Carola Godman Irvine. Farmer, Campaigner & Columnist. 01-09-21

  • Written by Carola Godman Irvine
  • Posted on Sep 01, 2021
  • Articles

Everything has its place in life, including ‘rewilding’. The countryside is currently awash with bright yellow ragwort otherwise known rather appropriately as Stinking Willie. And city streets such as Brighton’s are reported to have turned into ‘urban jungles’.

The reason for the outbreak of Ragwort I am reliably informed, is because councils stopped cutting roadside verges some years ago; to save money and be seen to be ‘environmentally friendly’, encouraging bees and wildlife.

The result is that year on year the seeds are blown from this dangerous to livestock plant, into fields where they have been spreading like wildfire. As is known to most folk, these plants are toxic to livestock, particularly horses. The poison is cumulative causing irreversible liver damage and eventual death.

Residents of Brighton and other and towns and cities will soon require machetes to battle their way down their residential streets. The councils in their wisdom, decided to pander to the ‘environmentalists’, by not spraying the pavements with Glyphosate, a harmless chemical, with the result that the weeds are in some areas, reported to be up to five feet tall.

As was said recently, much of the country is looking unkept and abandoned. Ragwort is running wild, verges remain uncut, weeds grow along pavements in towns and cities, and farmers are ‘encouraged’ to abandon fields to ‘re-wilding’. Great Britain is beginning to look like a third world country.

It is time to smarten the place up, take a pride in our surroundings and demand councils, and for that matter Defra, use our hard earned money which is lifted off us so easily, in a responsible manner which includes keeping both the countryside and our communities spick and span.

It is encouraging to know that two Conservative MPs are asking crucial questions about the practicality of the government’s determination to drag the UK down the road towards reaching net zero CO2 emissions by 2050.

There are less than 100 days to go before COP26 in Glasgow, which is focusing industries attention on ways to offset carbon emissions by ‘passing the buck’ to farmers and landowners, whilst appearing to be ‘environmentally responsible’, when in fact they are doing nothing of the sort.

Planting sapling trees across acres of good fertile food producing land will in the long run result in the UK importing increasing amounts of food from across the globe, from countries which do not produce to the same as the UK’s high standards. Also, this increase food miles adds to CO2 emissions, and is neither ethical or practical.

The former Energy Minister Chris Skidmore, who signed the ‘Net Zero by 2050’ target into law, is now questioning whether this approach is right. He has taken up a research post as a senior Fellow at Harvard Kennedy School, where he will explore the situation in detail. Good for him.

At the same time Scott Benton is saying that a ‘real debate’ is needed in Parliament and the wider country about the realities of reaching net zero.

Mr Benton’s words written for the Conservative Home website are worth noting. He said, “I fear that Western Governments – with most noble intentions in mind – could implode their own economies and cause mass unemployment, while other countries’ economies will boom, fuelled by cheap fossil fuels and low regulations.”

“How will we be able to explain to our constituents why their bills are spiraling, why they cannot take foreign trips, and have to limit their meat consumption? Why they must scrap their perfectly good working cars and boilers, and why all the manufacturing jobs are gone due to imports from polluting, environmentally unfriendly nations?” I couldn’t have put it better myself.

I hope that both MPs have a serious discussion with the Prime Minister before he heads to Glasgow, and I would suggest they invite Mrs Johnson along to listen in too.

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