In this article, Independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice explains why he believes that for biodiversity to work, rural Ireland must be treated with respect.
For the state’s bio-diversity policies to work, rural Ireland has to be treated with far greater respect.
Rural communities are the frontline workers in implementing biodiversity policies. They are conservers of the land who genuinely know and respect the land.
Rural communities are willing and able to engage in change and have done so via actions such as the re-wetting of bogs. For this to occur, you need a dialogue featuring consent and respect, and a spirit of partnership.
Proper consultation and a willingness to listen are critical. With all due respect, we are the people who know the bogs; the fields; the hedgerows, and the rhythms of nature.
The so-called ‘experts’ do not understand these elements of the rural ecosystem, but typically in Irish governance, these are the people who are put in charge. They are all theory and no knowledge and are doing immeasurable harm.
The required culture of mutual respect is utterly absent in current relations between people living in rural Ireland and those trying to dictate to them.
The state is perceived to be hostile and aggressive. This perception is there because the state is in the pockets of interest groups that are instinctively hostile to rural dwellers. These people and their views are embedded across politics and the public sector.
They appear to be intent on the largest program of rural clearances since the age of landlords. We actually do not know why they dislike us so much.
The culture is one of lecturing, hectoring, and wrapping hardworking people in an ocean of red tape when they cannot even count the hedgerows.
Consultation and dialogue are foreign words. Their ethos is top-down. The view of the people in rural Ireland is that those who are in charge of biodiversity want to close down the countryside. There is a deep and insidious ideological bent.
They want to turn rural Ireland into a green desert of vacant villages. You cannot secure biodiversity without the support of rural Ireland.
You would, therefore, be advised to change your tune, or we will change the song… and the band too.
In a previous news article, Independent TD, Michael Fitzmaurice, explains why he believes the government should reverse and suspend carbon taxes for the duration of the energy crisis:
The government should reverse the carbon tax increase of €7.50/t of carbon from €33.50 to €41.00.
It should suspend all further increases for the remainder of the energy crisis.
We must now give strong consideration to the abolition of this tax. Carbon taxes in the current fiscal and energy climate are as outdated as the USC.
Keeping this unfair inequitable tax as it is, fundamentally is wrong. Carbon taxes, penalizing all as they do, impact disproportionately on low-income people. This tax was always wrong. But they are utterly unfit for purpose in an age of energy poverty.
Read more on this news article.