For Sale – One Green and Pleasant Land

Much loved and well cared for over many generations, but now no longer needed because the custodians believe that they have the right to flog it off to pay some bills.

Maintaining the finest traditions of previous Tory Governments, most notably that of Margaret Thatcher, it now seems that our national woodlands and forests are now anybody’s for the taking.

Note I said custodians above, because that’s what the government is, the custodians on behalf of the nation, not the owners, with the right to dispose of them as they fancy.  As with so many politicians past and present, they seem to see the cross in the box on a ballot paper as a mandate to do what the hell they like, when the hell they like.

Reading today’s newspapers, it seem  100 plus prominent people have written to government, voicing their outrage at this latest proposal to sell off the family silver, or more accurately, to sell off the land of our children and their childrens’ children.

As prominent as these 100 people might be, unless millions of ordinary folk tell this government exactly what they think of this proposal, I suspect their words will be just that –words.

Given that the probable figure to be raised will be no more £100m, yet again one is forced to ask the most obvious of questions – why damage the homeland, whilst continuing to squander taxpayers’ money on that piece of political vanity called the overseas aid budget?

Britain’s overseas aid budget is not just ring-fenced at £6 billion; it will grow — by 2013 it should reach £9 billion. The Tories agreed this whilst in opposition, supporting Labour’s target of increasing the aid budget to a level equal to 0.7 per cent of GDP.

It’s bad enough to squander our hard earned money on this badly managed and allegedly often plunder fund in times of plenty.  To do it when our own people are suffering rocketing household bills, job losses and service cuts, as well as selling off assets such as our national forests and woodlands, in a bloody disgrace – shame on you My Cameron.

Big Society, when? – if ever

Having spent the late morning and early afternoon delivering newsletters, it occurs to me that if David Cameron’s Big Society idea is to work, it needs to start at the lowest possible level and that’s you and me.  Well meaning, movers and shakers getting together to form action groups have their place, but there’s already plenty of those around.

I spent part of New Year’s eve picking up rubbish around our main communal area in Wygate Park, the neighbourhood shopping area.  It would of been great if this didn’t need doing because people thought about what they were doing to the place where they live and took their rubbish home with them. The problem is, they don’t actually live there, where the shops are, they live in the nearby streets and roads, so it appears to be a case of out of sight is out of mind.

However, my trip around the local streets suggests that this attitude also applies closer to homes, at least for some people.   As well general rubbish either dumped in the front of down the side of houses, there was also litter and refuse lying in gutters or on communal grassed areas.

If the Big Society idea is going to work, this sort of local mess just should not happen, with local people seeing it as their role to clean it up.  They shouldn’t be waiting for the council to do it or, worse still, not even noticing it’s there.

The Big Society can only become a real success if individuals start to play a role in making their communities nicer places to live and I think that may well take a lot longer than David Cameron thinks it will.

Coalition here to stay?

I suppose today’s revelation that a very senior Tory, close to Dave, thinks that coalition is the way forward and that the next election should be fought on that basis.  Common sense in the new political climate, or political expediency, based on a megalomaniac’s view that, it doesn’t matter how you stay in power, just as long as you make sure you do?

I could say a lot more about the issue of a coalition with the LibDems, but then I thought I would Google the following question, ‘What colour do you get if you mix blue and orange?

One of the answers that came back says it all really.
‘Nothing.  Blue is a primary colour. Orange is a mixture of Red and Yellow. Any pigment you add to orange will likely result in a brownish mess.’  Come to think of it, isn’t that the problem the last lot had?