I respond to the Farming Today challenge

On Tuesday Morning BBC’s Farming Today asked listeners to send in ideas for future programmes. They certainly need some to vary their diet of stories on climate change, the dangers of free trade and the need to wild the countryside. We have had five years of anti Brexit and climate change dominance.

So here’s some of the missing stories and viewpoints they can catch up on

1 The dangers of free trade with the EU to our farms. Why did we lose so much market share to the EU as members of the single market and how can we correct now?
2. The way we can raise animal welfare standards now out of the EU, and how we can enforce higher standards on EU imports
3. The scope for a much bigger timber industry in the U.K. as the plans for planting so many more trees are rolled out
4. Why DEFRA has still not set out its subsidy and support packages for more food growing and farm productivity improvements.How can we expand our food production?
5.When will the U.K. ban the large industrial foreign supertrawlers overfishing our waters and damaging the marine environment?
6. Will the U.K. regulators and water industry put in more reservoir capacity so farms in future will have access to irrigation water in dry spells?
7.As there is growing demand for U.K. fruit and veg What more needs to be done to expand the U.K. industry. Can we reverse the damage done by past EU grants to grub up U.K. orchards.
8. An evaluation of training, wages and career prospects in farming to nurture more home talent and increase the number of better paid jobs.
9. An assessment of damage to dairy in the U.K. from keeping U.K. short of milk quota for many years.
10. Opportunities to reclaim land for agricultural use through better drainage, water management, and sea defences.

Yesterday I was relieved to learn from this programme’s expert witness on landslips in the Brecon Beacons indicating climate change that landslips are the “canary in the mine” and the canary is “singing loudly” at the moment. That is a relief, so no undue landslips then. The canary in the mine did not sing but passed out if dangerous carbon monoxide gas was present. How do the BBC find such well informed experts?

208 Comments

  1. peter
    June 3, 2021

    All very good points. please add the general question of why when we go on and on and on about animal welfare we permit halal slaughter??

    Reply
    1. Lifelogic
      June 3, 2021

      Well they are clearly very frightened of some religions.

      Reply
    2. graham1946
      June 3, 2021

      Religion. The get out of jail card for all manner of unacceptable things which no-one dare criticise, especially those with the most peculiar beliefs.

      Reply
      1. agricola
        June 3, 2021

        +10

        Reply
    3. Peter
      June 3, 2021

      Not written by me.

      Agree with comment about halal (and kosher) methods of slaughter though.

      Reply
    4. MFD
      June 3, 2021

      +1

      Reply
  2. Mark B
    June 3, 2021

    Good morning,

    I did chuckle at your last paragraph, Sir John. It is the same when falling walls of ice are used to illustrate Global Warming, as if this is new man made phenomenon – Deliberately deceptive.

    As for the rest, I see no reason why the government cannot legislate for much of what is written. For example. If there is indeed over-fishing then the government has the right to prevent such trawlers. The fact that it does not either suggests they are acting in accordance with the law / agreements or, our government is deliberately turning a blind eye so as not to cause a fuss. Which is is ?

    The narrative in the 21st Century is that mankind is evil and must be prevented from ‘x’ in order to save ‘y’. But we all know the real reason(s) behind it.

    😉

    Reply
    1. NickC
      June 3, 2021

      Mark B, Quite right. Except the woke cultural marxists won’t let a genuine debate happen because their MSM (BBC, Facebook, Guardian, etc, etc) claims the “science” is “settled”.

      That’s why the possibility of covid19 escaping from a Wuhan laboratory was banned as a topic – the “science” being “settled”, and anyway Orangeman bad.

      Apparently all of us “deplorables” must not be allowed to even think wrongthoughts.

      Reply
      1. jerry
        June 3, 2021

        @NickC; But most of the ‘right wing’ MSM do not allow ‘debate’ either, because one of the main problems with the green lobby is vestige interests, such as the amount of money land owners get from allowing wind and solar ‘farms’ to use their land, the amount of money land owners get from doing nothing (set-aside), the amount of money to be made from sorting waste prior to most of it ending up dumped in landfill or being incinerated anyway -worse still, exporting it for ‘recycling’.

        Land owners and farmers should get zero income for land that is not within an agricultural managed cycle, either growing rotational food crops or being rested for a year (usual put down to grass/silage).

        Not sure why CV19 is brought into a comment about climate change, nor is the debate about the origins of the virus anything like “settled”, much to the annoyance of those on the right with closed and/or preconceived ideas who dearly do wish the debate was settled, for geopolitical reasons, wanting to see blame laid firmly at the feet of the Chinese State apparatus.

        Reply
        1. NickC
          June 4, 2021

          Jerry, My comment was about neither climate change, nor covid, it was about censorship and the attempt by the cultural marxists who run the MSM and big tech to shut down debate.

          Reply
          1. jerry
            June 4, 2021

            @NickC; Apologies if my telepathic powers failed me…

          2. NickC
            June 5, 2021

            Jerry, Telepathy?? What part of “Except the woke cultural marxists won’t let a genuine debate happen . . .” did you need telepathy for?

          3. jerry
            June 5, 2021

            @NickC; Perhaps next time, when you talk about censorship you could sort of mention it, even just once in your comment, given that the comment you were replying to wasn’t obviously about censorship either! 🙄

    2. Dennis
      June 3, 2021

      Mark B – The question you posed in your post is a good one and something JR should know about or if not can find out. That he hasn’t responded in any way indicates that mostly we can never know what’s going on at any time.

      Reply
      1. Dennis
        June 3, 2021

        Also the questions JR has posed should have been posed years ago – has he just thought of them? What has he been doing in all this time?

        Reply
  3. agricola
    June 3, 2021

    You write like a contributor rather than a diarist. If you confront government with this shopping list they will consider you a one man revolution.

    All your points are valid and I am sure supported, given time I may think of a few more and I am sure your contributors have their lists.

    Having just woken up, I would add the current verinary cost scandal. Don’t forget the humans and the disappearance of the NHS dental service in all but name.

    Chatted to a lady yesterday who was born in Spain. We agreed that the current love affair the UK has with PC is a huge sick joke and a return to Spain is pure oxygen.

    A total rethink of our police force as to purpose and fitness for purpose is long overdue. Thief taking being one of their peripheral activities, providing investigation is unnecessary and they deign to turn up

    A comprehensive logistical and financial plan, coordinated with the NHS, for the care of the elderly who need it. One that does not penalise the frugal for the responsible way they have conducted their lives.

    The total rethinking and rewriting of the multi volume tax book.

    Whether the above would create an orgasm of enthusiasm in the BBC is very doubtful. I would suggest the casting of news and current affairs to the commercial world, please discuss in a series of programmes led by Nigel Farage. This might sour their cornflakes. I must now prepare for mine.

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      June 3, 2021

      All good and valid conservative points – well the conservative points I remember a decade ago….I no longer recognise this government or the part MPs as being ‘conservative’

      Reply
      1. Timaction
        June 3, 2021

        Indeed. I note the woke/PC section of the former conservatives are voting against cuts to the foreign aid budget. Will they be punished and have the whip removed. Dont think so.

        Reply
  4. Ian Wragg
    June 3, 2021

    Don’t expect any positive noises from the BBC.
    We get a daily dose of climate change and anti Australian free trade.
    Everything EU is good. RIW bad.
    Defund the BBC.

    Reply
    1. Lifelogic
      June 3, 2021

      Indeed, the BBC political agenda is absurd. The totally one sided climate lunacy we get from them daily is insane, but Boris and Carrie Johnson clearly actually want this lunacy. Can we have the real Boris back after the climate COP summit perhaps.

      Watch “The people vs climate change” on iplayer for a cynical exercise in indoctrination (while pretending to give random citizens (most with no expertise or science) a say in it – but only in how net zero it is done (not if it is needed or if it will work – it won’t) plus they even have to suffer indoctrination propaganda too. The whole industry is clearly driven by deluded politicians, vested interest and or blatant corruption.

      Reply
      1. MiC
        June 3, 2021

        You wan’t the BBC to favour pro-Tory, anti-European myths and falsehoods over the facts, which are, understandably, highly embarrassing for them.

        The BBC is actually falling over itself to do just that, under its senior Tory placemen, but even that isn’t enough for you.

        Millions see through you.

        Reply
        1. No Longer Anonymous
          June 3, 2021

          The daily BBC TV reports don’t even mention the crisis in the Channel. It lies both directly and by omission and cannot be trusted.

          Reply
          1. MiC
            June 3, 2021

            Have you ever thought, that what might be paramount to you might not be at all to the majority of people?

            Didn’t think so.

          2. No Longer Anonymous
            June 3, 2021

            MiC

            Labour got slapped into outer space again.

            That you don’t seem to have the faintest idea why shows quite clearly that it is you who is out of touch with the majority.

            The BBC is trying to hide this issue, no doubt about it.

        2. NickC
          June 4, 2021

          Martin, Boris Johnson’s Conservative party is centre-left with a heavy dose of authoritarianism (ie: social democrat) so if “Tory placemen” really are running the BBC – along with its Guardian newsmen – it confirms that the BBC is hard left.

