Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Maybe Boris Johnson understands more than he lets on?

From The Daily Mail:

While some Tory ministers were under pressure from voters to oppose the HS2 Bill at second reading last night, Mr Johnson declared he had always been a fan of big infrastructure.

In a swipe at critics, he told Total Politics magazine: "It’s b*llocks. They’re not campaigning for forests, they’re not campaigning for butterflies. They pretend to be obviously, but what they’re really furious about is that their house prices are getting it."

Mr Johnson added: "People are in the humiliating position of having to pretend that there’s some environmental objection that they have, that the great crested grebe is going to be invaded or whatever. What they care about is their house prices. It’s tragic we have protest groups talking about ‘this ancient woodland’ when actually there’s no tree in this country that’s more than 200 years old."

He added that the average life expectancy of a tree could not be ‘more than 60 years’.

Mr Johnson urged the government to adopt the ‘French approach’ and wave an ‘absolutely massive chequebook’ at concerned residents to buy their homes off them for ‘top dollar’.

"Then when the whole thing goes in and is a success and generates a movement to the area, lifts the economy and the prices go up, well who’s quids in? The Government," he added.

11 comments:

The Stigler said...

Boris Johnson in 2004: http://www.boris-johnson.com/2004/03/18/new-concrete-threat-to-oxfordshires-green-spaces/

"The Government is adopting a centralist, ‘dictate and provide’ approach in the housing market that will strip local communities of their say, bulldoze green spaces and put areas such as Sanford at further risk of being covered in concrete. In a past adjournment debate on housing in South Oxfordshire, Boris Johnson criticised the Government for failing to trust local people to decide responsibly on local planning matters."

So, why can't the people in Buckinghamshire decide on whether a train goes past their homes?

Furor Teutonicus said...

XX when actually there’s no tree in this country that’s more than 200 years old." XX

The yew trees at Eastham parish church on the Wirral, and Porlock parish church in Somerset, the "Herne" Oak?

XX In much of mainland Europe, you would be hard pushed to find a tree much more than 200 years old but in Britain we are fortunate to have many of Europe’s surviving ancient trees, some might even be over 1000 years old! http://www.northyorkmoors.org.uk/a-special-place/what-makes-the-north-york-moors-special/ancient-and-veteran-trees XX
Aston Oak:
Near Oswestry, Shropshire
Likely to be about 850 years old
Tree species: Oak
Girth 8m 25cm
Height of girth: 1m 50cm
Local/historic name: Aston oak
Veteran status: Ancient tree
Decaying wood on the ground; Holes or water pockets; Hollowing branches; hollowing trunk
Aston Oak listing - Woodland Trust
Lime
In Oswton Woods, Leicestershire
Age: Unknown
Tree species Small leaved Lime
Girth 20m 00cm
Height of girth 1m 50cm
Local/historic name: The ancient lime
Veteran status: Ancient Tree
Small leaved Lime - Woodland Trust
Old Man of Calke
In Calke Park, Derbyshire.
Age: Possibly 1,000 years old
Tree species Pedunculate Oak
Girth 10m 01cm
Height of girth 1m 50cm
Local/historic name Old Man of Calke
Veteran status: Ancient tree
Tree condition: Decaying wood in the crown; decaying wood on the ground; hollowing branches; hollowing trunk
Pedunculate Oak - Woodland Trust
Shropshire Yew
In churchyard, Norbury, Shropshire
Age: could be 2,700 years old
Tree species Yew
Girth 11m 75cm
Height of girth 1m 50cm
Location Churchyard
Veteran status Ancient tree
Tree condition: Decaying wood in the crown, hollowing branches
Yew - Woodland Trust
Stirling Oak
Near Loch Lomond, Stirling, Scotland
Age: could be 950 years old
Tree species Sessile Oak
Girth 9m 70cm
Height of girth 0m 50cm
Local/historic name: MacFarlane oak
Veteran status Ancient tree
Sessile Oak - Woodland Trust

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/3319032/Ancient-trees-found-using-200-year-old-maps.html

So up YOURS you imbicilic cockney bastard!

Mark Wadsworth said...

TS, yes of course he's a hypocrite, that's not the point.

FT, his 60-year claim does seem questionable, and I'm not sure it addresses the issue.

An area of woodland could be thousands of years old, i.e. it was always woodland (since the last Ice Age at least) without any individual tree being more than one or two hundred years old.

It's like Arsenal Football Club is 128 years old, that doesn't mean that any of its current players or fans are that old.

Furor Teutonicus said...

Woodland themselves are a bit different, as you point out. But his comment that "NO TREE is more than 200 years old...." PROVABLY wrong.

This is the pifall of politicians.

One fact wrong, and they are on the back bences (possibly of a taxi) for the rest of their carreer.

Do they nor DO research any more, or are they all budding Express/Mail editors?

Mark Wadsworth said...

FT, oh they'll just keep lying.

Anyway, that wasn't the point. What I liked was that Boris appears to grasp the concept of infrastructure and land values.

Lola said...

MW but he doesn't seem to grasp the concept of 'what is not seen'.

Bayard said...

"when the whole thing goes in and is a success and generates a movement to the area, lifts the economy and the prices go up, well who’s quids in? The Government"

Wrong, Johnson Major, see me afterwards. Come on, boy, don't you understand that it is always the landowners who benefit, in this case the Brummie landowners who are behind the whole scheme. The government, that is to say the taxpayer, are the ones paying for it. They will be quids out to the tune of several billion.

Lola said...

B. True. True. As eny fule no.

Furor Teutonicus said...

XX Mark Wadsworth said...
Anyway, that wasn't the point. What I liked was that Boris appears to grasp the concept of infrastructure and land values.XX

With such a glaring error, I would not believe him if he went on to say the sky was blue.

AndrewWS said...

Yes, but what about the cheese?

Furor Teutonicus said...

Blessed are the cheesemakers!