Lets grow more food

 

Question:
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps her Department is taking to encourage more domestic food growth to help reduce the level of importation of food and the consequent impact on the environment. (83505)

Tabled on: 09 November 2022

Answer:
Mark Spencer:

The UK has a highly resilient food supply chain. We produce 61% of all the food we need, 74% of food which we can grow or rear in the UK for all or part of the year, and these figures have changed little over the last 20 years.

The Government Food Strategy, which was published in June of this year, sets out what we will do to create a more prosperous agri-food sector that delivers healthier, more sustainable and affordable food. The Food Strategy includes a commitment to broadly maintain the level of food that we produce domestically and boost production in sectors where there are the biggest opportunities. As part of this commitment, we are providing support to farmers to help improve productivity. This includes investing over £270 million in innovation by 2029 to support agricultural productivity. In addition, the £48m Farming Innovation Fund is supporting more than 43,000 farmers by providing grants which will also improve productivity.

Our high degree of food security is built on supply from diverse sources; strong domestic production as well as imports through stable trade routes. Recognising the global impact of food production, at COP26 the UK COP Presidency launched the Glasgow Leaders’ Declaration on Forests and Land Use. This declaration included the Policy Action Agenda for the Transition to Sustainable Agriculture which raised visibility of and mobilised action for transformation in agriculture, land use and food systems. Action in these areas is essential to ensuring sustainable food production for a growing population, whilst building resilience for farmers and a just transition to reduce emissions and reverse harmful impacts on biodiversity.

The answer was submitted on 21 Nov 2022 at 17:07.

 

Comment.   This is too little and lacks the energy and determinaiton needed to drive up our home market share to nearer the levels we enjoyed prior to joining the CAP in the 1970s. I will press harder to get the grant money spent on food production, not wilding.

 

Question:
To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps she is taking to incentivise people to increase fruit and vegetable growing capacity by (a) using modern techniques to extend growing seasons and (b) regulating water and fertiliser use. (83506)

Tabled on: 09 November 2022

Answer:
Mark Spencer:

The Government recognises the important role of high-tech growing technologies in ensuring a reliable and sustainable supply of fresh produce for much of the year. Innovation, such as the development of new plant varieties and growing systems, have already allowed growers to extend the growing seasons of a variety of crops, for example strawberries.

Our plan to support the horticulture sector was outlined in the Government Food Strategy, launched on 13th June this year. The strategy will aim to increase domestic production through the adoption of a range of growing models, such as controlled environment horticulture systems. A controlled environment can offer environmental benefits, including efficient water use and a reduction in the use of agrochemicals.

In November last year, Defra launched round one of the Farming Investment Fund, committing over £98 million worth of funding for farmers and growers to invest in farm equipment, as well as technology and infrastructure to improve productivity, growth and resilience. As part of the fund there are numerous strands which would benefit fruit and vegetable growers specifically, including a £25 million ‘Improving Farm Productivity’ theme and a £30 million ‘Adding Value’ theme. Both of which provide grant support for higher value, more complex project investments which deliver transformative improvements to farmer’s and grower’s businesses.

Having sufficient water is of vital importance for ensuring optimal yield, growth and quality of our crops. As part of the Farming Investment Fund, Defra launched the £10 million Water Management grant scheme which provides grant funding support for the construction of on-farm reservoirs and the adoption of best practice irrigation application equipment to help ensure farmers have access to water when they need it most. This will build on-farm water resilience, so helping to ensure farmers will have access to the water they need to produce adequate fruit and vegetable yields.

We are also looking at a potential future offer for the Producer Organisation Fruit and Vegetables Aid Scheme. We are currently exploring the best way to support the sector once the Scheme ends in 2025.

The answer was submitted on 21 Nov 2022 at 17:03.

 

Comment  This is more helpful but the small sums suggest it lacks ambition over scale

 

 

 

200 Comments

  1. Lifelogic
    November 24, 2022

    Indeed let’s grow more food. Indeed let’s, for which we need cheap reliable on demand energy for fertilisers, fuel for tractors etc & transport warming greenhouses, feed stocks, drying, freezing, processing… So first ditch net zero, cut the vast pointless red tape and make employing people easier. So the opposite of the Sunak agenda.

    Reply
    1. Lifelogic
      November 24, 2022

      Allister Heath today is surely right. Labour/SNP/LibDims and then perhaps PR is a dire prospect even relative to Globalist, Tax to death, fan of China, net zero Sunak and Hunt.

      The Tories now face an electoral meltdown even worse than 1997
      The economic, ideological, demographic and cyclical forces are all lining up behind a Labour landslide

      Also in the Telegraph:- Covid lab leak theory shut down by experts.
      Sir Patrick Vallance was one of scientists behind paper that removed mention of biosecurity issues in Wuhan

      Seems it was overwhelmingly likely it was a lab leak to me. Also that the vaccines have almost certainly done net harm this especially to the young. Sadly Boris and his government & their “experts” got nearly all the big things very wrong indeed.

      Reply
      1. Mark J
        November 24, 2022

        Lifelong correctly stated:

        The Tories now face an electoral meltdown even worse than 1997
        The economic, ideological, demographic and cyclical forces are all lining up behind a Labour landslide.

        It is a making of the Conservatives own doing.

        The solutions to the problems the country has are relatively simple, yet there seems to be no will to do anything. Just endless waffle on what they would like to do.

        Just look at the migrant crisis. All we have seen is endless waffle on the subject, yet no firm action in halting and dealing with this. The solutions are simple – decrease the pull factors and immediately deport those with no legal right for asylum claims (Albanians and other safe nations), yet nothing is ever done.

        By doing so, the Conservatives are appealing to no one on the left, whilst hemorrhaging their natural support base – frustrated at their lack of action on important issues.

        I don’t want a Labour Government, however at the present time, will they do any worse than the current incumbents? Equally as bad is the likely outcome.

        Reply
        1. Lifelogic
          November 24, 2022

          +1

          Reply
      2. Mickey Taking
        November 24, 2022

        I always thought it was odd that the French designed Lab refused an audit type of examination after constructed, to ensure high quality rules of operation and protection were employed. I suspected all along the ‘bat lady’ was experimenting possibly with official approval of making a serious flu type of virus that would disable large numbers on a battlefield, or even city. The vague and little proof of several instances of a possible earlier strain released in Wuhan might support claims of a Covid-like virus many months earlier than when it became a major threat.

        Reply
      3. Cuibono
        November 24, 2022

        +1
        It might have just been the ‘flu?
        With ref to comments re menopausal homeworking…
        The NHS has turned us all into terrified hypochondriacs!

        Reply
      4. Roy Grainger
        November 24, 2022

        You’re wrong, PR is the only solution, Reform (or a similar party) would do very well and the Conservatives would be wiped out – just like in the last Euro elections. Eventually after Lab/Lib made a mess of things they’d win.

        Reply
        1. Lifelogic
          November 24, 2022

          Endless lefty weak & unstable coalitions with long negotiations & maybe months before we even know the result.

          Reply
        2. John Hatfield
          November 24, 2022

          Agreed. Now we have two practically identical headline parties, we need PR to break the mould.

          Reply
        3. No Longer Anonymous
          November 24, 2022

          Roy – Conservatives are facing wipe-out under either system. Even the BBC are now banging on about immigration.

          Out of the EU, 80 seat majority – highest levels on record.

          Reply
          1. hefner
            November 24, 2022

            In 1959, McMillan had a Conservative majority of 100 (out of 630 MPs and with a 78.7% turnout). In 1983 Mrs Thatcher had the Conservative majority at 144, in 1987 at 102 (out of 650 MPs and with turnouts of 72.7 and 75.3%).
            So except if your record is restricted to the 21st century, I afraid your ‘highest levels on record’ is wrong as Johnson’s majority of 80 with a 67.3% turnout is good but not the best ever.

        4. Mark
          November 24, 2022

          PR is no solution. If Reform are a solution (they haven’t got their act together enough for that yet) they will win handsomely under FPTP, consigning legacy parties to history.

          Reply
    2. rose
      November 24, 2022

      It is worrying that, as Sir John says, so little is being invested in this. Millions, while we spend billions on encouraging illegal immigration. Meanwhile, the Minister says nothing about the land being lost to other things or what HMG is going to do about it. Another question for Sir John, perhaps?

      Reply
      1. Lifelogic
        November 24, 2022

        +1

        Reply
      2. Michelle
        November 24, 2022

        +100

        However, no immigration is illegal in the eyes of the establishment parties and their various media propaganda outlets.
        To ‘build back better’ for the globalists purposes, you first have to dismantle what was there before.
        A settled population going back centuries is more likely to put up obstacles, so you dismantle it bit by bit.

        Reply
        1. R.Grange
          November 24, 2022

          I must apologise: in my comment yesterday I spoke of a quarter of a million migrants arriving in this country over the last year, with the evident approval of this government. The ONS has now announced it was actually half a million non-EU nationals. That’s a city of the size of Leeds to be built year-on-year.

