Economy & Policy

Extract: the trauma of FMD this last twelve months. I simply cannot conceive that responsible agents of a responsible ministry could have acted with such callous incompetence unless they were obeying orders.

So the economy is booming! It must be, our leaders tell us that it is. They wouldn't lie, would they? But if it is, why is there no real money for.........

Health? New hospitals built with fewer beds than the two or three older ones they replace. I suppose it makes sense to someone!
Waiting lists shorter? Yes, in some cases, by not putting people on them. Don't believe me, talk to the victims of this con.
Difficulty finding recruits, except in the ever growing management tiers, who are prepared to be undervalued and work long hours for little pay
MMR vaccination. Has little Leo had his then? Stony silence there, but surely if it's good enough for our children, then it's good enough for him!

Education? Look around you and listen. Read what some of the papers say. [80% of teaching posts in London's schools are filled by supply teachers!]

Police? Under-resourced, under-manned, over-committed, in some areas to the point of invisibility and therefore with morale slipping.

Defence? similar.

Transport? A very bad joke.

Trade and Industry? Disappeared somewhere. Unemployment figures masked by the numbers of people on Government sponsored training courses who of course do not contribute to the National Economy

Agriculture? Our Government may not have an Agricultural Policy, it is dictated from Brussels. However they have a policy towards Agriculture. The only policy of this government that is working and the one they didn't dare put in their manifesto: destroy British Agriculture, the Rural Economy and the way of life that stems from and depends on them, and it isn't costing them that much either.

Sounds harsh? Examine the facts.

First put the propaganda machine into gear.

Shortly after coming to power it was suggested that henceforth all livestock should be sent to the nearest practicable auction mart and from thence to the nearest practicable slaughter- house. Brilliant, no-one could find fault with that. However, within a month or two, by reinforcing and gold-plating E.U. regulations a very large proportion of slaughterhouses were closed down. This ensured that animals had to travel longer distances than ever before, but the propaganda machine made sure that the farmers were to blame.

Then, unilaterally impose animal welfare regulations to make it more costly to get our stock as far as the abattoir. Reinforce, gold-plate and stringently enforce "E.U. regulations" which will make it three times more expensive to kill them than on continental Europe where, apparently, they don't play by the same rule book. We cannot compete, even for our own market, on equal terms with our European rivals.

Agriculture is in decline throughout Europe we are told. Farmers will have to learn to cut costs, streamline, be more efficient or get out.
Partly true; the numbers employed in agriculture are in decline Europe wide.
ONLY in the United Kingdom have agricultural incomes fallen during the last five years, everywhere else they have risen, in the Irish Republic by as much as 15%! [and look at their animal welfare record!]
If costs are to be cut any further it can only be done by exploiting the land and environment, the livestock, or the workers. In fact that process has probably already started.

How has this state of affairs come about? Simple. This Government pays only the bare minimum subsidy required by E.U. law, without any of the perfectly legal subsidiary payments made by every other E.U. National Government.
At the same time the Party Propaganda Machine puts out, through the media, that British Agriculture is unduly cossetted and over-subsidised.
Fact: we receive half the subsidy of our nearest rival [sorry, fellow member!].
Fact: we are the least subsidised and most highly regulated agricultural industry in all Europe.

There is not and never was any irrefutable evidence to prove that BSE was caused by feeding Scrapie infected Meat and Bone Meal to cattle. There has been a great deal of pseudo-science and surmise, but NO PROOF. Great Grandfather fed meat and bone meal to his stock, and used it as a fertiliser, with nothing but beneficial results.

Equally there is no proof that sheep can get BSE, or that BSE and Scrapie are transmissible between species by 'natural means' [O.K., if you really want to 'mainline' infected brain tissue, then on your own head be it], despite the best efforts of Government "scientists" to prove otherwise by testing the wrong brains for three or four years.
Perhaps the major cause of embarrassment there was not that the wrong brains had been tested, but that someone spilled the beans before they "proved" that the National Sheep Flock had BSE and therefore had to be "culled".
And there is word misused, nowhere in a dictionary does it imply the wholesale slaughter of healthy, useful animals.

Last Summer M/s Beckett announced that she was about to "pour £ millions" into the Rural Economy. Sounded good didn't it?
Fact: it was less money than the Government had already deliberately failed to pay to Agriculture as compensation for the strength of the Pound against the Euro, AND it was to be spread over four years. The words that come to mind are something like "niggardly" or "deception".

Remember too the often quoted misleading statement, that ".....Agriculture isn't really that important, it only accounts for 1% of the GDP, it hardly compares with tourism"! How dare one compare farm-gate prices at little more than COST [milk at 19p/litre, wheat at 4p/lb....?] with tourism which is essentially a RETAIL trade. But, people heard and read it so often they came to believe it.

Don't forget for a moment the trauma of FMD this last twelve months. I simply cannot conceive that responsible agents of a responsible ministry could have acted with such callous incompetence unless they were obeying orders.

The Animal Health Bill so sensibly thrown out by the Lords was designed to make legal in the future all those high-handed acts of brutality carried out by DEFRA officials last Summer. Think well, it would include domestic pets as just as much as farm stock.

Consider too the great Anti-hunting so called debate. After 'The Party' received a £1,000,000 donation from an animal welfare organisation to ban hunting it was honour bound to try to implement the promise. Where is the honour? Cash for votes is more accurate. It has little or nothing to do with conservation, but much to do with outdated class prejudice.
After commissioning, at some expense, the Burns Report, they largely ignored it because it didn't provide the answers they wanted.
Now they are proposing to invoke the Parliament Act to push through an unnecessary piece of legislation; the actions of the bully.

Adolf Hitler, that well known German Democrat and campaigner for Human Rights, banned fox hunting in 1933. Perhaps because those who hunted were unlikely to be paid up members of his Party. " they enjoy it. We'll ban it. We'll show them who's boss..." Sound familiar?

Will it save the life of a single fox? Doubtful. They will be shot, snared, trapped and poisoned. If not, then we'll see the demise of many of our ground-nesting birds. [as noticed recently by the Essex Wildlife Trust]

Will it bring any benefit to the hard -pressed rural economy? No, it will cost more jobs, including much needed winter jobs in the Hotel industry. Will it bring any benefit to our balance of payments? No. Will it improve our standing in the eyes of the International Community? No. As the nation that has already destroyed its Health Service, once the envy of the world, Its Education, its Law and Order, its Defence, its Transport system, its Wealth producing Industries and its Agriculture to the degree that we can no longer come near to feeding ourselves they must already regard us as 'bloody daft'.

So, do our leaders lie to us? No, of course not, they employ professionals to do it for them. Oh, but they call it "spin", so that makes it alright.

Article by: Richard Mawdsley The Dash, Bassenthwaite, Keswick. Cumbria. CA12 4QX
And see from last year...what Richard wrote at the height of the tragic fiasco