Monday, October 25, 2010

Anyone worrying that I'm lurching suddenly to the right should relax: I'm left perplexed and incredibly angry at news the government is planning to sell off as much of a third of publicly owned forest to help tackle the deficit (see here). Another report claims this might raise £250m, which seems a pathetic return for putting even more of our beleaguered countryside at risk from over development.

Look, I'm all for making cuts and sacrifices to try and get rid of this almighty financial mess. I'll even bite my tongue at some of those decisions that are obviously taken from a party political point of view, but this is ridiculous. For starters it grossly undervalues the natural world (but should I be surprised when the UN puts a price tag on insects at a paltry £120bn?), but it's also another example of selling the family silver.

Thatcher made an art of it in the 80s (I still can't understand why governments couldn't run these services at a profit, which could be reinvested in the country as opposed to being handed over to the rich to make them even richer than before), and New Labour did its bit when selling off half our gold reserves for a fraction of their current value, but at what point do we start demanding real change at the top? Who am I kidding? This is the UK, where our best skill is in the art of jerking our knees...

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