          How do the ruling party’s friends in the construction industry feel about this, I wonder?

          Reply
          1. a-tracy
            November 24, 2022

            gov.uk 27 Jul 2022 — In the 12 months to the end March 2022 we issued over 182,000 skilled worker visas, 3,500 global talent visas and 466,000 student visas.
            I read a tweet that said the ONS included students and legal migrants in that number.

            If this number has come into the UK, why are we short of workers because they’re not all illegal? Mind you much more of this down-turn and thousands are going to be laid off next month.

          2. glen cullen
            November 24, 2022

            They’re the one’s they know about !

          3. Mickey Taking
            November 24, 2022

            That was 504,000 net calculated by ONS-
            Emigration out of the UK:
            The provisional estimate of the number of people emigrating out of the UK long-term in the year ending (YE) June 2022 was approximately 560,000. Non-EU nationals accounted for 195,000 of this long-term total, EU nationals accounted for 275,000 and British nationals 90,000.
            So incoming was about 1,064,000. – that we know about. Were the illegal beach arrivals included?

          4. rose
            November 24, 2022

            a-tracy:

            “If this number has come into the UK, why are we short of workers because they’re not all illegal?”

            Six and a half million EU citizens signed up for permanent residence here. According to the DWP less than a million are living in Romania and Bulgaria on UC so where are the others? Maybe some went home in the pandemic and never came back again, but out of that six and a half million you would think there were still enough for us not to have to import yet more. It is annoying how many times one has to listen to remainiacs telling us they all went home because of Brexit.

          5. Hope
            November 24, 2022

            It is estimated not actual head count! The numbers are far worse!
            Tories determined to destroy our culture and way of life and impoverish us to so!

          6. a-tracy
            November 24, 2022

            Rose, we will need to track these 6.5m otherwise we will have another windrush calamity on our children’s hands. What would stop someone going home but claiming in the future they stayed just didn’t earn enough to pay tax and then claim pension credits, housing benefit etc.
            I know people that returned but carried on claiming UC as though here.
            Every single PR adult that didn’t pay tax and NI should be asked where they are living.
            Their children checked if they are registered in school or not, some said 20% of children are no longer in education, so why are the schools having such problem if they lost 20% of their clients?
            If things don’t change next week I believe a lot of people are going to start getting laid off work.

        2. rose
          November 24, 2022

          Tim Loughton is my bete noire of the moment, trying to catch the Home Secretary out with a hypothetical gotcha when he should have been backing her up. Virtue signalling gone mad.

          Reply
          1. a-tracy
            November 24, 2022

            Why would you want to show someone up on your own side that a meeting could resolve? Did she blank him, perhaps and it was his revenge?

      3. Ian Wragg
        November 24, 2022

        Every bit of land around us is being built on and we are fighting a proposal for a 15 acre solar farm.
        Masses of land are being taken our of production and we keep increasing the population by millions.
        Stupid or what.

        Reply
      4. Barbara
        November 24, 2022

        Seen on social media:

        ‘Thanks to the wonders of UK immigration policy you now compete with the world’s richest on the housing market, the world’s poorest on the labour market, and lose your culture in the process.’

        Reply
      5. Hope
        November 24, 2022

        Over 500,000 net migration plus illegal immigration and Sunak just signed thousands more Indians to come here! Sunak wants to give away£36 billion and demands more taxes!! I wonder why our public services cannot cope and Keft wing Sunak and Hunt want more tax! To house and feed the world ! Extreme left wing OBR and Hunt want more! Food, water, waste, energy! Complete left wing nutters in govt. destroying our country. Worse immigration since WWII, another appalling record! Just get out.

        Reply
        1. a-tracy
          November 24, 2022

          Hope, I wouldn’t bring in low-quality Home Office pen pushers to dither and delay, unable to make decisions and return people. Anyone who keeps getting their deportation recommendations stalled by lawyers on the other side needs help or removal.

          People who can’t deal with a decent number of weekly applications should be made redundant and then replace two unqualified (we are told struggling) workers with a lawyer. Put an appeal out for semi-retired lawyers that dealt with immigration in the past and bring them in to train graduate lawyers up sharpish. Just how much is the UK spending on lawyers to keep people here? I’m shocked that it is taking more than four years, and people are still here after 7 years, unable to work at our expense.

          Reply
          1. a-tracy
            November 24, 2022

            May, Boris etc all changed laws sharpish when they needed to. Labour claim they are now on side with lowering immigration so get the laws changed to allow speedier removal.
            Also do all these near half a million students pay full fees in advance to UK universities? Plus pay their own lodgings?

      6. Timaction
        November 24, 2022

        Reported today, Net Legal immigration over 500,000 in a year. How does that help the 7,000,000 in England waiting NHS treatment? Housing crisis, no school places, highest taxation ever. Net zero, energy prices through the roof. 11%-14% inflation. Boat people arriving in their thousands, no one deported but put up in 4* Hotels. Crisis, what crisis. What are the Tory’s chances at the next election? I have feeling the English have had enough.

        Reply
        1. Shirley M
          November 24, 2022

          Unbelievable isn’t it. Unfortunately it is reality, and all caused by the deliberate actions of this anti-UK and undemocratic government.

          Reply
    3. Lifelogic
      November 24, 2022

      Also encourage investment in the UK rather than discourage it, again the complete opposite of the Sunak/Hunt agenda.

      Reply
      1. Nigl
        November 24, 2022

        So Starmer it is then because as ever you offer no solutions/achievable alternatives.

        Reply
        1. Lifelogic
          November 25, 2022

          The solutions are all obvious and I often list them. Smaller government, kill the waste, deregulate, lower taxes, less low skilled immigration and government that is well directed and not corrupt or driven by vested interests.

          Reply
      2. Hope
        November 24, 2022

        LL,
        Worse immigration figures (500,000 in a year!) last year since WWII! Estimate not head count which makes the numbers worse! Sunak last week signed thousands more from India!

        Reply
        1. Shirley M
          November 24, 2022

          It was the CONS who said 3M EU citizens came to the UK, when 6 MILLION claimed settled status. 100% error, or massaging the truth? We cannot believe anything the CONS say about immigration, but the same applies to Labour. Honesty is a trait of neither party and who wants frauds and liars to govern the UK?

          Reply
          1. rose
            November 24, 2022

            Shirley, at the time of the referendum we were told it was a million; then at Brexit we were told it was three million – or rather they themselves said they were three million; then six and a half million signed up. I think more were coming in just to do that, and the Bulgarian Ambassador was working day and night to get “everyone’s uncle” in on time.

        2. The Prangwizard
          November 24, 2022

          If I were younger I would get out of England fast; my destination would be the USA. Maybe at 77 I still have time and I am sorry I didn’t go some years ago. My two daughters with my support left many years ago, one to the USA and the other has lived in three of Europe’s nations while working for the European Space Agency. Both are doing extremely well.

          Sir John, for example, lives in his fantasy world, believing that his written and spoken pieces will save us from destruction, from cultural annihilation and insignificance by amending a few details. He dare not and does not wish to see and protect us from the big picture. The Tory party is more important than everything else to him. He is of course not the only one.

          Reply You not I live in a fantasy world. All the time Conservative Ministers are in office the best chance of change is influencing them. There will be much less chance of change for the better we’re Labour to be in office.

          Reply
          1. Timaction
            November 24, 2022

            Sir J. You are the unipart. Exact same policies on EU and mass immigration.

          2. Mickey Taking
            November 24, 2022

            But Sir John you mostly sound like a Saint for Lost causes – St Jude.

          3. The PrangWizard
            November 25, 2022

            Sir John, could you let us have a list of changes you have had brought about which would cover the points we make here.

    4. Lifelogic
      November 24, 2022

      People also will need to get to work at these farms so in rural areas they will mainly need affordable petrol or diesel cars or motor bikes. Again not the Sunak agenda.

      Reply
      1. Cuibono
        November 24, 2022

        Farmers used to provide accommodation near to the farm. Tied cottages.
        All lost in the housing greed frenzy…ditto the council houses to replace tied cottages.
        Used to see fleets of cyclists going off towards farm and egg packing station etc.
        Nobody ever asked govts to destroy our way of life!

        Reply
        1. Hope
          November 24, 2022

          Tory govt recently got rid of red diesel ! Another tax for farmers!

          Reply
      2. a-tracy
        November 24, 2022

        LL – perhaps a block of terraced-style homes need to be built near these farms, these three-story high ones with three bedrooms, so they don’t use much land space on a rent-to-buy scheme.

        Reply
      3. Garincha
        November 24, 2022

        We’ll need the people in the first place. But they have all gone home to Poland and Romania. Brexit summed up! You want to grow more food here but we can’t pick it – Brexit is the ultimate in self-defeating stupidity

        Reply
      4. Fedupsoutherner
        November 24, 2022

        No buses in our rural area after 6pm.

