Sunday, 18 January 2015

The Tweed Invasives Project!

Photo 01 - The road to the loch yesterday!
The Tweed Invasives project!

Many of you will not have heard of this body but it is a sizeable outfit who work on the habitat in the tweed catchment. Their mission statement - "to promote the sustainable use of the whole of the Tweed catchment through holistic and integrated management and planning". One of their current projects concerns all angling clubs and it is specifically to manage the spread of non native introduced plant species that have established in the catchment.

Everyone will have heard of Giant Hogweed which has established itself all over the area and usually makes the headlines following people coming into contact with its leaver which can lead to a serious reaction culminating in blistering of the skin and inflammation which can persist for a time.

Another which is spreading at an alarming rate on the banks of the Tweed is the more colourful Himalayan balsam which appears later in the season and is a welcome source of food for pollinators when much of their food supply has disappeared. The plant may be known to you by the term policeman’s helmet and produces seed pods that when ripe explode with great power dispersing the seeds a considerable distance away from the plant.

These invasives as well as being dangerous in the case of giant hogweed smother out the natural flora and with that some of the natural fauna. Himalayan Balsam is nice to look at when all else is grey but it spreads very quickly and dies back completely lending the banks of the watercourse subject to erosion! There are almost a dozen invasive plants that need to be controlled and rather than list them here with photos we include a link to all the species causing concern at the end of the post.

We do not currently have any of these species around the lochs and we need to be aware of any establishment of these plants as they will have a detrimental effect on our habitat and stock of fish! Have a look at the forums deliberations on invasives and do please tell them if you come across any such plants.

Image 01 - Himalayan Balsam nice but unwanted!
ALDI bargains!

The bargains are now appearing two or three times a year so popular are they. This week the focus is on winter clothing and with the temperatures about to plummet you should nip down today to check them out. Aldi is rapidly developing a name for quality and their products in the main are absolutely first rate!

Image 02-Snowberry another unwanted plant!
The wider world in my view!

Jesu is Charlie!

Last week’s post received a record amount of visits for a day with an astonishing 441 people visiting on Monday with a large number from France! Whilst the first Pike of 2015 will be a worthy feat attracting many visitors it would not attract visitors in such numbers. I had a look at the keywords used and Jesu is Charlie was at the top by a long chalk.

The events united France and brought together people all over the world with the march in Paris attracting millions of people in a demonstration of solidarity against terrorism! The goal of the terrorists thwarted completely, and waking up other countries with terror arrests in France, Belgium and Germany! It is exactly as I stated last week that there would be renewed interest in people suspected of involvement however small in terrorist activity!

There will now be a difference in how westerners view the Muslim community and whilst this is sad it is only to be expected, a similar circumstance occurred with Germans living in Britain during WW2! Still there is silence in real terms from the Muslim community and this must change if relations are to be normalised. Restitution must come from that community, not from the PC police who barge in and tell us how to believe and behave! There will be further crackdowns this week as even more are arrested and questioned as to their involvement in such activities!

There is no easy solution into what is an ever building problem, the PC brigade call for tolerance, the right wing MPs call for mass deportation and the ordinary man in the street is left bewildered! The only thing we can do is place our faith in the security services and hope that in spite of the Con-Dem cuts they have enough resources to combat the threat. I am assuming our visitors were seeking support and cohesion, if however they were terrorists then what you have just read was my valedictory speech!

Jesu is Charlie!

The big debate!

The last one drew record audiences pipping favourites like Coronation Street and Eastenders which in itself is no mean feat. The television debate between the three duds of that time control freak Gordon Brown, Lord Snooty and lying Puppet Clegg. It was on thinking back a good two hours of entertainment as each of them tied themselves in knots and eventually fell into the holes they had dug for themselves.

This year the circus is in doubt following Lord Snooty’s declaration that he will not take part if the Greens are excluded which is the situation currently. The inclusion of the greens and others is currently out to consultation and it may be that they will be included is some format. Of course Lord Snooty is correct every party should be included but instead of attracting praise for his stance it has attracted only derision!

The reason is quite simple, this is merely Lord Snooty’s attempt to get out of a potential shoot out with Nigel Farage with the likely outcome of him being humiliated in front of a huge television audience! Yes there is no moral stance here simply self preservation! Lord Snooty is clothed in yellow as all cowards should be, he is a weak blundering fool who in nearly five years has decimated our way of living giving more to the rich and less to the poor!

All the political parties should of course be involved in these debates as for the first time in a long time all are capable of gaining MPs in Westminster! Even though such a format would allow lying Puppet Clegg to spout forth another barrage of mistruths it must go ahead! Surely the TV companies have the wherewithal to come up with a format that allows all the minor parties a chance to debate their opponents and give the public a chance to see them perform.

There is nothing in these debates for Lord Snooty to gain but everything to lose and he will try anything to avoid taking part! A memo from Tory head office instructs MPs not to talk of immigration, the NHS or Europe but constantly talk about the economy! Is it any wonder Tory MPs are furious with Snooty for deflecting focus on to a debate about debates! If Lord Snooty refuses to take part then the debates should go ahead with an empty seat occupied by a tarot card specifically the one depicting the fool! It is imperative that Snooty’s policies are exposed including the economy for contrary to what he would have us believe we are nowhere near being out of the woods and worse we are hurtling at speed towards massive inequality! Lord Snooty’s latest uttering calling for companies to give their employees a rise is just typical of this “Omnishambles” "big society" government! What right thinking company would take on a fixed outgoing in the form of increased wages on the back of a volatile oil price that could rocket tomorrow! For the sake of the country these clowns need to be ousted!

More to be done!

The cry from Lord Snooty when confronted by any occurrence in the drug scene that leads to death or serious infirmity! Compared to the rest of Europe we have double the amount of drug deaths and still they claim their policy is working. The flow of drugs into the country continues unabated with new contaminants used to "cut" the drugs being discovered regularly! Of course in more subdued tones comes the oft used phrase that ends every single Tory policy “there is still more to be done”!

Other countries seem to fare much better irrespective of their policies and it is clear the Tory policy is not working in spite of Lord Snooty's protestations! Looking at Holland where cannabis use is tolerated and indeed controlled, the situation seems much more relaxed. People go to the licenced cafes select their poison and indulge in a safe environment. It seems very civilised but I suspect not without its problems!

Those who inject hard drugs such as heroin go to booths staffed by harm reduction personnel and are given a clean area to do what they must and at that time given contact points for help should they feel they need it! One project actually supplies pharmaceutical Diamorphine.  By regulating supply they cut out the need to visit dealers and remove the harm that comes from injecting the adulterants used to cut the drug and maximise dealer profits!

I am not advocating the legalisation of all drugs simply because I do not have the expertise to do so. But what must be clear to all is that the current system is not working, people will take drugs no matter the consequences! More research is needed with more attention to the workings in other countries to see if some of those programmes may be suited to this country. The supply of illegal drugs will never be controlled under our current system, does it not then seem reasonable to formally regulate supply putting the dealers out of business and offering users a clean supply of drugs with all the counselling services in a one stop shop! As Lord Snooty is often heard to say “there is more to be done “and the message to him is stop dithering, go out and do it now!

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