Last Tuesday I got a call from the Lancashire Telegraph who wanted to know would I be able to join a panel of professionals in Blackburn on the following Friday to meet Conservative Leader David Cameron. The idea was to have a question and answer session from our varied standpoints. I of course would be able to question Mr Cameron on environmental issues and thought Fluoride would come first and Energy a second or back up question. Opportunities like this don't come along every day so i took the prospect very seriously.
Although Blackburn from here is only twenty something miles it can still be reminiscent of "Across the Andes by Frog" as i know from many past experiences broadcasting from BBC Radio Lancashire and as a good little environmentalist, I don't posses a car and have to rely on busses, trains, taxis and the kindness of motorised friends. It can be a varied assortment of busses or trains and of course like most people, I do know what its like to be sat on a broken down train in the middle of nowhere for an hour or two and I even recall being stuck in a blizzard with a Sunday Times reporter on one ill-fated pollution bashing excursion.
Still, its not every day that opportunities to meet the man who could easily, on current Labour form, be the next prime minister of the UK come along and what better way for Friends of the Earth to establish some kind of rapport. More importantly for me and my colleagues, it would be a golden opportunity to raise the profile of our Fluoridation campaign and stoke up the publicity machine, so after a quick phone round i sorted out transport arrangements with my friend in Bury who was coming to visit me on Friday anyway. It just meant that she had to set off earlier and detour to Blackburn: I called the paper and accepted their invitation.
Next i had to phone some colleagues and discuss tactics and issues and then sit down and work out a concise and informative question for DC which would not only explain some of the important but lesser known issues to him which would also test the water temperature of his support. By the time Friday came round I was fully up to speed with current opinion, and had a cluster of leaflets, magazine articles and copies of my questions in triplicate for the benefit of any interested media. I also had a back up question on the potential for dramatically reducing energy demands and co2 emissions by converting street lighting to LED sources. Little did i know what the fates had in store for me.
My drivers car left Bury with plenty of margin for delay of course but even that was not enough. She spent two hours stationary in Tottington due apparently to a combination of accidents and lane closures on the M66. As a result the place was totally gridlocked, even the side streets were jammed and she could not even go home having travelled only a quarter of a mile. This is the legacy left to us by the lazy sod known as John Prescott, who when elected became Deputy Prime Minister and who proudly said he was going to revolutionise and totally integrate transport in Britain. Perhaps not surprisingly the old lard tube actually did diddly squat. So, traffic remains gridlocked and alternatives remain as mostly theory. Well done New Labour for Nothing At All. Waging illegal Wars based on lies for profit does not get the nation moving and of course introducing illegal toxic waste into our water is not going to cure the problem of dental health when it merely wastes money which should be spent on proper dentistry.
As a footnote i can only draw attention to the fact that old Presser is now loudly supporting Gordy as PM and criticising Fungus Big Ears and Jack Strop for having the temerity to suggest that New Labours Government is introducing absurd policies. These latter of course will be remembered as a brace of Home Secretaries who pushed the ID Cards and DNA Databases so hard and helped give Britain a reputation for being more right wing and reactionary than even the Bush regime in the USA. Fungus was ineffective and Straw was totally useless of course. I got it in writing from Straw that he was opposed to fluoride but for some reason, most probably his normal incompetence, when he joined the government and they forced through fluoridation, not a squeak was heard.
It now appears that the recession and its associated debt mountains will dispose of these latter policies and one can but hope that Fluoride and Fluoridation will finally hit the same buffers. This will be a blessing for our health, our pockets, and the Nations international reputation for common sense. Give me a glass of pure water and I will drink to that.