Yes it’s Harvest Time again and a very poignant one at that for FTAG – that band of Allotnenteer Brothers & Sisters in Watford – who, for the last time, are taking on Watford Borough Council, and now The ToriCon Government over whether Farm Terrace Allotments should finally be turned into 66 Executive Homes & a car park or not.
The Farm Terrace Bees are facing eviction again along with allotment holders and wildlife that for generations, Has regarded Farm Terrace as home. This includes a pair of small deer – possibly Muntjac – and some foxes. But heh who likes the wretched urban fox any more? Who likes those equally wretched allotmenteers for that matter with their crazed attachment to the soil, their stupid cider making in shabby sheds, their outdoor evenings at the allotments where they “light up” goodness know what and eat home made scones and blackberry preserve. Why it’s positively pagan! A bunch of weirdos! Think about it. That semi-detached manicured lawn and hedge in Oxhey or a wild, tangled and exciting vista overlooking the valley at sunset with rambling arches framing a golden rose and grey sky. Well? It’s all so mysterious. What on earth is that growing along the pavement? I believe it’s artichoke isn’t it? Look wild tomatoes! And what’s that? Cherries? Rhubarb? Oh no-one eats that anymore do they?
The last vestige of the once grand Cassiobury Estate has faced years of threats from Watford Borough Council about being high jacked for housing. Portions have been hived off over the years with the Allotmenteers being told – Don’t worry this is the last encroachment – honest. However that was yet another lie. The local planning officer Iain Sharpe is now positively gloating about bulldozing the precious plum and apple trees away which have faithfully fruited year on year. But it’s not really the trees is it. It’s the allotmenteers that he and his wife Dorothy Thornhill really hate. And why would that be? The reason for the hate is that this particular group of Watfordians have really got under their skin. They have fought tooth and nail; they have engaged the media positively; they have raised a fighting fund to the utter incredulity of WBC; they have made Farm Terrace a national issue; and have out manoeuvred the council and the government year on year. The powerbrokers of Watford now resent this raw talent, superior intellect, dogged point scoring and sheer energy of these activists to such an extent that the desire to crush these “insects” once and for all with a bureaucratic heel has overtaken reason so that leaving the land as a bulldozed scar would now be preferable in their eyes. It doesn’t matter that West Watford is already over-crowded and that virtually the only open spaces left are the Victorian Cemetary and Vicarage Road Stadium. WBC have already spent a fortune of tax payer money on two previous court cases and lost. This is the last time.
If WBC & the ToriCons succeed this time, no more dawn chorus. Never mind though Dorothy Thornhill, the FibDem Mayor in her wisdom, thinks metal birds are better than the real thing anyway. So we find one sticking up out of a car park on Radlett Road as part of a “Sculpture Trail” and another in the refurbished pond in the High Street. The original ducks that children fed were told to find a new home! Sound familiar? Due to ToriCon policies indigenous Britons have been told exactly the same thing. 50 homeless in Watford and rising.
Something happens to those who attain power and then cling to it long after they are worthy. Their hearts change from red to black. They lose their roots and their social values. This is what has happened to Sharpe & Thornhill. Too many bottles of wine behind that clipped hedge eating plastic pancakes.
FTAG intend to be there at The Royal Courts in force again for the allotments, for those who grow veg and keep chickens, for the wildlife of Britain and for all those who have contributed to the fighting fund. Please join us as we celebrate The Harvest – possibly for the last time – in front of the Royal Courts of Justice @ 10am 21 October 2016 along with Guardian, Independent BBC and possibly Watford Observer which now studiously ignores anything that doesn’t fit Watford’s powerbroker agenda.