Saturday, 8 October 2011

Wild fruit pickers = smokers.

Following the announcement of Dozy Dai's intention of taxing fatty foods comes news that Southampton Council have banned blackberry picking on the Common.

It's all too easy to translate that into a conspiracy to stop us feeding ourselves so we can't avoid the eventual tax on all foods. So I won't. It's not anyway, not yet. Too soon.

Actually, what the council have banned is the organised picking expeditions set up by the man complaining about them, and as they can't tell the difference between one person and twenty, they have effectively allowed their Stasi to arrest anyone picking one blackberry in passing.

What's interesting here is not the ban in itself. That's just another council proving that the reason they are voted for rather than voting is that they are all too stupid to spell 'X'.

The interesting parts are as follows:

Firstly, that the council believe they have any right to stop anyone picking wild fruit on public land and that they feel justified in using outright lies to make their case. Here, they first claimed it was because of the newts - which do not eat blackberries and which live in ponds, where blackberries are seldom found. Nobody could expect the average council moron to know this.

Then they switched to some nonsense about 'the environment' which has never, is not and never will be affected by any number of people pulling blackberries off a spiky plant. No, it won't result in thousands of people doing it all year round and trampling all over 'the environment' because they can't start until the blackberries ripen and they'll stop when the blackberries are all gone. This problem cannot manifest. It is not possible. Blackberries are only available for a few weeks of the year. The reason they are available at all is that wildlife can't eat them all.

The reason my blueberry bush has had no blueberries on it for the last two years is that the blackbirds have found it and while it's still small, they can eat them all. So I'm having their blackberries. Sod them.

What is of concern is the precedent. If councils believe they can ban this, they believe they can ban anything. Anything at all. Also, when (not if) we have a tax on food, anyone picking blackberries or even growing their own food will be branded a tax-dodger. As are those who now buy tobacco or drink from overseas or from Man with a Van or who produce their own. The precedent for that accusation is well entrenched already.

Secondly, the comments -

Just go to the shops tightwad and leave the fruit and nuts (and maggots) to the wildlife.
I used to love blackberry picking. But birds need them for food to help them through the winter. Humans are destroying animals' habitat, and we are taking their food too by 'foraging picnics'.

Birds are not squirrels. They do not store food. Their nests do not include chest freezers full of blackberries and cherries and blueberries and all the little bits the feathery bastards picked off my plums. Birds either migrate or find what they can in winter and in my garden, I make sure they have seed and fat balls all through the snow. No hard feelings on the plums. I had plums to spare this year, I didn't even begrudge the wasps a few.

Squirrels store nuts - including acorns which we aren't much interested in eating. Not blackberries or any other fungus-inducing fruits.Sensible animals store dry foods for winter. They don't want to eat mouldy food.

We are not taking other animals' food by picking wild fruit. We are animals too and we didn't always have supermarkets, you know. Besides, have you seen what supermarkets charge for raspberries and blackberries, both of which grow for free all over the place?

I have raspberries in my garden. I didn't plant them. The birds eat the wild ones nearby then sit on the fence and shit seeds on my garden. The birds planted those raspberries so that's fair trade for the plums and the fat-balls, I suppose.

They also planted them right next to the fence which is ideal for tying in the canes, and they put them on the sunny side too. Good gardeners, those birds. I'll put out extra fat balls this winter.

Why would anyone pick and eat blackberries when most of them tend to be full of maggots and their eggs.


Anonymous said...

Birds may not have a freezer but they certainly have liquidisers. I've seen the results.

JuliaM said...

"Finding your own food is seen as unnatural now."

And we claim our school system has few successes. They've certainly done the Fabians' work beautifully...

"Maggots lay eggs? This is a level of stupid that can make any real teacher cry."

They are more of an endangered species than those blackberry-eating newts...

Macheath said...

Anyone in my area who fancies visiting the hedgerows to sample the edible flora has to contend with the local fauna in the shape of travellers from a large site nearby.

They have been systematically harvesting brambles, crab apples, wild plums and sloes for many years (and aren't particularly friendly towards anyone else they find trying it).

Where, I wonder, do the 'save-it-for-the-wildlife' brigade stand on that one?

george said...

South Tyneside council aren't popular either. Kids trying to re enact the Jarrow march from Tyneside to London got as far as Tyneside before being stopped by the local council. The kids marching against poverty and unemployment will need to find £2,500 to pay for local road closures lol

Bucko said...

"smoking and swigging gin and munching on a burger."

Does life get any better?

sixtypoundsaweekcleaner said...

We live in Nazi Britain...

Last Man Jack said...

I'd have thought it best to tell them not to worry. You won't be eating them but making Blackberry Vodka!

Have fun!

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