Well – hi there, I can’t keep away, despite being the middle of my holiday. Not being far from Brighton, I couldn’t resist 36 hours with the Lib Dems. An interesting time it was too. You’ve got to hand it to the Lib Dems, their latest policy document – Zero Carbon Britain – which was discussed and passed at conference on Monday, certainly, to use that awful phrase “pushes the envelope” in terms of the environmental debate, addressing issues as diverse as eradicating petrol cars from the road by 2040, significant improvements to new and existing housing stocks in terms of energy efficiency and some very eye watering green taxes to help change behaviours.
Now I know the cynical folk out there will say that when you’re never going to win power you can be as ambitious as you like, but let’s be clear this new policy document has set the tone for the rest of the party conferences. It was also interesting to note that the Green Alliance initiative, seeking to evaluate the greenness of the parties in 2007, has given three stars to the Lib Dems and none for the government. This should, at least, set the cat amongst the pigeons. So contrast a short, radical policy document with the somewhat less short (500 and ninety odd pages) and less precise document form the Conservative Quality of Life Commission and we have battle enjoined. Be interested in your views. See you when I get back from the rest of my truncated holiday.