Once again the competence of our political elite is called into question. This time it is another doozy. The government were warned three years ago that ash dieback disease was spreading across Europe and was rampant in Denmark. They were urged to ban the import of young ash saplings. They did nothing.
In February this year the disease appeared in some imported seedlings in Buckinghamshire. Again they did nothing. The disease then appeared in a further nine sites all from imported seedlings. Again - nothing - apart from a decision to launch a consultation about what to do!
The consultation was due to report this month. Events have overtaken it. Ash dieback has been found in mature trees in Norfolk and Suffolk. Now there may be no way of stopping it. As a fungal disease it spreads on the wind and the spores will be on their destructive way.
Tomorrow the government will formally announce the banning of imported ash seedlings.
Doh! And indeed thrice Doh!