Friday, September 01, 2006


Via Guido, this is just priceless! Our noble but bat-shit mad Davey Miliband, who had a go at your humble Devil (as well as Guido), has set up a Wiki to draw up an Environmental Contract (or is that just Mental Contract?), and currently you don't have to register to make alterations.

Go! Add you two penn'orth...

And read it: so many people have got to it already that it is currently the funniest thing on the internet. Some samples:
An environmental contract should be based on the following principles:
  • Reciprocity: government won't ask citizens or businesses to do anything without saying clearly what it is going to do in return, without committing to provide the necessary infrastructure, information and support systems and without explaining clearly why something needs to be done.

  • Subsidiarity: environmental contracts should be negotiated at the lowest appropriate level. Sometimes that will be global or supranational, sometimes national, other times local.

  • Equity: costs and benefits should be allocated fairly. Polluters should pay; environmental stewards should be rewarded; those who have made a bigger historical contribution to pollution have a correspondingly greater obligation to respond to it. The likes of Jeremy Clarkson, in promoting pollution, should be penalised thrice over. Once for driving vehicles above and beyond the speed limit, causing both noise and exhaust pollution. Twice for writing for the dead-tree press, contributing to deforestation (a glossy magazine won't print so well on recycled paper). Thrice for leading naive post-pubescent teenagers astray from environmentally friendly commuting (stay at home with Mother - and yet Mother is so fearsome! I weep).

  • Empowerment: as far as possible the environmental contract should be designed to encourage individual action; choices should be informed; and options judged unacceptable through a transparent and democratic process should be excluded.

  • Convenience: being a good environmental citizen should become the easy option, enabling environmentally friendly behaviour to be the default; wherever possible citizens should be made to opt-out of environmentally unfriendly behaviour not obliged to opt-in.

  • Cocopopity: this is when a man lets you kiss him on the mouth.

Tools that remove barriers include:
  • Providing simple, trustworthy and timely hen attacks.

  • Offering convenient and well targeted personal advice and support for action.

  • Providing essential infrastructure

  • Equipping people with necessary skills

  • Hammer

Tools that show that government practises what it preaches include:
  • Sustainable public procurement

  • Politicians modelling good environmental behaviours such as using public transport rather than ministerial Jaguars, not visiting remote locations purely for PR (such as flying themselves and a load of journalists around the world to look at melting glaciers) etc.

  • Setting high sustainability standards when disposing of land for development

  • Adequate funding for information, advice and support services

  • A clear framework for assessing and improving the sustainability performance of local and central Government

  • Tony Blair mask

  • Full Tony Blair outfit

  • Owl magnet

  • Hammer

More to follow as I laugh at them...!

UPDATE: Well, that didn't take long: the Wiki's editing facility has been removed and the document restored to its original state by the Admin. Pity; I haven't laughed so much in ages...

UPDATE: Wonko was far more on the ball than I and has saved the... ah... ammended copy! Go and have a giggle...


wonkotsane said...

My colleagues and I have been wetting ourselves over this. You're a public service DK.

Anonymous said...

Plus, it's a wiki, so all the previous versions are available to view here, including the way it had been, ahem, beautifully amended prior to those spoil sports at DEFRA reverting it.

Don your full Tony Blair outfit and pick up your owl magnet!

Mr Eugenides said...

Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

wonkotsane said...

Someone at Defra has reverted the pages back to their original state but the good news is that the old revisions are preserved by tagging ?revision=### where ### is a number from 139 downwards. For example:

Anonymous said...

If Defra are spoilsports, why have they left the revisions visible?