Canals: Back to the future!

Monday, August 11th, 2008 | Author: News Team

It is reported in the media that Britain’s waterways could be about to witness a major revival – one, interestingly enough, in line with British nationalist proposals first “floated” at least two decades ago. The combination of lengthening traffic jams, rising fuel prices and pollution reduction pressures are awakening interest in the possibility of transporting bulk goods by barge along Britain’s extensive network of canals and other waterways. Apparently shipping and barge companies have received more inquiries about the possibility of transporting freight by water in the past 18 months than they have had in 20 years. Indeed, some companies that have traditionally used roads are now appointing managers to mastermind their expansion on to water.

To show just how seriously some companies are treating the proposal, Eddie Stobart, possibly the country’s biggest road-haulage firm, has invested in a port on the Manchester Ship Canal and plans, it is claimed, to expand its waterways routes. According to a company spokesperson: “It might seem odd that one of the goals of Britain’s biggest branded truck company is to get trucks off the road, but that is exactly what we are trying to do. It seems ironic that we are now looking to revive more traditional modes of transport, but new pressures such as congestion, rising fuel prices and the environment mean the old methods are becoming viable again.”

In addition, it is further claimed that several major companies, including a number of the supermarket cartels, have already switched thousands of tons of freight on to ships and barges. And, as unlikely as it may seem, the international courier firm DHL is said to be looking to move urgent mail from central London to Heathrow by speedboat to avoid road congestion in the capital.

As regular visitors to this site will know, Land & People are rightfully critical of the supermarket cartels – particularly in respect of their relationship with our farming community and the adverse impact they have on our High Streets – however the decision by Tesco to transport its New World wine by sea and water, to its bottling plant at Irlam on the Manchester Ship Canal, deserves credit. The scheme, which involves three journeys a week to transport an estimated 600,000 litres of wine along a 40-mile stretch of the canal from Liverpool to Manchester, takes 50 lorries off the roads each week. So successful has this initiative been that we now learn that they plan to expand the scheme, saving an estimated 3,500 lorry movements by the end of the year.

Yet despite the benefits of utilising Britain’s waterways in this way, industry experts complain further development is being frustrated by a lack of planning and imagination by the Government, local authorities and British Waterways! One would have imagined that the Labour EU regime at Westminster would be absolutely delighted at the possibility of getting so many polluting lorry-loads off our roads.

As an example of Government indifference we learn that a proposal to build a commercial wharf at Staines, just a few miles from Heathrow, to enable cargo to be transferred down the Thames from Tilbury docks or the proposed Thames Gateway port, thus saving tens of thousands of lorry journeys around the M25, has not been pursued by Labour’s Environment Agency. The plan would have enabled bulk cargoes to have been transfered from barges at Staines and then shipped as rail freight to Wales or the Westcountry – taking a huge burden off our roads.

The problem for British Waterways appears to be that it sees itself as a “heritage and leisure organisation” – not a water-borne freight handling concern. Land & People suggests that they need to revaluate their role – perhaps modelling themselves on their “continental cousins” in countries such as Holland and Belgium, where the conveyance of bulk freight is at least as important as the leisure industry.

A central plank of British National Party transport policy involves the redevelopment of our national rail and waterways networks for the express purpose of taking as much freight off our roads as possible – not only is this good from an environmental standpoint, but – more often than not – it makes good commercial sense as well!

Category: Canals, Rail, Transport | Leave a Comment

Bury Metropolitan borough council abuses pensioners

Monday, August 11th, 2008 | Author: Chris Brown

Council orders pensioners to clean up graffiti or face £1,000 fines

So says an article in today’s ‘Telegraph‘ newspaper.   This really is local authority officialdom gone mad.  Let’s hope common sense prevails.  Or that some good Samaritans get together and deal with the problem gratis!  Britain’s pensioners should not be treated in this way!

Pensioners whose homes were vandalised with graffiti have been threatened with fines of up to £1,000 if they do not have it cleaned up.

Elderly residents were already upset after the vandals sprayed paint over the wooden fences separating their homes from a path running behind their back gardens.

But highways staff in Prestwich near Manchester sent them stern warning letters giving them 21 days to remove the graffiti or face court under local authority planning rules.

If convicted they could face a maximum fine of £1,000.

Opposition councillors have condemned the warning letters which locals said “scared the wits” out of the elderly residents and were usually only reserved for developers and large landowners.

Councillor Vic D’Albert, a local liberal democrat who is representing the group, said: “This is one of the most shocking instances I have seen as a councillor.

