That's the message we are trying to get across to politicians ahead of the decisions on spending cuts which will be announced in October.
We are taking that message to decision-makers in lots of ways, but this week we have taken the message to the constituencies of the Secretary of State for Defra, Caroline Spelman, who has the difficult task of making the cuts demanded by The Treasury, Oliver Letwin who is a member of the Star Chamber which will decide the cuts (and who is generally sympathetic to the environment) and to the Chancellor, George Osborne, who probably has the biggest say in all of this.
Local farmers have enthusiastically allowed us to put up placards in their fields, there are cycles travelling around with signs, helium balloons, banners over the M6 and being unfurled from windows and lots of other things!
Here (below) is an example of a banner - this one on the roof of our visitor centre at Radipole!
In addition, we have placed adverts like the one above in publications as diverse as Private Eye, the Times and Guardian, the Spectator and elsewhere.
A placard never saved a skylark - but a campaign can! Add your voice to those of over 270,000 others in our Letter to the Future campaign.
mark, this blog could do with a direct link to the speding cuts campaign. I have promoted it on www.RXwildlife.org.uk
E-mail, re the preservation of HLS and other key pillars of consevation, just sent to Caroline Spelman and "the Star Chamber", I urge all who read this Blogg of Mark's to do the same.
Mother Nature is infinitely more resilient than the Nation’s finances!
As Mark says – Spelman & Osborne have a big job to do – following 13 years of criminal financial mis-management by the Labour Administration – and I use the word ‘Administration’ deliberately - because that’s where we are as a Nation – “in Administration”.
“GOVERNMENT URGED TO REVEAL ‘TRUE’ NATIONAL DEBT OF £4.8 TRILLION”
The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) has calculated that the national debt is £4.8 trillion once state and public sector pension liabilities are included - or £78,000 for every person in the UK.
Mark Littlewood, the IEA's director-general, said: "The latest official national debt figure is seriously misleading. Looming in the background are pension liabilities. These should be moved to the forefront. The ONS (Office National Stats) should include these liabilities in their calculations. It is shocking enough to see official figures revealing a jump in national debt over the last year from the equivalent of 48pc of GDP to 56pc, but the grave reality is that our real national debt stands at 333pc of GDP."
“Cutting the Life (and Livelihoods) out of the Countryside”
You said it Mark – that’s precisely what you and the RSPB have done in the recent past and continue to do now! So tell me again Mark – why should (cattle) farmers and land owners (particularly those in the South West ‘quartile’ of the UK) do anything for the RSPB?
“SOME CUTS NEVER HEAL?”
“YES MARK – WE ARE SLOWLY BLEEDING TO DEATH”
It's time to get real - The Lifeboat has been launched – “Women & Children First!”
Mark, I think we should also email our local MP, especially if they are coalition members. My local MP recently opened the new hide, together with Mike Clarke, on our local reserve and showed great support for conservation. Now would be his chance to influence his masters!.
Keep up the pressure, could be a very effective campaign.
Trimbush, ' Why should the farmers and land owners do anything for the RSPB' - No reason at all why they should but they should do it for the rest of the community they live in. Unfortunately the rest of the community has no clout so they rely on such organisations as the RSPB to make the point on their behalf.
I presume that IEA, being a free market organisation would seek to dispense with any form of farming subsidy and let farmers succeed or fail on the market alone. I could not agree with that because if we want farmers to protect our children's inheritance then we should expect farmers to be rewarded for doing so.
Hi Mark at the moment find it hard what to think as I dislike cuts just as much as anyone but somehow I feel we will all have to have our share of cuts simply because of the last Governments wasteful way of catching votes by dishing money out left right and centre.Find it obscene that we now have candidates for Labour leadership who held high positions in Government and backed all Gordon Browns decisions now saying lots of things he did was wrong,where are their morals,cannot really say what I think as you would obviously be unable to print it.Personally my priorities would be no cuts on Heath and Education and on lots of other things we shall have to become more efficient as after all reports state that workers only spend 50% of working hours actually working so plenty of room there for being more efficient and that figure of £78,000 debt of every person in U K reported in Telegraph is horrendous as presumably includes children.That will take some special effort to pay off.
Did you take the chance while in Somerset to see the Cranes?.Cannot wait to have a go at seeing them even if Sweep has to be chauffeur but she will be as keen as me anyway.
I have a lot of thinking to do about wildlife cuts as perhaps in most cases we shall have to volunteer for more things.Contentious issue I know but find the amount of bird ringing just as a excuse for handling birds to get a buzz from it is probably doing more harm than good as most birds we now know the basics and I am far from convinced that netting and the stress they suffer often just before migration is fair on the birds,seems ringers often take helpers with no experience.
Sooty - I think the phrase 'our share of cuts' is the crucial one here. I don't remember any bird, mammal, insect or plant getting into debt but they may suffer greatly. That doesn't seem very fair to me. And it doesn't seem very fair if we hand on to future generations a less rich environment. I guess that is a starting point for this discussion.
