Cabinet Minister calls Alan Titchmarsh “a complete muppet” after he criticises countryside policies

8 Dec

There is an awful lot of name-calling going on in the Conservative Party locally and nationally at the moment.  Councillor Diviani has recently called Lord Heseltine a “has been” and he has criticised independent councillor Claire Wright for “asking officers questions”.  Now, a cabinet minister has called Alan Titchmarsh “a complete muppet” for criticising the government’s countryside policies.

Environment Secretary, Owen Paterson, accused the gardener and TV presenter of not paying attention to what is going on.  Titchmarsh had said that the Conservative Party had lost its roots in rural areas, saying “There seems to me very little investment in rural areas and the countryside.  We have to look after agriculture and horticulture: growing things.  This is how we feed ourselves”.

Titchmarsh said (and it appears the National Trust agrees) that ministerial advice about  washing boots, dogs and children after visiting woodland would have a minimal effect and likened it to putting a sticking plaster on a broken leg.  He points out that the disease is fungal and wind-borne and what is needed now is culling, monitoring, restricting imports and research on why some ash trees are resistent and some not.

The Environment Secretary said that Mr Titchmarsh was a “complete muppet” and went on to say that the government is considering appointing a “tree czar” which the National Trust said was “limited and weak”, too focussed on minimising costs and “surrendering the British landscape to this disease”.

It seems that when some politicians get cornered, they can get VERY nasty.  Perhaps EDDC is considering appointing a “Move Czar” – oh, I forgot, it has!

The moral of this story:  when you are perceived by just about everyone to be in the wrong: insult the opposition and appoint a Czar!

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