HEMP IN PARLIAMENT SQUARE
Image below/right needs no introduction; it is the plant that could save the planet, with its long fibre, high cellullose content, edible seeds and leaves which containt medically important compounds. Image left is that of one of the men closest to Tony Blair on the planet. It is David Miliband, who is now Secretary for the Department of the Environment, Food & Rural Affairs. So, given his proximity to Blair, and thus his less than six degrees of seperation from Bush, we are not surprised to hear that hemp is not a priority with him. In fact, even though hemp could provide a replacement substance for wood pulp for paper and give us ethanol from its waste parts, there has not been much of an effort on Defra's part to do this. So what if a UK based paper industry and biofuel industry would provide jobs here in the UK? The Republican Party (formerly known as New Labour, formerly known as Labour) is spending a large amount of its time selling off UK defence companies for a fraction of their price to Bush...and drafting insulting legislation that would make UK citizens liable to Bush's laws, vulnerable for extradition and orange jump suits even when they have been law abiding citizens.
Watching this party handle Defra is like watching paedophiles teaching young kids. They smile a lot as they do, as anyone responsible cringes. The year started off with Miliband's gracious comments in the Guardian, (3/1/7), Society section, p. 6. In it Miliband opines that: "Environmental credibility will be a threshhold issue, alongside national security, economic policy and public service investment."
Those are encouraging words, and may well mean that the Republican party will be out of office soon. In fact, Miliaband, perhaps prophetically, asserts: "Flunk on any of these and you are unelectable."
The next day, that same newspaper reported a Miliband sighting in the countryside, where he was forced to admit that his party's policies had "brought woe to the industry" (speaking of farming). David Cameron, leader of the opposition party, pointed to present policies as ones which "ensure that farmers grow nothing but a crop of concrete."
But perhaps that is what Miliband would be happy with. One thing he was not too happy with was organic produce, which he said was a "lifestyle choice" a few days later; Matthew Fort, again in the Guardian, robustly rebutted him, closing his piece (8/1/7) p. 5 with the words: "He either knows very little about agricultural production, or he simply doesn't care about animal welfare or food produced to a price, not to a quality."
In the meantime, people here who are much more qualified that Miliband are working on increasing organic produce and biodiverstiy whilst decreasing the use of pesticides. Hemp is part of that overall agenda, especially as it is such an economically important crop. Businesses and politicians from other parties are working behind the scenes to bring this about. Ten years of hard labour have been wasted years in the 'great war for civilisation', but not all of it has gone to pot. Greater cooperation and the establishment of a British Isles hemp industries association this past year have pushed the campaign forward, and we look forward to seeing it bear much fruit in 2007. Maybe we can send Mr. Miliband some organic hemp seeds. In a moment of inspiration, he could plant them in Parliament Square.