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Saturday, 5 February 2011

Elementary – Only Sherlock Holmes Could See The Woods For The Trees!

This piece  first appeared  as “It's Elementary, Only Sherlock Holmes Could See The Woods For The Trees” on Technorati.

Squirrel.LogoIt goes without saying that members of the present UK government would sell their  mothers in a vain attempt to rescue the ailing economy.

It doesn’t need Sherlock Holmes to discover the real villains of the piece. But even if he were more than a magnificent figment of Arthur Conan Doyle’s imagination it wouldn’t help.

After all , the council at Wavertree, Essex where the author lived, is attempting to sell his house there instead of having it converted into a proper museum!

So it was heart-warming to learn that on Thursday (03 February)  Members of Parliament from all sides of the House Commons  “pressed ministers to guarantee that the public would still be able to access England's national forests after the land had been sold or leased”.

Indeed, Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said ministers had repeatedly given assurances to MPs that access and public benefits would be protected.

But I’m not impressed as I’m among those worried that the attempts to privatise and sell the U.K.’s woodlands “could compromise nature protection and restrict public access to national woodland”.

I am only one of thousands of people who have enjoyed walking in the U.K’s forests and the thought of their being possibly sold to companies like McDonalds is as appalling as it is incomprehensible.

I wonder if such a move is legal and if  in theory, people like myself who have ‘bought’ trees in the names of family members  through The Woodland Trust  are the true owners.

David Babbs of the 38 Degrees social action group which is leading a campaign against possible forestry privatisation, claims that more than 96,000 people have joined the struggle. Certainly, I wrote to Ivan Lewis, MP requesting his support.

I pointed out that  while I now live in Northern Israel very near the scene of the  Carmel Forest Fires, I still have a house in his Bury South constituency.

The irony of the Israeli Government’s struggle to make good the devastation of its vital forests against  the intentions of the Tory administration is shamefully clear.

Instead of selling off the U.K.’s own beautiful and environmentally important forests, the government should consider vastly reducing aid sent to third world countries where it rarely reaches the intended recipients and instead swells the coffers of corrupt tin-pot dictators. Let’s get our priorities straight – please.



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