Hi Mark, I think we should also email our local MP to put pressure on the Star Chamber, especially if they're coalition mps. My local MP recently opened the New Hide on our reserve and showed great interest and concern in the environment and conservation. I've sent him a copy of the letter and added a bit of local interest to it. Keep up the pressure.
I am sitting here stunned £4.8 TRILLION in debt. Lifeboats will soon be cut up for fuel better make a raft ! Now where are those old barrels.
Truly there’s no better ‘supporter’ of bird life’ than I – and I believe that any one who visits the RSPB website equally cares about bird life.
Mark says “I don't remember any bird, mammal, insect or plant getting into debt but they may suffer greatly. That doesn't seem very fair to me. And it doesn't seem very fair if we hand on to future generations a less rich environment. I guess that is a starting point for this discussion”
Bob (P) – do you realise that the RSPB – with its deserved following of 1Millon – has a policy which outrageously impedes the livelihoods of many thousands of farmers and land owners in the SW of the UK – did you vote for it?
The RSPB has an arable farm in East Anglia – about as far away from Badger TB as you can get(?)
Mark has acquired a recently published book ‘Badger’ written by Prof Tim Roper (and is available on Amazon at less than £25). Thank you Mark! But unless Tim Roper has ‘new science’ he will not add very much to the debate – and – without me yet reading it – he may be tempted to believe non-peer reviewed reports - and this may, in turn, influence Mark and thence the RSPB.
If Tim Roper knows the Truth (bTB-wise) then all’s well – but I fear he doesn’t! Pro Tim is in danger of saying nothing or getting it wrong which is surely the subject of another more specialist book – not a classic book in the being – we shall see!
Meconopsis – during the last week I met two women – one 50 – t’other 65 ish – lovely women – both had suffered from abuse and had been ‘battered’ by their respective spouses – the younger one had been abused by her father and brother at the age of THREE – she married – had children – and was ‘battered’. She lived in a refuge until her spouse discovered where she lived and sent ‘round druggies the beat her up! Following a recent attack by her husband fracturing her skull – she now suffers from epilepsy. She has lived alone for just over 1 year – she met t’other lady in the refuge. She has had her womb, etc removed following cancer (all the family - male and female have had it).
She wanted - and I got her - a framed picture of a POPPY – meconopsis – funny that!
Mark’s job is to promote the RSPB and I’m sure he’s bloody good at it and 300,000 or so ‘clicks’ is significant. But ……..
Do I back cash for the badger induced sick cattle and the battered and abused wives or get the wasteful DEFRA to support comfortable land owners sponsoring skylarks and lapwings?
It really is time to get real
• The Lifeboat has now been launched
• Women & Children First!
MAN is overboard!
If our environment suffers we will ALL suffer!
Friends of the North Kent Marshes
Excellent points Mark,what a clever way of putting it that it doesn't seem fair to hand on to future generations a less rich environment.Now if only Gordon Brown had thought we must not pass on to a future generation a massive debt we might not have been so worried.
Surprised the RSPB doesn't use some of its artists contacts to commission paintings of say Sea Eagle,Golden Eagle and perhaps others then sell prints,think there must be artists who would do it to promote themselves,perhaps even RSPB members.Perhaps it is not that easy but think lots of us would buy the prints.In these harder times maybe essential to look into such things.
Think quite a lot of us understand the need for freebies to get new members but it seems in a way it is being abused by only being members for a short time to get the freebies but obviously do not know if figures prove this.
Sorry should have added Trimbush please lets not go down the route of farmer against RSPB route as we will all be losers especially wildlife and I personally think Mark is really rooting for farmers while trying to get what he wants.The Badger debate is really a separate issue and while I do not agree with them just as many see the Badger as innocent as number see it as guilty.Mark seems to sit on the fence which in the circumstances I find it hard for him to do anything else.Worse case scenario is farmers and RSPB to get in conflict as those farmers in for awards and lots like them get lots of pleasure from increasing bird numbers on their farms.
Yes I plead guilty as charged of banging on about the B….. word in connection with TB.
You say Mark sits on the fence – the RSPB doesn’t and hasn’t and everyone else assumes ALL RSPB members are signed up to whatever Mark / RSPB thinks is right.
If Mark did sit on the fence and told every body that this was the case then the RSPB would no doubt be ‘excommunicated’ from the Wildlife & Countryside LINK group.
The RSPB would first have to justify its change of policy to its fellow LINK members …! But the RSPB isn’t independent, big or brave enough for it to do that despite its size, turnover, etc. - it’s a state of mind – it’s ‘safer’ in a pack! "We all winge together".
But Sooty …… I also keep banging about the RSPB (re-)thinking BIG in order to achieve ‘environmental / biodiversity nirvana’.
What I want to see is for all (ALL) farmers to ‘sign-up’ for most things the RSPB is attempting to achieve now and like the Green Party – the RSPB will achieve its mission when the RSPB is no longer required!
A brilliant opportunity - being ‘misread’ at best and ‘mis-managed’ at worst - and quickly evaporating!
Sooty. Well said