Thursday, February 17, 2011

Victory! The government drops its plans to sell-off England's forests

The Guardian reports:

David Cameron has ordered ministers to carry out the government's biggest U-turn since the general election by abandoning plans to change the ownership of 258,000 hectares of state-owned woodland.

Caroline Spelman, the environment secretary, will announce on Friday that a consultation on the sale of forests will be ended after a furious backlash that united Tory supporters with environmentalists and the Socialist Workers party.
"The consultation is going to be terminated," a government source has said. A No 10 insider added: "It's a cock-up. We just did not think."

The Campaign for Public Ownership welcomes the government’s decision to listen to public opinion and drop their plans to sell off England’s publicly owned forests.

We call on them to do a similar U-turn on the unpopular sell-off of the Royal Mail, and to halt any plans for any future sell-offs of publicly-owned property, including that of the state-owned bookmaker The Tote and of our air-traffic control system.

We also call on them to use their statutory powers to intervene to save Britain’s public libraries, threatened by government spending cuts and privatisation by local authorities.

There is no public support for privatisation, and in a democracy the government ought to be carrying out the wishes of the majority of the people and not be unduly influenced by big business and right-wing think tanks.

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