          And since the EU is anti-European, and the BBC has been pro-EU for decades, that makes the BBC quite definitely Remain supporting, and a promoter of anti-English myths and falsehoods over the facts, which are, understandably, highly embarrassing for you.

          Reply
      2. NickC
        June 3, 2021

        Lifelogic, I think we can see, with the absurd and sinister Facebook ban, then un-ban, of the possibility of covid19 originating in a Wuhan laboratory, that the establishment cultural marxists prioritise control of the narrative, and of us, to suit their agenda.

        Likewise the BBC bans opposition to their man made global warming (CAGW) religion. Only obeisance is accepted by the BBC. So debating growing more of our own food, un-re-wilding, dredging and land recovery, re-establishing basic industries here, the enormous cost of “renewables”, are all banned.

        The common theme is that truth derives from their politics, rather than their politics being derived from the truth. It is corruption.

        Reply
        1. Lifelogic
          June 3, 2021

          +1

          Reply
    2. Jim Whitehead
      June 3, 2021

      Hear, hear! Defund the BBC.
      It is a persistently and deliberately pernicious and over powerful element in the culture and politics of our country.
      Defund the BBC!

      Reply
      1. Mike Wilson
        June 3, 2021

        I have defunded it. I no longer have a TV licence.

        Reply
      2. Lifelogic
        June 3, 2021

        +1

        Reply
  5. Dave Andrews
    June 3, 2021

    11. Where will farmers get labour from, when country property has been priced out of the labourer’s reach by wealthy people buying it up for second homes and holiday lets?
    12. When will the government fess up they have no interest in subsidising UK farming, when food can be imported so cheaply?

    Reply
    1. a-tracy
      June 3, 2021

      DA
      35,000 asylum applications in 2020. They could work for their benefits just an idea.
      447,000 18-24 year olds were unemployed in January-March 2021, they could work, people come from all over Europe to be put up near these farms, why should the rest of the economically active people in the UK turn a blind eye to youths who can’t find local jobs for themselves.

      Reply
      1. Fedupsoutherner
        June 3, 2021

        Quite right Tracy. We have 3 youngsters living opposite us and they all do nothing. They skipped school at around 13 and are still at home. The eldest is 19, then 17 and the youngest 15.

        Reply
    2. jerry
      June 3, 2021

      @Dave Andrews; Were did all those the EU migrant labour find homes? Also many properties are protected by ‘agriculture labour’ clauses in their Deeds, stopping them from being bought up as second homes (or any other non agriculture/horticultural industry use), thus their market value is often well below that of the open market. The real issue is attracting new blood into the industry, not finding housing.

      Reply
      1. Mark
        June 3, 2021

        I guess you’ve not been anywhere near a farm in a long while. Many farmers provide accommodation for their workers in park homes at their farms, particularly if they need a larger workforce for fruit and vegetables. Farms that simply grow energy crops need few workers, and only at certain times of year to till and sow the fields, spread fertiliser, etc., and for harvest, with few required for ongoing maintenance of hedgerows, tracks etc.. Not many are needed now we have machines like combine harvesters and specialised sprayers that can cover a swathe of perhaps 20 yards or more at a time. Increasingly, mechanisation is coming in to fruit picking as ingenious machines are developed.

        Reply
        1. jerry
          June 4, 2021

          @Mark; Well no, not in the last year or so, but at least I have “been anywhere near a farm” in my life, unlike you – farming, part time, pull the other one, and as for your last sentence, the usual non farming ignorance.

          Reply
          1. dixie
            June 4, 2021

            @Jerry
            apropos ignorance – “Robocrop: world’s first raspberry-picking robot set to work”, 26 May 2019, 17:15BST, Guardian, for example.
            And there are more – strawberry picking robots, kiwi fruit picking robots, apple picking robots and so on.
            Just because you may be incapable of conceiving such a thing, or may be ignorant of them, does not mean they do not exist.

          2. jerry
            June 4, 2021

            @dixie; Inventing and testing something does not pro9ve it works in the real world, many fruits are highly delicate and also needs to be inspected as it is picked. AI nor machines are nowhere close to matching the either human hand or eye. Also what are the real world costs of AI…

  6. Farmer Today
    June 3, 2021

    Dear Mr Redwood, I note that you are an ardent supporter of imports of food from Australia and America. Yet, as this post shows, you are opposed to such imports from the EU. It is clear you have an unhealthy obsession with the EU, and this causes your “analysis” of opportunities for food imports to lack any principled or coherent basis. Accordingly I cannot imagine you will be given airtime on Farming Today, which is a forum for people with a serious concern for farming rather than mere political opportunists. Thank you for your kind attention.

    Reply
    1. Richard1
      June 3, 2021

      Wouldn’t it be best to have tariff and quota free imports from and exports to all those countries (and more)?

      Reply
    2. Sakara Gold
      June 3, 2021

      Sir John does support British farming.

      However, I note that the cherry crop in the SE has been seriously damaged this year due to a tremendous plague of wood pigeons. Doubtless, this is because their numbers were not controlled last year during the lockdowns. This will mean we will have to import cherries from France.

      Reply
      1. Fred.H
        June 3, 2021

        or go without if France is on the label.

        Reply
        1. steve
          June 3, 2021

          Fred H

          +1

          That’s how I shop. If it’s of European, Irish, or Scottish origin I don’t buy it and will go without if there’s no British or Commonwealth product.

          I’m not in the habbit of buying from countries that insult mine.

          Reply
      2. MiC
        June 3, 2021

        The orchard owners probably didn’t have the staff to do the tree netting, thanks to Tory brexit.

        Reply
        1. jerry
          June 3, 2021

          @MiC; Not a problem of Brexit at all, just a willingness to do such work.

          Why is it only eastern European, or indeed North African migrants (with their EU ‘right to abode/work’ status) who seem able travel perhaps 1k+ miles across Europe to find work here in the UK, yet unemployed and under employed 18-30 years old indigenous British people can’t travel 50 miles. How many, fit, young, unattached, ex ‘hospitality’ sector workers are either being paid to sit at home or are meant to be activity seeking any suitable work (with training), even if only seasonal?

          Reply
          1. MiC
            June 3, 2021

            East European countries are not in the euro.

            Even low-paid work in Sterling used to be advantageous because of the exchange rates.

            Far less so since its crash on the Leave vote, however.

          2. jerry
            June 4, 2021

            @MiC; Wibble, wobble, wibble…
            Brexit nor the GB-EUR exchange rate has anything to do with the unwillingness of lazy British youth/young adults being unwilling to do hard physical agricultural work (or live away from easy access to pubs and clubs etc, perhaps without perfect internet access) that pays more than most Zero hours contact work paid at the NMW does, never mind JSA/UC.

          3. MiC
            June 4, 2021

            Your point is perfectly valid, but is additional to, not a refutal of, mine.

          4. jerry
            June 4, 2021

            @MiC; No, your point was totally and utterly irrelevant, as you would understand if you had any knowledge of UK farming before the 1990s, never mind 1973.

        2. steve
          June 3, 2021

          MiC

          “The orchard owners probably didn’t have the staff to do the tree netting, thanks to Tory brexit.”

          Well perhaps the orchard owners could get off their lazy arses and do it themselves ?

          Reply
      3. X-Tory
        June 3, 2021

        No idea if this is true or cobblers, but if the former then why aren’t the farmers simply shooting them? Pigeon pie, yum!

        Reply
        1. steve
          June 3, 2021

          X Tory

          “Pigeon pie, yum!”

          yes, all those tasty parasites.

          Reply
      4. Mark
        June 3, 2021

        The very late cold spring and continuing frosts have damaged a lit of crops. Weather variability that failed to match the climate change meme.

        Reply
      5. Fedupsoutherner
        June 3, 2021

        Try not eating cherries then.

        Reply
    3. a-tracy
      June 3, 2021

      Farmer Today, rather than just being negative to Mr Redwood why don’t you tell us how food can be flown halfway around the world cheaper in the same season that our livestock is born (so for example they lamb at a different time of the year than British farmers).

      Do you believe the EU lifestock and milk imports caused no problems for British farmers? Do you think the control from the EU on our food exports is fair and just given that the UK put no restrictions on the EU what do you think the government should do to level the competition field?

      Was there an EU milk quota problem that put British dairies out of business that put dairy farmers out of business or not?

      Reply
    4. jerry
      June 3, 2021

      @Farmer Today; “Farming Today, which is a forum for people with a serious concern for farming rather than mere political opportunists.”

      You obviously have not listened to the programme for about ten years, or you did not do so previously, political opportunism has been their daily agenda for some years now, the programme having been taken over to some extent by the anti farming lobby and the green wellie buyers, the sort of people who buy in the countryside and then complain that the lanes are full of tractors and the air smells of bovine by-product. Years ago I remember the programme included market produce price information.

      Reply
    5. NickC
      June 3, 2021

      Dear Farmer Today, I note that you are an ardent supporter of imports of food from the EU. Yet, as your comment shows, you are opposed to such imports from America and Australia, and this causes your “analysis” of opportunities for food imports to lack any principled or coherent basis. Accordingly I cannot imagine you will be given a free ride on JR’s Diary, which is a forum for people with a serious concern for farming (and other topics) rather than mere political opportunists. Thank you for your kind attention.

