The Problem with Consultations

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From our Swindon Correspondent:

From Trinity College Dublin

 
Trinity has begun planting wildflower meadows on College Green after thousands of students, staff and members of the public voted to replace the manicured lawns beside Front Gate with the more nature-friendly alternative.

Held in February this year, the poll received 13,850 votes, with 12,496 of those (around 90%) in favour of the conversion to wildflower meadows.

I have my own opinions on this. I think manicured lawns are about prestige, like brass handles on doors, or some statues. Replacing them with wild flowers just doesn’t give off the same image. Also, better for a picnic, especially without lots of bees to bother you.

That said, I’m a democrat and democracy seems like a good idea. I really don’t care either way about what a university in Dublin does. The point is that consultations aren’t really democratic. Consultations tend to get grabbed by activist groups. The consultation is announced quietly by a group, who then tell all their friends about the consultation, but the average person rarely hears about it. Then it delivers the result the activist group wanted. You see this with consultations about various nanny state things in the UK. They’re always overwhelmingly in favour of more nannying, but when you look at the number of responses, it’s tiny compared to the overall population. And even if people hear about it, and have an opinion, it’s not a strongly held opinion, so they don’t bother voting, where activists do. 13,850 votes is less than 1% of the population of Dublin.

The poll was initiated as part of the university’s response to Ireland’s biodiversity crisis.  Lawn-mowing and ground preparation can disturb insects that feed and nest in the soil. Wildflowers support biodiversity and provide a habitat for native insects and food for pollinators in the city centre.
As an aside on this, OK, more Irish biodiversity is a good thing, but isn’t there plenty of the rest of Ireland to do this in? The whole of Dublin is 44 square miles, and Ireland is 27,000 square miles. Don’t you really want bees out in the places growing food rather than the middle of cities? Is this really about helping with the problem, or just prostrating before Gaia?

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BongoBloke in North DorsetLeo Savanttjohn77John B Recent comment authors
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Addolff
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Addolff

Interesting word ‘Consultation’.
I remember the team of 4 I was part of having a ‘consultation’ with HR after the 2008 crash, where the ‘consultation’ consisted of being told “two of you are being made redundant”.

Spike
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Spike

Similar to yesterday’s Congressional “hearing” of the Attorney General, in which no one actually wanted to “hear” him.

Witchie
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Witchie

Surely they should have ploughed it up and planted potatoes, because the next time there’s a potato famine, they won’t be able to blame us.

As if the Paddies only ate potatoes! Fake history.

Boganboy
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Boganboy

They’ll blame you anyway. That’s what you’re for.

MrYan
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MrYan

White privilege.

John B
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John B

Potatoes were a cash crop. Money from the sale used to buy the usual peasant staple, bread. When the Blight struck, nobody wanted Irish potatoes so the farmers ate them as they had no money to buy bread. And then ate seed potatoes shipped to them because they had nothing to eat whilst the next crop grew.

Potatoe famine also devastated Scotland, part of England and Netherlands and Belgium, of which we never hear because the Oirish had the best PR firm and never tire of telling the tale and blaming you-know-who.

john77
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john77

What most people choose to overlook is that during the “potato famine” Ireland was exporting grain. The first thing the UK government did was to import vast quantities of grain from America to feed the hungry Irish. This wasn’t enough so Peel repealed the Corn Laws at great cost to his party’s supporters (they included the landlords of most of England’s farms) knowing that it would destroy his political career so that the English poor and – consequently – the Irish poor would have cheap bread. It’s not just the Oirish who had the best PR firm – it was… Read more »

Bloke in North Dorset
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Bloke in North Dorset

It was more widespread than that and was part of the underlying economic problems that led to some of the revolutions of 1848.

Chester Draws
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Chester Draws

Hope they enjoy the vermin. Nature isn’t all sweetness and light.

John B
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John B

Ignorance of ‘environmentalists’. An artificial wildflower meadow for ‘biodiversity’ – except it won’t be ‘biodiverse’ because wild areas evolve slowly over time with natural selection of what flora and fauna thrive there, not what pleases the eye or whims of eco-freaks. So given a few years their ‘biodiverse’ wildflower meadow could well be just brambles and nettles. Unless of course they ‘manicure’ it. Then it won’t be ‘wild’. I have some experience. I decided on a wildflower meadow. First year it looked great, then quite quickly the most agressive plants took over until it was a mess of waist deep,… Read more »

Bongo
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Bongo

Quite. I love botanical gardens because nature is laid out all nice and neat, just as God intended humanity to do with such places.

Leo Savantt
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Leo Savantt

This tiny area being turned into an urban meadow will have absolutely no impact on bio-diversity. The two pachyderms in the room, or rather land, are the Common Agriculture Policy and the usual, immigration; both of which are outside of Ireland’s control. Three quarters of a million immigrants requires large areas of land to be urbanised, thereby impacting negatively on bio-diversity and, as even the pathologically pro-EU Guardian reported (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/mar/23/eu-in-state-of-denial-over-destructive-impact-of-farming-on-wildlife) EU farming policy impacts dreadfully on wild life.