I have a letter from the House of Commons in response to an email I sent to my MP, David Mowat. Before you read it, have a look at the scale of the Big Society Forest Sell Off.
22nd December 2010
Don’t do it – Do not sell our forests. We have not given this government permission to do this.
We will fight to save our forests.
I don’t have any children and do not plan on having any, but your children and grandchildren will suffer for a forest sell off. It’s idiotic that a group of millionaires in a room in London can decide they will sell off all, not just some but all, of our forests.
This email registers my anger at the stupidity of a government that will sell off our forests.
South Warrington Constituent
I admit I was very angry when I wrote the email – this issue does that to me. But what has made me angrier is the response Mr Mowat sent. Here it is:
6th January 2011
Dear Mrs Wilde [I'm not a Mrs, but he probably doesn't care about that either]
Thank you for contacting me about deforestation. [I didn't, I contacted him about selling the forests in England]
The Secretary of State for DEFRA, the Rt. Hon Caroline Spelman MP has taken a very firm stance on deforestation. [Yes, she promised £100,000,000 for overseas forestry protection] She has made clear that deforestation is a critical issue for the planet both in terms of the environmental impact and the economic impact.
Forests are home to untold species of plants and animals and they all have a role. [Well, duh!] Extinction through loss of habitat and the overall structure of our ecosystems and our environment grow weaker as a result. Economies suffer too – the global cost of one year’s worth of deforestation is estimate to be between $2 and $5 trillion. This is the equivalent of two financial crashes a year. [Oh, you mean like the next one we are walking in to with the programme of cuts]
The UK’s responsible timber trade has led the way in promoting legal and sustainable timber. The European Parliament voted to adopt Due Diligence Regulation which shut the door firmly in the face of illegal timber entering the EU markets.
I believe that the firm stance taken by the Government so far on deforestation is very positive, however there is much further to go on this important issue.
Thank you once again for taking the time to contact me about this. [I DIDN'T!!!]
David Mowat MP
This letter does not mention anything about the proposed sell off of England’s publicly owned forest land (which constitutes 33% of our forested areas).
This letter does not mention anything about the Public Bodies Bill Clauses 17 and 18 that will give MPs the right to sell the forests without our consent.
This letter does not mention anything about the Natural Environment White Paper due out later this spring.
This letter is not worth the paper (made from wood pulp) that it is written on.
David Mowat MP, shame on you.
Now – GO AND SIGN THE PETITION to stop the sell off of our remaining publicly owned forests, before it’s too late.
Now – Get in touch with your MP and object to Clauses 17 and 18 of the Public Bodies Bill, before it’s too late.
This is not for me – this is for your children, your grandchildren and the future of biodiversity in England.
I have written about this before if you’re interested.