      Reply
  7. agricola
    June 3, 2021

    How about UK Food and its affect on the Health of the nation.
    Manufactured food and its destructive effect on health and life span. Not
    against manufacture ,but for the need to manufacture healthy food.
    Return to seasonal eating. Asparagus from England in May, not from the world over the year round. Anticipation, appearance, flavour being things to look forward to.
    Food clearly labelled with a national flag to determine origen, reduce food miles, and encourage home grown.
    Grants to encourage home growers to value add their product. Milk to yoghurt, cheese,and bottled Lhasi for instance.
    I forsee a whole new programme stream for Farming Today that might please farmers.

    Reply
    1. jerry
      June 3, 2021

      @agricola; Most of that all sounds more like the editorial content for the “The Food Programme”, or “You and Yours”. Farming Today needs to get back to being a programme for the industry, not the consumer!

      Reply
      1. agricola
        June 3, 2021

        Wrong Jerry, with respect the customer’s needs should control the industry. An industry that responds to the customer does more and better business than one that doesn’t. Henry Ford revolutionised an industry but got it wrong when he said you can have any colour providing it is black.
        The way I sound is probably influenced by being an enthusiastic cook. I like food and cooking and have a fair idea of what is good and bad in basic content. I make careful choices when I shop, but ultimately I would like the UK shopper to have good choices of real food and see obesity fade away, taking heart disease and many other problems with it.

        Reply
        1. jerry
          June 4, 2021

          @agricola; But the programme was never actually intended for the consumer, whilst many more suitable programmes exist for the consumer as I suggested, and if sufficiently interested in farming matters the consumer can still learn much from a programme aimed at the ‘trade’, in the same way as many non farmers buy the Farming Weekly magazine for example, why farming industry videos on YouTube get non farming viewers/comments of appreciation.

          The fact remains, Farming Today has clearly been taken over by the usual BBC Bristol eco-warrior types and others whose credentials appear suspect (such as ex Radio 1 DJ’s….), wasn’t Farming Today originally made at the BBC’s Birmingham studios?

          Reply
      2. a-tracy
        June 3, 2021

        It wouldn’t be a very big audience Jerry if they did that, “Data on the total number of employed and self-employed farmers in the United Kingdom (UK) from 2011 to 2020 shows that there were 109 thousand farmers in some form of employment in the United Kingdom, which was significantly lower than the amount in the previous year. 4 Nov 2020” source Statista. By appealing to a wider audience their figures are 1 million: “broadcast each weekday morning (having been recorded the day before) from 5.45 to 5.58, and a longer programme (Farming Today This Week) is broadcast on Saturdays between 6.30 and 6.55. Around one million people listen to the programme.” Wiki

        Reply
        1. jerry
          June 4, 2021

          @a-tracy; But it would still have the audience that matters! Why does everything have to be a ruddy ratings battle…

          So why doesn’t Farming Today have articles on how to knit, another 3m listeners, have articles on how to babysit toddlers, another 10m listeners (probably on catch-up), both would be just as ‘relevant’ to the consumer. Yours is the logic that would see fashion included in a motoring programme…

          Reply
          1. a-tracy
            June 4, 2021

            No that is not my logic. My logic is to provide farming news that is current and relevant, helps farmers to be more productive, efficient and profitable by sharing good news and relevant technological advances, mechanical hire/share information to cut down on lost crops through reduced labour resources if smaller farmers can’t sort this out for themselves, suggested add on services like pods to hire etc. but allows all listeners an opportunity to learn and grow their farming knowledge, make things more open not contracted. Farmers have a national farming union, specific small range topics could be put out by that organisation on podcasts and blogs as part of their service offering for their fees.

          2. jerry
            June 4, 2021

            @a-tracy; Apologies, so you mean like all the issues and subjects the Farming Today programme USED to cover before it got hijacked by the eco-worriers. When you implied the audience numbers could be improved, rather than growing the non farming audience, instead you meant the programme should regain their past but now lost audience, those who want more advice about how to deal with Yellow Rust or what ever in their crop, and less on how and why farmers should plant weeds …sorry, ‘wild flowers’ in the hedgerows and verges for example?

  8. Shirley M
    June 3, 2021

    Leaving the EU gives us a great opportunity to expand UK food production, and also maintain UK high standards. We can now ban EU goods that fall below UK standards, which we couldn’t while in the EU. UK produced food not only saves food miles, but it also provides UK jobs and UK taxes. I do worry where this additional food will be produced, as I see acres of good arable land being replaced by housing in our area and I am sure it is repeated all over the UK.

    Has the government studied the effect in New Zealand of stopping all farming subsidies? Did this lead to lower standards or higher prices?

    Reply
    1. MiC
      June 3, 2021

      You wouldn’t be banning much, I don’t think.

      In any case, John wants to import it from 10,000 miles away, from Australia.

      Reply
      1. NickC
        June 3, 2021

        Well, Martin, I can agree with you for once – that you “don’t think”. Or at least you don’t tell the truth – JR has specifically and often stated that the UK should grow more of our own food. That means cutting imports – whether from Australia, or the EU, or anywhere else.

        Reply
      2. Mark
        June 3, 2021

        The Southern hemisphere offers a seasonal complement to our Northern cycle of seasons. And vice versa. A good motivation for trade.

        Reply
      3. agricola
        June 3, 2021

        No Mic, I think John wishes to trade with Australia, selling to them what they want and buying what we want. A side of beef that has been in a chilled container ship for a month is likely to be in good condition for cooking and eating. More so than home grown which the supermarkets have abused by speeding it to sale. Not the fault of our farmers. Some UK supermarket advertise beef that has been hung for 28 days, implying that they are doing the customer a great service. They are not, all beef should be hung for at least 28 days.
        Australia apart there are numerous developing nation around the World that we can now trade with, much for a benefit they did not have when we were in the EU. Trade is better than aid, it brings dignity to the relationship. Think about from the viewpoint of a mango grower in the tropics.

        Reply
      4. steve
        June 3, 2021

        MiC

        “In any case, John wants to import it from 10,000 miles away, from Australia.”

        What’s wrong with that ? We used to import from Oz & NZ before joining the EEC. The distance has’nt changed.

        Personally I’d rather eat British seasonal food and Oz / NZ food than eat anything European, or Irish.

        Reply
    2. jerry
      June 3, 2021

      @Shirley M; The UK have not been self sufficient in food for well over 100 years, hence the rationing during WW2, there was no shortage of farm labour, and more land was put under the plough (never mind gardens and roadside verges etc), farm labouring was a reserved occupation and the the Land Arm was formed to boost the labour force still further. The UK has been importing foods since the early days of Empire.

      Reply
      1. agricola
        June 3, 2021

        All true Jerry, but modern farming and growing techniques along with a touch of climate change allow us to be more productive. Okay , we cannot grow oranges, but we can buy from where we wish now we are shut of the EU, however not shut of Europe I would hasten to add.
        1940 was 1940, now is now, a whole different ball game for farmers and consumers. Apart from the bombs and smoking we were a lot healthier as a nation than we are now, life was the gymnasium. We are unhealthy by choice now. If we could combine the forced restraint of the 40s with the choice we have today, we could be a much healthier nation.

        Reply
    3. Fedupsoutherner
      June 3, 2021

      Agree Shirley. House building is not only affecting food production. I was in the hairdressers today abd overheard two mums saying that due to all the extra homes being built in the village there are no places in the local schools left and children are now being sent to schools miles away. It’s ok making village populations larger but there is no infrastructure in place.

      Reply
  9. turboterrier
    June 3, 2021

    Reclaiming land?

    Too replace all the thousands of hectares Taken up with wind farms, solar panel, bio mass and ion digesters all earning mega money for the farmers and land owners through subsidies.
    Regarding fishing licences somebody in the department is signing the off at very fast rate. Are they not experienced or street wise enough to slow the whole process over 18-24 months?

    Reply
    1. Lifelogic
      June 3, 2021

      Your 10. Opportunities to reclaim land for agricultural use through better drainage, water management, and sea defences.

      Sure but the gov agenda in many places has been to deliberately to flood much UK land by removing drainage systems and sea defences.

      Reply
  10. Denis Cooper
    June 3, 2021

    Off topic, a threat from Leo Varadkar, with or without authorisation and direction from Brussels:

    https://www.irishtimes.com/news/politics/northern-ireland-faces-turbulent-few-months-over-brexit-says-varadkar-1.4582025

    “He warned that a breakdown in agreement on the protocol could also result in a breakdown in the wider free trade agreement between the EU and the UK. “That would leave Britain in a very difficult position,” he said.”

    Reply
    1. None of the above
      June 3, 2021

      Was he misquoted? Surely he would have said “Ireland” not “Britain”?

