I was only half-joking when I wrote in the Guardian last week that we should judge our politicians on their relationship to hedgehogs. It should be a measure of all people who aim to set themselves in authority to us, how they view the natural world. It does not have to be a passion for hedgehogs, though obviously that helps in terms of getting my vote, but it has to be an awareness, a concern – oh, here I go again, beating around the bush – a love for the natural world.
As I have written before, it is absurd in the extreme to love money above life – but that is the class of people who govern us now.
The measure of a person – there is one celebrity I met last year who has just rocketed in my opinion. Already I was a fan of the very lovely actor, John Hurt when I met him at the Royal Horticultural Show at Hampton Court and asked him to come to our Hedgehog Street garden (which won loads of awards!).
But he has just surpassed himself. Because there is another measure I think just as important – and that is one attitude towards nuclear weapons. The lust for megadeath that drives the supporters of a weapon system that in no way makes any sense at all still lives in the heart of many in power. For most, though, the issue has slipped from the agenda – there are other pressing issues of environmental and social justice to consider.
Those that still care enough to take action have been out this morning – shutting down the Atomic Weapons Establishment factory at Burghfield.
The campaign, Action AWE, has some very notable supporters including Ken Loach and the Anglican Bishop of Liverpool – but who is at the top of the list? Our very own hedgehog-loving John Hurt.
Oh – and which political party is the only one that is serious about tackling the silly waste of money represented in this extreme example of the military-industrial complex? The Greens of course. They love hedgehogs and hate nuclear weapons. Some decisions are complicated, but not the choice of party we would want. And an indication that the establishment is getting concerned about the possibility we in the UK might see more sense came this morning when US army chief General Odierno said we are not spending enough making things to kill people. Love life, love hedgehogs, vote green. Simple.