The Curmudgeon


Sunday, September 22, 2013

If You Can't Flog It Off, Chop It Down

An appeal against the destruction of an ancient Kent woodland has been thrown out by a judge in a ten-minute hearing. The local Deputy Conservative candidate, who appears to be suffering either from belated opportunism or from poignant ignorance of the government to which his party belongs, has been prominent among the protests. He alleges that Eric Pickles, of all the Nice Party people in the world, refused to bother looking at the wood (in fairness, appreciation of natural beauty is probably among the many human eccentricities to which the Pickles sensibility is immune) and swore at another campaigner. This has been denied both by Pickles himself and by a source close to Pickles; which undoubtedly settles the matter. Meanwhile Gallagher Aggregates, the company which wants to turn the woodland into a granite quarry, has said it will apply for costs in a legal case against Pickles for ignoring an EU directive on bird conservation and for failing to show that the economic benefits of the quarrying would be sufficient to justify the destruction of the wood. Since the plaintiff is not a hard-working family after the Cameron, Clegg or Osborne model, she has been forced to withdraw her case; such are the legal protections for the countryside under the greenest government ever.


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