The Post Bag: Letters To Squall
Ministers With Dirty Backyards
Squall 10, Summer 1995, pg. 50.
So Nigel Evans (Con. MP Ribble Valley) boasts that he represents “the most beautiful rural constituency” (Actors of Parliament - SQUALL 9). He doesn’t know much about the mess in his own back yard.
In the heart of his constituency, near Clitheroe, is located Castle Cement, which belches out a poisonous cocktail of pollutants in the form of Cemfuel. In fact, this plant has burnt 10 times more Cemfuel than the Government Junior Environment Minister, Robert Atkins, has previously admitted; 34,000 tonnes, not 3,400 tonnes.
This fuel is derived from highly toxic solvent waste. It contains a number of heavy metals; mercury, cadmium, thallium, arsenic and lead. Meanwhile, Castle Cement, BNFL and Nuclear Electric are members of Lancashire County Council’s Environment Forum, which is committed to “greening” the Red Rose County and “forging on with local Agenda 21”. Surely, a contradiction in terms with these strange bedfellows!
Nigel Evans is silent about this blot on the local landscape, while he campaigns for another road (Gisburn Bypass) to offset the effects of car boot sales and claims that travellers would wreak havoc in his perfect paradise.
At the same time, down the road in the adjacent constituency of Robert Atkin (Con. MP South Ribble - the aforementioned Junior Environment Minister), Friends of the Earth have identified 144 possible dangerous waste dumps - toxic time-bombs. These Ribble rumbles are causing quite a stir and a stink in both constituencies.
These MPs are no friends of the earth or its inhabitants - far from conserving it, they have allowed a trail of pollution on their patches. Under the Trades Description Act, the Conservative Party should be renamed the Consumer Party, as it encourages greed, waste and eco-destruction!
Conservatives are now an endangered species, even in beautiful rural constituencies. Let’s hope they wither away naturally or be put out to grass at the next General Election! The Earth cannot afford to let them run riot.
Working for Peace through Justice in Creation.