Many years of rule from Westminster have helped create a climate of social, environmental and cultural abuse. In Scotland, the magic word is ‘jobs’, regardless of environmental damage.
In Glasgow, bulldozers are busy ripping up our greenbelt. To Strathclyde regional council, it’s the perfect place for a motorway extension. I’m determined to follow up last year’s crane-sits and tree-sits with more direct action. In the Northwest, on the Outer Hebrides, Harris has been at the centre of a wrangle over a super-quarry. The raw granite for the thousands of km of new EC motorway comes from here. Whole mountains are hewn away, with really bad effects on wildlife. Increasing commercial forestry has ruined vast tracts of sensitive wilderness areas. Intensive monoculture is spreading, wiping out plant communities, feeding and breeding territories for a wealth of species. Fertilizer run-off is poisoning lochs. Local authorities are promoting peat extraction, and planning approval has been given in Caithness & Sutherland for a factory in the heart of the flow country to strip the moors of peat. The nuclear industry are to go ahead and bury radioactive waste in Caithness.
There is to be a cull of 100,000 red deer, and the public is to finance the cruel operation. The multi-lane Isle of Skye road-bridge is set to destroy one of the largest otter breeding areas in Europe.
The fish-farm industry is a source of pollution in may lochs. Annually, thousands of Cormorants, Herons, and seals are wounded or killed for trespassing on their own environment. Industrial fishing for Sand-eels in the Minch, used as a protein additive for pig and salmon farming, continues to decimate the food source of wild-fish and seabirds. Whole colonies of puffins have failed to breed in recent years due to lack of food.
From this tale of woe it is evident that some radical direct action is called for. We need the southern solidarity to jump start some movement in Scotland.