THE WESTERN MORNING NEWS BATTLES ON.
 
11/11/02
By Nick Green
CUMBRIA
 
I understand that the continuing battle that this honourable local newspaper is waging against HMG & DEFRA is continuing with a vengeance.
 
The honourable WMN wrote to DEFRA boss Beckett with a series of questions and comments. Haven`t we all. It came as no surprise that Beckett, like many other Ministers did not even have the decency to reply.
 
Undaunted The WMN sent the same letter EVERY day and stated they would continue to write to DEFRA until Beckett replied.
 
Finally DEFRA appeared to relent. They organised a meeting for the WMN with Beckett. Remarkable you may say. BUT and there is always a but. The meeting was arranged for ALL the media not just the WMN. Further, only ONE question is to be allowed from each representing journalist. Similar tactics employed by NFU leader Gill at Carlisle. Collect questions, answer them and move quickly on. No chance for anyone to query the reply.
 
DEFRA and  HMG are the most arrogant bunch of individuals I think I have ever come across. I faxed Morley on 25th February 2002. I asked him simply why he lied in respect to the 3km cull. If he didn`t lie, was he in fact incompetent. To this day I have not received a reply. More recently, he has also been asked why he visited ex. Pirbright scientist Paul Kitching in Canada. There is no record of his visit in public records and if he has used public funds he has to account for the visit. No reply to this either.
 
Perhaps we can all take up the WMN example by repeating correspondence to government officials daily until we receive an answer.
 
I have yet to receive any answers I have submitted to Cumbria County Council and in particular Mr Rex Toft. My questions, as many of you will know concerned the watered down FMD Inquiry report, collated by Prof. Thomas, friend of MAFF/DEFRA and close to John Krebs, FSA boss and good pal of Roy Anderson (of 3km cull fame and  a proven liar).