Archive for October, 2012

On beauty and Nick Boles

At CPRE we bang on endlessly about the importance of beauty – how everyone needs beauty in their lives, and how important it is to safeguard the beautiful English countryside.  The word is not much used in a political context, and Oliver Letwin’s great speech of seven or eight years ago promoting politics as if beauty mattered has not, I am afraid, been repeated.

But according to Tim Smith, speaking on Radio 3’s Private Passions on Sunday, “beauty is going to be the big thing for the next five years. I think,” he said, “we’re ready to make it centre stage again.” Continue reading ‘On beauty and Nick Boles’

Landscape history and landscape threat

This week we held the first of a series of seminars on theme of ‘the country and the city’.  CPRE’s President, Sir Andrew Motion, and the archaeologist and historian, Francis Pryor, gave a fascinating and deeply knowledgeable perspective on the relationship between town and country, and the changing importance of each to the other, over several millennia.  It was a fascinating discussion, which included an overview from Andrew Motion of the relationship of writers and poets to the landscape (Andrew also likening reading Raymond Williams’s book The Country and the City to ‘eating carpet’) and a passionate defence of the acceptability of wind turbines in our ever changing landscape by Francis Pryor.

There was much else, of course, and you can listen to the main presentations here. This was the first of a series. Places are very limited, but anyone interested in coming to future events should contact Sophie Shillito, Continue reading ‘Landscape history and landscape threat’

Tory Conference: the greenest government ever?

I intend to post a blog towards the end of every week, and occasionally at other times.

This week I spent two-and-a-half days in Birmingham at the Conservative Party Conference.  Here are three things that struck me.

Continue reading ‘Tory Conference: the greenest government ever?’