      Reply
    2. Blandell
      June 3, 2021

      Not a threat from Varadkar but a statement of fact – and as the leader of a political party in the ROI he is quite entitled to set out his views about a serious developing situation on the island of Ireland. This with the possible breakdown of the agreement on the Protocol am also quite sure will leave Britain in a difficult position regarding future talks with the EU on Banking Financials Insurance and other things etc that are going to matter much more to us as the fog of the pandemic lifts. Of course others will say that we already have this great trade deal with Oz about importing beef and sheep products from 10,000 miles away so what will it matter?

      Reply
      1. Denis Cooper
        June 3, 2021

        From what he said he’s not talking about any hypothetical future deals on anything, he’s talking about the existing low value trade deal already negotiated by Boris Johnson.

        The one that he told the nation was worth 30% of our GDP, something like a fortyfold exaggeration:

        https://johnredwoodsdiary.com/2021/04/14/my-contribution-to-the-finance-no-2-bill-debate-13-april-2021/#comment-1222413

        “According to others it might be worth £3 billion a year, about 0.15% of GDP, to the UK, while according to the EU it might be 0.75% of GDP, and according to George Osborne five years ago it could be 1.3% of GDP.

        Liz Truss has refused to publish any economic assessment of this fantastic trade deal which is so valuable that it is worth risking the integrity of the UK and triggering riots in Northern Ireland.”

        Reply
    3. Know-Dice
      June 3, 2021

      Should we fix that for him?

      “That would leave the ROI in a very difficult position,”

      Reply
    4. NickC
      June 3, 2021

      Denis, Indeed. But the UK is already in a “difficult position” by having part our territory administered by a foreign, and hostile, power. So much so that a WTO outcome is preferable. Then Eire and the EU can police their own imports, instead of berating the UK because we are supposedly not doing the job well enough.

      Reply
  11. GilesB
    June 3, 2021

    13. Maintain peat bogs (that lock in billions of tonnes of carbon) rather than destroy the drainage canals on which they depend
    14. Stop sinking Olympic-sized blocks of concrete, at vast environmental impact, into peat bogs, as the foundation for each wind turbine

    Reply
    1. Fedupsoutherner
      June 3, 2021

      I’ve been highlighting this problem Giles for years but nothing has changed.

      Reply
  12. Fred.H
    June 3, 2021

    A very important and timely list of activities that ought to receive MP’s attention – but will it?

    Reply
  13. Lifelogic
    June 3, 2021

    Agriculture in the UK generally requires cheap reliable energy to be competitive & not expensive and impractical electricity, electric tractors and other stupidities. Farming, transport, processing crops, fertiliser, heated green houses (often with extra CO2 in then to increase growth rates) are energy intensive.

    The best things this government could do to help farming and indeed other most businesses is to abandon the insane net zero CO2 plant, tree and crop food agenda. It cannot do anything but export CO2 production (& food production). The bonkers war n CO2 will be hugely unpopular politically when people see how impractical and vastly expensive this agenda is. Anyway the “solutions” do not even work and without cooperation from China, India, Africa … we cannot even reduce world CO2 not that that is actually needed anyway.

    More money in fusion and nuclear research, get fracking energy costs in the US about half those of the UKs!

    Also cut red tape masively, cut the size of government, cut taxes, relax planning rules, cancel HS2, go for easy hire and fire laws …

    Reply
    1. Lifelogic
      June 3, 2021

      So if you bought an electric car rather than a diesel one three years ago a study suggest you might be £100 better off. The government however will be about £6,000 worse of in gov. subsidies and loss of fuel duty, road tax, congestion charges …

      Of course had you just kept your old car you might be about about £20,000 better off in saved interest (or alternative investment return), the home charger unit and large depreciation, the government far better off too and you would have saved CO2 as no new car and battery has to be manufactured. So why exactly are the government and Grant Shapps pushing “emissions elsewhere” electric cars? Can anyone explain the logic to me?

      Reply
      1. Fred.H
        June 3, 2021

        explain the logic – – well they can’t.

        Reply
        1. steve
          June 3, 2021

          Fred H

          “explain the logic – – well they can’t.”

          Actually they can, but choose not to.

          So allow me – they’re pushing the crap because big business and the global stitch – up industry tells them to. Of course they comply.

          Use your vote at the next election to get them out, vote anything but above all get these wet wimps out.

          Reply
      2. Alan Jutson
        June 3, 2021

        +1

        They are deaf to any protests and logic, they are blind and blinkered to anything other than a product with a so called green label attached by some sort of climate change zealot.

        History will perhaps judge them in 20 years time, when they will admit the planet is still warming.

        Perhaps they may then look back and say, the information at the time was not accurate, “lessons will be learn’t.”

        Interesting article in the Sunday papers about Solar Panels, their use and efficiency in the UK, their expected efficient life cycle, the cost of decommissioning, with the suggestion that 20% of our farm land will eventually be covered in them if all planned future projects were taken up and built.

        Utter madness, can only hope someone will wake up and realise what is really going on.!

        Reply
      3. David L
        June 4, 2021

        But so many local authorities are against facilitating cars of any description in urban areas there is little point in most people buying them anyway.

        Reply
    2. Mark
      June 3, 2021

      IIRC, next year the government are withdrawing red diesel, leading to a big increase (46.81ppl or more) in the cost of operating farm machinery. Prices will go up in consequence.

      Reply
    3. agricola
      June 3, 2021

      LL, the whole economy and domestic consumer need low cost energy. My approach elsewhere to the PD in Scotland indicates how we might achieve it.

      Reply
      1. agricola
        June 3, 2021

        Our host likes the SNP better than the PD it seems.

        Reply
        1. steve
          June 3, 2021

          agricola

          Boris Johnson likes the SNP (or is posibly scared of her)

          Reply
    4. DavidJ
      June 3, 2021

      +10

      Reply
  14. MiC
    June 3, 2021

    It was the introduction of the profit motive to water which caused the filling in of reservoirs by the Tory-enabled privateers.

    It’s much more lucrative to sell off the land for housing than to maintain spare capacity, which also would have protected those downstream Pennine towns from flooding in recent times.

    As one of the most vehement proponents of privatisation John’s exhortations are a bit rich, I think.

    Reply Nonsernse. We had m,ore drought issues under nationaoisaiton. The private sector is stopped from building more reservoirs by Regulatory controls on permitted investment

    Reply
    1. MiC
      June 3, 2021

      Yes, we just happened to have the spring and summer of 1976 which broke historic records for dryness, but that was about it.

      We didn’t have the flooding though, did we?

      Reply
    2. MiC
      June 3, 2021

      …and I wasn’t writing about building more reservoirs, but about the filling in of existing ones.

      Reply
    3. Lifelogic
      June 3, 2021

      “It was the introduction of the profit motive to water which caused the filling in of reservoirs by the Tory-enabled privateers.”

      Rubbish – it was largely the green religion and the idea (also from the EU) that water needed to be rationed and people told not to irrigate or water their gardens. In the UK we have plenty of water we just need the investment to capture, clean and distribute it. With suitable charging for a sensible return on these investments. We should logically charge a bit more for summer water so that water companies have an incentive to ensure they have sufficient summer capacity. A lot of water can be usefully be saved with grey water systems reusing water and roof capture for loo flushing and garden watering. But the cost can sometimes be prohibitive as water is still fairly cheap.

      Reply
    4. Peter
      June 3, 2021

      MiC,

      The ‘introduction of the profit motive’ plays to the idea of less government and ‘freedom’.

      However, without proper scrutiny and sanctions when things go wrong, it allows private monopolies to take liberties.

      We know how bad the regulators are. They may even have been deliberately set up to have no teeth just provide a fig leaf of respectability.

      Laziness and lack of attention means politicians will get found out. Unfortunately they seem to pay more attention to brushing up on excuses. Lessons will be learnt, of course.

      Reply
      1. steve
        June 3, 2021

        Peter

        “…without proper scrutiny and sanctions when things go wrong, it allows private monopolies to take liberties.”

        “We know how bad the regulators are. They may even have been deliberately set up to have no teeth just provide a fig leaf of respectability.”

        Nail firmly on the head Peter, +100

        Reply
    5. Richard1
      June 3, 2021

      an extraordinarily ignorant post.

      Reply
  15. Richard1
    June 3, 2021

    We should move the subsidy system to farming to have a clear linkage to and condition of maintaining the landscape in beautiful condition, ensuring footpaths are open and well marked, animals are properly fenced in etc. Switzerland runs such a system to excellent effect.

    On production do as NZ did – remove all tariffs and quotas, open the Country up to the best produce available at world market prices, and see our own agricultural sector encouraged to become more productive and competitive.

    Reply
    1. a-tracy
      June 3, 2021

      Richard1, I thought farmers were paid to cut the hedges a couple of times per year and look after the verges, drainage channels?

      Reply
      1. Richard1
        June 3, 2021

        they are specifically paid for that as a service. But the subsidies need to be linked clearly the public good of maintaining open access to beautiful countryside. those who leave piles of rubbish around, don’t maintain verge, footpaths etc do not justify payments from taxpayers. better they sell the land to someone who will look after it.

        Reply
    2. Peter
      June 3, 2021

      Richard,

      Yes, I agree about maintaining the landscape and the traditional nature of the countryside.

