The minister is sticking to his well-worn theme of more public access to the countryside, despite acknowledging how difficult it is to police.
At least Mr Parish is pressing for amendments to the Agriculture Bill which would enshrine the importance of food production. He said, ‘I do not want to re-write the Bill. I just want something in it so future Secretaries of State can see supporting agriculture and food production is part of the environment’.
He is heading in the right direction, but it would help if the Bill offered the option to restrict access to farms and the countryside during sensitive times of year: when ground nesting birds are rearing their young, and when livestock and wildlife are rearing theirs too.
The combination of ‘the public’ and their dogs, roaming unrestricted across the countryside during the breeding season, does endless harm to livestock and wildlife, and has resulted in the decline of so many of our native ground nesting birds.
Mr Gove’s determination to encourage even more public access will only make things worse. A closed season may make the public appreciate the ‘privilege’ of accessing private land in particular, and open countryside, and encourage them to respect our precious countryside.
The Irish backstop is a complete sellout. The border is already in place for matters concerning Vat, currency and customs. The EU’s rouse that the border has many crossings which cannot be policed is spurious. There are not as many roads, or vehicles crossing the border as run into Central London each and every day. None of these vehicles passing into the C charge area gets through without being logged and charged.
It goes without saying the same can happen along the Irish border where there are fewer routes, and vehicles crossing the border. Where there’s a will there’s a way.
When headlines state that ‘style emerges a clear winner over substance’, and ‘the content mattered less than the delivery’, we should be very worried.
Was is about Mrs May or about Government policies? The Prime Minister pranced onto the stage and managed a few self-depreciating jokes which apparently won over her audience.
It may have fooled those in the hall but it did not fool the rest of us. The content does matter and other than announcing that ‘austerity’ is over, which obviously took the Chancellor by surprise, she said very little else of consequence.
‘Good housekeeping’ works better for me, and people understand what it means. If you haven’t got it don’t spend it. Credit has given generations a false sense of security and the ability to spend above our means.
The same goes for governments which print money, and borrow sums which future generations must repay. At least the Conservatives try to build up reserves and repay the debt, which every time Labour returns to office, they squander, and spend buying votes, until the kitty runs dry.
Mrs May should have chucked Chequers, picked up Canada Plus and encouraged her Chancellor to reduce stamp duty, lower Vat and stimulate the economy in his Budget later this month.
House building is important but until local planners are encouraged to make practical and thoughtful decisions, taking into account local issues, the houses will not be built.
They must stop rail roading councillors and local residents into accepting infill sites which are inappropriate and ruin communities.
Neither should they allow local individuals with more money than sense, and undue influence, to stop perfectly sensible building applications which would enhance the area, particularly near railway stations, as is happening in East Sussex.