1 May 2010

BLUE ROUTE BLUES

Reading this won't cost you anything. It may even turn out to be quite interesting. There was I sitting in my favourite tree, breathing the clear air and attempting to put my petty problems into perspective, when my eye fell upon a yellow post, stuck in the bank at the edge of a ditch. And then: strike me if I don't spot another one, and then another...

About this point my problems fell neatly into place. For I suddenly remembered that some idiot had drawn a squiggly line across these fields and given it a name: THE BLUE ROUTE. I must admit I'd had a real good laugh at that (I laughed so mush I fell out of my tree), because, surely, no one in their right mind would choose to carve up this beautiful, peaceful countryside, when the alternative Green Route was so much more reasonable. After all, these days EVERYONE is acutely aware of environmental issues, aren't they? It's common knowledge that the Earth is under pressure and that we're already doing more damage than can be repaired. So, nothing to worry about, right? I can carry on perching here, watching the cattle, water rats, birds and clouds, secure in the knowledge that the powers-that-be won't do anything silly, like building a road where one isn't required. Right?

WRONG. Very, very wrong. THEY don't give a damn. They truly don't. Because against all the odds, against the best environmental advice, THEY ARE going to do it. THEY ARE going to slice up farmland, THEY ARE going to destroy wildlife habitat, THEY ARE going to destroy natural beauty, peace, fresh air: the very fabric of life.New roads only bring more cars. It's a statistical fact. You would have thought that the planners would know this? But apparently the world is a little barmier than I thought. And to cap it all -can you believe this?- they are going to spend vast amounts of taxpayer's money digging a tunnel under Chestfield golfcourse (near Canterbury)! Logical, isn't it? I guess it's just my brain that's failing to take all this in. And then they've got to buy up large swathes of countryside, and nine or ten houses, when they already own the land either side of the existing road. I can't understand how what started out as a simple road-widening scheme has evolved into a plan to carry out wholesale destruction of the countryside. Can you?

Solve the following simple quiz. First prize: a job with the DoT. Which of the following options to you think is more sensible? A) Simply widen the existing road, as has happened at either end of it. B) Build a completely NEW road, across virgin countryside, complete with a tunnel project that will cost millions. If you ticked B): congratulations! A cushy job for you. If you ticked A): you're obviously mentally deranged. See a psychiatrist for the appropriate drugs.Fen

"Happiness might not be bought for a penny, and carried in the waistcoat pocket: portable ecstasies might now be corked up in a pint bottle."Thomas de Quincey.

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