All the good things the EU has done for nature are more than counteracted by this bureaucratic idiocy. Millions of hectares of wildlife habitat in the EU are threatened by this rule; clearance has taken place already across vast areas. Why do we hear so little about it?
I spent part of this spring in Romania, in the midst of hundreds of thousands of hectares of wood pasture: a mosaic of flowering meadows, marshes and trees. I have seldom seen such a profusion of life anywhere on earth. I watched golden orioles, hoopoes, honey buzzards, red-backed and great grey shrikes, lesser spotted eagles, black storks, yellow wagtails, roe deer, wild boar and bears. Cuckoos were so common they flew around in flocks. All nine species of European woodpecker live in one small valley where I stayed; so do bee eaters, goshawks, corncrakes, quails, nightjars, tortoises, tree frogs, pine martens, wildcats, lynx and wolves.
All this is now on the brink. Across Romania, farmers are beginning to realise that they can make money simply by cleansing the land. In eastern Transylvania I saw the heartbreaking results: the mass felling of trees and destruction of wildlife, not for any productive purpose, but just to meet the European rules. It’s the same kind of vandalism, driven by diktat and blindly enforced by bureaucrats, that the Romanians suffered under their former despot, Nicolae Ceausescu. The European subsidies rules are responsible for one of the world’s great unfolding disasters, which ranks only a little way behind the fires in Indonesia and the collapse of coral reefs.
This dog that hasn’t barked exposes the real agenda of the leading Brexiters. They denounce the transfer of public money from rich to poor; they are intensely relaxed about the transfer of public money from poor to rich. It also challenges those who wish to remain.
I will vote in on Thursday, as I don’t want to surrender this country to the unmolested control of people prepared to rip up every variety of public spending and public protection except those that serve their own class. But if we are to live in Remainia, we should insist on sweeping change. Daylight robbery and mass destruction: the EU is supposed to prevent them, not deliver them. [Continue reading…]