“The smart way to keep people passive and obedient is to strictly limit the spectrum of acceptable opinion, but allow very lively debate within that spectrum – even encourage the more critical and dissident views. That gives people the sense that there’s free thinking going on, while all the time the presuppositions of the system are being reinforced by the limits put on the range of the debate.”
From time to time, as resources allow, our Party intervenes in planning matters across our region, seeking to challenge the ‘growth agenda’ that is so rapidly destroying what makes it so special.
We are more astonished at the ignorance of planners than at the arrogance of developers but both sides are in league to ruin Wessex today, while simultaneously making it more difficult for us to adapt to the post-oil world of tomorrow. Planning has become a never-ending pantomime in which planners argue that the growth figures are high enough and developers try to convince some Government growth junkie that they aren’t. Who speaks the truth, that even the lower figures are insane and need to be slashed to nothing?
Our most recent intervention has been in the preparation of the ‘South Wiltshire Core Strategy’, which proposes the building of nearly 10,000 new homes, largely to accommodate London overspill, including damaging greenfield extensions to Salisbury and Amesbury. Under past legislation, objectors were guaranteed the right to present their case before a Government Inspector. Now, under legislation pushed through by Labour, Inspectors are free to decide what evidence they wish to hear. Or not hear. We asked to expose in detail the false reasoning behind this massive level of growth. And were ignored. The Inspector will hear evidence on how consistent the growth figures are with the aim of promoting growth: the regime’s ears are closed to anything sensible. As we wrote today to the officer organising the hearings:
“We are profoundly disappointed to read that the Inspector will disregard any further evidence critical of the County Council’s policy of collaboration with the London regime in imposing unsustainable development on the area. The need to move away from ecocidal policies of economic growth and population expansion is now desperate.
The London regime and its servants must surely understand that obstructing the presentation of the truth is not a rational basis for policy-making. Over the long-term, it threatens the very survival of the communities of Wiltshire and of Wessex generally. We can only conclude that that is the intention.”