One of our supporters recently pointed out to me that Friends of the Earth has come out in support of our remaining in the EU. A round-robin e-mail from the organisation’s CEO, Craig Bennett, says “The evidence is clear: the EU has been good for UK nature and the environment. Because of this, Friends of the Earth will be campaigning for the UK to remain a member of the EU.”
The e-mail provides a link to a page on the Friends of the Earth website which concedes that, “the Common Agriculture Policy has proved an environmental disaster.” but insists that “exiting the EU would leave the UK’s environment in even worse shape.”
The website offers a further link to a pdf setting out the organisation’s position in more detail, which I perused. In fact, I had a pretty good look round the website, even lookint at the accounts for both the limited company and the trust.
You may ask, why spend my time studying the website? The answer is simple. I was looking for any admission of the real reason why Friends of the Earth were so unequivocal in their support for our EU membership. I eventually found some evidence tucked away in the trust accounts:- “We have also recevied grants from the European Commission through our European Friends of the Earth partners in Hungary and Austria,” No figure was given, but Robert Oulds’ book Everything you wanted to know about the EU states that in 2011, Friends of the Earth Europe received over €1 million from Bruessels – 46% of its total funding. Now se wee the real reason for Friends of the Earth’s stance:- who would want to bite the hand that feeds them?