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Thread: Demise of English Nature, FC et al?

  1. #1
    Motley Crew Guest

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    The following article was in todays (5th Nov 2003) Daily Mail - makes interesting reading. (Apologies for any minor errors, this was OCR'd from a scan of the newspaper.)

    Countryside watchdog that bit Labour is put down.
    The countryside watchdog which has been one of the Government's most persistent critics is to be scrapped. English Nature, which has given Ministers a rough ride over GM foods and green belt housing, is to disappear as part of a major shake-up of rural quangos. The move was condemned by environmental groups yesterday as an act of Government revenge. Tories accused Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett of trying to silence 'an uncomfortable and inconvenient critic.'

    The replacement of English Nature and other countryside quangos by a new centralised land management body has been recommended by multi-millionaire Labour donor Lord Haskins, the former boss of Northern Foods. His review of rural policy, to be published later this month, also calls for the disappearance of the Forestry Commission and the Countryside Agency.

    Mrs Beckett refused to comment on the findings of the review before its official publication, but denied that the Government 'had it in' for English Nature. She insisted there was a case For reorganising the way services for rural areas were provided. 'No one seems to dispute the fact that there are a range or different institutions and schemes and structures and that this can be confusing,' she said.

    Tory spokesman David Lidington agreed that services needed to be streamlined but said Ministers were using the review to silence one of their most effective critics. He said: 'Just as you have independent inspectors For prisons or schools, so it is useful to have an independent watchdog for wildlife and bio-diversity that will give scientific advice fearlessly and not be seduced Into the culture or spin.
    'We have had English Nature speak out on GM crops. It also gave trenchant evidence to Parliament criticising Prescott's housebuidig plans For South-East England. It has been making similar comments some or Alistair Darling's plans For new airports.

    'My fear Is that the Government Just wants to get rid or an uncomfortable and Inconvenient critic.'
    Friends or the Earth said scrapping English Nature would mean the loss or a powerful advocate For the protection or threatened wildlife sites. 'This review is being seen by many as the Government's way or muzzling an environmental watchdog that has shown Its teeth,' said FoE executive director Tony Juniper.
    'Labour must not punish English Nature For opposing GM crops and getting In the way or ministers' plans For more roads, ports, runways and reservoirs. 'Tony Blair should focus on delivering for wildlife, not meddling with English Nature.'

    English Nature plays a unique role in rural management. Its remit is to champion wildlife, conservation and biodiversity. It has legal powers to protect the natural heritage and has been a vigorous opponent or Government policies that affect the countryside. Its opposition to GM crops led directly to the Government initiating a minor programme or field-scale trials. Mrs Beckett may find she has a fight on her hands. Tory Environment Secretary Nicholas Ridley tried to abolish English Nature in the 1980s, but a public outcry forced him to rethink. The European Commission was accused yesterday or trying to dodge new labelling rules in a 'disgraceful' attempt to get GM food into supermarkets.

    Rigorous new regulations for the approval and labelling or GM roods come Into force next April. But campaigners say the commission is trying to push through a vote approving a GM sweetcorn In the next few weeks. Adrian Bebb or Friends of the Earth, accused the commission or caving in to U.S. pressure and warned: 'If it gets its way, there is a big chance these foods would get to the market unlabelled.'

  2. #2
    Omally Guest

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    Oh dear: much as we want our ammo tins back, this does not look good...

  3. #3
    NattyBooshka Guest

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    Heard that on Radio 5 a few weeks ago (now we know what reporters do all day&#33 and I guess the moral of the story is don't criticise the government! I think it will be a sad day for us when it happens as we'll have a fit all body governing all land... budget restrictions may mean they let one type of land suffer some years... instead of specialist organisations.

  4. #4
    Chris n Maria Guest

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    Looks to me like they have had the management consultants in:

    Everything is currently decentralised = Centralisation is good
    Everything is currently centralised = decentralisation is good

    now lend me your watch and I will charge you to tell you the time

    Chris

  5. #5
    Kouros Guest

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    Originally posted by Chris n Maria@Nov 6 2003, 08:45 AM
    now lend me your watch and I will charge you to tell you the time
    But I've got it written down on a piece of paper!

  6. #6
    Omally Guest

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    Originally posted by Kouros+Nov 6 2003, 08:52 AM--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Kouros @ Nov 6 2003, 08:52 AM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin--Chris n Maria@Nov 6 2003, 08:45 AM
    now lend me your watch and I will charge you to tell you the time
    But I&#39;ve got it written down on a piece of paper&#33; [/b][/quote]
    Wait a minute Kouros my good man&#33; It&#39;s writted on this bit of paper, it is 8 o&#39;clock that is writted... suppose when someone asks you the time it *isn&#39;t 8 o&#39;clock? :P

  7. #7
    Kouros Guest

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    Well den, I don&#39;t show it to &#39;em

  8. #8
    Omally Guest

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    But how do you know when it&#39;s 8 o&#39;clock?

  9. #9

    Join Date
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    The point is this, Kouros&#39;s bit of paper is acually more acurate than most watches.. At least it will be right twice a day.. where most watches are never right
    Moss The Boss... Sorta

  10. #10
    Chris n Maria Guest

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    Originally posted by Moss Trooper@Nov 6 2003, 04:24 PM
    The point is this, Kouros&#39;s bit of paper is acually more acurate than most watches.. At least it will be right twice a day.. where most watches are never right
    So how do you know when the bit of paper is right? :unsure: I suppose you could always right the time now on a bit of paper and compare it with kuros&#39;s bit of paper :

  11. #11
    Mr &amp; Mrs Hedgehog Guest

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    Well to check the time then you can look at my sun dial but if it&#39;s a night you&#39;d better bring a torch :lol:

    but I do think we&#39;re going a bit off topic here :unsure:

  12. #12
    Kouros Guest

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    Originally posted by Omally@Nov 6 2003, 03:25 PM
    But how do you know when it&#39;s 8 o&#39;clock?
    Because I&#39;ve got it written down on a piece of paper&#33; :lol:

  13. #13
    Omally Guest

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    Originally posted by Kouros+Nov 6 2003, 05:21 PM--></span><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE (Kouros @ Nov 6 2003, 05:21 PM)</td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'> <!--QuoteBegin--Omally@Nov 6 2003, 03:25 PM
    But how do you know when it&#39;s 8 o&#39;clock?
    Because I&#39;ve got it written down on a piece of paper&#33; :lol: [/b][/quote]
    The right answer at last&#33;&#33;&#33; :lol:

    &#39;Scuse us all for going totally off-topic, Mr Admin Sir, the temptation to have a laugh is sometimes too great to resist&#33;

    So, where do we sign a petition to say "boo hiss" to the government?

  14. #14

    Join Date
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    St Helens, Lancs, UK
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    Ha, Ha, HA&#33;
    And why not?
    Enjoy your caching!

  15. #15
    Omally Guest

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    Originally posted by jstead@Nov 6 2003, 05:48 PM
    Ha, Ha, HA&#33;
    And why not?
    I expect you remember that sketch the first time round&#33;

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