        Reply
    5. Lifelogic
      November 24, 2022

      It takes ~ three calories of energy to produce one calorie of food energy on average and that doesn’t even include the energy expended to process the food, transport it to our supper tables or cook/prepare it. But meat, egg & fish production can be up to 50 calories for each calorie actually eaten. Food production is extremely dependent on cheap reliable energy.

      Reply
    6. Nigl
      November 24, 2022

      Net zero in one guide or another is here to stay. Develop some political antennae and move on to how we can use the opportunities it offers.

      Reply
    7. Lifelogic
      November 24, 2022

      On the positive side a little more CO2 and slightly warmer is a great thing for farming in the UK and for forestry birds, animals and fish. But more CO2 is again against Suank’s daft government policy – not that they are really reducing CO2 just pretending to or exporting it with the related jobs.

      Reply
    8. Hope
      November 24, 2022

      Perhaps Harper swallowed the stupid/lying tablet? Did he forget Macron deliberately holding up food lorries to France until Johnson caved and locked down country! Perhaps Harper forgets Johnson gave away our territorial fishing waters. What is he doing to get them back or stop stupid Sunak making more inter connectors for energy as it is linked to fishing! Does he want EU to be able to grip the throat of UK for food! Perhaps he forgot threats to cut electricity or how EU stopped vaccines and PPE contracted UK! UK needs to have food security and not rely on EU for anything. Hunt is doing his best to make UK reliant on EU stopping divergence or getting away and crawling his way to be aligned as close as possible. We voted leave!

      What are Brexit MPs doing to oust the Sunak Hunt shit show?

      Reply
      1. Shirley M
        November 24, 2022

        The answer is obvious. The EUphiles in Parliament outnumber the patriots and democrats. We got rid of quite a few in 2019 and we now need to get rid of the rest, and we will.

        Reply
    9. Peter
      November 24, 2022

      In Holland the government is taking farmers’ land from them.

      To do that in the U.K. they would probably change planning permissions to allow the sale of agricultural land at a vast profit. That way blame would be deflected from government.

      Reply
      1. hefner
        November 24, 2022

        ‘Farming for the future: why the Netherlands is the second largest food producer in the world’, 26/07/2022 dutchreview.com

        Reply
    10. Cuibono
      November 24, 2022

      +many
      Yes! Yes!
      Let’s go back to pre EU days and do what we did then!
      Do what is normal and natural! Feed ourselves.
      Let’s fish and plough and grow.
      We had 15 minute cities too!!
      Don’t the bloody idiots KNOW what they have destroyed and ruined and taken away from us?
      How many years have been wasted, how many lives ruined?

      Reply
    11. Nottingham Lad Himself
      November 24, 2022

      Grow more food?

      It would be good if possible.

      With 1.1 million immigrants this last year it would sure be eaten.

      They aren’t coming from Europe so much these days either, btw.

      It’s exactly that for which you voted.

      Reply
      1. Shirley M
        November 24, 2022

        Where were you when the CONS promised to reduce immigration to the tens of thousands? How on earth you can say anyone voted for more immigration shows how detached you are from reality.

        Reply
    12. jerry
      November 24, 2022

      @LL; “for which we need cheap reliable on demand energy for fertilisers, fuel for tractors etc”

      Whilst I agree with the general thrust of your argument, were does the cost, and supply, of labour fit into your policy portfolio Mr Life, given the UK needs to also compete with farm-gate prices found in the RotW, or are you proposing pulling up the drawbridge and impose protectionist controls on competitors produce. If not were are all the fit UK born, 16-50 age group, willing to work long hours on (perhaps remote) farms, given they have not exactly been queuing up in the past – hence the previous employment of migrants from the EU?

      Reply
      1. Peter2
        November 24, 2022

        Combine harvesters and many other clever agriclutural machines are in existence Jerry.
        Not every crop is currently picked by hoards of minimum wage modern day peasantry.

        Reply
        1. jerry
          November 24, 2022

          @P2; Oh do stop showing up just how little you know about farming! How does that ‘combine harvester’ cut cabbages, or delicate fruits, how does it raise pigs, collect eggs, even the currently available, and very expensive, modern automated milking machines still need experienced supervision, if for no other reason than the well being of the cattle. Better automation is no doubt the future, just as it was back in 1945, but farmers need to produce our food tomorrow, and every single day until that better future arrives, and even then such a lease or purchase needs to make economic sense.

          Reply
          1. Peter2
            November 24, 2022

            That hit a nerve JerryPS
            Look up agricultural machinery.
            Your lack of knowledge is showing.

          2. jerry
            November 25, 2022

            Indeed I obviously have hit a nerve of yours P2, such has been your knee jerk replies. Go take you own advice, look up mechanical pig rearing for example, and do you honestly think farmers would have bothered employing and housing seasonal pickers if there was/is a cheaper mechanical alternative. Also, are you seriously suggesting egg producers return to Battery farming?…

          3. Peter2
            November 25, 2022

            Oddly how you are focusing on pig farming Jerry.
            Just one of scores of different farming industry.

            If you had a queue of min wage people outside your farm wanting work would you borrow and risk a few hundred thousands of pounds for a clever labour saving machine?

          4. jerry
            November 25, 2022

            @P2; Stop trying to thrown stones when you’re living in a glasshouse yourself; by the same score, odd how you are focusing only on arable farming (well at least those crops that can be harvested by a combine…), ignoring any and all other types of farming. I, on the other hand, have given examples of arable, livestock, horticulture and poultry, where mechanization can’t work and perhaps never will, indeed egg production WAS highly mechanized, until the consumer put a stop to it.

        2. margaret
          November 25, 2022

          Children stop arguing Jerry is right and Peter has an element of correctness. We need action now and not ONLY in hi tech advancement.

          Reply
          1. jerry
            November 25, 2022

            @margaret; Assuming that a hi tech advancement is possible, and even if it is, it needs to be affordable (compared to traditional production methods), the cost as always being born by the consumer via the farm-gate price. Talking of Hi tech solutions, perhaps the real answer is the single synthetic tablet per day, containing all the nutrients humans need, as some predicted back in the 1950 & 60s…

  2. Lifelogic
    November 24, 2022

    Meanwhile as excess deaths run at circs 200+ every day. Amanda Pritchard, the head of NHS England, says menopausal women working in the health service will be allowed to work from home. What wonderful priorities she has & how do you do nursing, cleaning, scans, procedures or operations from home?

    Mrs Pritchard is a modern history graduate who has worked in the NHS all her career. So she should know a lot about how not to run things efficiently. The NHS now has even more money, and far more medical staff & yet it is performing fewer operations and procedures and the huge waiting list are still climbing (people who can no longer care for husbands as they cannot get their knee or hip ops for example). Simon Stevens another PPE chap (now in the Lords I think) who served under the dreadful Jeremy Hunt (also PPE) was rather dire too.

    It seems Ms. Prichard with her history degree is paid circa £250k yet junior doctors after 6 years unpaid medical training costing them about £150k plus loss of earning get £29k. Which is not enough to even live on when you consider interest on their student debts etc. so 25% leave in the first year. Doubtless Prichard will be off to the Lords soon too.

    Reply
    1. Michelle
      November 24, 2022

      +100

      Reply
    2. rose
      November 24, 2022

      LL, Mrs P and co aren’t doing the sisterhood much good: when one adds up the years of periods, pregnancy, childrearing, and menopause, one comes to an understanding of why women weren’t expected to work in the past, though many did. The sisterhood has spent decades trying to pretend women are the same as men – can drink as much, be as tough, be as ambitious, work as long hours, etc. Now the sexual revolution has taken place, it is a different story. Never mind, the few remaining men will cover for the absentees, as they do at doctors’ surgeries.

      When Mrs P was interrogated by Mark Francois in a Select Committee, she giggled when he asked her who was in charge, and couldn’t actually say.

      Reply
      1. Lifelogic
        November 24, 2022

        Indeed, you only have to look at the subjects men and women study at a levels and university, the books and magazines they read, the TV they watch, the things they buy, the jobs they choose… to see how very different they are on average.

        Reply
      2. IanT
        November 24, 2022

        It was nearly 20 years now, but my experience of dealing with the “NHS”, was that having (finally) established what NHS ‘Policy’ actually was (at HQ/Central level) getting Trusts to actually observe & implement that policy was just about impossible. Each Trust was a fiefdom, ruled over by departmental heads who used bureaucracy and endless committee meetings to delay and hinder anything that didn’t suit them. You were in effect dealing with about 150 seperate organisations, all with their own priorities and agendas. I did business with a number of goverment organisations (MoD, DWP, HMRC etc) and the NHS was without any doubt, by far the worst to work with.

        Reply
      3. Lifelogic
        November 24, 2022

        If you train up female doctors (and more than 50% training now are female) you need to train up nearly twice as many to get the same number of work hours back, also they are far less likely to ever pay back the student loans.

        This more likely to work part time, take breaks for children, take lower paid but less demanding jobs to fit round children etc. So economically a far worse investment for the NHS.

        “Training a doctor costs over £200,000. So in return we will ask all new doctors to work for the NHS for four years, just as army recruits are asked to after their training.”

