Now first of all Mr Mustard, as a member of the Royal Forestry Society, would like to say that he is all in favour of trees, especially in woods and forests. He also likes them in High Streets provided they are the correctly chosen tree for the job and not a thumping great conker tree or eucalyptus which will cause disruption to the foundations of buildings in future years.
What he doesn't like to see is councillors making political capital, or so they think, by pretending to plant a tree when it clearly needs a digger or a proper groundworker to do the job because a tree pit is required to make sure the roots are contained and that water gets delivered down to the roots.
So here, borrowed from the council instagram account, are two photographs. Mr Mustard has no problem with the first one that was published of a local businessperson in Edgware waving a spade somewhere near a tree as if he is planting it, which he clearly isn't as he has his best shiny shoes on (whatever happened to elf and safety?) a suit (oh dear, is it brown?), stripey tie (quite fetching) and no gloves
and then shortly afterwards one of a councillor, Dean Cohen, planting a tree or so it was alleged on twitter.
|how many worthies does it take to pretend to plant a tree?|
is that the same tree? well it is the same postbox in the background, the same shop sign on the left, the same spade, which you would use for digging and not for shovelling earth, the operation supposedly in progress which warrants the use of a shovel, another suit, more shiny shoes (excellent to see such pride in inappropriate appearance) great tie but still no boots with toe caps, no gloves and no cars parked there as hardly anyone can master the pay-by-phone system.
If councillors are going to go in for the tree-hugging vote, at least get your own tree. There are 120 being planted at a total cost of £150,000 or a mere 14% of councillor allowances in a full year (which were £1,078,945 and 95p in the year to 31 March 2013).
Measured on that basis, the 120 trees are good value.
If councillors are going to go in for stupid photo opportunities, at least look the part please and don't insult the electorate.