Sunday, 16 March 2014

Tony Benn, Badgers and the Belligerence of Power.

Encouraging news out of Parliament this week and very pleasing to see the government lose 219 votes to 1 on future roll-outs of the Badger cull. Although this does not necessarily mean this government will take any notice of the fact that generally speaking, the general public and the majority of MPs can see no real mileage in this futile, unscientifically proven debacle of an experiment.
Another nice turning point this week is, I finished my stone walling around a Badger sett and woodland area leaving it a lot more camouflaged and generally an awful lot safer than it was a year ago.  But sadly now I hear that the Hunting Act is under immediate threat with the government planning an amendment which would affectively bring back the cursed past time of hunting.
You would think, having come through a relatively mild winter, food banks being more rife in this country than ever before in my lifetime, the plight of our youngsters with job opportunities being so far and few between that half of them are in the position of despair and full of hopelessness long before their 22nd birthday, and the best way this government chooses to address these real serious problems in our society is to appease the very few at the top who think it is in some way advantageous to this country to annihilate all our badgers and foxes.
The real sad news for me this week was on hearing the passing of a great British political icon, Tony Benn, whose integrity and honesty and generally all round goodness is probably more testimony to the age the man grew up in rather than the shoulders that he was rubbing up against over the last 25 years in The House.  I am not saying one always agreed with what Tony Benn said, but one thing was never in any doubt whatsoever, the man honestly believed every single word he uttered. 
His glory days of the 70s, when our British press were branding him one of the most dangerous men in Britain over his stance on nuclear war heads. You stand back and when you really look at the arguments of the day, Tony Benn was certainly not all wrong. 
Billions upon billions of pounds have been spent on weaponry that no one can or would ever use. 
His arguments of selling off the country’s silver, privatisation, the belligerence of power and wealth in the hands of so few was never very far off the mark.
His diaries are left as an historical insight into this country’s workings since the end of the Second World War, 1945.  They will be dipped in and out of by social historians for time immemorial. 
Whatever your politics or views there is so much of what Tony Benn preached that is as relevant today, probably more so than in the days when they were originally spoken.
I listened last October to an interview he gave to the BBC. On answering one of the interviewer’s questions, he replied, “my mother once said to me as I was entering politics, that if you believe in something that is right, and you honestly believe that it is, then you must see it through, but equally if there are policies that are inherently wrong and you honestly believe that they are, you must fight to make them right.”  The advice that Tony Benn was given by his mother all those years ago sums the man up most accurately, for Tony Benn, whether you agreed with him or not, he honestly believed most sincerely in all of his preaching’s. 
Wildlife and the late Tony Benn for me have an awful lot in common.  They both stand for what is honest, just and generally good for the country and instead of being knocked and put down they should be held in the highest esteem.
My humble advice to this government is, before we waste any more money and time on killing things that enhance life we should be devoting all of our time, sparing no effort, leaving no stone unturned in trying to solve the issues of the day that blight people’s lives on a daily basis.  Giving hope over hopelessness to our millions of youngsters who just haven’t had the same chances as we’ve all had.  Giving dignity and care to our elderly and trying to make food banks and help to the poorest of our society a humanitarian right rather than the ‘cap in hand’ hand out which is so disturbing to witness. Investing more in the infrastructure that we already have up and running rather than waste the money on ripping up the countryside with HS2 and building up our sea defences, dredging rivers and doing everything we possibly can so that we do not see such devastating scenes in future wet winters that we have all witnessed this winter.
Massive challenges that require ingenuity, tenacity and integrity.
This week has seen Dini the Fox evermore patrolling the maternity Badger sett. I feel sure that he is just as keen to know what is happening below ground as much as I am.  He comes and sleeps around the sett all day relinquishing charge on the drop of darkness to old Daddy Cool.
Iconic countryside animals with the same beliefs and the same ambitions for the future as each and every one of us, to be healthy, happy and content and TO SURVIVE.

Please watch my short film of a Badger sow gathering bedding for her maternity sett and Dini the Fox on watch.

Dini The Fox keeping watch over the Badger Maternity Sett.

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