        Jeremy Hunt, 4 October 2016

        I assume by the word “ask” he meant require – as in we will “ask” people to pay a little more tax. Bonded labour is what he is surely immorally calling for here is that legal? Probably it now costs well over £300k plus the trainee gives up 6 years of earning so perhaps about the same £300k again. Yet the NHS pays then the. only £29k.

        Reply
        1. Shirley M
          November 24, 2022

          Do you expect academic women to turn down the option of a part time job to enable them to raise children? Maybe it’s because many men still expect women to sacrifice their careers to raise the children and many women comply for the sake of the kids, even when the woman is the greater earner. I only know of one couple where the man went part time so he could be there for their kids and the wife could pursue her profitable career. I note you often considered (with frequent regularity) mens health to be far more important than womens health where the covid jabs were concerned. Many women still do the bulk of the housework, the shopping, the washing, the cleaning, the cooking and the care of kids AND hold down a job.

          Sorry LL, I agree with many of your opinion but you give a good impression of a one sided misogynistic opinion, at times. If I have misunderstood you I am sure you will offer a correction.

          Reply
          1. Lifelogic
            November 25, 2022

            I think it is perfectly sensible for women (and indeed men) to make the choices that fit with their work life balance and suit them, but these choices do have real effects on pay, training costs per work output and on productivity.

          2. hefner
            November 30, 2022

            Productivity? Do you consider the multiple comments you put practically every day on this blog and this for more than ten years running a contribution to your own ‘productivity’?

        2. margaret
          November 25, 2022

          We need Registered medics to be able to speak Urdu and the new female population of patients need Urdu speaking female staff to meet their religious and cultural needs. Numbers without context is useless.

          Reply
          1. Mickey Taking
            November 25, 2022

            No, they need to bring a family translator with them !

      4. No Longer Anonymous
        November 24, 2022

        Rose

        Frankly I’m sick of it in my own industry. Picking up the shit shifts and the slack.

        Pregnancy at the beginning, childcare in the middle and now menopause at the end of the career. I dread to think what it’s like in the medical profession, no wonder we have a shortage of doctors.

        It was great for overtime when I needed it but I no longer need it now.

        Reply
      5. a-tracy
        November 24, 2022

        Agree, rose, she is doing us, women, a real disservice. But no man has had to cover for me or my female colleagues. We pull our own weight perhaps because we don’t get full sick pay for months on end and just get on with it.

        Reply
        1. Donna
          November 24, 2022

          The worst symptoms of the menopause are easily avoided if you start taking natural medicinal supplements in the 5 years leading up to it ie from around age 45. I’m afraid there is a significant proportion of women who like any excuse to skive off work …. most of them in the public sector ….. and the menopause is a very useful excuse.

          (I’m female.)

          Reply
          1. Mickey Taking
            November 24, 2022

            Nowadays your chosen name isn’t necessarily a clue!

        2. Shirley M
          November 24, 2022

          Agreed. I know a successful accounting practice that only employs part time women. The women work it between them to cover all office hours and holidays and the employer gets the benefit of full time cover and saves on NI, etc. It can work, if the employer and employer work together. I agree that all this legislation will deter many employers employers from employing women. I hope they give priority to widows and women who have had single motherhood thrust upon them. They need a well paid job as much as any man.

          Reply
          1. Peter
            November 24, 2022

            SM,

            That was the same model for FI which became Xansa and is now (French owned),Sopra Steria in the IT area

    3. Lifelogic
      November 24, 2022

      So the Government are to spend £25 million on telling people how to save energy. Simple wear thermals and more jumpers, heat only one room, switch things off, use LED lights for your often used lights at least, electric blankets, insulate people rather than houses. Lots of adds for expensive 100% efficient electric heaters ceramic and similar (but all electric heaters, old or new, are pretty much 100% efficient) so do not waste your money. It is space heating & water heating that uses most energy, bathe less perhaps. Led lighting and most other things are cheap to run. Use washing machines on colder settings.

      Some free energy advice for this deluded government and their mad energy department. Ditch net zero, stop blowing up coal fired power stations, get fracking, drilling, mining, stop the absurd burning of imported trees at Drax and use import coal instead, stop subsidies for “renewables” stop discouraging investment in fossil fuel production, stop lying on your web sites that travel by walking and cycling produce no CO2 direct or indirect it is complete B/S as is the claim that EV cars save CO2 over keeping you old ICU car!

      Reply
      1. acorn
        November 24, 2022

        08:15 and only 8 out of 20 replies are from renaissance polymath Lifelogic.

        Reply
      2. Bill B.
        November 24, 2022

        Here’s my tip, LL. – write fewer comments, save energy.

        Reply
        1. hefner
          November 30, 2022

          He cannot, he’s a case of commenting incontinence …

          Reply
      3. Berkshire Alan
        November 24, 2022

        Lifelogic
        Interesting visit this week to a large National DIY/Builders store.
        A large area of floor space devoted simply to fuel for Wood burning stoves, Kindling wood, Compressed fibre logs, real logs, etc, etc.
        Clearly the wood burning stove is going through a new revolution, as more and more people see it as an effective and alternative way to heat a room, given the rising cost of energy, especially if you live near to woodland and can get fuel for free by scavenging !
        But is this Mini Drax system way of heating of individual rooms/homes having the unintended consequence of causing more pollution than gas, especially when non seasoned damp wood is burned, and chimneys are not being swept.?
        I foresee more legislation on the way, more chimney fires, accidents with chain saws, and woodworm infestation in houses being highlighted soon.
        Then we have the unthinkable, of people perhaps even cutting down healthy trees to burn so they can keep warm.
        Human Nature at work, but Politicians do not do human nature, which is why so many policies fail..

        Reply
        1. Lifelogic
          November 25, 2022

          +1

          Reply
      4. MFD
        November 24, 2022

        Well said Sir! Please remember PPP graduates know absolutely nothing about the sciences or common sense.
        Look at people like Rishi and co, they certainly are not value for money!

        Reply
      5. No Longer Anonymous
        November 24, 2022

        Lifelogic – Doing all that already and, of course, will adapt but the feeling is one of steep decline.

        Out of control immigration (I’m not blaming immigrants) is the final straw for the Tories.

        Even some big names are going to go at the next general election.

        Reply
      6. Dave Ward
        November 24, 2022

        Some free energy advice for this deluded government and their mad energy department”

        And stop covering perfectly good farm land with useless solar panels…

        Reply
    4. Sharon
      November 24, 2022

      And anyone with respiratory health issues – the NHS will pay their heating bills to ensure they stay warm. The Telegraph, earlier in the week!

      Reply
      1. Mickey Taking
        November 24, 2022

        What about anyone taking blood thinners like us who feel the cold terribly?

        Reply
      2. No Longer Anonymous
        November 24, 2022

        Yup. That’ll be your state funded smokers then.

        Reply
    5. Hope
      November 24, 2022

      Plenty from mass immigration policy to replace those unwanted dying English folks!

      LL,
      What do you expect the socialist Tory govt to admit they killed hundreds of thousands and bankrupted the country for a hoax!
      Lords report on climate shows traitors in paid politics happy to act to detriment of nation and its people. Capital punishment ought to be brought back for traitors like them.

      Reply
      1. Shirley M
        November 24, 2022

        If only, Hope!!

        Reply
    6. Peter
      November 24, 2022

      LL,

      8 out of 20 comments today.

      Your post above is on a different topic to today’s article – as is your one above it.

      Less bingo words and phrases though. Different wordings (well done).

      Business as usual.

      Reply
    7. graham1946
      November 24, 2022

      Re first para, you can’t. However 50 per cent of the work seems to be admin just so know nothing ministers can stand up in the House of Wind and brag for a minute or two then bin anything they’ve been expensively supplied with. Keep politics out of the NHS and education. Useless politicos have for generations experimented on these with their whacky ideas and now we are where we are. Let the windbags do what they do, create wind and keep out of anything useful.

      Reply
    8. Elizabeth Spooner
      November 24, 2022

      +1

      Reply
  3. turboterrier
    November 24, 2022

    Farmers will plant and grow what gives them their best return whether it be domestic feed, animal feed, trees,wind turbines or solar panels.
    The real impact on the environment with the 1000s of turbine bases, the effect on natural water courses, the impact on wildlife, the vast areas of land required to supply a servicing infrastructure.
    Impact on rivers from chicken farm production and waste, the run off from vast areas planted for trees from leaves and pine needles.
    All the things that these eco loons never want to discuss.

    Reply
    1. Lifelogic
      November 24, 2022

      When the eco looms discuss anything like energy, climate and the environment it rapidly becomes clear that nearly all of them know almost nothing about it.

      Gove is out talking about energy efficiency and insulation and mould in houses. The main cause of mould in houses is that many people cannot afford to heat them and do not ventilate them as they want to keep the heat in dry clothes on radiator etc, and do not clean much. Making them airtight for insulation purposes makes this even worse. Blaming landlords for this is like blaming them because the the cooker and the bathroom are dirty. But then Gove is a daft, lefty, climate alarmist & English graduate and a politician who realises there are far more tenants than landlords. So blame the latter is his logic.

