Tuesday, 3 June 2014

Blue Labour encouraging ragwort law breaking?

There is a great deal of bigoted prejudice against ragwort as a plant.  While on  rare occasions where an animal is mistreated it can cause poisoning, as can many other plants, but most of the fuss about it is based on hysteria.  We're used to hearing politicians talking utter twaddle about ragwort like conservative peer Baroness Masham.

This time it is someone who appears to be a  spokesman for organization calling itself Blue Labour who appears to think that ragwort is a cause of mass destruction and should be obliterated.  (He has their web address as the sole item in his Twitter profile.)  Well I have to say that rather like Saddam Hussein's Weapons of Mass Destruction whose existence was believed by many labour politicians, the claims about ragwort are based on poor intelligence.
We have seen a series of tweets , like this.
Bryn Phillips ‏@Bryn__Phillips Jun 1
Far better to pull the fatally poisonous ragwort up if you spot it! @PeterJCook1 @Ragwort_horses @ragwortfacts @HalleysFeeds @BillEllson

Bryn Phillips ‏@Bryn__Phillips Jun 1
@PeterJCook1 @Ragwort_horses @ragwortfacts @HalleysFeeds @BillEllson Pull it wherever it rears its toxic head! Nasty weed

One of the things that concerns me about this is that we frequently find that misinformed and ignorant people are pulling ragwort Willy Nilly all over the place, and that tweets like this will only encourage the practice.  They should remember that it is a criminal offence under the 1981 Wildlife and Countryside Act to remove ragwort from anywhere without the permission of the landowner or occupier.  See this briefing on the law.
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