Climate Change vote ‘should not have been about orange or green’

A representative on Fermanagh and Omagh District Council has said the recent vote in Stormont ‘should not have been about orange or green’.

Councillor Bert Wilson said Tuesday’s vote on an amendment to the executive’s Climate Change Bill was about the maintenance of our farming families, the future of our agri-food industry, the future of our young farmers, the maintenance of 125,000 jobs in Northern Ireland, the maintenance of our factories and the maintenance of the high quality food supply available up the road.

Cllr Wilson commented: “Northern Ireland is made up of first class farmers of all colours, creeds and political opinions.

“Yet, this turned out to be a political vote that will affect the future of our industry and the future of young farmers.

Councillor Bert Wilson
Councillor Bert Wilson
Councillor Bert Wilson

“Also, it will adversely affect the consumer and will place constraints on the industry which will cripple it in a lifetime.

“Over the years, if a farm of land came up for sale in the area, a farmer would have gone and discussed it with his bank manager if he had any interest in expanding.

“Now he would need to bring his local politician to tell them what hair brained schemes, they had planned for his future and what constraints they had thought up.

“You could purchase a piece of ground for to graze cattle to be told by the experts you must plant it in trees or maybe flood it.

“How would this pay the borrowings?

“Yet he, the farmer, is the one who will have to do the work and pay off the debt.

“A farmer has to plan for 10 to 20 years ahead.

“How can he plan for something he has no control over?”

Cllr Wilson continued: “Our council recently passed a motion that a four-day week would be the way forward.

“What about our animals the other three days? Who feeds them or milks the cows?

“Our coal mines were closed, now we are importing coal form South America and Australia.

“Our gas and fuel from Russia at high cost.

“Now we will be depending on imported foods of a questionable quality from the countries who are really creating the climate change and creating emissions in shipping it around the world.

“Half the world is starving - when we see the scenes on TV of children starving and the elderly as well, it is unbelievable.

“The farming industry in general have the welfare of our land and environmental future well being in mind, yet we are being blamed for all the environmental problems.

“Is our six counties the main polluter causing world problems,” Cllr Wilson asked.

“What about the main culprits, India, US, Brazil, China, Russia and others?

“What about the fancy cars and jet aircraft?

“Yet we are being used as guinea pigs and political footballs.

“Whether you are orange or green, we will all be affected in some way or other.

“I have been farming for 65 to 70 years and I fear for the future of the industry and the young farmers who went to college and are committed to farming as their livelihood.

“What future have they got?” Cllr Wilson ended.