      Reply
    2. Hope
      November 24, 2022

      Why has govt nutters encouraged rewilding rubbish instead of food! Dairy herds were culled because of Hunts beloved EU cap. Action required now to being back food vegetables meat milk cheese and Fck the EU.
      Did govt forget flooding of farm and residential land because of level playing field environment crap. Rebecca POW obviously clueless about her own area!

      Reply
      1. Mickey Taking
        November 24, 2022

        The response to Sir John seemed comfortable that we can only home produce 61% of needed food !!
        An awful lot of people should be first ashamed and second sacked!

        Reply
  4. turboterrier
    November 24, 2022

    Many MoD training camps and bases all started of life as agricultural land.
    Those that clearly have no use for housing in the medium future be demolished and converted back to farming land be it livestock , grazing or agricultural use.
    The ownership remains with the government that if circumstances change they have full control of change of use and any profit forthcoming from sale to the private sector. That way the tenants grow what is deemed to be critical to the nations demands.

    Reply
    1. jerry
      November 24, 2022

      @turboterrier; Is Putin your mate turbo?! 😮
      If anything the UK might need reopen closed MOD based, not wipe them off the map. The UK is not short of suitable farm land, and it is often easier to use less than prime, but fertile, land for farming than it is to use it for industry or housing. For example, even flood plains can often be farmed, they can not and should not be built on.. How many hectares have been ‘lost’ to the EU and now Defra policy of set aside etc?

      Reply
  5. Mark B
    November 24, 2022

    Good morning.

    . . . a just transition to reduce emissions and reverse harmful impacts on biodiversity.

    This means getting rid of certain pesticides, herbicides and carbon levels of the soil. It will lead to reduced yields, higher costs and more imports.

    . . . £98 million worth of funding for farmers and growers to invest in farm equipment . . .

    What a paltry sum of money. Do they know how much it costs to buy, run and maintain such equipment ?

    . . . construction of on-farm reservoirs and the adoption of best practice irrigation . . .

    So they are encouraged to dig a big hole in the middle of their land, thereby reducing the amount of land for crops. Yeah, like that is going to work. And as for irrigation ?All I can say is, go and watch Harry’s Farm (YT) for one season to understand that such ideas can never work. He relies on a thing called the ‘weather’ to water his crops.

    Sir John. Seriously. If you want to understand what a farmers life is like, I suggest you watch his YouTube Channel and / or speak to real farmers and not desk jockey’s in London.

    Reply
    1. IanT
      November 24, 2022

      Well, a local garden centre has built their own small reservoir to avoid problems with hose-pipe bans but also to lower their commercial water charges. So it can make good sense for some agri businesses…

      Reply
    2. Berkshire Alan
      November 24, 2022

      Mark B

      The problem is the Desk Jockey’s set the rules, and if they are not experienced in farming life, then they do not really have a clue, especially if they are being fed duff information from interested parties/groups or lobbying organisations/manufactures/suppliers.

      Reply
      1. Mickey Taking
        November 24, 2022

        yep – the authorities seem to think farming is lovely green fields with pretty cows lazily wandering about, or ‘ll the year round’ delicate lambs bouncing around. How the bloody hard work in shit weather, all hours under lights, at close to bankrupt financing and Joe public and Governments moaning about the price of milk….beats me why they do it – but then this generation of sons ARE NOT GOING TO DO IT.
        We will buy in our food from unfriendly countries or starve. Wake up politicians.

        Reply
  6. Shirley M
    November 24, 2022

    Can we believe this answer? So much rich farm land has been taken for housing, roads, solar, wind farms, biofuels, rewilding, farmers bribed to retire, etc. Add in the massive increase in population and I find myself wondering how they managed this miraculous achievement.

    Incidentally, do we actually get to catch more fish since we left the EU or are the EU still getting the lions share? I know Boris kept giving more and more licences away.

    I need more than words to believe anything this government says. I need proof!

    Reply
    1. a-tracy
      November 24, 2022

      gov.uk The utilised agricultural area (UAA) is 8.9 million hectares in 2022 and accounts for 69% of the total area of England. The total croppable area accounts for just over half (55%) of UAA and has remained broadly stable at just under 4.9 million hectares in 2022. reported 29 Sept 2022

      Reply
      1. Shirley M
        November 24, 2022

        How can it remain stable when agricultural land is being taken out of agriculture. If true (and I have trouble believing anything this government says), are they replacing it from wild natural areas? if so, whats the point of re-wilding?

        Reply
  7. turboterrier
    November 24, 2022

    Sir John.
    I think the first thing all the cabinet and civil service heads of department should be instructed to do upon wakening is to read your diary entry for ideas and to get a feel for how the people feel and what their perception is.
    They are obviously doing something wrong when polls coming out on the Preston programme suggest the what we have got for a government is not coming the mustard. Never mind the UN,WEF, NZ and others, throw out all these non mandated Conservative decisions, actions and start listening to the people or face a complete wipeout andannihilation romance they have resigned themselves to die in the
    bunker with their leader.

    Reply
    1. Shirley M
      November 24, 2022

      Turbo. They think they are safe to do whatever they want, so long as they consider Labour to be worse they are convinced we will vote for the destructive CONS in preference to the destructive Labour. Many voters do vote to keep parties out, rather than vote for a patriotic party, thereby establishing the two party state. Two parties that are neither honest, democratic or care about the UK.

      LibDems showed themselves to be undemocratic with their determination to overturn Brexit, but at least they were honest about it, unlike Labour and the Tories. They got wiped out, which should give Labour & the CONS a clue what would happen if they try to take us back into the EU. Of course, they can continue to pretend, to lie and deceive, but people are getting wise to it. Does anyone still trust the CONS to be honest about anything?

      Reply
  8. Roy Grainger
    November 24, 2022

    You want government subsidies and intervention ? Why ? Subsidising UK food production just so it can compete with cheaper food imports (for example facilitated by the Australia FTA) is a socialist position, surprised to see you taking it.

    Reply
    1. IanT
      November 24, 2022

      I don’t want Farmers subsidised Roy, but I don’t want them buried in old EU regulations probably originally designed to support French peasant farmers either. Nor do I want them having to give up usable land for ‘re-wilding’ or any other passing eco ‘fashion’. We should obviously focus on reducing imports of food that can be produced here and have policies designed to encourage UK farming – both large and small. At one time British Farmers were the most efficient anywhere – not sure that is the case now. It’s probably a very stupid idea but why not ask the Farmers what they need? They might actually know what would work best for us (and them)

      Reply
    2. beresford
      November 24, 2022

      A country should be self-sufficient in strategic commodities and trade for diversity. ‘Cheaper from abroad’ can always be cut off due to events beyond our control or political blackmail.

      Reply
    3. jerry
      November 24, 2022

      @Roy Grainger; It’s called having food security, a lesson learnt the hard way in the 1940s, and now seemingly forgotten -by some…

      Reply
      1. Peter2
        November 24, 2022

        More machinery Jerry
        That’s what we need.

        Reply
        1. jerry
          November 25, 2022

          @P2; Assuming such machines are 1/. possible 2/. economic 3/. can be made here in the UK, without us importing ANY major components, otherwise we do not have food security, after all it wasn’t just the ships carrying food that were sunk during WW2… Only this morning the SMMT have been complaining about the non supply of microchips from China, preventing the production of more new cars in the UK. Try thinking issues through P2, not just repeating soundbites that agree with your political ideals!

          Reply
    4. X-Tory
      November 24, 2022

      It’s called food SECURITY. The first duty of any government is to ensure the security of its people. A country that cannot feed itself is a country waiting to die at the next global crisis.

      Reply
    5. Mickey Taking
      November 24, 2022

      If it has to be subsidised we had better do it – else starve when the shipping blockade starts like in WW2.

      Reply
  9. Sharon
    November 24, 2022

    Looking at the first reply.
    “Transition to Sustainable Agriculture…… for transformation in agriculture, land use and food systems. …… to ensuring sustainable food production for a growing population, whilst building resilience for farmers and a just transition to reduce emissions and reverse harmful impacts on biodiversity.”

    Exactly what does this all actually mean?? We know there is talk of eating insects, what else have they got up their collective sleeves? This reply doesn’t inspire confidence in letting farmers get on with the job they do best! Sounds like a potential poking in of government noses.

    Reply
    1. Peter Wood
      November 24, 2022

      It was a ‘aren’t we doing a good job’ reply; 61% home grown, really? Government statistics, but even 61% NO, NOT GOOD ENOUGH.
      We’re not doing enough to try to get away from dependence on the EU, and it’s not clear we ever will so long as we’re governed by ‘placemen’ of the WEF.

