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Friday, 6 March 2009

What's the true reason behind the CLARO 'Save Cala Mosca' campaign?

I received the following letter from Mr James Longman presumably because of my involvement in local politics. I can see, from the addressees on the original email that J Longman forwarded to me, that a copy was sent to the Editors of all the local English newspapers. I am not aware of any of them publishing it. The writer puts forward a view that is worth some consideration. Perhaps only time will tell (hindsight) if his opinion is valid.

Whilst I appreciate that the Editors have a limited amount of space available in their papers I wonder if it will be published by any of them. Taking into consideration the strong criticsm expressed towards the motives of the C.L.A.R.O. party (seen by some of the papers as the only champion of the residents of Orihuela Costa) for the campaign I can understand that they might consider it best to ignore the letter. It might not be considered the 'done thing' to question the motives behind a campaign with aims of protecting the environment?

If nothing else it has made me wonder!

Hello Mr Sampford,

I sent the following letter to the local English press in the hope of it being included in their letters page. Unfortunately none of the papers has published it.

I have forwarded to you in case you may find my views of interest and perhaps wish to make use of the contents.

Yours sincerely,

James Longman


Dear Editor,

On 3 December, 2008 the CLARO party launched a campaign "to collect thousands of signatures to Save Cala Mosca.". In it's press release dated the 1st December 2008 (available on it's website), it made the point that the party leaders are "convinced that this campaign will be widely supported by all those interested in protecting the environment and preventing the destruction of the last remaining green area on Orihuela Costa"

The statement went on further to state that, "We believe that now is the time to halt this project. It must be saved and become a natural park which would provide a fantastic attraction to those living and visiting Orihuela Costa and those who might decide to buy property and live here in the future."

I thought, yes I agree with any action that is aimed at saving the environment, especially where I live, I must sign the petition.

Then I thought, wait a minute, how are CLARO going to save Cala Mosca? How are they going to get the "Orihuela Town Hall to renounce this project and in its place create a major, natural park"?

I read every bit of information available about the campaign on the CLARO website, the press release, the December 2008 and the February 2009 newsletters in my search for knowledge.

The only plan of action that has been mentioned is the collection of signatures on a petition. There is plenty of information as to where I can sign the petition, but what happens next? In the February newsletter an update of the campaign is given with the news that "we have collected over 2,000 signatures. We have a long way to go to collect the number of signatures we aim to get." How many signatures are they aiming to get on the petition and by when? What are they going to do with it? Who is it going to be presented to and when?

What is this petition supposed to achieve? Will it frighten the Council into rescinding the planning permission for the development and 1700 homes? Will it frighten the Council into buying back the land from the Developer including compensation for the money spent on work up-to-date? Will it frighten the Developer into ceasing work and giving up a lucrative long term investment, even though the market is in recession at the moment? Will the Council use the much despised Valencia region's Land Grab Rules to grab back Cala Mosca for the general public benefit? Will the Alicante provincial government or the Valencia regional government provide the vast funds needed to buy back the land and redevelop it into a natural park and recreation area?

Regrettably I sincerely believe the answer to all these questions is a resounding NO! I sincerely believe that the leaders of CLARO must realise the answer is NO!

The battle of 'Cala Mosca' has been fought by the PSOE, the Green Party and CLARO in the past, I joined in with the demonstrations held at Cala Mosca before the development started, but as expected the PP and the Developer won. The only hope is that the name of Cala Mosca will come back to haunt them (PP) in 2011 and will appear on their headstone.

This leads me to the next question. What's the true reason behind the CLARO 'Save Cala Mosca' campaign?

The conclusion that I come to is that it is a political campaign for the benefit and survival of CLARO. It may seem cynical on my part, but it's a cleverly thought out campaign that taps into the general concern of the electorate about the destruction of the environment by the continual expansion of the urbanisation syndrome. Remembering that CLARO said in the press release to launch the campaign "We are convinced that this campaign will be widely supported by all those interested in protecting the environment and preventing the destruction of the last remaining green area on Orihuela Costa", it would seem the real intention is to capitalise on this mood for one reason only, for the advantage of CLARO.

Once more CLARO, as it has done in many of it's past communications on other matters, is misleading the residents and electorate of Orihuela Costa to try to justify it's continuation and inclusion within the political scene, all be it on the fringe, as a spectator, of the real and effective action.

False hope is being peddled that Cala Mosca can be saved in order to promote the impression of CLARO as the possible saviour. When reality raises it's head that the petition as a weapon against the PP government is an illusion and has failed, that the dreams of the signatories have been shattered, and that the development continues, the leaders of CLARO will promote themselves as the victims and PP as the villains. Yes undoubtedly the PP failed the people of Orihuela Costa over this plot of land but so will have CLARO by generating and perpetuating false hope. Of course they will bring out the old fable that only they have the interest of the residents of the coast and it's the failure of all the elected opposition parties as well as the PP. They (CLARO) are never at fault, it is always everybody else, just like it is with the recent dispute about the Orihuela Budget for 2009.

I cannot allow myself to have false hope that Cala Mosca will be saved, but I will continue to hope that people will see through the attitudes and tactics of CLARO on this issue before its too late.

James Longman,

Orihuela Costa

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