Category Archives: The Environment

Business Destroys Nature

Further evidence of the way in which the corrupt pursuit of profit destroys all in its path  was provided this week, with the announcement that Natural England (the government body charged with protecting the countryside), is planning to allow the unlimited destruction of Robin, Starling and Wagtail nests*. This may seem a rather bizarre thing for a conservation agency to allow, but further investigation reveals the sordid chain of events that led to this decision.

Officially destruction of nests will happen if they pose a ‘hazard’ (though I’m sure most people would struggle to think of circumstances when Robin’s nests would be considered dangerous). However the effect of this legislation will be that anyone will be allowed to destroy any of the nests of these birds with legal impunity. So why has this decision been made, and more importantly, who stands to benefit from it? Well for starters, the construction and housebuilding industries will benefit massively.

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The Starling: numbers are falling, and with this legislation they’ll be falling even more. Picture © Airwolfhound

Currently builders have to halt their building work if birds’ nests are discovered, and cannot restart until the birds have finished breeding. With this legislation they will just be able to destroy any nests that get in their way, whenever they want – how very convenient for them! Which leads us to ask  how it is that such  legislation has managed to get passed by a body which is supposed to protect the environment, not destroy it? Could it possibly be anything to do with the fact that the construction industry has donated millions of pounds to the Tory Party over the last few years?* Or is that just a coincidence? More tellingly, it’s highly suspicious that the recently-appointed chairman of Natural England, Andrew Sells*, is himself an industrialist, with a strong background in the housebuilding industry, and a record of giving large donations to the Tory Party?* Or maybe that’s just a coincidence too. In the murky world where politics and business now merge, it’s impossible to know who pulled which strings where, but when the ruling party is being funded by corporations, and government bodies that are supposed to protect nature do just the opposite, it can only point to further evidence that our parliamentary processes have been utterly corrupted by the power of money.

Nature is under severe threat from the pursuit of profit all over the the globe, and with this bit of legislation, Starlings, Robins and Wagtails in the UK are under a bit more pressure too. What a lovely world we are creating for ourselves.

* Refs: Nest Destruction: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/may/18/bird-killing-call-robin-starling-mallard-splits-conservationists Construction Industry Tory Party Donations: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/hands-off-our-land/8754027/Conservatives-given-millions-by-property-developers.html Andrew Sells Chairs Natural England: http://www.theguardian.com/environment/georgemonbiot/2013/dec/06/andrew-sells-natural-england Andrew Sells Tory Party Donations: http://searchthemoney.com/associate/3164

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