MP Should Stop Sitting On The Fence And Confront The Issues

I DON T want to appear ungrateful or ungenerous because I am truly grateful to James Paice, MP, for his seeming generosity in shifting his position somewhat on Wicken Vision. The fact that Mr Paice believes that food production in our Fens is important i

I DON'T want to appear ungrateful or ungenerous because I am truly grateful to James Paice, MP, for his seeming generosity in shifting his position somewhat on Wicken Vision. The fact that Mr Paice believes that food production in our Fens is important is to be welcomed.

What I cannot follow, though, is Mr Paice's tortuous reasoning, for he lays the blame for his sitting on the fence and his biting of his tongue on the pressures of party politics. One of the reasons for me standing as an independent against Mr Paice, a friend for many years, is that I am totally fed up with party politics even entering the on-going debate about Wicken Vision.

Why, may I ask, is the future of several thousand acres of the country's finest food-growing farmland a party political matter? I am quite sure that Wicken Vision will not be named as such in the Conservative Party's manifesto that Mr Paice has been so pre-occupied with of late. It is not a party political matter. It is plain common sense that thousands of acres of the best farmland should not be laid waste in the way that the National Trust wants.

David Lloyd George, the former Prime Minister, deployed a splendid insult against a political opponent. He said that the gentleman had 'sat on the fence so long that the iron has entered his soul.' Fence-sitting and tongue-biting can be painful, but to different parts of the body. Mr Paice should eschew them both.

GEOFFREY WOOLLARD

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