“An elderly woman who passed this letter onto me was extremely distressed in case she should be fined or somehow forced to clean the mess up herself at great cost to herself.

“She was virtually in tears - you can imagine the distress it causes a woman living on her own to get a letter saying you are not maintaining your property properly.

“It’s no way to treat people, especially our senior citizens. The council should put more effort into finding ways of supporting people who are victims rather that threatening to punish them further.

“Its all a big mess and no-one knows what is happening. The way the council has spoken to people and the way they have hit the victims, instead of the vandals, is not right.”

Councillor Wayne Campbell, Bury’s Labour leader, said: “It is a disgrace. There are plenty of council buildings covered in graffiti - perhaps they should start closer to home before targeting victims of crime.”

Conservative run Bury Metropolitan borough council sent out a number of letters which quoted a law that is used against major landowners who continually refuse to clean up their land.

At least three pensioners receiving the letters are aged over 70 and, in some cases, they are physically unable to remove the graffiti. The council which cited section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act, also sent letters to a British Legion centre and a church.

One of the pensioners, who do not wish to be named, said: “They should clean up their own problems instead of having a go at us. Why don’t they clean their property such as lamp posts, instead of getting someone else to clean someone else’s crime up.

“It should be the vandals that should be cleaning it up, not the pensioners.”

Local politicians and residents association condemned the heavy-handedness of the council.

Carran O’Grady, the co-ordinator of Prestwich Area Partnership, which has special kits available to help clean graffiti said the council should work with residents rather than threaten them.

“That would be a better way to approach it rather than scaring the wits out of people,” she said.

A Bury Council spokesman apologised for the scare tactics but said the graffiti still had to be cleaned.

“If people want to have a better quality of life, they must take responsibility for their community,” he said.

Category: General Issues | Comments off

MPs calls for UK Bill of Rights

Monday, August 11th, 2008 | Author: Chris Brown

MP’s calling for us, the British people, to be ‘given rights’ should make us very suspicious, very suspicious indeed.

For a start no Briton needs to be ‘protected’ by some sort of new ‘UK Human Rights Law’. Each and every one of us already have all the human rights we will ever need. They are already enshrined in our ‘Common Law’, in ‘Magna Carta’, and in the ‘Bill of Rights’. In essence the British way is for everything to be permitted, unless proscribed by Law.

We certainly don’t want to go down the continental path of everything being denied unless allowed by ‘Law’. And make no mistake about it, this is the path that these, oh so concerned MP’s want to take us down.

One really does have to wonder whether these MP’s have ever read or even understood the very real and inalienable Constitution of Britain? For to utter such nonsense these self appointed ‘champions of the people’ are either ignorant or treacherous, and quite possibly both!

MPs calls for UK Bill of Rights
Sunday, 10 Aug 2008

The UK needs a Bill of Human Rights to protect its citizens, a group of MPs has said.

The joint committee on human rights argues the government should introduce a Bill that goes beyond the Human Rights Act and would “give lasting effect to the values which are considered fundamental by the people of the United Kingdom”.

The committee suggests the Bill should include traditional rights including that of a trial by jury and the right not to be subjected to intrusive surveillance without safeguards but also more recently recognised rights such as equality.

Andrew Dismore MP, chair of the committee said: “We want to see a Bill of Rights that would set the bar for the universal standards to which everyone is entitled, and fills the gaps in the protection of more vulnerable people such as the elderly, children or people with learning disabilities.

“It should not be some sort of ‘charter for correct behaviour’ that would see rights as a reward for fulfilling social responsibilities - rather it should be aspirational, setting out a shared vision for the future of our society.”

The committee also said that there is a strong case for including the right to a healthy and sustainable environment in the Bill and detailed rights for children and other vulnerable groups.

It should be binding on private persons or bodies performing a public function, as was originally intended by the Human Rights Act, which would enable many vulnerable people to rely on their human rights against their service provider, even if they are private, the group added.

Category: Heritage, Uncategorized | Comments off

The Green Man: Reflections on ancient sunlight

Sunday, August 10th, 2008 | Author: News Team

Category: Heritage, The Green Man | Leave a Comment

Midnight amphibian safari

Sunday, August 10th, 2008 | Author: News Team

Land & People activist, Barry Bennett, provides us with the results of a midnight’s “amphibian safari” conducted in the depths of a Dorset garden.

Barry writes: Amongst the plants found in a leafy suburban garden in Bournemouth, a watchful pair of eyes is seen glaring hungrily at slugs and snails. The light of the torch reveals golden eyes patiently watching its prey.