      One difficulty is so many Brits have no connection to farming whatsoever; and they have not had for generations. So there is a tendency to look at farming with a cold economic mindset.

      This contrasts with France where more still have rural connections and the government made it its business to protect the small farmer. The Common Agricultural Policy is a prime example.

      The move from farming to urban occupations is ongoing, but I am glad to have spent many Summers on family farms as a child.

      Reply
  16. The Prangwizard
    June 3, 2021

    Why Sir John do you support your government’s policy and practise of planting trees on good farmland and so frequently on good soil preventing its most productive use? Yet now you advocate wasting money trying to bring poor land into food use. Obsessed as you are with trees ( nice bit of virtue signalling ) might I suggest you advocate trees on the poorer land and food from good land? Do you not think that makes more sense?

    Maybe someone ought to tell you you that you can grow and harvest trees on stoney hilly land and on shallow soils but you can’t grow much food on it.

    Reply IT is n ot my intention to grow trees on good farmland where we can produce food

    Reply
    1. agricola
      June 3, 2021

      Who is going to tell the (SNP ed) that she presides over vast tracts of tree growing land north of the central belt. She also has glens ripe for daming and hydro electric power production. Could sort out the unemployment in Scotland too. Perhaps the Mogg could do it with the aid of translaters.

      Reply
      1. agricola
        June 3, 2021

        PS.
        Scottish hydro electricity could supply most of the North of England without much power loss, then what is produced in the NOE can boost the requirement in the rest of England and Wales. No need for French /Chinese nuclear or power interconnectors from France. Dams are cheaper short term and long term than nuclear and there is no radioactve waste to worry about. Tell the PD when she comes south with her list of demands . What is the next problem.

        Reply
  17. Sakara Gold
    June 3, 2021

    Clearly, as we approach the news “silly season” the BBC is strapped for intelligent experts in the landslip field. But it is good that in spite of your doubts about the impartiality of the beeb, you continue to listen to our national broadcaster.

    Did you see the really outstanding – but frightening – Panorama on Monday, looking into how China is abusing recent developments in Artificial Intelligence? It is available on iPlayer.

    Reply
    1. Lifelogic
      June 3, 2021

      I still listen to bits of the BBC sometimes just to check how daft it is. Question Time and Any Questions are now so bland and tedious with diversity targets for everything other than diversity of political opinion. The BBC’s entirely one sided climate alarmist agenda is patently idiotic.

      Woman’s Hour is always good for a laugh. They still absurdly seem to think there is a gender pay gap caused by “discrimination”. When in fact it is clearly work life balance choices men and women choose to make and the areas of work and study they elect to do. No one is even allowed to discuss this. Take a look at A level choices by gender for example. Huge gender variations by subject from up to 4 to 1 male in Physics, Computer Studies, Further Maths to the reverse in Performing Arts, Modern Languages…

      Even within professions like Law and Medicine they tend to choose different areas of these professions statistically.

      Reply
  18. jerry
    June 3, 2021

    The BBC’s Farming Today programme tends to reflect what DEFRA place importance on, if Farming Today is going to change then DEFRA needs to change – there needs to be a return to MAFF with ‘Environment’ a subordinate, in the same was as work done by DfID has not vanished but now has to play along with what ever tune is coming from the FCO.

    Bullet points 1. & especially 2. Sounds more like a wish to have UK protectionist policies to me, given that the EU used such standards to refuse much non EU produce, our host appears to want to restrict such trade even further – wasn’t one of the Brexit promises cheaper food once outside of the CAP etc?…

    Points 7, 8 & 9. Indeed.

    Points 6. & 10. are surely somewhat contradictory, or is our host seriously suggesting artificial underground water storage?

    Reply
  19. David Brown
    June 3, 2021

    I agree with numbers 8 and 9
    I’m pleased to see theses 2 points
    I totally disagree with world trade it impacts on climate change we need to focus entirely on trade with Europe.
    Thank God we can soon be flying to the Eu for holidays and spending our money – well it’s free trade via Ryan Air
    Education and training is critical in many industries inc Agriculture and Horticulture- please don’t forget Horticulture as part of the Agricultural debate.
    Today I see the respected Education Adviser has resigned. I hope the Gov can find additional resources for catch up education one example for extra money is introducing VAT charges on private education. Also the proposed Boris Boat looks a bit too expensive, suggest buying a redundant trawler ok ok well the sun is shining so my humour level is raised

    Reply Why not holiday in the UK if you are really worried about air travel and the environment

    Reply
    1. jerry
      June 3, 2021

      @David Brown; “I totally disagree with world trade it impacts on climate change we need to focus entirely on trade with Europe. Thank God we can soon be flying to the Eu for holidays and spending our money”

      Duh?! Oh dear, you didn’t thank that anti Brexit rant out did you…
      So why is it OK in your book to fly to and from the EU on a personal jolly but not fly food as air freight from say the Americas to the UK, when the latter actually -according to climate change scientists- causes far less problems for the climate than short haul European travel, hence why the EU have been pushing for a pan-European high speed electrified rail network (which HS2 was/is a part of).

      Reply
      1. David Brown
        June 3, 2021

        Jerry, Good point about Euro rail network I’m happy to use that so long as I end up in the sun, sea sand 24 hour night clubs and booze.

        Reply
        1. jerry
          June 4, 2021

          @David Brown; But were is the electricity for that European rail journey coming from, dirty German Coal fired power stations perhaps…

          If you care so much for the climate you need to think local for your jollies too, just as you suggest we all do with regards food, take your holidays in the UK, preferably no further from home than you can walk with a fully loaded rucksack. Or are you just a fair-weather sailor so to speak?

          Reply
        2. Fred.H
          June 4, 2021

          why am I not surprised?

          Reply
    2. David Brown
      June 3, 2021

      A 2 hour flight to Spain is better than a long haul flight and less damaging.
      The med countries have sun and cheap holidays.
      The UK climate is too wet too unpredictable and sea side places are chronically run down with the possible exception of Brighton, Bournemouth is too boring.
      My list of reasons for a EU holiday is endless like 28million Brits.
      Although I guess there is Gibraltar !!!

      Reply
      1. agricola
        June 4, 2021

        David.
        The only thing I can remember of Brighton was an excellent oyster bar, so I would give it 10 out of 10.
        Bournemouth likes boring, turning it into a Benidorm would not be what the citizens want. There are aspects of Benidorm that are attractive but on balance I prefer to see it 12miles distant from my dining room windows.
        Gibraltar I feel neutral about,after two or three visits some years ago. A bit like Douglas IOM, but with sunshine. A living time capsule. Each to their own.
        Agree about EU holidays, though I prefer to think of it as lots of delightful European countries all with their individual attractions. You pay your money and go for what pleases you, usually at considerably less cost than in the UK.

        Reply
  20. Iain Gill
    June 3, 2021

    rural broadband, and how to set up your own optical fibre cable through your fields (especially if you and your neighbours group together) to the nearest fast access point to help your local community in the absence of good service from the Telco’s.

    or

    why the inner city British working class find it hard to take seasonal work on farms away from home, the way the benefits system acts against it, the way social tenancy agreements make it very hard to work away from home leaving your property empty for a while, the way they have to pay for accommodation out of taxed money, etc

    Reply
    1. Everhopeful
      June 3, 2021

      +1
      The way your second topic was purposely set up by governments/farmer lobbyists to usher in cheap foreign labour and to do away with tied property, to house permanent workers.
      Tied property was only another fudge to help farmers since it circumvented planning and then it was a nice little earner.
      I believe also that retirement pensions were at first brought in to help farmers get rid of old workers…rather than house and keep them.

      Reply
  21. Bryan Harris
    June 3, 2021

    Superb — It’s diary entries like this that really make me think you are on our side.

    To broaden this further, we should be asking the BBC when they will be doing programmes that help the average person on a day to day basis, without the dogma.

    Reply
    1. X-Tory
      June 3, 2021

      Of course Sir John is ‘on our side’.

      But the Conservative government is NOT. After all, they never implement any of his suggestions and keep him out of the cabinet. That’s why they are not worth voting for.

      Reply
    2. steve
      June 3, 2021

      “Superb — It’s diary entries like this that really make me think you are on our side.”

      If you have to be ‘made’ to think…..well says it all really.

      Reply
      1. Bryan Harris
        June 4, 2021

        A deliberate misinterpretation?

        Reply
  22. Everhopeful
    June 3, 2021

    Landslide is more likely down to glacial valleys dating back to the last Ice Age or more recent quarrying.
    So…OK coming out of an Ice Age was WARMER but scarcely a problem and it was quite a while ago.
    (Wonder how many landslides quarrying for HS2’s tonnes of rock will cause?).
    The BBC obviously believes that the poor canaries sang out a warning rather than just expiring.
    And the government is happy to have these idiots in charge of national broadcasting?
    Apart from which they are changing our history with their dramas!
    Everyone OK with that too?

    Reply
  23. ChrisS
    June 3, 2021

    Listening to the furore on the BBC this morning over the government’s “meanness” over not just agreeing to providing education with a measly £15bn of extra funding makes my blood boil.

