Saturday, June 28, 2008

Still President.

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.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful news Glyn!
AGMs can be tricky blighters.
Now you can relax!
Keep supporting the car owner.
Eco-towns? I have doubts too.
Rural Wales, safe in your hands!

Alwyn ap Huw said...

I joined the CPRW in the late 1970s. I joined the Snowdonia National Park Society at the same time.

One years membership was more than enough for me. Both organisations appeared to be English organisations who saw Wales as their play park and had little interest in the needs of those of us who lived in rural Wales.

I am surprised that a rural Welsh farmer, like you, would want anything to do with such organisations. Or has the CPRW changed in the last 30 years?

Glyn Davies said...

alwyn - interesting comment, because I can understand why you think it. Its true that many CPRW members are people who have moved into Wales, and many do not live in Wales at all. But there also many people who are thoroughly 'Welsh' and quite a lot of the discussion over tea yesterday was in the Welsh Language. I don't think anyone can look on me as anything other than Welsh, and the members have me as their president - so that says something. I must admit that I would like more of what you refer to as 'rural Welsh farmers' to become involved. Anyway, if someone is committed enough to want to join CPRW and support our aims and research work, I don't mind where they come from.

Blodyn said...

I do hope that a fitting tribute was made to Merfyn Williams - CPRW's inspirational former Director who died suddenly 31st December last year.

Glyn Davies said...

blodyn - it wasn't at the AGM, but Mervyn's wonderful contribution has been remembered on several other ocassions. Perhaps I should have said something yesterday as well, and your comment has made me think enough to discuss whether there is anything else I should do at the remaining events as we celebrate our 80th birthday.

Blodyn said...

Merfyn with an f, Glyn!

I think you'll find you were elected last year to a 3 year term of office! You'll be able to stand again at the end of that term but you'll not be able to do more than 6 consecutive years - even if you should want to!

Go on - tell me to get a life!

Glyn Davies said...

Blodyn - Sorry Merfyn. I can't believe that you knew the rules. You are probably the only one who does. Something simailar applies to the Presidency of the united States!