Angela Harvey is a Conservative councillor in Westminster and reports on the extraordinary stance taken by a leading quangocrat at Natural England.

Natural England, the government’s unelected environment quango, set out to local councillors yesterday its not-yet-policy for the next fifty years – a wonderful example of a top-down process that fails the people power agenda on every count.

Proving the point, its Director of Environmental Leadership Policy, Ciaran Gannon, praised the Common Agricultural Policy as a successful incentives policy by linking it to the 2001 Foot & Mouth disaster in the UK. Gannon said:

“In 1968 there was a Foot and Mouth outbreak in two counties and within a few weeks there was a food shortage in England. However, in the six months long FMD outbreak in 2001 there was no food shortage”.

Local councillors were astounded by remarks made during his wrap up on the not-yet-policy of Natural England’s Vision 2060 as he failed to examine changes in the food supply chain, home freezers, food imports – in short just about everything that’s changed in the last 40 years.

Throughout this week Natural England has been “consulting” with central government departments, quangos, networks etc.  Whether you share the view of various UN bodies on world population growth and its impact on the natural environment, it seems curious that there is no reference to this in the not-yet-Natural England Vision drafted by David Pirnie of Rocket Science.  Further, although the Vision doesn’t explicitly mention meat and fish rationing, when the author was pressed he admitted that there is the expectation that our people will face this among other changes.

To see if it’s the world you want to live in 50 years’ time try to check out their draft Vision for 2060 at the Natural England website.

Footnote: In the 1967-68 FMD outbreak in the UK, 400,000 animals were slaughtered, costing the UK taxpayer £27 million.  This compares with the 2001 outbreak when 4,200,000 animals were slaughtered, with FMD costing agriculture and the food chain about £3.1 billion. Most of us will remember the sheer human and animal misery brought about by the heavy handed mismanagement by the Labour Government.