This should be “the night of the amphibians”, but in this location, it’s “the night of the toads”!

As recently reported by Land & People, frogs have been suffering the effects of the upsetting of their delicate ecological balance of nature, due to pollution and the introduction of deadly diseases carried by imported species.


Fortunately, in this area, the toad has found refuge in many locations. But for how long?

The toad pictured (left), has recently started out in life. It’s a baby, not much larger than the pound coin shown.

Whether it will reach adulthood and help us rid our gardens of the unwanted slugs, snails and other pests that destroy our prized plants, is up to you!

Its habitat is under attack. It needs ponds to breed, gardens to live in and clean water. It also needs the assistance of humans who understand that there is more to life in Britain than TV and cash. Oh, and ditch the slug pellets please! If the toads aren’t happy, ultimately nor will you be. It follows that what poisons them will ultimately poison us.

The toad (left) is blissfully unaware that its existence, along with its cousins - the frogs and newts - is under attack.

Attack from the developer who knocks down family homes, fills in ponds and builds on the green belt.

Attack from the government and Establishment political parties- - who see amphibian habitats as fair game for blocks of flats and the housing estates needed to house a booming immigration-fuelled overpopulation.

Attack from GM pollutants, herbicides, pesticides and a thousand and one chemicals. The latter being responsible for the death of 90 million bees in France it is claimed.

Attack from people who live in boxes, watch boxes, and end up in boxes – people who never take the time to find out what wildlife exists beyond their front doors.

Well amphibians do exist, and they are probably resident in a garden near you - if you are lucky to live in an environment free from the scourge of overbuilding and pollution.

Next time you are stressed out, because of increasing bills; or you are not sure which Euro zone you live in, or for any reason whatsoever; then just think how lucky you are that nature and its wonders are all around you and for free!

Maybe then you’ll start to fight for yours and our wildlife’s rights to exist in Britain – OUR green and pleasant land.

Take a look, make sure it’s quick or you might miss a glimpse of these amazing creatures living in your very own back yard.

Our amphibians need you!

Category: Amphibians, Animal Welfare, Wildlife | Leave a Comment

Expansion of British farming is a BNP priority

Sunday, August 10th, 2008 | Author: News Team

Land & People has pointed out, on a number of occasions over the last few years, how some in farming - the “big boys” as we call them - have been doing rather nicely out of the sequence of crises to hit the industry. This has manifested itself in larger estates – be they privately or corporately owned – buying out the struggling “little man” and selling off surplus farm houses and converted farm buildings, to urban outsiders as second homes.

A recent report from the Commission for Rural Communities supports this view as it shows that almost half of people buying farmland in the South West in recent years have not been farmers and that a significant area of land is now being bought by non-farming interests for housing and development as well as “agri-business”. The report goes on to claim that nationally, 38% of farmland purchasers were non-farmers, a figure that rises to 44% in the Westcountry.

The report also suggests that factors, which may have some longer-term impacts for land management - include low and fluctuating incomes for farmers and the average age of farmers, especially for small farms, is getting older.

None of this is news!

The State of the Countryside report also claims: “The trend is for a smaller number of larger farms, and for former agricultural buildings to be separated from farmland for residential use.

The primary function of farmers remains as food producers, although there is increasing interest in a wide range of crops for industrial uses and bio-fuels. At the margins, food production is declining as agricultural activities, such as hill sheep farming, become uneconomic due to changing policy and decreasing farm subsidies.”

However perhaps the most worrying message from this report is the assertion that Britain’s capacity for self-sufficiency in food continues to decline, down ten per cent for indigenous food and now just 60% for all food.

Such is the sorry state that British farming finds itself in after eleven years of Labour incompetence and Tory opposition intransigence! Once again we ask – is the eradication of the “small man” from British farming accident or design?

Unlike the Labour and Tory parties the British National Party is dedicated to the expansion of the farming industry – not through driving farming families from the land as is the Labour and Tory way – but through encouraging the breaking up of the large corporate agricultural estates to free up land leading to the establishment of traditional family-run farms. The BNP will actively promote a “return to the land” programme. A programme that will reflect the strategic importance of the farming industry to the country and one which will assure the “small man” of a secure future in farming for himself and his family.

Category: Farming | Leave a Comment

Future of UK’s energy supply is dark indeed

Sunday, August 10th, 2008 | Author: Chris Brown

Yet another warning of the looming energy crisis (this time from the Sunday Telegraph) that we are all going to have to cope with. And all because of the inertia of the Westminster politicians - who have been too busy selling our birthright to either notice or care.

