Former UK Environment Secretary Owen Paterson – recently sacked in Prime Minister David Cameron’s reshuffle – said today that he received more death threats from green activists than ever he did from Republican and Loyalist terrorists during his stint as Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.
The Northern Ireland posting is considered one of the more dangerous jobs in British politics, which is why the incumbent – unlike with most cabinet positions – is automatically given 24-hour armed protection.
But according to Paterson, his stint as Secretary of State for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs was much more perilous.
I soon realised that the greens and their industrial and bureaucratic alliesare used to getting things their own way. I received more death threats in afew months at Defra than I ever did as secretary of state for NorthernIreland. My home address was circulated worldwide with an incitement totrash it; I was burnt in effigy by Greenpeace as I was recovering from anoperation to save my eyesight. But I did not set out to be popular withlobbyists and I never forgot that they were not the people I was elected toserve.
Paterson claimed that his address was circulated amongst Green groups with an “incitement to trash it”. He also claimed to have been “burnt in effigy by Greenpeace as I was recovering from an operation to save my eyesight”. Actions that would have led to arrests had he still been Northern Ireland Secretary.
The former Environment Secretary’s central claim was that Green lobby had attacked him for supporting growth in the rural economy. He said that groups like Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace existed merely “to enhance their own income streams and influence by myth making and lobbying”.
Paterson claimed his aim as boss of DEFRA was to improve the “environment and the rural economy” but that these two bodies did not believe in those aims. He also said he was proud about how delighted they had been by his downfall, because it proved they were little more than “anti-capitalist agitprop groups”.
Since his departure it has been announced that Paterson will deliver the prestigious Annual Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) Lecture in October. The GWPF has set out to debunk many of the myths propagated by what Paterson calls the “Green Blob”. He is widely expected to launch a stinging attack on groups like Friends of the Earth now he is no-longer shackled by his ministerial straight jacket.
In his article Paterson claimed that it was the Prime Minister’s right to choose his ministerial line up, but behind the scenes he understood to be deeply unhappy at his removal from office. As previously reported on Breitbart London colleagues in the House of Commons have reported that he was furious with David Cameron and was no shrinking violet when he discussed the whole thing with the Prime Minister.