Annual General Meeting of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales this afternoon. I'd been elected President last year, so was chairing the meeting. I'd expected to be facing another election to-day, but it seems that the President is elected for life. Or at least until such time as he wants to stand down. Gordon Brown would be green with envy if he knew about this constitutional arrangement. On refection, if he was that sort of green it wouldn't do so much harm. Unfortunately, to the Prime Minister 'green' as the just the colour of the packaging he uses to make his rapacious countryside-despoiling policies seem benign.
His policy of ripping off the car owner by massively increasing the cost of a car licence was supposedly a ' green' policy. According to today's Telegraph he's backing down on this one. Then there's what he and his Ministers call eco-towns. This is supposed to be a 'green' policy - which is an abuse of the English Language. A policy about as green as the hot blood of the Englishmen who love the countryside that's going to disappear under this 'green' concrete. And then there's the shiny new Commission that he's just forced his backbenchers to vote for, who will be charged with approving the 8,000 new wind turbines that he announced yesterday are going to be built, whether we like it or not.
But back to the AGM. It was a very good meeting. I opened with much praise for our Chairman, Jean Rosenfeld, who took over as 'acting' Chairman during the year. When I was elected President twelve months ago, there had much dissent and bad feeling in the camp, and I was not at all sure how it would work out. Well, its worked out very well indeed - and most of its down to Jean. He's engaged with members and branches the length of Wales. He's listened and talked with all opinion, and established clarity in how we operate. The result has been an easy, almost Presidential ride for me, and a very nice positive friendly meeting today. Now if only we could replace Gordon Brown with Jean Rosenfeld, our countryside would be much more safe from despoilation.