On this issue, as on most others, the only Party that is awake to the problem is the BNP. Why? Because it cares, really cares:

About both Britain and the British - its Land and its People

Future of UK’s energy supply is dark indeed

By Christopher Booker

With every week that goes by it becomes clearer that, within a few years, Britain will face an unprecedented crisis, thanks to the shambles the Government has made of our energy policy.

After years of dereliction, when only a crash programme of measures could keep our lights on and our economy functioning, our policy has become so skewed by blinkered environmentalism and diktats from the EU that we are fast heading for the worst of all worlds - a near-total dependence on foreign sources of energy which will not only be astronomically expensive but which can in no way be guaranteed to supply all the electricity we need.

What are the hard facts?
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Between now and 2015 we shall lose 40 per cent of the generating capacity we currently require to meet maximum demand (still rising), due to the phasing out of almost all our obsolescent nuclear reactors and the closure of nine of our major coal- and oil-fired power stations under an EU “anti-pollution” directive.

Gordon Brown talks about building a new generation of nuclear power plants, for which we would have to rely on the French - having two years ago sold off Westinghouse, the only British-owned firm capable of constructing them.

But even if the French play ball, which seems less likely since the collapse of Brown’s plan to sell off British Energy to France’s EDF, the new plants could still not be built in time to plug the gap.

The only short-term remedy will be to build yet more gas-fired stations, at a time when we are fast running out of our own gas supplies and when gas prices are shooting through the roof, reducing us to dependence on countries such as Mr Putin’s Russia or Qatar, both of which have recently announced caps on future exports.

Our best bet might seem to invest urgently in a dozen more coal-fired power stations, which still supply more than a third of our electricity.

But own coal industry is so run down - though we still have more than 100 years of reserves - that barely a quarter of the 62 million tons of coal we used last year was British.The rest had to be imported, including 22 million tons from Russia and 12 million tons from South Africa.

At a time when rocketing world demand for coal has already doubled prices in a year, we should again be dependent on unreliable foreign sources, to generate electricity by means which excite almost as much fury from environmentalists as nuclear power - as we saw with last week’s demonstrations against plans by German-owned E.On to build a new “clean coal” station at Kingsnorth in Kent.

With this colossal crisis fast approaching, our ministers are still lost in the cloudcuckooland of Mr Brown’s £100 billion “green energy” plan, to meet our EU target of generating a third of our electricity from renewables by 2020.

Not an energy expert in the country says this is remotely feasible. Our present 2,000 wind turbines supply just 1.5 per cent of our power, and even if Mr Brown’s 7,000 additional turbines could in practice be built, we would still be more than 200 per cent short of our EU target.

Worse still is the fact that our electricity investment market is now so skewed by the various subsidy and “carbon savings” schemes adopted to meet our various EU targets that these are now uselessly soaking up more than £5 billion a year which should otherwise be urgently invested in proper generating capacity.

Our major power companies can now make so much money from “renewables” subsidies and other “planet saving” schemes that they have much less incentive to risk capital on those which might keep our lights on.

Our energy policy is now so constrained and distorted by EU requirements that, even if we had a government with the knowhow and will to sort out the mess, we should soon be breaking EU laws all over the place.

Tragically, no one seems to remain in more blissful ignorance of all these harsh realities than our Conservative opposition which, when the crisis arrives, may well be in power.

Not only will those at the top of the Tory party, on present showing, have no idea why the lights are going out, but they will have even less idea of what to do about it - because by then it will be too late.

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Now it’s the Common Toad under threat from imports!

Saturday, August 09th, 2008 | Author: News Team

When well-meaning people introduced the American grey squirrel into Britain in the 19th century they could hardly have foreseen the disasterous impact it would have on our native red. Today, of course, the native red has been driven to the very fringes of Britain, although - with a little help from man - it is making something of a comeback in some areas.

Now experts claim that Britain’s native toad species are at risk from an imported infection that has already eradicated some of the world’s amphibian colonies.

Fortunately, the fungal disease is currently confined to Kent, where it is believed to have been introduced from frogs imported into this country.

However, the fear is that it could spread further and, in theory at least, completely wipe out the British toad population. This is the conclusion of British scientists, according to research published in the journal of the Royal Society last year.

Consequently environmentalists are urging tighter controls on the aquarium trade involving the importation of amphibians, to protect our native toads from this infection.

