Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Regrets: A Few

In Pakistan, the Supreme Court has ordered the arrest of the Prime Minister on corruption charges. Our own top politicians could do with being arrested, to face far more serious allegations of disturbing the peace of the world.

And not just the politicians. One of the questions we continue to pose is ‘do we or do we not have an environmental crisis?’ If we don’t, then it’s business as usual. If we do, then the City of London needs to be shut down at once and everyone from the Chancellor of the Exchequer to the Governor of the Bank of England should be in jail awaiting trial for ecocide.

In the midst of the fake ‘economic’ crisis we’re told to worship the wealth creators who’ll see us through. But that would be sloppy accounting, the oxymoronic ‘sustainable development’. You cannot generate additional wealth without deducting resources from nature. It’s a relentlessly double-entry system. The wealth creators are also the nature destroyers.

And they’re in charge. Non-commercial values are being systematically sidelined. One example of that has emerged from the Coalition’s efforts to dismantle the previous administration’s efforts at regional planning. We hold no brief for the Regional Strategies for the ‘South West’ and ‘South East’. Not only was the geography hopelessly wrong but the unelected regional assemblies set up by Blair to draft these plans were abolished by Brown because – can you believe it? – they took too balanced a view. Brown wanted growth ├╝ber alles. None of that cuddly stuff. But in rejecting the Regional Strategies, the Coalition has done more than take a wrong turn away from a more democratic regional solution.

Just what it has done is apparent from the Strategic Environmental Assessment reports it has commissioned to investigate the consequences of abolishing the eight Regional Strategies outside London. AMEC, the consultants preparing the documentation for the ‘South West’, make plain what these consequences are. Localism is no barrier to growth, provided the right incentives (bribes like the New Homes Bonus) are in place. What is lost in scrapping the regional tier is everything else:

“A number of issues are arguably more efficiently and effectively addressed across wider areas than local authority boundaries, in particular major infrastructure provision, biodiversity planning, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and renewable energy. Whilst the duty to co-operate in principle and practice could well address a wide range of strategic issues, there is uncertainty as to how this might work in the short term, both by topic and geographically. For example, securing agreement on housing and employment levels and distribution could be easier (although not universally so) at sub-regional scales than might strategic infrastructure provision on the same or wider scale. Some issues such as renewable energy, biodiversity enhancement or landscape conservation, which typically benefit from being planned at a wider geographical scale, could be ignored or their potential not realised.”

As we feared then, the anti-regionalism of Cameron and Clegg both denies a voice to non-commercial values and hampers the process of adapting to the irreversible environmental changes that the globalists' love of money is imposing upon us all.

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