EEB Conference Moderator Lesley Riddoch has a strong background in activism on social and environmental issues. Here she talks to META.
Journalist Lesley Riddoch has been at the forefront of Scottish journalism, politics, and activism throughout her career.
A prominent voice in both print and broadcast media, Riddoch has also broadened her remit, establishing both her own media production company and a think tank called ‘Nordic Horizons’ which explores how ‘nordic models’ could apply to Scotland.
When it comes to Brexit, for Riddoch the environment has been conspicuous by its absence. She says that the absence of a “proper discussion about how environmental legislation has grown with the EU and where that will leave Britain if Brexit goes ahead” is stark.
For Riddoch, the EEB annual conference in Edinburgh is a vital and timely way to get the issue up the political agenda in both Hollyrood – and Westminster. Riddoch fears the environment, a matter devolved to the Scottish Parliament, could be victim to what she describes as the “catch-all grab going on in Westminster”. She is also vocal in her critique of the UK government’s lack of “strong and consistent support for the environment” and its “one-sized fits all” approach to Brexit in the UK.
Riddoch was a prominent voice campaigning for a ‘Yes’ vote during Scotland’s historic 2014 independence referendum, and in the mid-nineties she was a founding member of the Isle of Eigg Trust, the body that owns and runs the island after a successful 1997 community buyout.
For Riddoch, who is most drawn to “incredible natural habitats but also places with people in them”, in these uncertain political times it is still people power that inspires her as “people have led politicians in almost all the important advances”.
And as for journalism, Riddoch is both worried by media trends such as “newspapers teetering on the brink”, but at the same time hopeful about the “vibrancy” found online.