Friday, 6 May 2011

Quintessentially English

European Socialist Action No 33, March/April 2011
Scott Ullah
by Scott Ullah

It was my intention to write on the threat to our forests and woodlands but the people have triumphed on this one, I am overjoyed to learn. Land and people is a good phrase to apply here because the two should be indivisible. Long may they remain so.
What on earth made them think they could just sell it all off to the highest bidder? Can you imagine these sacred places, our very English soil and all the beautiful wildlife, in the possession of a Russian oligarch or an American oil executive, lost forever and resigned to being plundered, spoiled and defiled. You know what some of these ‘businessmen’ are like. They buy up our football clubs as yet another possession to add to their business portfolios without any thought or feeling for local passions built up over generations of supporters. Our forests and woodlands would have been treated in the same fashion.
I am one of those who is keen on the word ‘socialist’ being added to this publication because we need to show that we believe the people of this country should always have a say in the affairs of our England. The best way to implement it properly would be to make sure the people actually own their own country. This includes what they call the utilities or what my old mum would call the essentials gas, electricity and water. Why is there this urgency to make a profit out of anything and everything? It is pure greed.
Of course, globalism is the curse in all this and we need a government that can resist this plundering of all our resources and assets.
This is not America even though they try to Americanise us through the media. The idea of theme parks is purely American and like much from that hell of a place it is plastic and phoney. It was with this thought in mind that I dreaded this proposed sell-off, thinking the Government must have either gone mad or is quite without morals. It is most definitely the latter.
So why did they back down on this in the end?
My theory is, this Tory-led Coalition government has no idea how ordinary people think and feel, despite this patronising claptrap about ‘we are all in it together’. You see, multi-millionaires live in a different world and that is a fact from which you can not escape. It was only when the depth of feeling regarding our forests and woodlands included the great and the good in the protest that the cracks in the Coalition’s sell-off plans began to appear. They attracted over half a million signatories for this purpose which I am told is unprecedented in this day and age. They were up against more than the hoi polloi. Then and only then did Cameron state over the Despatch Box that he was not happy with it all and tried to win back all the brownie points he was losing on this one.
He knows now that he and his cronies are more unpopular than Ed Miliband’s Labour Party and Ed Miliband has not really made his mark yet. Time will tell.

I believe in freedom. That freedom must entail public ownership of many aspects of our nation that would benefit us all in the common good. The countryside, for example, offers all of us so much joy and pleasure but it also entails responsibilities on the part of all of us. Awareness of certain rules of the countryside only comes with education and this should most definitely begin early on in the schools.  It is our heritage, after all.
I am told that a line in an old Mosley song went, “Sprung from that soil for whose dear sake they bled”. It carries a certain reverence which certainly inspires my deep respect. I immediately think of war memorials.
People died for the land, for their land. That is how they viewed it, even though the wealthy landowners really owned it lock, stock and barrel. Whether it was for King and Country or just to defend a little village, the ordinary people felt it was theirs because they were born there and that is why the English rose up recently and demanded their forests and woodlands must not be sold to some foreign mogul.
You could see that there is still that almost spiritual attachment to the soil and everything that springs from it. With that there is hope, which springs eternal.
The preservation of England’s green and pleasant land was worth dying for over the centuries and it is still worth the effort because without it we lose that sense of continuity of identity that some old-fashioned people call ‘patriotism’.

I have walked through woodland on a quiet Sunday morning with that most uplifting of music called birdsong and the smell of fern and moss all around me. I know immediately that I am on hallowed ground so that I am not sure whether my presence there is a right or a privilege. I know one thing. We have a duty to protect it for the generations to come and, of course, for that other precious life that lives there, the wildlife. There is something essentially mystical about it all and it is there that you fully understand the phrase ‘Mother Nature’.   

© Scott Ullah 2011

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