notwithstanding the Chancellor's tinkering with taxes in the Budget, it remains to be seen whether Labour will make the shift from taxing "goods" such as work and savings, to taxing "bads" such as pollution and resource depletion.

Meanwhile, under this "green" government, 30,000 people die each year because their homes are too cold or damp, up to 24,000 die prematurely as a result of poisonous city smogs formed from noxious gases pumped out of car and lorry exhausts, and nine million households have their drinking water contaminated by dangerously high levels of lead.

Our "green" government has a scandalous attitude to genetically modified food and crops. The science minister Lord Sainsbury personifies New Labour's preference for corporate expansion over public interest and environmental protection. Our "green" government refuses to take the requisite action in the face of climate change - to phase out fossil fuel use and invest massively in Britain's enormous potential for renewable energy.