I feel another Victor Meldrew moment coming on. I'm getting thoroughly sick of the whining by the self-appointed guardians of the environment as they plead to be immune from the very necessary cuts in public spending.
Today's press release reaches a pitch equivalent to a teenager told that no, she can't have the latest iPhone with unlimited contract minutes, because Mummy and Daddy aren't made of money.
The RSPB and other beneficiaries of 13 years of Labour control freakery have 'joined forces to paint a grim picture of a countryside starved of money by budget cuts.'
If the government cuts environmental spending, we are told, farmland birds will resume their slide into extinction, wild flower meadows will all but vanish, uplands will become degraded, polar bears will fall into the sea, the sky will fall in, and we'll thcweam and thcweam until we are thick.
Get real. There. Is. No. Money. It's not so much cutting, as not spending the money we didn't have anyway, and someone just said they might spend even though they didn't have it. I don't see any helpful suggestions about what might be cut instead. Policing? Defence? Education? Health?
In any case, there's something to be said for a cull of the 'experts' curently infesting the countryside, counting and ticking and condescendingly telling country folk that they just don't understand, because they don't have a 2.2 in environmental jiggery-pokery from a Mickey Mouse university, and anyway don't you know that's against the law now, and here's another ream of forms to fill in...
If our wildlife isn't managed by these experts, we don't end up with a vacuum, we get a different balance of wildlife. If you sack the gardener because you can't afford his wages, you don't get bare earth, you get a splendid crop of weeds. And bugger all sea eagles.
If government spending on the countryside has to be cut, so be it. Perhaps the RSPB should start making friends with another group of people who manage 2,000,000 ha, and spend £250,000,000 a year on conservation.
I always preferred wilderness to gardens anyway.