      Reply
    2. IanT
      November 24, 2022

      “A just transition..” – that wouldn’t cheer me if I were a Farmer

      Reply
    3. jerry
      November 24, 2022

      @Sharon; What does it mean? Its the usual b*****ks from the eco-worriers within Defra, the dept having been hijacked by Eco-activists during the fall out from the 2000/1 Foot and Mouth outbreak, hence its change of name from MAFF and the added prominence of non farming rural environment issues.

      Reply
    4. Bloke
      November 24, 2022

      Sharon:
      The ‘Growing Population’ should be intelligent farmers, not the increasingly-imported population, nor those overeating on junk food into obesity at home, nor those carelessly producing more children than they intend to support.

      Reply
    5. Donna
      November 24, 2022

      It means you’re going to be “nudged” (ie coerced) into eating less meat and dairy and more highly processed vegetarian/vegan belly-fillers and ant-burgers.

      Support your local farmers’ market now. You’re going to need it.

      Reply
    6. Fedupsoutherner
      November 24, 2022

      Well spotted Sharon. I get tge feeling this is tge way of the future. You will eat insects and be happy.

      Reply
    7. Cuibono
      November 24, 2022

      I reckon it means…
      Rewilding.
      Having herds of deer in the rewilded land ( presumably deer do not pass gaseous wind?)
      Solar farms.
      Wind farms …see the “clever” use of words!
      Probably housing “farms” too!
      And as you say bug farming …for our delectation.
      Brexit sulking lost subsidy farming.
      “Public goods” “farming” too…giving more public access to land (what a good idea!)
      I think that the govt. has been beavering away at this since Jan 2020 when there were plenty of other issues to sort out if I remember correctly.
      And EVERY problem they spout on about is down to too many people and too much building.

      Reply
      1. Mickey Taking
        November 24, 2022

        Yes lets encourage the new countryside walkers to stroll across the fields with a herd of nosey cows or angry bulls.

        Reply
    8. margaret
      November 24, 2022

      We need all together to be self-reliant and put human energy into creating the proper functioning basics of life. Too many are bothered about the icing on the cake and not the core ingredients.
      Soon we will not have any land to grow on. . Decent water supplies, fields of polytunnels or glass constructions, reusing products for fertilisation,, just think of all the leaves flying about making plentiful leaf mould. pleasant green surroundings to help more people create allotments. The list goes on . We need the help of expert gardeners and some safe genetic crops.

      Reply
    9. Stred
      November 24, 2022

      It means doing what the WEF Dutch government is trying to do to ruin their highly efficient farming, which is the second biggest food exporter to the USA.
      Use farms for building vertical cities to house the population as agenda 30. Build vertical farms producing veg and insect protein. Deny farmers fertilisers and weedkiller and clamp down on animal farming that produces methane and NO2. They are operating the Green Reset despite the Green Party getting only 5% of the vote.

      Reply
  10. BOF
    November 24, 2022

    The government prefers to spend, no waste, huge sums of tax payers money on subsidising wind and solar farms that don’t work and never will, in persuit of the mythical Net Zero. All driven by the greatest fraud ever, Climate Change/Global Warming.

    It seems that our government in line with others, such as Netherlands, New Zealand etc, are intent on introducing agricultural policies put forward by WEF and UN. We will all go hungry, own nothing and be happy.

    Until the Climate Change Act and Net Zero are binned there will be no change.

    Reply
    1. BOF
      November 24, 2022

      I should qualify. Anthropomorphic climate change is a fraud.

      Reply
  11. Javelin
    November 24, 2022

    Now the minimum wage has been raised and recipients will start paying tax it will be advantageous for workers to avoid the tax system and work in the black market – or demand an increase of their wages so they earn the same as an illegal black market worker.

    This obviously has a big effect on farmers and the country.

    Reply
    1. No Longer Anonymous
      November 24, 2022

      Javelin – or just become unemployed.

      Hunt is about to award them a 10% rise tax free !!!! Their add-on benefits are index linked too.

      Truly – the Tories have produced an economy where wages are chasing benefits and it’s no surprise boat blokes are stampeding to get here.

      Reply
  12. James
    November 24, 2022

    Should have thought about growing more food before brexit and before we we took back control – just so as to be ready – every boy scout knows this.

    Reply
  13. mickc
    November 24, 2022

    I hooe our host retains his seat at the next general election; very few Tories will.

    Reply
  14. Mickey Taking
    November 24, 2022

    Deputy PM Dominic Raab is facing fresh bullying complaints from senior civil servants across multiple government departments, BBC Newsnight has learned. A number of Mr Raab’s former private secretaries – senior officials who work most closely with ministers on a daily basis – are preparing to submit formal complaints, sources told the BBC. Mr Raab requested an investigation into his own conduct towards staff in the wake of two earlier complaints. He denies any allegations of bullying.
    Mr Raab, who is also the justice secretary, maintains he has always acted with integrity and professionalism.
    There is now a coordinated effort by former private secretaries of Mr Raab to ensure their allegations are heard as part of the investigation. Private secretaries work in the private office of government ministers on the day-to-day running of the department, including managing the minister’s diary and advising on policy matters.
    Meanwhile, Newsnight has also been told that Mr Raab used his personal email account for government business at two separate departments – once as recently as 2021.

    Reply
    1. rose
      November 24, 2022

      The only relevant point here is that Mr Raab is one of the few remaining Brexiteers in the Cabinet.

      I was glad to hear Spartan Mr Paterson is now answering back.

      Reply
      1. Mickey Taking
        November 25, 2022

        That reaction is a bit like saying ‘Hitler was good to his mother’.

        Reply
      2. hefner
        November 30, 2022

        Using the ECHR? One could not make it up.

        Reply
  15. Narrow Shoulders
    November 24, 2022

    61% of our requirement grown here suggests that we rely on 39% per cent of imports. 2/5 (nearly half) of our food comes from elsewhere. That is not food security. Which half of the population gets rationed when supplies are withheld in the next pandemic or war.

    That the figure of 61% has remained steady for the last 20 years of huge population growth suggests that we are unable to cope with the influx in terms of infrastructure are sustainability. We bring in cheap labour for business but business is not paying for the integration and support of that labour. Instead of importing cheap products we are importing cheap servers.

    Reducing immigration needs to be considered as part of food security. And to repeat – 61% production means nearly half of our needs HAVE to come from abroad.

    Reply
  16. Narrow Shoulders
    November 24, 2022

    A fund to build reservoirs on farms would seem to divert land for growing food (we can only grow 61% of our needs in this country) to land for storing water because we don’t require our Water companies to build enough capacity themselves. So tax payer money being used to reduce food growing capacity and increase privatised company profits.

    A more ambitious measure would have been to require Water Companies to build the capacity the company needs in order for them to fulfil their purpose as suppliers of water on demand or not be able to collect the full amount of water rates they charge because they have to credit their customers for non-supply.

    Reply
  17. Mark J
    November 24, 2022

    How can we grow more food when farmland is increasingly being sold off for yet more housing and solar power farms.

    If we are to become self sufficient for our food supply, we need to stop this wholesale hiving off of farmland for other purposes. Where are we expected to grow our food supply, if the farm land is no longer there to use?

    Reply
  18. Nigl
    November 24, 2022

    Mark Spencer, in my view a ‘shabby’ politician including Chief Whip, says it all.

    Voted to Remain but magically changed to Leave after the vote to further his political career. These answers indicate where his loyalty still lies.

    If he cannot see the lack of ambition in these answers he should not be doing his job. But there again, looking across government this seems to be the norm.

    Reply
  19. George Brooks.
    November 24, 2022

    Typical Civil Service reply. Verbose and high lighting taxpayer’s money being spent with no sound plan to truly ensure that we produce a lot more of our own food for fear of upsetting the green and net zero lobbies that are driving this country towards destruction and ultimate poverty.

    Reply
  20. Dave Andrews
    November 24, 2022

    Question
    To ask the Minister for Business Extinction and Import Substitution what steps he is taking to eradicate UK food production in favour of a reliance on imports.
    Answer
    The UK is already engaged in selling off rural housing to second home owners and holiday cottages, thereby restricting ownership to anyone attempting to enter the farming community, and this activity is continuing apace. Young people growing up in rural locations, who otherwise might take up a career in farming are actively being forced out of the area where they grew up to go to cities instead.
    In regard to land area for crops, these are being turned over to developers for housing estates wherever possible. It is the government’s ambition to concrete over as much of the country as we can, thereby removing farmland that requires subsidy in favour of communities paying lots of lovely tax.
    The government recognises that an independent food production capability in the UK may be seen as a Brexit win, so it is doing everything possible to make farming in the UK a failure so rejoining the EU at a future date will receive less opposition.

    Reply
    1. Bill B.
      November 24, 2022

      Ah, honesty in government at last! If only…

      You’ve summed it up perfectly there, Dave. The reference to avoiding a Brexit win is spot-on. Boy, did that referendum result hurt the elites. We won’t be allowed to forget it.

      Reply
  21. Nigl
    November 24, 2022

    And in other news Sunak has climbed down over giving Ministers power over city regulations so EU wins again over our democracy.

