In the UK our political system is a farce. We currently have a government which no-one voted in, it is a coalition formed of the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. Now I voted for the Lib Dems as I believed in them and everything that they said at the General Election. If I had had a Green candidate I probably would have voted for them, but we don’t so I didn’t.
I feel betrayed by the Lib Dems, since they have joined the Coalition tuition fees for University have gone up to £9000 per year, the Educational Maintenance Allowance has been scrapped (it supported children in low-income families continue in education to 19 years of age), and have made other awful cuts in the education sector. Even my library has had to make librarians redundant and reduce the opening hours. This is all just the tip of the iceberg.
Now, they want to sell off England’s forests. The following is from 38degrees.com.
The government is planning a massive sell off of our national forests. They could be auctioned and fenced off, run down, logged or turned into golf courses and holiday villages.
We can’t let that happen. We need to stop these plans. National treasures like the The Forest of Dean, Sherwood Forest and The New Forest could be sold off. Once they are gone, they will be lost forever.
A huge petition will force the government to rethink its plans. Already 80,000 of us have signed the petition. Please sign the petition.
Other groups are beginning to sound the alarm too:
- “This sale is likely raise a tiny amount but could do immeasurable damage and cost the nation dearly” – The Woodland Trust
- “The future ownership and management of land that has high public value should be carefully considered. The proposed land sales are driven by the need to generate quick cash, but they must not be at the expense of protecting our natural capital, which is irreplaceable.” – RSPB
- ‘Given the benefits and Defra’s push to get people planting more trees, it seems strange the government has announced a sell-off of forest and woodland in England to help reduce the country’s budget deficit.’ – The Metro
- ‘In 1992 John Major’s Conservative government – also looking to save money in a recession – drew up plans to privatise the Forestry Commission’s giant estate. However it was later abandoned following a study by a group of senior civil servants, amid widespread public opposition.’ – The Daily Telegraph
- ‘Many of England’s best-loved forests and woodlands may be sold to large landowners, housing developers and international power companies in what could be the UK’s greatest change of land ownership since the second world war.’ – The Guardian
- The media has picked up on the story and is questioning the government’s plans:
- Environment Minister Caroline Spelman, who is the driving force behind the mass sell-off, has already been forced to respond to this barrage of criticism by environmental organisations, unions and wildlife groups. Her junior minister Jim Paice is the man who came up with the idea.
Please, please visit their site and sign the petition, post on your Facebook and anything else you can think of. I find this just crazy – there is no going back from this, once it is done it is done. Really does make a mockery of all of the ‘green’ promises we were made in the ‘Election’.