I think it was an Irish or French philosopher who said it; maybe someone will fill the gap in my knowledge.
All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.
Yesterday afternoon good men (and quite a few women) stood up and did the right thing – and evil did not triumph.
It’s something that means more in the UK than in America: the preservation of green space, and refusal to allow selfish opportunists to exploit their sole agenda, making a quick buck, by filling that space with houses no one can afford to buy at the moment.
Over in the US, you have more space than you know what to do with. Our island is crowded, and growing ever more so day by day. But overcrowding is no excuse for covering the little countryside that remains, the lungs and heart of the land, with concrete and brick, joining one village to the next, overloading the drains and local facilities such as schools and shops. We need to retain a little green beauty in our lives.
I’d better backtrack a little, before my three readers go away to chat among themselves. Eighteen months ago a developer decided to seek permission to build houses in a beautiful field, currently the home and all-day buffet of half a dozen horses. The field happens to be right opposite my house, but that wasn’t the only reason we fought it. It was just plain wrong, in every possible way.
We sought support from all over the village, and we got it. We talked to the planning officials and found they were on our side. There are huge tracts of land not far away, previously ugly, dirty industrial sites, which are being cleaned up to enable far more attractive houses, schools, shops, everything that’s needed, to be built there; since so few people are buying houses at the moment, the officials want to direct them towards that development, not smaller ones designed with no other purpose than to put money in the builders’ pockets.
The developers backed off – but we soon found they had only retreated to gather their resources. They reapplied for permission in June this year, and we’ve spent most of the summer fighting the battle all over again – and yesterday, at least for the time being, we won. The local council’s planning committee voted unanimously – yes, I did say unanimously – to refuse permission.
Good men and women did something. Evil did not triumph. After the vote - did I mention it was unanimous? it slunk away with its tail between its legs, bemoaning the waste of the six-figure sum it spent on putting together its grubby little proposal.
OK, it has nothing to do with crime fiction. But it would have been a crime against humanity. And it’s occupied my mind almost exclusively for the past few days, and someone once told me that blogging is about what occupies your mind. And besides, I want to celebrate in every possible way, and that includes spreading the glad news every way I can.
And anyway, isn’t crime fiction all about the triumph of good over evil?