    The Tory party has ceased to exist. Your failures are ushering in decades of soft left politics and rejoining the EU in everything but name. Jeremy Hunt has already let that particular cat out of the bag.

    You and the ERG are being totally ignored. You might as well go down with a Big Bang instead of the current whimper.

    Reply
  22. Cuibono
    November 24, 2022

    Well all I know is that 40 years ago, round here…within a 10 mile radius you could stop and buy apples, cabbages, caulis, carrots, potatoes, honey, jam, eggs, soft fruit and fish (locally caught) and basically anything that could be grown. There was also a meat farm shop.
    All gone now!
    And who makes the changes?
    Who incentivises supermarkets?
    Who regulates small production?
    Governments of course!

    Reply
    1. Mickey Taking
      November 24, 2022

      and who can afford the prices of best quality food? Supermarkets feed the nation but will buy the cheapest not the best from anyone they can. Until it dries up!

      Reply
    2. margaret
      November 25, 2022

      Correct and I simply cannot understand why people are in denial.It may be that the younger generation are not a part of our golden age which lasted about 30 years.

      Reply
  23. jerry
    November 24, 2022

    Farmers can likely already grow all the food we need/want Sir John, and can do so cheaply, given a fair chance and support. But unless regulations & policies are changed, to allow modern techniques such as GM, or Defra stops making farmers take fertile land out of active food production, the govt allows harvesting of these crops using existing technologies (meaning access to a suitable and willing workforce, at least short-term), our farmers might as well have their hands tied behind their backs!

    The only alternative, if UK Farmers and Growers are to be protected, is the wider acceptance of higher farm-gate food prices, seasonal foods, along with increased import restrictions.

    Reply
  24. Iain Moore
    November 24, 2022

    The agenda being pursued by the state/ Government is the opposite to what they are claiming. They have royally screwed up our energy supply in the pursuit of their Green zealotry , it was the plan, and they are doing the same with our food supply. They have gone out of their way to attack critical systems we rely on, I gather it is all part of the ‘transition’ we are being put through.

    After the disaster that befell Sri Lanka, where the eco zealotry inflicted a famine on them , you might have thought the British establishment would have said .. ‘we go there at our peril’ … but no, the arrogance of the zealots is such it seems to have incentivised them to greater insanity, so our great and glorious leaders , while pursuing a grotesque over population policy (not green or sustainable) have decided to rewild whole chunks of our countryside , taking agricultural land out of food production, brilliant! But worse they are covering prime agricultural land under Solar panels, around here another 85 acres are being covered with that abomination to join the hundreds of other acres already taken out of food production.

    The British establishment are curtailing energy and food production while stuffing many millions of people into the country, I can only presume they want the crisis heading our way. I saw Rishi Sunak was glad handing Klaus Schwab at the G20, all in their matching Bali shirts, he certainly wants the crisis, can we be confident our politicians have our best interests at their hearts? I am really not very sure they do.

    Reply
  25. Bloke
    November 24, 2022

    Reducing the annually-increasing population would grow the amount of food each of us has available to consume. Building extra accommodation for too many people wastes. Even firing a single brick consumes an enormous amount of heat.

    Reply
  26. Christine
    November 24, 2022

    I’ve just read The Government Food Strategy. Which states:

    “We will publish a land use framework in 2023 to ensure we meet our net zero and biodiversity targets”

    This is what it’s all about. You will eat insects whilst we continue to eat meat because we know what’s best for you and the planet.

    I’m all for investing in innovation to improve productivity but this net zero nonsense has to stop. It’s become a religion with no scrutiny or common sense behind it.

    Reply
  27. agricola
    November 24, 2022

    One area you omit is quality. Too much emphasis from the retailers of food is on price and their conveniece ie. uniformity of size for packaging purposes. Add to which distance of travel ( Asparagus from Chile) results in a short shelf and fridge life leading to waste. I would prefer to revert to seasonal eating of high quality based on flavour and local production. Our garden centre leads the way with a car park fruit and veg shop sourcing locally. At the moment prices are a bit higher than Tesco but so is the quality and durability. I admit I have been spoilt by 30 years experience of living in Spain where the people know what seasonality and good food is so their retailers supply it at much less than it costs in the UK. Here in the UK the jubilados might know what a Victoria Plumb tastes like from memory , but the vast majority havn’t a clue so the supedmarkets sell them cheap crap.

    Reply
  28. glen cullen
    November 24, 2022

    Two points (1) ‘wilding’ is a EU & UN initiative, once again we see our government following the rules and instructions of eternal bodies, and (2) conservative government encourages the importing of food; because it reduces our carbon footprint and helps achieve net-zero

    Reply
  29. a-tracy
    November 24, 2022

    “We produce 61% of all the food we need, 74% of food which we can grow or rear in the UK for all or part of the year.”

    39% of the food we need but don’t produce ourselves, what % of that could we produce ourselves at similar prices once transport is taken into account and wage tax retention, corp tax, and business rates?

    What are the most significant items we import that we could produce? How big is the dried pasta market? That is bulky and heavy and would have high transport costs. When the reply said, we ‘need’ are these essential products or nice to have products like champagne, olives, and avocados?

    https://www.statista.com/statistics/1125089/leading-food-and-drinks-imports-into-the-uk-from-eu/
    Top 3 import markets: Fruit & Veg is this because we don’t have the climate for it, though? Drinks, do we still import water in bottles? Meat, what type of meat? Why do we import so much meat and cheese from Southern Ireland? Is there some sort of reciprocal deal that they take a similar import of food from us?

    Reply
    1. No Longer Anonymous
      November 24, 2022

      Water in bottles – shipping it. Insanity !!!

      Reply
    2. Mickey Taking
      November 24, 2022

      Irish Republic (EU) is green (it is wet) little industrial – so still farming is King!

      Reply
      1. a-tracy
        November 25, 2022

        So they get to keep their green land, and we get housing!

        Reply
        1. Mickey Taking
          November 25, 2022

          the housing destined for immigrants.

          Reply
  30. Clough
    November 24, 2022

    Sir John – The first answer is an obfuscatory farrago of WEF buzzwords such as ‘transformation’, ‘transition’, ‘resilience,’ ‘sustainability’ and all the usual clap-trap. Your point was to know what is being done to increase food production, so as to rely less on imports. Evidently the answer is, nothing. Otherwise the minister would surely have been able to say, in plain English, what was being done.

    Reply
  31. glen cullen
    November 24, 2022

    The whole government should resign –
    This morning the ONS has published estimates of immigration to the UK, with net migration rising to 504,000. The figure for total immigration was a staggering 1.1 million, up 435,000 from last year

    Reply
    1. No Longer Anonymous
      November 24, 2022

      +1

      At least a general election.

      Reply
  32. Donna
    November 24, 2022

    We certainly need to grow a LOT more food. And we need more water. And houses. And doctors/nurses. And school places/teachers. And roads. Everything really …. except more politicians.

    504,000 net migration to the UK in the year up to June 2022. The largest ever.

    Let’s remind ourselves what the last CON Party Manifesto (the one Sunak claims to be delivering) said:

    “There will be fewer low-skilled migrants and OVERALL NUMBERS WILL COME DOWN.”

    Oh – and this is a good one “We will not let serious criminals into the country.” I guess the Albanian Mafia being ferried in and currently being accommodated at our expense in luxury hotels aren’t considered to be SERIOUS criminals.

    Reply
    1. No Longer Anonymous
      November 24, 2022

      Fewer politicians, actually. We need far fewer.

      Their salaries, pensions and perks are way beyond their usefulness and theirs should be scrutinised before all others’.

      They have to be the least productive* and most pointless workers in the country and have no right to comment on other workers.

      Parliament is obsolete – an 80 seat majority doesn’t just fail to deliver what it was elected to do but delivers the EXACT opposite of what it was elected to do and proves to be an existential threat to our nation far worse than anything the miners were in the ’80s.

      The hardships that cause revolutions are materialising.

      * I don’t doubt many work hard but they produce so very little.

      Reply
  33. Berkshire Alan.
    November 24, 2022

    I see from Guido’s website that NET IMMIGRATION was officially reported as being 504,000 last year (when I assume we had Covid controls in operation)

    It would seem we will need rather more food than we were producing a couple of decades ago to keep the population fed from our own efforts.

    Immigration clearly out of control, as are the Governments policies !
    Aware you are trying your best John, but this government is letting all of us, and you, down !.

    Reply
  34. forthurst
    November 24, 2022

    What proportion of the cereals we use are grown here? What proportion of the dairy and livestock
    produce? Sustainable aubergines are a nice to have for some, but our daily bread is needed whatever the circumstances.

    Reply
  35. Cuibono
    November 24, 2022

    Years ago an anarchist ( middle class) said to me “We will shake you out of your warm middle class security”.
    And that is exactly what our weak kneed politicians have allowed/encouraged the left to do.
    We are now a socialist country giving all we and our ancestors worked for to others.
    GIVING IT ALL AWAY!

