Because of my overriding commitment to things Welsh, I am sometimes asked why I want to become a Member of Parliament. I do suspect that sometimes this question is no more than a 'set-up' so that my answer can be attacked! Anyway, one part of my reply usually refers to my intention to become involved in wildlife/countryside issues at the British/European level. This week, Charles Clover in the Telegraph wrote about an issue that I would have been desperately keen to get into, had I been an MP today.
David Maclean, Conservative MP for Penrith and the Border is calling for a select committee inquiry into the problems caused by' invasive species'. The concern behind David's target is the environmental/ecological damage caused by the horrible grey squirrel. I've reached the stage of dislike where I prefer the brown rat. I've read reports that the brown rat makes a lovable pet - and it doesn't infect the entire British population of the native and beautiful Red Squirrel with its lethal pox and threaten it with extinction. Neither does it decimate the songbird population (even more than the domestic cat), and render it virtually impossible to grow traditional high canopy woodland. There is not a single word to be said in favour of the Grey Squirrel - except 'extinction' perhaps.
Whoever imported the Grey Squirrel into our islands from America committed a heinous crime against the countryside of Britain. Now that we realise the damage that this vicious little horror visits upon us, we should be mobilising the nation to rid itself of as many of the 2.5 million that are currently rampaging across most of England and Wales. A template for waging this war already exists on the Island of Anglesey. There isn't much time to lose if the Red Squirrel is to be saved. War should be declared as soon as a plan of attack is ready.