    Most of the money would be spent on paying for extra tuition hours yet what has happened throughout the lockdown ? As far as I know, not a single teacher in the public sector has been furloughed, all have received full pay while many have been sitting at home or, at most, working very short hours.

    It’s time they put something back after the long period of relative inactivity. If that means an extra half an hour a day, so what ? When I was at Maidenhead Grammar School in the 1960s we arrived at 08:50 and the earliest we finished the school day was 16:00. Today, many of our local schools in Dorset finish their day at 14:30.

    Reply
    1. Andy
      June 3, 2021

      Teachers have never worked harder – having to adapt their lessons to online only, then hybrid lessons and more.

      The people who have had an easy pandemic are pensioners. Your pensions has not been reduced to 80% of its value – unlike the salaries of people orders not to work.

      £15bn on helping our kids catch up on what they have missed is nothing compared with the annual pensions bill of £100bn – literally paid to old people to do nothing. I can cover the £15bn – and more – simply by cutting your handouts. Easy.

      Reply
      1. Fred.H
        June 3, 2021

        and you Andy – have you worked harder?

        Reply
      2. Fedupsoutherner
        June 3, 2021

        Yawn. Repeat after repeat. I would be so bored in the same room as you.

        Reply
      3. NickC
        June 4, 2021

        Andy, We as a society subsidise youngsters for longer than we subsidise pensioners (18 years against 15 years). Yet you call for even more subsidies for your children in order to line the pockets of teachers. And the standard of UK education continues on its downward slide.

        Reply
  24. oldtimer
    June 3, 2021

    There should be a series of programmes on how science, engineering and technology is and can be used to improve crop planting, growth, yields, harvesting and storage and areas where UK farmers can make worthwhile gains. The same goes for animal farming. A series is also needed on the regulatory impediments to more efficient farming resulting in a list of those that need to be abolished or amended.

    Reply
  25. nota#
    June 3, 2021

    Sir John – how true how correct!

    It was the EU that destroyed our competitive farming industry to protect their hobbyist part time industry. It was the EU that forced the UK to lower its standards as the EU was and is way behind on this.

    Any industry frightened of competition and seeks protectionism as the EU does on a Global Scale, is an industry that has a problem.

    Reply
  26. Hat man
    June 3, 2021

    The damage to dairying is widely recognised as stemming directly from the Tory government’s abolition of the Milk Marketing Board in 1994. It’s continuing now, with 1 dairy farm in 20 quitting just in the last 15 months! The EU’s removal of milk quotas in 2015 may have played a role, but so have internal political decisions. Allowing big retailers to drive down prices to levels farmers can’t sustain, and then implying it’s the fault of the EU, is transparent ideological nonsense.

    Reply
    1. NickC
      June 3, 2021

      Garbage, Hatman. “Milk quotas were introduced to address the structural oversupply on the EU market of the late 1970s and early 1980s that had led to the infamous [EU] milk lakes and butter mountains. The European Commission brought in milk quotas in 1984” – NFU. The UK government withdrew the EU quotas scheme (administered by the RPA) on 16th April 2021.

      Reply
  27. Bill B.
    June 3, 2021

    Sir John, I gather you and other MPs were sent a copy of Laura Dodsworth’s new book ‘State of Fear : How the UK Government Weaponised Fear During the Covid-19 Pandemic’. I hope you’re enjoying it, if ‘enjoy’ is the right word. Thank you for your attempts over the months to stand up to the worst excesses of what has been done to the public of this country. No-one reading it can be in any doubt that you were right, and we must hope you will make your voice heard loud and clear against the fear-mongers who want to go on depriving us of freedom after 21st June. We may have been fooled once, we will not be fooled twice.

    Reply
  28. glen cullen
    June 3, 2021

    Tory MPs rebelling againt Climate Change…NO NO NO
    Tory MPs rebelling against NI protocol… NO NO NO
    Tory MPs rebelling against Illegal Immigrants… NO NO NO
    Tory MPs rebelling against HS2… NO NO NO
    Tory MPs rebelling against the reduction in Foreign Aid….YES YES YES

    Once again the Conservative MPs are out of step with the voters…stop giving aid (taxpayer money) to dictators just to look good around the world

    Reply
    1. Andy
      June 3, 2021

      Voters approved foreign aid spending at the 2019 general election. If you voted Conservative you voted for it.

      “We will proudly maintain our commitment to spend 0.7 per cent of GNI on development, and do more to help countries receiving aid become self-sufficient.”

      It’s on page 53 if you want to remind yourself what you voted for.

      Consequently you have no evidence that most voters think that it is okay to let poor kids in other countries die. You might think that but then maybe you need to ask hard questions of yourself.

      Reply
      1. NickC
        June 3, 2021

        Andy, You keep trotting out your view that every voter for whichever party approved every policy in a party’s manifesto. You have no actual evidence for this assertion. Moreover, it is not only falsified by the fact that the electorate votes on balance, but also by the fact that no government may bind its successor. Indeed political parties may – and do – change their minds on issues, in or out of government. Your view also prevents democracy working as a live, developing debate by banning any possibility of progress beyond the last manifesto.

        Reply
      2. glen cullen
        June 3, 2021

        The 2019 general election was a single issue election i.e. Brexit…..it’s a shame on this government that they didn’t called an immediate election when Brexit was complete….hold on to power regardless
        It’s the absolute contempt of politicians pointing to their manifesto when even Boris acknowledged that the public, including labour voters, lent him their votes just to get Brexit done

        Reply
      3. MiC
        June 3, 2021

        Yes, there’s a section of the Right like this.

        They don’t want to stop foreign aid because it is not effective, and is therefore a waste.

        They want to stop it because it is, and therefore it is not.

        Reply
        1. NickC
          June 4, 2021

          Martin, Effective at what, though? There is ample evidence (Bauer, Moyo, etc) that state to state foreign aid merely aids corruption, at best. You know – like aid workers playing tin gods for sex in foreign lands, but on a more lavish scale.

          Reply
        2. Fred.H
          June 4, 2021

          claptrap.

          Reply
      4. agricola
        June 3, 2021

        Andy, since that manifesto and election success, you may not have noticed, we have endured a very expensive Covid crisis. No doubt this impinged on the financial plans of the new government. Only an idiot would ignore and fail to react to it.

        Most electors I credit with more than half a brain in their heads and accept that the fight against Covid had to be prioritised above most else, especially gestures of international largesse. The fact, that you cannot apparently see this and make a pathetic political claim speaks volumes.

        Reply
    2. Everhopeful
      June 3, 2021

      There has to be more to it than just the warm glow conferred by ghastly liberal mawkishness. So what, I wonder, spurs on these oh-so-caring, kindly and compassionate folk to such generosity? Not with their own money naturally.
      Whatever could it be?

      Reply
    3. agricola
      June 3, 2021

      They could be socialists travelling as conservatives. Not a new concept. Labour are full of marxists and communists travelling as labour. Must make the lib/dems very confused as to what to do or think.

      Reply
    4. X-Tory
      June 3, 2021

      Yes, so-called ‘Conservative’ MPs who care more about foreigners than they do their own people are not Conservatives at all. They are traitors and the *enemies* of the British people. There are only half a dozen or so Conservative MPs I have any respect for (our host is obviously one of them) and would vote for. I am not fortunate enough to have any of them as my local MP and therfore now no longer vote Conservative.

      Reply
    5. Fedupsoutherner
      June 3, 2021

      Yes, surely to goodness we provide enough assistance taking in so called refugees let alone all the money that we give to rich countries who choose not to spend it wisely on their own citizens. We are paying interest on money borrowed to give it to others while services here just go down.

      Reply
    6. Alan Jutson
      June 3, 2021

      +1

      Reply
    7. Lifelogic
      June 5, 2021

      Indeed wrong, wrong and wrong again!

      Reply
  29. Everhopeful
    June 3, 2021

    The return of plantation, which of course our more sensible ancestors planted in abundance.
    Hearts of Oak etc.
    Let’s hope that wokery does not prevent proper forestry management.
    And just think …Boris can build wooden tanks for less than £billions which can be driven over 20mph without causing tinnitus and sore limbs to the driver.

    Reply
    1. Everhopeful
      June 3, 2021

      On second thoughts ..probably nor enough profit in wooden.ones…useless or not!
      Gravy train.

      Reply
  30. nota#
    June 3, 2021

    We are always reminded by how the US is such a rogue state when it comes to food standards and production. But, how come, when I visit the US I find it normal and easy to find ‘farmers markets’ easy to buy at the farm gate. Amazon’s Whole Food Market a mecca for organic enviourmental friendly groceries expensive compared to others in the states but compared to the UK – cheap!

    Yes, scale is on their side, their standards are higher generally than the UK. With such a quick draw society when it comes to using the courts for compensation – would any food producer take a risk.

    We get so wound up in our own little world in the UK because of all the Controlling Political Propaganda and agenda we make the assumptions about elsewhere that rarely play out.

    The UK is an expensive place to live, because we allowed the Political Class to make it so.

