Friday, April 04, 2008

Forcefeeding by 'Spin'.

Mrs D and a friend used to run the Granary Restaurant in Welshpool. They learned a bit about marketing. If the 'vegetable bake' wasn't going quickly enough, they'd change the name to 'crunchy vegetable bake', whereupon it simply 'flew' off the plate. By adopting the same principle, Labour has persuaded the people of Britain to let them govern our country since 1997. The worst example of renaming has been the change from an EU Constitution into an EU Treaty for the sole and devious purpose of breaking a manifesto promise to hold a referendum before signing up to it. But a problem for Labour today is that the people have sussed them out. Brown just can't tell 'em like Blair. Jeff Randall has written about this in today's Telegraph, in reference to eco-towns.

Let there be no confusion about they're trying to do. What is proposed by our Government, in our spin-polluted democracy, is that normal planning procedures are to be suspended in order to allow for the building of new towns comprising many thousands of new houses all over England. The Government is doing this to accommodate the many millions more people that are going to come to live in the UK over the next few years. The various projected population increases we have seen are incredible, and will have a dramatic impact on our landscapes, our environment, our wildlife and on our public services. The House of Lords has shed some light this week on the impact of this huge expansion in Britain's population, which has received almost no serious consideration. If the Government is going to create all these new towns, there should be a genuine public debate about the proposals. We need to get behind the spin.

The Government does not want this debate of course - so its adding the prefix, 'eco' to towns, and talking about these developments only in the context of impact on climate change. It is entirely sensible that Government considers how new development should be more 'eco friendly, and its also sensible that it issues planning 'guidance' to Local Planning Authorities about prioritising 'brown field sites'. But lets not let this aspect of the Government's proposals divert our eyes from what they are really about - forcing new towns on reluctant communities by subverting the planning process. I can tell you from experience that the Granary's 'crunchy vegetable bake was delicious. But this dish being served up by the Government's leaves just a nasty taste.


Dyfed said...

To suggest that all these new towns are being built for immigrants only is spin at its very worst. Shame on you, Glyn.

Glyn Davies said...

dyfed - fair point and it was not not quite what I meant. I may edit later tonight to avoid misleading. All the reports I've seen of the huge population increases that are predicted for the UK are largely based on projected immigration, and these new town proposals are part of the Government's strategy to accommodate the increased population. My main point is that the prefix 'eco' is not much to do with these new town proposals. You are correct in that the new towns could well have any sort of mixed population.

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

Well, Mr. Berman is keeping his name, but he’s beginning to sound like Oliver Hardy!

For proof just look at Mr. Berman’s recent retort to criticism of his party’s role in Cardiff: "Our record (Lib-Dems) is nowhere near as embarrassing as Labour’s" – see, e.g., Echo article ‘My failures are not as bad as his’ (Echo, April 4, 2008).

I have but one thing to say to Hardy, sorry I mean Berman, "Well, that's another fine mess you've gotten Cardiff into” or should that be "Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten Cardiff into"?

Either way, Cardiff will be a lot better off when the contemporary version of Oliver Hardy is no longer in charge of Cardiff Council.

Dr. Christopher Wood said...

I suppose an argument can be made that it's all down to "the pill".

Average British family size got the decapitation job.

# of children plummeted and then there were scare stories about how on earth are we going to keep public services running with too few kids coming of age out of the pipe-line of life ... blah blah fish cake.

I am wondering how the UK government can keep to CO2 emission targets with so much breathing going on.

Frank H Little said...

More worrying is the fact that at least one of the new towns is being built on green fields, and has no easy access to the railway. Hardly "eco".

Glyn Davies said...

Frank - thats because the aim is to just create more housing. On brown field sites would please the Governmnet of course, but that has been the aim for many years anyway. Its a con Frank.

christopher - if some of the population increases we read about come to pass, emission targets will just one of our worries.

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