David Levy – Who is Going to Step Up to the Legal Challenge? – Jun16

The strength of the environmental movement currently resides with individuals, not with the Non-Governmental Organisations.

Past governments have effectively neutered all opposition from them to their own illegal activities via charity law and government research grants.

The public &mdash such as the Goodwin Sands Action Group &mdash are astounded by the complexity of the bureaucracy reined against them. The public are well intentioned, but will often fall into the traps and unending dead ends set by well-practiced bureaucracy.

Until the public recognises that Government Agencies are not there for them, but to facilitate business as usual, they will waste valuable time pursuing a host of exercises that make them feel that they are getting somewhere, when in fact they are pointless and designed for their failure.

I realised this to be true when the Marine Conservation Society collected 250,000 signatures for Marine Conservation Zones (MCZsMCZ Marine Conservation Zone) only to find that this was totally ignored by Government, and so all the effort was lost.

It is difficult to understand the strategies that can work because it revolves around public action embarrassing the powers to be which, of course, want these activities to be done without any publicity.

You have to do whatever draws light into their shady worlds, and hold them to account on the pillory of public opinion.

We have recently heard about a judicial review by one group who won. But within a small amount of time the industry has returned and reapplied for another licence close to the site rejected by the judicial review. It is a war of attrition, and you have to be organised to meet the challenge of this war. One battle does not win the war.

I am glad to meet these individuals because they give me hope that out there are people who really care, and are frustrated by the inaction of those they believed would help them.

It’s a real shock to realise that help is not there, except from the like of Marinet who will always try to provide advice, education and support as they engage.

David Levy
Marinet Chair


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