Gather round children. Uncle Edwin has an extra special story for you all today. Pull up a chair and make yourselves comfortable.
[The following is how Uncle Edwin introduced the Draft High Hedges Bill at the Assembly yesterday. It’s a roller-coaster ride, and superbly well-detailed.]
Take it away Uncle Edwin!
A retired couple, Mr and Mrs Black who live at 5 Primrose Lane, have a habit of relaxing in the mid-morning in their sitting room, dealing with the morning post and perhaps reading their newspapers, while sipping a cup of tea or coffee. Over the years, their routine has become one of life’s little pleasures. As the summer sun streams through the bay windows that they are so proud of, having spent quite a considerable sum in having them double-glazed and repaired to save heating costs and to help the environment, they feel relaxed and at peace with the world.
They are interested to know who the new neighbours will be, as the house next door has recently been sold and the new occupants are due to arrive shortly. Mr and Mrs Green, the new neighbours, move in. After getting the house sorted out, they decide to plant a fast-growing hedge on their side of the boundary with the Blacks. Within a few years, the hedge has grown to a height of 25 ft. Mr and Mrs Black can no longer enjoy the sunlight through their bay windows, because it is blocked by the high hedge.
Mrs Black approaches Mrs Green about the high hedge, but she is rebuffed. The same thing happens when Mr Black mentions it to Mr Green. In the meantime, the hedge grows even higher. What little sunlight there was has now been completely obliterated, and, despite repeated requests, Mr and Mrs Green refuse to do anything about it.
Mr and Mrs Black approach their solicitor for advice, but they are informed that there is little that can be done. There is no available legal avenue by which they can have the height of the hedge reduced. Of course, by this stage, the relationship between the Blacks and the Greens has soured to the extent that, in the normal course of events, they no longer greet each other, and stress levels give rise to the need for Mr and Mrs Black to go to their GP to receive medication.
Members can see the point that I am making.
He even disclosed a make-believe address for this make-believe couple. And remember the moral of this story kids – big hedges means GP medication!
This is what the Sermon on the Mount would look like if PG Wodehouse had written the Bible. Go on Edders! What a bizarre parable!
I’m giving 2-1 that Edwin’s next speech begins with the words: ‘Mr Chairman, honourable members, imagine you are going on a journey beyond sight and sound…’