by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
The Con-Dem coalition of Cameron and Clegg claimed that it was (going to be) the greenest British government ever, but nothing could be further from the truth than that.
Let's have a look at the sorry tale of the 'greenest' government to-date:
1. They tried to flog off our woodlands, or let's put it properly into perspective, some tracts of Forestry Commission lands – only stopped by the unexpected massive public outcry.
The fact is, and we do must consider that that (1) the Forestry Commission was not set up to protect our woodlands but to create forests that was producing timber for special purposes in the beginning and (2) it does also not the greatest of jobs to manage our woods. In fact, in the main, it does a very bad job and most woods are, in fact, not owned by the Commission nor managed by it. They are, in fact, in private hands.
2. It Planned a badger cull despite lack of any scientific evidence for its effectiveness – postponed it when they realized that they had underestimated the number of badgers and realized that they couldn't kill enough of them quickly enough.
Also, when it comes to bovine TB let's look at why it is called bovine TB and not melis melis TB. It is a cattle disease and the poor ol' badger catches it, carries it and spreads it, and then dies of it.
3. This greenest British government ever is pushing through the new high-speed rail link between London and Birmingham, which is completely non-needed, destroying hundreds of acres of countryside, including ancient woodland.
We definitely do not need this high-speed rail service. What we need is a reliable, affordable, railroad service as the cost of a normal return ticket between London and Birmingham is over £200 in peak time (at least that's what I was quoted a while back) and flying was much cheaper, as in £64 return first class.
Most business travelers who would be using this services themselves say that they are against the high-speed rail link and are just asking for a reliable, affordable railroad service in this country.
4. This government which claims to be the greenest ever is also determined, or should I call it hell-bent, to relax the planning laws governing development of the Green Belt with dire consequences for the countryside and subsequently trying to bully local authorities into complying.
5. It is also proposing to merger Natural England with the Environment Agency, thereby removing the strongest opponent to development in the Green Belt.
6. It further more has proposed the removal of funding of the National Wildlife Crime Unit, the only organization looking at co-coordinating the investigation of wildlife crime across the country.
And furthermore it has created the loophole which states that development outweighs all other considerations if the economic benefit is greater than the potential loss (i.e. development will always be given a higher priority as the countryside is impossible to value).
In addition to that, I would say, that the countryside simply is not putting brown envelopes into the hands of our honest politicians – yes I am being sarcastic with the “honest” bit about politicians.
It is the same with the recurrent theme of home building that is required, so we are told. The building of NEW homes in NEW (eco) towns while we have hundreds of thousands of empty homes that need just a little refurbishment. Enough homes to house all the British homeless and those wanting homes and all the homeless of the Republic of Ireland with room to spare.
With current planned legislation having a potentially devastating and irreversible impact upon vast tracts of the British countryside and the wildlife it contains and with local government funding cuts adversely impacting the management of the countryside closest to us to the detriment of our own well-being, I can only draw one conclusion and that is that the (current) British government is an enemy of the countryside.
But, it is not only the Con-Dem coalition that has this attitude. The previous so-called Labor (and the true Labor founders would turn in their graves if they but knew what the likes of Blair, Brown and Miliband have made out of the party that was established with the blood of martyrs).
We do not need a new government, we need a new system...