Fringe Box



Letter: The Local Plan… It’s Like a Bad Western

Published on: 30 Nov, 2017
Updated on: 29 Nov, 2017

From Tony Edwards

Wisley Action Group campaigner

An avalanche of objections to the destruction of huge swathes of the borough’s green belt from concerned Guildford residents stopped the previous Local Plan in its tracks. Good sense prevailed but we moved forward to a new plan which promoted surprisingly similar proposals to concrete-over our fields, suggesting that objections to the planned green belt erosion were totally ignored and the blind stubbornness of a Tory-controlled council prevailed.

The whole process reminded me of a very bad ’40s Western, where a local hero is dragged before a kangaroo court in Tombstone and found guilty of a trumped-up crime. Due process takes place but a blinkered judge and jury refuse to listen to either the facts or the pleadings of the town’s inhabitants and our innocent hero is sentenced to hang.

But that’s when the film really begins. The townsfolk take the star role by kicking the mayor and his cronies out of office, replacing the local sheriff and making sure that nobody ever allows them back into office. The chief of a local tribe of native Americans states the obvious and declares that there’d been much talking with forked tongues.

The execution of our hero is stopped in the nick of time, the baddies are run out of town, and Tombstone returns to the fragile democracy of the old West. But the townsfolk are very careful who they vote into office the next time.

Meanwhile, in Washington, the president declares that Tombstone’s authorities had misinterpreted both the law and his party’s intentions. But it is quickly discovered that the same problems have cropped up in many other towns too so his political career is at an end and a new party and president take over at the White House.


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