    Reply
    1. agricola
      June 3, 2021

      Nota, absolutely agree with your last paragraph. The UK is an expensive place, based on the experience of living in Spain and the UK. Had lunch at a very pleasant pub last weekend, recently bought by one of our leading chefs. Food excellent, beer at over £32 for six pints OTT., wine list astronomic af £16 to £72 a bottle. Needless to say noone I could see was drinking wine. Maybe the ownership is playing catch up. Cooking at home now until I land in Spain.

      Reply
      1. Fred.H
        June 4, 2021

        Pubs and restaurants are indeed raising prices where they think they can in order to make re-opening worth it.

        Reply
    2. Fedupsoutherner
      June 3, 2021

      Nota. It’s the same in Canada. Very easy too find independent stores and markets selling local produce. Travelling around Europe and living in Spain for a time I have seen how low standards of husbandry are in the EU.

      Reply
  31. Peter
    June 3, 2021

    I would like to see more support for smaller independent farmers rather than just the interests of agri-business.

    So hill farmers raising lamb are worthy of consideration rather than just being ignored.

    Reply
    1. agricola
      June 3, 2021

      Peter,
      The support they need is in marketing their product. A business opportunity for someone who knows how best to get produce from farm gate to consumer plate.

      Reply
    2. Fred.H
      June 3, 2021

      and just try making a living from it.

      Reply
  32. Peter
    June 3, 2021

    Question 5 about supertrawlers would be better directed to Boris Johnson.

    He would try to duck it, of course. Nothing will happen to rectify the poor agreement on fishing.

    I suppose the BBC might be able to act as a pressure group here – but we all know they will not.

    Reply
  33. Mike Wilson
    June 3, 2021

    I didn’t understand your ‘canary in a mine’ paragraph.

    As for dairy, it is a vile business and most unnatural. Did you not stop suckling your own mother? Why do you suckle from a cow? Weird. Where I now live there are dairy herds everywhere. Thousands of acres of green, fertile land growing grass to provide silage. Apart from anything else it is absurdly inefficient.

    Reply
    1. Mark
      June 3, 2021

      It made me laugh.

      Meanwhile, I suggest you review the contents of the food you buy. Unless you are a complete dietary fanatic, I’d lay odds that many of your purchases contain dairy products.

      Reply
    2. NickC
      June 3, 2021

      Mike, You try to gainsay the wisdom of centuries of farming in the UK. The temperate UK climate lends itself to market gardening in sheltered spots, crop growing in the lowlands, cattle on higher more exposed ground, and sheep even higher still. In general, grass is grown only where crop growing is uneconomic. Your calling dairy farming “vile” is emotional claptrap: as evidenced by your precious diatribe against “suckling” from a cow. Weird. Where I now live there are fields full of new houses rather than the dairy herds that used to be there. More’s the pity.

      Reply
  34. beresford
    June 3, 2021

    The West African Slave Trade. How Africans are enslaved by other Africans, are sold on to slavers, and are then rescued by the British West Africa Squadron. The series starts with the debates in Parliament that led to the abolition of slavery. Our heroes are a young British naval officer and an African teenager who escapes from a slaver ship and swims to the British frigate, asking to join the Royal Navy. The black cook on the ship takes him under his wing and teaches him English and what he needs to know to serve on a gun crew.

    This series would be a public service, but the BBC would chew broken glass before making it.

    Reply
    1. NickC
      June 3, 2021

      Beresford, Indeed.

      Reply
    2. agricola
      June 3, 2021

      Yes Beresford as you imply, the Africans and Arabs were as complicit in the slave trade as any slave ship owner or plantation owner. Ask yourselves, how did the slaves arrive at the African coast.

      Reply
  35. nota#
    June 3, 2021

    From the MsM

    US threatens to impose TARIFFS on goods from six countries for taxing American tech companies
    The example of Amazon’s European business, paid no corporation tax despite record sales of $54 billion, highlights the problem.
    In Luxembourg, where it is headquartered, it recorded losses of $1 billion, allowing it claim a tax credit.

    This is what happens when we keep applying tax unfairly unequally and unrelated to the business. We are using a tax system from another age, almost another world – then twisting, distorting etc to try and make it fit. Biden’s tax cooperation isn’t the answer, the Chancellors digital tax isn’t the answer. A fair and equitable tax system that is free of tinkering is.

    Amazon etc have done nothing wrong – it is the Politicians wishing to punish, favour and manipulate instead of treating every entity the same and requiring an equal contribution from those that enjoy the services provided by others. Do they understand that – No, political ego and the desire to manipulate for the benefit of friends is paramount.

    Reply
    1. NickC
      June 3, 2021

      Nota, Whilst I do not favour IR35 (it is clearly biased against temporary contractors), there is no reason why the same principle cannot apply to corporation tax (CT). CT could be applied as if the business had made the profits in this country commensurate with its turnover here. That may well prompt the big internationals to review their use of tax havens, and opt for a more transparent structure.

      Reply
      1. nota#
        June 4, 2021

        @NickC, CT is sort of the problem, it relies solely on a profit being made. You and I and the rest of the surfs pay our tax based on just earning something, regardless of whether we are in profit or achieve a surplus income – essentially there is no get out clause. We contribute to the infrastructure, schooling health transport etc. that we all enjoy
        Companies can only earn if the basic wealth and infrastructure is in place. Some contribute others get a free run. To me that’s the discussion. Free load or participate. Its easy ‘not’ to make a profit in one domain and levy high management fees from tax free territories to distribute to Directors and Shareholders. CT invented a century or so ago no longer fits with modern life.
        Governments don’t seem to like it, but a proper sales tax appears to be the only fair system, you contribute if you consume.

        Reply
  36. Alan Jutson
    June 3, 2021

    I think too many people are overthinking things, so let the people and purchasers decide.

    To help them let us have an enforceable and accurate but very clear food labelling system of where the produce/food is grown (not packaged).
    In addition let us have a clear description of what is “organic/naturally grown produce” and show it clearly.

    The customers will then be able to decide, select and purchase what they decide, in the knowledge that they can impose/use their own standards, and decisions on value for money.

    Reply
    1. Fedupsoutherner
      June 3, 2021

      Alan, yes, clear labelling is very important. I want to be able to see easily where my meat and veg is coming from and how it has been slaughtered.

      Reply
  37. Stred
    June 3, 2021

    The worries of farmers concerning free trade with the US and Australia could be avoided by labelling legislation. A prominent picture of a cow with a hormone injector permanently strapped to it would be enough to put most buyers off. Chicken washed with swimming pool water would be preferable to EU standards which have gone wrong. British farmers should be encouraged to do the same.

    Reply
    1. NickC
      June 3, 2021

      Stred, The “chickens washed with swimming pool water” meme is a hoax. The (chilled) water is used to cool the slaughtered carcass (to deter the growth of pathogens), not to wash it. The chlorine is added to prevent the abattoir plant and equipment from becoming infected with pathogens that are always present even in EU chickens. That’s why the labelling on a supermarket chicken says don’t wash the chicken in water – not enough chlorine. EU chickens are cooled (by air blast) for exactly the same reason – to deter the growth of the ever present pathogens.

      Reply
  38. X-Tory
    June 3, 2021

    Sir John, can you please add to your list the three most important issues:

    (i) Use of CRISPR to produce better, healthier, more productive plants. We can do this now we are out of the EU. This is the most important advance in agriculture since the invention of the plough, and it is VITAL that the government embraces this.
    (ii) Indoor, vertical farming. This is several orders of magnitude more productive than outdoor farming, and is mre reliable and uses less water. The government needs to provide 100% interest-free loans to anyone willing to develop these.
    (iii) An end to the appalling cruelty of slaughtering animals without stunning them first. We are supposed to be a civilised country. Let us demonstrate this by how we treat our animals.

    If fishing is included in this farming debate, then let the BBC criticise the government for their betrayal, once again, the other day of our fishermen with the licences they have given French boats. This is not a ‘mistake’ – this is a deliberate policy by this government to stab our fishermen in the back. I cannot support a government that is so treacherous.

    And when it comes to saying stupid things – llike the singing canary – I cannot understand how your parliamentary colleagues could have voted for John Major, the man who epically once said: “When your back is against the wall, there is only one thing to do, and that is turn around and fight”. Mind you, having him as PM did make me want to bang my head against the wall many times …

    Reply
    1. DavidJ
      June 3, 2021

      +1

      Reply
    2. hefner
      June 3, 2021

      Your argument ‘out of the EU’ is curious as France, Germany, the Netherlands … and the UK … already use the CRISPR technology at least since 2018. The main use in plant presently is for tomatoes, wheat, and rice.
      CRISPR-Cas9 is the technique (developed by Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna for which they got the 2020 Nobel Prize for Chemistry) used to create, among other things, Covid-19 vaccines and tests. It is currently used at the U.Manchester, Cancer Research UK, in various other labs to fight diseases (labnews.co.uk/article/2031126), and to be used very soon at the U.Reading.

      So you might already be enjoying some benefits of CRISPR.

