email received April 11 2008
A letter to the Sunday Telegraph from David Delaney
So, Gordon Brown has suddenly discovered the world is short of food. When his erstwhile cabinet colleague Margaret Beckett was asked by Farmer's Weekly* correspondent David Richardson how much of the nation's food should be produced at home, she retorted that "she would not dream of wasting her own or her staff's time on such a ridiculous exercise. Food security is not an issue " she said. The same question was put to her successor at Agriculture, David Milliband who was more polite but his answer was essentially the same. Later Hilary Benn repeated the Department's line in a speech at the Royal Show. With such entrenched attitudes there is little hope UK farmers will be encouraged to counter the food crisis rather than, as now, being thwarted in their efforts to feed us.