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Owen Paterson

Owen Paterson: The 'unknown Cabinet minister’ has ...

Owen Paterson 40%

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... a fight on his hands


Owen Paterson, a countryman and trenchant Eurosceptic, is uniquely qualified to head the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs


Congratulations to all those green campaigners who were quick to spot what could turn out to be the most significant of all the new appointments in last week’s ministerial reshuffle. While media attention was largely focused elsewhere, all the usual suspects, from the BBC to The Guardian, were seething with indignation over David Cameron’s surprising choice of Owen Paterson, the “unknown Cabinet minister”, to head the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs. As the greenies noted that Paterson had been outspokenly critical of wind farms and renewable energy subsidies, and equally keen to speak up for shale gas, GM crops and badger culling, The Guardian’s George Monbiot, at his moonbattiest, decreed that his promotion was “a declaration of war on the environment”.


As usual, however, the greenies missed the wider picture. The reason why for years Paterson has been off the political radar is that he was tucked away in Northern Ireland, where, as a trenchant Eurosceptic, he was kept quiet with a brief as unconnected with the EU as possible. But his new ministry is at the opposite extreme. In almost all it does, from agriculture and fisheries to waste management and water, Defra has long been little more than a front offi. e for Brussels.


By Christopher Booker


Read more: The Telegraph (08 Sep 2012)

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