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.