The widespread destruction of the British countryside between the wars – urban sprawl, ribbon development, conurbation etc – led to welcome post-Second World War countryside legislation such as national parks, green belt and other less severe restrictions on the spread of housing generally.
They worked pretty well for the next generation or so in protecting precious, irreplaceable open countryside.
The present Government is surreptitiously setting aside these protections in its desperation to stimulate the economy by getting the building industry into full flow.
Additional measures include inventing a non-existent countrywide housing shortage in order to justify its imposition of immensely-inflated housing targets on local authorities and at the same time advising planning inspectors to permit appeals almost anywhere, including the green belt.
This policy is not boosting the economy because it is based on imagined massive demand (all those perfectly decent terrace houses which my wife and I, like most of our generation, were happy to use as a first step on the housing ladder but which nobody now wants).
However this surreptitious removal or weakening of controls is causing immense and irreplaceable damage to precious countryside.
Difficult to oppose this policy because it is carefully concealed – and we shall have to use our judgement when the next election comes around by asking who, if anyone, can be trusted to protect the British countryside?
Age versus youth in referendum
Unlike most of my fellow pensioners, I voted for remain in last year’s referendum.
Their vote as the largest sector of the electorate probably swung the vote for leave.
Now in my late 70s, the result, as with other pensioners, will not greatly affect me in the years left to us.
We are always told that the shape and future prosperity of our country will be down to upcoming youth. These are the people who voted by a large margin to remain in the European Union.
They are the ones who will face whatever the consequences of leave throws at them.
We are constantly told there was a democratic result, ask today’s youth if they agree with that sentiment?
Reality will dawn for Brexiteers
I was discussing with a friend the steps being taken by Mrs May’s Government to cut our ties with the EU.
We both speculated on a scenario where a film screenwriter had attempted to devise a plot about some government plumbing the depths of ineptitude.
If our writer simply recorded what has happened in the UK since June 23 in relation to Brexit, and used that as the storyline, commissioning film companies would have simply batted away the script as beyond belief. Put another way – “you could not make it up”.
It is high time that Brexiteers engaged in a bit of intellectual honesty.
I warn them, in the next 12 months, reality will break in and they will be forced to acknowledge both the cost and the futility of their project.
Police should wear stab vest
Following the tragic death of police officer Keith Palmer, a true hero, one thing bothers me. It would appear he was not wearing a stab vest. I would have thought it would be standard issue for people on the front line. Keith Palmer’s selfless actions should put the word ‘hero’ into perspective. It is often used where it should not be.