    Reply
  36. William Long
    November 24, 2022

    It never ceases to amaze me how a supposedly educated person can produce such meaningless woffle as these, and most of the other replies you post, manage to do.
    Both replies refer you to the Government Food Strategy document, but ignore the fact that if this provided the information you needed, you would not have had to ask the question

    Reply
  37. ChrisS
    November 24, 2022

    I see that the pound has surged back above $1.20 and as a result, the UK stock market has taken back its place as the biggest in Europe which it temproarily lost to Paris. ( Details from the daily Telegraph ). It has risen by 0.7% against the Euro as well.

    Naturally this good news is not beng reported by the BBC…………….

    Reply
  38. Shirley M
    November 24, 2022

    500 rape alarms given to female asylum seekers at ‘dangerous’ Home Office-run hotels.

    Is this true of the hotels housing immigrants? Why do we tolerate and spend money on thugs and rapists? This government are quite happy to put legal citizens (particularly women and especially young girls) at risk and give priority to these undesirables. What can be done? The justice system giving hand slaps to the perpetrators will only encourage them. Obviously the victims are of low importance. Our young girls are treated as ‘entertainment’ by the uninvited guests and it appears to be acceptable to this government.

    Reply
    1. Mickey Taking
      November 24, 2022

      Rapists are known to enter hotels to find the victim – NOT. I think the females are at risk from the young, fit and frustrated men living there!

      Reply
  39. forthurst
    November 24, 2022

    Agricultural land should never be used for housing. The model of two story boxes despoiling our countryside is not remotely ‘sustainable’ (trigger word like ‘diversity’) as there is a limited supply of land. Housing should follow the model used in other developed countries with apartments with studios, two, three or four bedrooms thereby providing people with easy access to transport infrastructure and the services required for modern living. Reusing brownfield sites sensibly can substantially increase the population density whilst offering people a much better quality of life.

    Reply
  40. ChrisS
    November 24, 2022

    Sky News is reporting that “an estimated 504,000 more people came to the UK than left last year, a figure greater than the population of Liverpool.”

    This figure includes 487,000 student visas. An increase of 71% !

    Now, while all these students are paying very high fees to our universities, we are having to pay to provide housing and infrastructure for them. Universities make no contributions for that cost, they just pocket the fees.
    Our small landmass cannot accept this number of net arrivals, most of which, I suspect, will not leave when they have finished their course.

    The Home Secretary was right : The government has lost control of immigration.It has to be stopped.
    Now.

    Reply
  41. outsider
    November 24, 2022

    Dear Sir John, Highly efficient Dutch farmers now appear to be persecuted and possibly dispossessed in their home country. Some of them may like to come to the East of England, as their innovating forefathers have from time to time. Would they be allowed in? Where is Peter van Leeuwen when you need him?

    Reply
    1. Christine
      November 24, 2022

      40,000 agricultural visas will be given out next year according to the new report. Where did all this year’s fruit pickers go? What are the net half a million immigrants from the last year doing?

      Reply
      1. glen cullen
        November 24, 2022

        Where did last years 300,000 foreign students, doing non-degrees, go ?

        Reply
  42. Atlas
    November 24, 2022

    From the answers, Sir John, I deduce that Wokeism (ie re-wilding etc) has fully captured the present (no mandate) Government – both Ministers and especially the Civil-servants. They seem to hate this country…

    Reply
  43. Ian B
    November 24, 2022

    From the MsM “estimated bill of £16bn to subsidise household energy bills from January to March 2023”. Just 3 months

    How much would it have cost if we had continued to use UK resources and facilities to supply out energy needs?

    This Conservative Government of 12 years following the Boris Johnson mantra better to import – it saves the planet.

    Just as Imported Food saves the Planet. Although ripping up farmland to house criminals arriving by the boatload (they are not immigrants of any complexion) while doing the same to build windmills, must also save the Planet.

    The Joined up thinking of this Conservative administration.
    The UK woes are 100% self inflicted by inept Government, they have neglected the People, they have failed to ensure a secure safe resilient country, their prime and only duty as elected representatives.

    Reply
  44. Ian B
    November 24, 2022

    Also from the MsM – Rishi Sunak climbs down again, its not possible for the Government appointed BofE or FCA to be held to account by those elected to ensure proper administration of the UK’s economy. WEF Controled?

    In the words of Jacob Rees-Mogg, the former business secretary, said: “This is a loss of democratic accountability. The power exists to override the Bank of England in extremis and it is a sensible emergency provision to deal with over mighty regulators, I am surprised the government has backed down.”

    Reply
  45. X-Tory
    November 24, 2022

    Yes, Sir John, the government’s answer “lacks the energy and determinaiton needed” – but this is completely consistent with the lack of energy and determinationation of the government’s ACTIONS! One of the great benefits of Brexit was freedom from the EU’s mentally retarded, Luddite opposition to gene editing (using the CRISPR technology). This is ESSENTIAL for us to develop new and better crops and livestock. The government claimed to be in favour but has taken years and years and the law STILL hasn’t been changed! The Genetic Technology (Precision Breeding) Bill has still not been approved – YEARS after we left the EU. This is so slow and frustrating that it drives me mad how useless, stupid and incompetent the government is. Don’t they understand the URGENCY of this?

    And it gets worse! Not only will gene edited crops still not be treated like all other crops (they will be subject to stupid and money and time wasting regulations), but the regulations will NOT be changed for livestock, so developing better breeds will STILL not be permitted! Words cannot express just how much contempt I have for this government that does not take advantage of the opportunities before it and that deliberately shackles and sabotages British science and farming.

    Reply
  46. Fedupsoutherner
    November 24, 2022

    You’re having a laugh John. Let’s grow more food? We’re going to need more with over half a million more people in the country thanks to virtually opening our borders to all and sundry. Your government is a joke. Ever since that useless PM Cameron was in you’ve been promising control of our borders. Well God help us if we ever have a war. I despair. If the government really wanted to do something they could.

    Reply
  47. Richard II
    November 24, 2022

    Sir John – thanks for supporting Theresa Villiers’ amendments yesterday on housing targets yesterday. But I see Gove has pulled the votes on these much needed amendments. So this means they can’t be approved and enacted, is that right?

    It seems to work like this: If they don’t like something an MP proposes, the government just stop the Commons from holding a vote on it. That’s a strange way to run a parliamentary democracy.

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      November 24, 2022

      Is that the same Gove who is blaming a housing association and not the parents for not washing down mould and teaching its renters about condensation and the need to ventilate? I heard a story about a renter complaining about a light blub that had had blown …what of self reliance

      Reply
  48. Lester_Cynic
    November 24, 2022

    I guess that was a truth too far, it’s an undeniable fact that it’s a biological weapon

    You should watch “the Real Anthony Fauci” it reveals the TRUTH

    Reply
  49. Lester_Cynic
    November 24, 2022

    Yup you’re back to the disappearing posts, leopards don’t change their spots, prepare for annihilation at the GE

    Reply
  50. Mark
    November 24, 2022

    Hunt tells us we must be poor and cold. Pow tells us we must be hungry.

    I just don’t understand why they think this is a good manifesto.

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      November 24, 2022

      It’s a good manifesto in preparation for the return to the EU …our saviour, our lord protector, our deliverance

      Reply
  51. Rhoddas
    November 24, 2022

    Not sure if Defra have a policy to promote low carbon farming, but if they dont, THEY SHOULD!
    We import many of our tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers etc from EU/Morocco/Egypt with their truck CO2 miles… when we could just as easily GROW THEM HERE in spades, [well greenhouses], re-using waste heat from adjacent water works or industries etc.

    Really easy – low hanging fruit.

    Reply
    1. margaret
      November 25, 2022

      Oranges are not the only fruit!

      Reply
  52. Rhoddas
    November 24, 2022

    When it comes to UK power, lets monitor carefully what’s happening to Ukraine, where their grid is effectively being totalled! Until and unless they (us) have SAM surface-to-air interceptor missiles to stop Putain’s reign of drone/missile terror, they will need to move ASAP to a distributed architecture of generators/gensets.
    Indeed their PM has already requested gensets in bulk and allies have begun supplying; and there is an Energy Fund set up.

    My take is the Uk only needs to lose one or two big power plants (accident or sabotage) and have some calm days and we’re into rolling blackouts ad infinitum over the winter….

    We too may well need a backup distributed genset based power architecture for varying degrees of critical infrastructure and also residential communities… as do Ukraine FAR MORE URGENTLY than us.

    The UK has modern genset technology and manufacturing capability. This new micro-turbine technology can use a variety of fuels including renewables, instead of old diesel gensets.

    Search micro turbine 12KVA gensets

    Reply
    1. hat man
      November 25, 2022

      We should be OK. Sunak’s agenda hopefully doesn’t include allowing this country to be used as a proxy in a superpower war.

      Reply
  53. Bob Dixon
    November 24, 2022

    A search on google revels in the U.K.we grow 100,000.00 tons of fresh tomatoes.

    Reply
    1. Mickey Taking
      November 25, 2022

      that didn’t include the many pounds grown in pots on our patio.!

      Reply

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