Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Grand National......a grand occasion?

For the first time in years I actually watched the Grand National last weekend. The build up, the interviews, the parade of horses was, at least, certainly pleasant viewing. I began to understand the sheer beauty, strength and strange majesty attached to the horses as they were displayed or walked past.And then the race. Forty runners of which only fifteen finished. Two horses having to be despatched due to the sheer difficulty of immobilising them when in treatment. It took the shine off the whole occasion for me and made me reflect on whether we could do better. Instead of trumpeting the magnificence of Beechers Brook or The Chair perhaps we should concede that the challenge that the race provides for many of the horses is just not worth the risk. After all , these beasts are some of the best!

It made me reflect also on what would be our attitudes if we set up the "fences" in the steeplechase event at the forthcoming Olympic Games to impossible heights and caused accidents to the competitors. Outcry, inquiries, protests and undoubted change!! The thought that anything should happen as the pressing mass of people approach the start in this coming weekend's London Marathon might similarly cause some reflection!  Could it be that there's more than a little extra concern exercised toward such occasions?  Could it be that the Grand National involves animals and money?  No, not entirely because I imagine the owners of the unfortunate horses concerned are absolutely devastated and had every belief beforehand that their animal was capable of the challenges to be faced. So what is it? A spectacle that's gone a step too far? I'd like to think so and that good sense and a love for horses might yet get the mix right.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Greenest Government ever!

First of all , many apologies for the somewhat tardy usage of this site, or my responsibility towards its usage. Time restraints have dictated an absolute paucity of time available to complete posts and follow up stories. Apologies!

Now, the current Coalition Government and its claim, via David Cameron's statement some time ago , that it would be the Greenest Government ever. What a joke! Clearly he didn't reckon on his Chancellor ( wee George ) and his apparent paranoia with anything associated with the environment, indeed he appears to display a pathological hatred of the concept involved in its recognition.  Threats re the planning system, the apparent emasculation of Natural England via budget reductions, suggestions the environment somehow constrains economic development and other indications suggest the claim to be hollow. Nothing more! An empty vessel holding no promise of sustenance or regard.

So, what to do about it? It has to be tackled head on, not just grumbled about. It has to be taken to the "Centre".  It cannot be a concept that the Conservatives, or the Coalition, should be allowed to get away with.
In the upcoming Local Elections every opportunity should be taken to question candidates what their policies and intentions are towards environmental matters. It's not actually the expressed content that matters, and received in return, but the fact the subject is being put before them and seen to be a concern. It's necessary and it's important! More importantly it's immensely relevant to ensure the subject is given true prominence within the upcoming considerations before the General Election.  A bit ahead maybe, but now is the time to start otherwise anyone who has some affiliation with the environment and our natural heritage will witness the situation get worse, unless concessions are gained, and the Labour Party are, equally, convinced of the electorate's concern.Thankfully the Tories are their own worse enemy at present and one can't really see them succeeding in the future. The utterly important aspect is to ensure whoever succeeds them is fully aware of the expectations of its electorate as far as our natural environment is concerned.