Why are people so against private involvement of our forests?

Private involvement in things is not automatically bad. Why the automatic assumption that private involvement in our forests should be such an awful thing to happen. Frankly there are many instances where private ownership can be much better than without private involvement. There are also many instances where private land is much better looked after than communal areas.

I have spend many hours making my front garden look nice. I enjoy it and I hope others do to. I live on a nice housing estate and right opposite me is a communal grassy area. That area is not looked after half as well as private land. Local kids just leave their rubbish on it. Dogs foul on it, and so on and so on. The communal area is worse than the majority of the privately owned land, and peope treat it worse than they do private land.

We all see it on estates where there is a bit of grass separate from a private garden next to the pavement. Many people don’t look after it because they feel no ownership over it and leave it to the local council, or even park on it, when they wouldnt on their own property

So yes, there are many examples of private land being tended better, often for the benefit of all. I was born and brought up in Chesterfield. The Chatsworth estate and gardens are far better than any park I know. They are privately owned, but the public can drive through and enjoy the countryside. Is that a terrible thing? No the Duke of Devonshire has done a much better job than any council of any political colour would.

In many cases the same can be said of farmers who look after the countryside for the benefit of us all.

I am not saying i would “privatise” forests, but when we hear that talking about private involvement is just the Conservatives being ideological, I would thrown back perhaps those objecting are being slightly ideological in their objections? Maybe a little private involvement could lead to improvements that benefit us all!

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Seven Days Show 23rd January 2011

[podcast]http://toryradio.podbus.com/sevendaysshow57.mp3[/podcast]

In the latest edition of The Seven Days Show (episode 57) we discuss Andy Coulson; whether Iain is a good bet to be his replacement at 33/1; the resignation of Alan Johnson; Ed Balls becoming his replacement; Lord Strathclyde and whether having an affair is a resigning issue; Tony Blair and the Iraq inquiry; Prisoners votes; Baroness Warsi; and who should take over the Olympic stadium.

To listen to the podcast click the play button above.

Subscribe to Tory Radio on Itunes here

Is having an affair a resigning issue?

So we learn according to the Sunday Mirror that Lord Strathclyde is apparently having an affair. Is this the story that is to rock the Government to its foundations? Sorry not for me I’m afraid. It does beg the question as to whether politicians should resign for having affairs. Well as sad as an affair can be for those hurt in the process, I’m afraid my answer is no.

These things happen in life. Would we expect every teacher who has had an affair to resign? Why not? Their actions will have a huge impact on the next generation. No of course they should not resign, just as a politician having an affair is in itself not a resigning issue.

Frankly politicians are human beings and we have to accept that they along with the rest of society may make choices, which whilst some of us my find unpalatable, are just part of life. I believe I tweeted the following. TWO BREAKING NEWS STORIES:- 1) Politician cheats on their spouse; 2) Bear sh*ts in the wood. You know what I mean!

Coulson jumps ship

… and there was me suggesting he was the political survivor of the year for the last 12 months (which I guess he was) on the Seven Days Show. Make sure you tune in on Sunday as we are sure to be discussing this and all of the other stories from the weeks comings and goings.

The question now is who will replace him?

Taking no pleasure in Alan Johnsons resignation

Ok, the first part is a little lie. In a way I’m pleased Ed Balls is in the position he is in, as I don’t think he’s a huge vote winner, but that’s beside the point. If the first editions already out today are to be believed I don’t take any pleasure in the resignation of Alan Johnson. Yes I may poke fun at him asking did he go because “he failed to deliver” but when you have both worked for Royal Mail I think you are allowed a little post office humour.

He always struck me as a decent kind of guy. Indeed when I was at Royal Mail and had dealings with his office and his adviser he always seemed to be a nice guy. I am not sure he was well suited to the role of Shadow Chancellor, but that is probably the least of his worries.

The reshuffle is certainly interesting. I hope the party, for example, will use every opportunity to remind Liam Byrne of his immortal words about there being no money left whenever and wherever he speaks. Will this reshuffle give Labour new impetus? Probably – just as any reshuffle would. If I were Ed Miliband would I keep an eye on my closest colleagues for obvious reasons? You bet! Do I believe advisers of current Shadow Ministers may have briefed against Johnson – you would hope not, but yes. Do I feel a little sad for Alan Johnson. Having read some of the headlines, yes I do.

BIS dont know if stripping Cable of responsibilities has cost taxpayer money

When part of Vince Cables responsibilities were sent over to DCMS I asked the question as to how many staff would transfer departments (if any) and what cost there might be. A simple enough question?

BIS seemingly don’t have or don’t want to tell the answer:-

How many staff, if any, will transfer Departments following the decision
to transfer specific responsibilities from the Secretary of State for
Business, Innovation and Skills, to the Secretary of State for Culture
Media and sport, and what the overall cost of such a move will be.

Under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (‘the Act’), you have the right
to:

. know whether we hold the information you require

. be provided with that information (subject to any exemptions under
the Act which may apply).

I am writing to inform you that the information you have requested is
currently not held by the department. There is no recorded information
that indicates how many, if any will transfer departments following the
decision to transfer specific responsibilities from the Secretary of State
for Business, Innovation and Skills, to the Secretary of State for Culture
Media and sport, and what the overall cost of such a move will be

PMQs 19th January 2011

[podcast]http://toryradio.podbus.com/pmqs190111.mp3[/podcast]

To listen to the action from Prime Ministers Question today, click the play buttom above.