According to the experts, the chytrid fungus, or Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (BD), infects the skins of amphibians such as frogs, toads, salamanders and newts. Such is its potency that a full one-third of all the losses in amphibian species recorded around the world are thought to be due to the disease. Research also indicates that although the frogs that brought the fungus to Kent have long since disappeared, it is likely that they have left a reservoir of infection in the environment. Now scientists claim that the deadly disease is being repeatedly brought into Britain through the world trade in amphibians.

A scientist at London’s Imperial College warned: “We strongly suspect BD is being introduced into the UK on a daily basis through the amphibian trade. Our borders are wide open to the introduction of this infectious disease.”

Meanwhile experts at the Institute of Zoology in London have developed mathematical models to evaluate various scenarios relating to infection in Britain’s common toad breeding populations. They found that the critical parameter was the length of time the fungus could survive in the environment away from its natural host. Their models suggest that there would be little impact on British toads if the fungus was only able to live outside its host for seven weeks. However, they also concluded that if it was able to survive in water for a year, the impact would be considerable - resulting in severe declines in the numbers of toads, and in some cases extinction in 10 years within infected areas.

Their research, which was first published in the Proceedings of the Royal Society towards the end of last year, makes clear the need to test all amphibians for the disease before they are brought into Britain. Indeed, the wildlife charity Froglife said it was important to make people aware of the danger to native amphibians. A spokesman for the charity is reported as saying: “It is thought that it could have been brought to the UK by exotic pet species, such as the African clawed toad, that have escaped or been deliberately released. It is vital strict controls on the health of imported animals are in place to help limit the spread of this devastating disease.”

Land & People consider the suggestion an eminently sensible one and recommend its adoption as a matter of some urgency.

Category: Amphibians, Wildlife | Leave a Comment

Why every serious environmentalist should join the Resistance

Saturday, August 09th, 2008 | Author: News Team

Our very existence, as a free people within an independent sovereign nation, is under dire threat – as is our environment – a treasure house of precious fauna and flora.

For the first time in our history we face grave danger emanating from both within and without this realm. In Britain today there is only one organisation resisting the menace of the EU Fourth Reich at our front and the growing Fifth Column at our back.

On the Home Front we are faced by a tidal wave of fresh immigration – another six million migrants over the next twenty years the demographics experts tell us! Stating the obvious – Britain is one of the most overcrowded countries on the planet. Yet despite the ruinous effects upon society, community and the environment arising directly out of immigration fuelled overpopulation - the Government, the Establishment parties and the so-called “Greens” are determined that we should have even more!

Immigration fuelled overpopulation is the greatest controllable threat to our environment today. Yet “plastic environmentalists” – such as those in the Green Party – refuse to acknowledge the link between immigration, overpopulation and environmental destruction.

Such people are, in effect, collaborating with the EU puppet regime in Westminster and working against the very cause they claim to champion. To stand back, to look the other way, to ignore what is staring us in the face - is an act as breathtakingly stupid as it is cowardly. Commonsense demands that environmentalists should campaign against immigration – not as an act of “racism” - but as a necessity to protect what remains of our environmental heritage.

Immigration = overpopulation = environmental ruin – it really is as simple as that!

The time for sitting on the fence and grumbling about the state of our nation is over - it’s an indulgence we can no longer afford if we are to survive! We owe it to our forebears - men and women who gave their all in the defence of our island home - as well as to the generations of brethren English, Scots, Welsh and Irish yet to come.

It’s time to stand up and be counted and what other possible way than by joining the BNP - the British Resistance here .

Category: General Issues, Resistance | Leave a Comment

Regional Development Agencies - a Financial Burden?

Saturday, August 09th, 2008 | Author: Chris Brown

An iinvestigation conducted by the Taxpayers’ Alliance shows the economic performance of the areas Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) work in has failed to improve and in some cases even slowed down, despite spending over £15 billion on the scheme.

“RDAs have failed in their core mission to narrow the gap between the economic performance of England’s regions,” said Ben Farrugia, policy analyst at the TaxPayers’ Alliance.

On employment, for instance, growth in jobs and the number of people in work slowed since RDAs were set up in 1999. Between 1995 and 2000 the number of jobs in England increased by 9.5 per cent, while between 2000 and 2005 it increased by three per cent.

You can download a PDF of the full report here

But economics correspondent Daniel Barnes, editor of myfinances.co.uk said the findings had to be treated with caution.

“RDAs are massive and unaccountable spending machines, leaking money top, right and centre,” he told politics.co.uk.

Regional Newspapers across the country are reporting on the cost of their RDA’s. Two examples of such reports are linked below :

Western Morning News - South West Regional Development Agency (SWRDA)

Brighton Argus - South Eastern England Development Agency (SEEDA)

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