      Reply
  39. Everhopeful
    June 3, 2021

    What is the link between farming, food, covid, lockdown, vaccination and adverse reaction reporting?
    In India they understand the link very well and they are already starving.

    Everything “governments” are doing prevents us from keeping healthy, feeding ourselves and earning a living.

    Reply
    1. Everhopeful
      June 3, 2021

      Correction
      Everything “governments” do is preventing us….

      Reply
    2. NickC
      June 3, 2021

      Ahh but it keeps us fearful, Everhopeful. And so more susceptible to control.

      Reply
    3. DavidJ
      June 3, 2021

      +1

      Reply
  40. NickC
    June 3, 2021

    Far from “re-wilding”, we should reclaim more land from the sea. The Dutch have reclaimed about 17% of their country from the sea. It’s perfectly possible for us to aim as high, certainly better than wasting money on HS2 – the C19th solution to a C20th problem in the very different C21st.

    Reply
  41. freedom
    June 3, 2021

    On Tuesday Morning BBC’s


    Please please watch less bbc

    Reply
  42. forthurst
    June 3, 2021

    The only current document concerning fishing and fishing vessels from the Marine Management Organisation appears to have been drawn up in 2014 in conformity with the CFP in which fishing licences are tradeable with vessels etc and the main role of the organisation is to prevent English people fishing in their ancestral fishing grounds.
    Where is the policy for giving grants to fishermen to acquire trawlers when the only previous policy was from the EU to give grants to scrap vessels using our money which was then used to fund new Spanish trawlers to come and steal our fish?

    In order to create a thriving agricultural industry, it is essential that the ownership of farmland by spivs is made illegal and that the ownership of rural properties by second home owners and retired people thereby sucking the hearts out of rural communities and driving up property prices is ended. Cottage industries are essential to a flourishing countryside and provide mechanisms for adding value to locally sourced produce.

    Reply
  43. Andy
    June 3, 2021

    I would like Farming Today to do a feature on Brexit related shortages of labour both on farms and in restaurants and so on.

    The Brexitists said they would do these jobs. And now they need to do these jobs the Brexitists aren’t doing them. Why is this?

    Reply
    1. Fred.H
      June 4, 2021

      Why would Farming Today feature restaurants? Perhaps BBQ Weekly could do one on ‘vegan recipes’?

      Reply
  44. Andy
    June 3, 2021

    Congratulations to thousands of current and former Tesco workers who have won an equal pay case – thanks to the EU.

    The ECJ ruled in their favour – benefitting mostly women. Other supermarkets are likely to lose similar cases.

    This is a brilliant example of the EU working for regular people. Sadly there won’t be many more such claims as the Tories are working hard to make sure the little people lose and their billionaire friends win.

    Reply
    1. No Longer Anonymous
      June 3, 2021

      Probably not equality at all. Different jobs and different conditions (ie nights or driving a forklift.) It is already illegal to pay a woman less than a man for exactly the same job.

      Reply
    2. Fred.H
      June 4, 2021

      ‘the brilliant example of the EU working for regular people’ is actually causing unheard of unemployed percentages across the 27.

      Reply
  45. ChrisS
    June 3, 2021

    It’s quite clear that the rebel Conservative MPs who are trying to reverse the cut in the foreign aid budget do not have the support of the voting public who wish to see aid cut further : to no more than the average of the other six G7 countries.

    A squalid coalition with Labour to try and enforce the full 7% aid target will prove costly for Labour, particularly in the crucial Red Wall seats.

    Reply
  46. DOM
    June 3, 2021

    ‘paid no corporation tax despite record sales of $54 billion, highlights the problem.’

    Thick as pig shit Journalists. You don’t pay corporation tax on sales income but on declared profits,

    Reply
  47. glen cullen
    June 3, 2021

    It’s a national disgrace that I and thousands of soldiers having stayed at Napier Barracks over the decades without a whisper from MPs, and now that illegal immigrants are using the barracks they can successful sue the government to be transferred to four*hotels

    This government needs today in enact a law that only UK born citizens can take legal action against the government or withdraw from the ECHRs

    Reply
    1. Mark
      June 3, 2021

      I stayed in similar barracks at Fremington many years ago, where the last unit of DUKWs was stationed. Yes, dormitory accommodation. But clean and warm, showers worked. NAAFI food of course – nothing fancy, but good for building you up for an active day. Somewhat better than a camp near Coquelles, I suspect!

      Reply
    2. Fedupsoutherner
      June 3, 2021

      Great post Glen. Are we supposed to give these illegal arrivals better accommodation than some of our own citizens? Just how many are we to find homes for? Spain recently turned immigrants away. Why can’t we? I notice the high number of men. When is Priti going to do something useful?

      Reply
  48. Helen Smith
    June 3, 2021

    😂 BBC experts, not very bright. I second all the comments about at least labelling Halal meat so I can avoid it.

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      June 3, 2021

      +1

      Reply
    2. No Longer Anonymous
      June 3, 2021

      +1

      Reply
  49. X-Tory
    June 3, 2021

    The BBC seem to love to revel in bad news. Nobody is denying that some problems do exist, but any perusal of the specialist farming press will also identify loads of ‘good news’ stories too, which the BBC refuse to report. In the last month alone, for instance, did you know that:

    Since the UK was allowed to export beef to the US late last year we now have four processing sites licensed to do so and £3m of beef has already been exported. The US market is seeing a huge rise in sales of premium beef (and pork too), where we can compete strongly, so our sales are rising there. Exports of sheep and pig meat to other non-EU markets – especially Asia and the Middle East – are also rising strongly. Compared to the same period last year, Q1 2021 sales of pig meat are up 31% by volume and 42% by value, and sheep meat sales are up 30% by volume and 46% by value. China is a great market for British pork, with our exports there rising 46% in 2020 alone.

    Lamb sales in the UK are 6% higher than pre-Covid, with prices also rising, so this is good news for our shepherds. The price that beef farmers are receiving for their meat is also increasing strongly, and unsurprisingly this is leading to a rise in calf registrations – showing that they are growing their businesses. A big increase in tractor registrations (11% up in April this year compared to 2020) points to the same message of growth and success. Any farmer facing difficulties might perhaps benefit from a bit of imagination and diversification, with goat farming proving a successful avenue to explore, with these farmers boasting that they are ‘price makers, not price takers’.

    It’s not just meat. Sales of cheese to Japan, for instance, increased by 80% in just the last two years. And our agricultural scientists are developing techniques that will help us prosper in the future. A British company has developed a world-first method of early identification of wheat-damaging diseases and weeds, allowing farmers to intervene much earlier (before problems arise). Other British scientists have developed beans that need 40% less water, making them easier to grow in times of drought; (admittedly, this wil probably be more useful in some other countries, but that gives us an export opportunity). And yet other British scientists are using CRISPR to develop a healthier variety of wheat. Even on environmetal issues, there is positive news, with the government planning to treble tree planting. The only problem we face is the hatred of our EU enemies. The President of NFU Scotland has stated that “the European Commission wants us to feel pain from leaving the EU”. Who would want to belong to an organisation that treats us with such hatred?

    Will the BBC ever report any of this news? Why doesn’t the government abolish the licence fee of this vile, anti-British corporation?

    Reply
    1. Fedupsoutherner
      June 3, 2021

      X TORY. I am sure many of us never realised or knew about this positive news. Thank you. It’s encouraging.

      Reply
      1. Dennis
        June 4, 2021

        Does this good news on exports mean that UK prices will increase for consumers here? Why sell at lower prices here when better profit from abroad – depends on amount of produce available perhaps.

        Reply
    2. hefner
      June 4, 2021

      Oh, X-Tory, I see you’ve finally done your homework. Well done.

      Reply
    3. NickC
      June 4, 2021

      X-Tory, Well said, and very interesting. I buy goat dairy produce (all British) every week.

      Reply
  50. DavidJ
    June 3, 2021

    I doubt the BBC will ever reform and dump its climate change and woke propaganda. Best to ditch the licence fee together with any other subsidies and let it die.

    Reply
  51. steve
    June 3, 2021

    JR

    In reference to all of your points : None of these issues will be resolved for the good of the nation until we get rid of all pro-EU poison, and that includes gutless Boris Johnson & his highly embarrassing predecessor both of whom are tarred with the same brush and responsible for delivering BRINO.

    Somebody needs to get their treason out of British politics or we will at the next general election, be of no doubt.

    Reply
    1. glen cullen
      June 3, 2021

      Fully agree – the membership see it; why don’t the backbenchs

      Reply
  52. XY
    June 3, 2021

    Had to laugh at the canary.

    Reply
  53. claxby pluckacre
    June 4, 2021

    Where are all these reservoirs going to be sited ??
    With the consumption of agricultural land by the mass house builders and solar panel crooks, just where will all the trees be planted,where will the rewilding of the environment take place , where will the food be grown ?

    Reply
  54. Diane
    June 4, 2021

    We appear to boast about our animal welfare standards yet the question of non-stun slaughter seems to continue to be an untouchable. The petition to Parliament ( number 557589 ) is still running. I agree too with another post above about the labelling issue.

    Reply

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