It's Not The Numbers That Matter But The Democratic Process
PUBLISHED: 14:25 25 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:13 04 May 2010
BEN Gibbs evidently derives amusement from teasing my friend John Aitchison and I, but I have to advise him that he is missing the point. Large numbers of people in the area will be affected by the National Trust s Wicken Vision are opposed to it. Mr Gib
BEN Gibbs evidently derives amusement from teasing my friend John Aitchison and I, but I have to advise him that he is missing the point.
Large numbers of people in the area will be affected by the National Trust's Wicken Vision are opposed to it. Mr Gibbs favours it. But what really counts in this undemocratic debate is not the numbers who oppose it and agree with me or the numbers who agree with Mr Gibbs. This misconceived and controversial scheme was never going to be decided on a numbers basis. What counts is cash and the funding sources for the Vision are now in big trouble. The National Lottery is having to pay a larger proportion of the cost of the 2012 Olympic Games and the Government - any Government of any party, now or in the future - is under pressure to keep core services going and to avoid frittering our money on non-essentials. The Wicken Vision was never essential.
Indeed, the opposite is the case, for it is now essential that British farmers produce more British food to feed an ever-growing population. Our Fen farmers work the best land in the country and their production is more and more needed. Don't take my word for it, Mr Gibbs: take the word of Hilary Benn, the present Defra Secretary, and Nick Herbert, his Conservative counterpart.
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