The Cameron Leadership blog’s Daniel Lucraft thought he had entered a parallel universe when he got up this morning:

"I’m rubbing my eyes as the Today programme wakes me up this morning, and the headline I hear is something like: ‘David Cameron launches final stage of campaign with the slogan “Vote Blue, Go Green”, while the Lib Dems are showcasing their crime reduction strategies.’  I know I’ve been away for a while, but surely not that long! What kind of topsy-turvy world is this?"

VotebluegogreenIt wasn’t a dream, however, Daniel.  Mr Cameron launched his ‘vote blue, go green’ manifesto (pdf version here)
earlier today and it included some very specific ways in which Tory councils are already delivering environmentally-friendly results:

  • "Barnet Council’s recycling scheme has resulted in its recycling rate of household waste rising from 8 per cent to almost 30 per cent since 2002: more than three in four households now participate in the weekly ‘black box’ scheme.
  • Brentwood Borough Council’s kerbside collection scheme has increased the rate of recycling and composting to 30 per cent.
  • Bromley Council is pioneering a project to convert used cooking oil into biodiesel, which will be used to power the Council’s vehicles.
  • Enfield Council’s Environmental Crime Unit has clamped down on fly-tipping, graffiti and abandoned vehicles – which between 2003 and 2004 fell by 30 per cent.
  • Richmond Council’s recycling scheme of weekly kerbside collections has resulted in households recycling more than 25 per cent of the waste they produce. 20,000 tons a year of rubbish no longer go into landfill.
  • Shropshire Council has achieved a 25 per cent reduction in CO2 with a goal of 40 per cent by 2010 – double the Labour target.
  • Westminster City Council’s graffiti and fly-posting removal team clears over 200 sites a month."

Launching the manifesto Mr Cameron said that green issues would dominate the final stage of the Tory local election campaign although he also took the opportunity to remind voters that "Conservative councils charge £81 a year less on Band D bills than Labour councils, and £88 a year less than Liberal Democrat councils in England" (also see here).  Mr Cameron leaves for his Norwegian glacier fact-finding trip/ photo opportunity later this week.

Matthew Sinclair sees the environment as Mr Cameron’s dog-whistle issue.  It builds support amongst middle class voters without upsetting other voters who worry more about crime and immigration.