Struggling for time to blog at present - mainly because of my committment to contesting the Montgomeryshire constituency at the next General Election. There si so much to be done. Campaign meeting this morning which prevented me attending a meeting of Campaign for ther Protection of Rural Wales (CPRW) trustees. Which brings me to an important full page report in yesterday's Telegraph about the disappearance of 'Unspoilt England' - which strongly featured the views of our big sister body, the CPRE.
I agree with the main thrust of what the CPRE are reported to be saying - but I do think it paints too great a Doomsday scenario. In general, I believe there is a danger in overplaying one's hand with these sort of comments. We've all seen these Al Gore type warnings of the end of civilisation as we know it - and a lot of us are suffering catastrophe fatigue. I'm particularly concerned that this report focussed on dubious long term threats which droned out the real message - which is that our Government intends to pervert the planning process to give itself almost unfettered power to approve large scale development without public consultation. A Planning White Paper has been published which is probably the greatest attack on the public's right to have a say on developments such as nuclear power stations and massive wind farm developments.
The CPRE are also quoted as calling for other totally unrealistic policies. For example, there is no way that we can stop airport expansion. More realistic would be acall for a switch in taxation to green taxes which encouraged more efficient and quieter aircraft. The biggest issue here is the one that we dare not talk about, which is keeping some control on the number of people living in Britain. If we carry on allowing millions more people to move into Britain, there will be no alternative to concreting over more of our green and pleasant land. Government makes its choice - and almost always takes the easy short-term option.