Tuesday, April 24, 2007
The Secretary of State for the Environment, David Miliband, has a blog too (which, like this blog, has occasional typos). And today, we're treated to a post about the Kinder Mass Trespass.
The intial irony is that he talks about 'responsible ramblers'. Exactly what Benny and Co were not - they dared to stray from the path. But the Minister wants us to keep within the boundaries and behave ourselves. Politicians love their contradictions, and the old guys and girls are conveniently no longer around to tell us the real story.
And they weren't convicted for trespass - something which was not a criminal offence then, but is very much so now, even more so under New Labour's raft of new laws - but for 'riotous assembly' and 'breach of the peace' (for scrapping with the Duke of Devonshire's gamekeepers, the police of the countryside in those times). Another myth that allows Labour to blather on about how good the the CRoW legislation is.
You'd expect him to trawl out some comments about Benny Rothman, as indeed he does. After all, it's good to butter up the Labour Movement, and there might still be a few votes amongst the CPGB. But I doubt even Miliband knows that Benny was at Twyford Down, or his history of opposition to road schemes. And even if he does, there's no chance of it popping up to spoil this picture of harmony that the blog post presents.
At the end, Miliband displays his knowledge of Ewan MacColl's 'the Manchester Rambler', which I wager someone mentioned to him on Saturday. And although the first verse mentions Crowden, the last verse is a battle cry for environmentalists:
So I'll walk where I will over mountain and hill
And I'll lie where the bracken is deep
I belong to the mountains, the clear running fountains
Where the grey rocks lie ragged and steep
I've seen the white hare in the gullys
And the curlew fly high overhead
And sooner than part from the mountains
I think I would rather be dead
MacColl's scene of tranquility, which can be found (relatively) at Swallows Wood and on the hills around Longdendale has nothing to do with this government which plans to wreck it all. The local MPs and Local Authorities all want to massively increase the traffic and pollution. Indeed, CO2 emissions will rise by 9%.
All of which will perhaps make interesting reading for this week's paper - because we're aware that local Green campaigners were invited to meet Miliband in Glossop. What did they say, and did the bypass get a mention? We wait with baited breath...
If you have the time and you support us, pop over to David'd blog and leave a comment. But going on the record of some other blogs like this, and websites like this (both coincidentally run by Labour Party people), a request for a link or a debate will not even yield a response.
(Oh, and by the way David - there were 400 Manchester ramblers, not 4000)