Depraved local authorities and Brexit

My chalk protest message on the street washed away with the rain yesterday. So I wrote it again last night and again this morning and I’ll continue writing it over and over again until all my anger and grief is gone. Or until I run out of chalk.

I didn’t think they would really do it. Why? Because it’s a decision which makes no sense to me and no reasonable person would destroy a tree-lined street unless the trees were dying. Why was the suggestion even tabled in the first place? Local authorities are supposed to protect our urban trees, not destroy them. It’s not my duty to protect trees from the local authority.

I have lived in lots of cities around the world and never before have I seen such blatant disregard for the local environment and such wanton waste of public money by a local council. I had heard rumours about the Aberdeen City Council and now I witness the depth of their depravity for myself.

Am I less angry today? Maybe a little.

I haven’t mentioned Brexit yet but it has been on my mind a great deal. Ben and I both voted to remain in the EU like the majority of people living in Scotland. It wasn’t an easy decision for me at first and I did consider voting leave. My main concern about the EU is the 40% of the budget that is handed over to land owners. This is what is known as CAP – Common Agricultural Policy. It is for this reason that forests across Romania are being cleared; the land owners have realised they can get paid just for clearing the land. They don’t need to grow any food or raise any animals on it. All they need to do is destroy the forests and drive away the wildlife. However it’s impossible to have any say in this and try to change it for the better if we’re not in the EU. When I realised this my decision on which way to vote was easy. We need to be part of the EU if we want to have any influence.

Brexiters never campaigned on this issue though which is puzzling. This is the single, most concerning aspect and they completely ignored it. George Monbiot has a good article about it in, The shocking waste of cash even leavers won’t condemn.

Westminster has now descended into chaos. No-one knows what will happen next. The pound is at a 30 year low and we’re on the brink of recession, all things which were expected. The only good thing for us is interest rates will probably fall now which will be good for our mortgage payments.

5 responses to “Depraved local authorities and Brexit”

  1. Thanks, Boris J. He got the limelight but a very crappy result. I would love to see him forced to clean up the mess.

    I was thinking that the Council could have put a fence around the tree root area for each tree on the street to stop people tripping. That wouldn’t be ideal but surely better than removing the trees.

    You’ll have to join the Council, Rachel. Shake them up!

    • They’ve all quit, not just Boris. That’s what’s so amazing. People are accusing them of jumping a sinking ship and it does look that way.

      The council could have found an alternate, had they bothered to give it some thought.

  2. I am afraid that despite the EU agricultural policy, being part of the EU was very useful for the environment and being together in Europe would be the only way of reducing gas emissions. Despite all its faults there was more positive than negative

  3. The Monbiot article was shocking. Not just for the agricultural policies that more than negate ecological policies, but for the information that the EU doesn’t even track farm incomes when doling out tens of billions in subsidies.

    A report by the European court of auditors reveals that the EU has no useful data on farm incomes, and therefore no knowledge of whether farm subsidies serve any social purpose.

  4. Rachel, Britain had very little influence in the EU. The EU is institutionally sclerotic, with all changes except those that lead towards ever closer union choked by its complex structures and by the activist secretariat that oversees them. Staying in the EU so that we might lead attempts at reforming it was one of the weakest Remain arguments.

    But we had a voice in the Council, I hear you say. The Council is there to engage in behind-closed-doors horse-trading – ‘We’ll support fruit subsidies for Portuguese carrot jam if Portugal supports the UK’s call for carrots to be declared an endangered species’ – before rubber-stamping legislation proposed by the secretariat.

    The shock caused by our exit will likely do far more to institute reform than anything that could have been achieved by staying inside.


    Re CAP and Romanian forests, I don’t think the logging has much to do with farm subsidies. I spent a while googling this a few years ago and IIRC most of the logging is straightforwardly illegal. Chop ’em down and sell ’em.

    I can’t find any of the notes I made but vaguely recall that some of the illegal logging was being done by the subsidiary of a German or Scandi company that makes much of its green credentials (which, being a hippie-basher, was why I was so interested). It wasn’t any of the Austrian companies found by a quick google. Nor IKEA. I might have another look later

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