Wednesday, 16 February 2011

The patronising Mr Cameron jokes about the future of the forests

In Prime Ministers Questions today, David Cameron sought to mock Ed Miliband for his persistent and brilliant questioning on the ConDems' policy of selling-off our national forests.

When asked by Miliband whether he was happy with the policy he replied: "The short answer is no."  But he did so with what looked like a large smirk on his face and much laughter.  As if he'd been found out by teacher for breaking the rules.

He tried to wriggle out of the policy by suggesting that all the Government had done was engaged in a "consultation".   He sarcastically mocked the process, saying "we've had a range of interesting responses" [code for almost everyone who has responded has said it was a crazy idea, apart from the landowners and vested interests who would have gained from the policy]. Yet the enabling bill, the Public Bodies Bill, which will give Ministers power to sell off the land, is going through the House of Lords at the moment.  This devious Bill has been mentioned in this blog previously.

Ed Miliband was on fine form, saying "...even he must appreciate the irony of the guy who made the tree the symbol of the Conservative Party, flogging them off up and down this country."

Miliband went on to say "he says they're consulting on this policy....they're actually consulting on how to flog off the forests, not whether to flog off the forests".

Cameron refused Miliband's offer for him to take the opportunity to kill off the policy.  His final reply to the Labour leader shows his attitude to the selling off of a national asset such as forests.  He said, "I think the bandwagon has just hit a bit of a tree".  For Cameron it is a joke.  For millions of people up and down the country, particularly those who live in or near our forests, it couldn't be more serious.

But then Tories tend to understand the price of something, be it a forest, or a service, but not its value.

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