A Cheesemaker replies

TLIO Chapter7 chapter7 at tlio.org.uk
Sat Apr 30 23:54:52 BST 2005

This is all very garbled.

The withdrawal of subsidy support for British farming would be catastrophic
for British food production ‹ most of our food, especially our grain,  would
be imported. Large areas of UK land, especially arable land,  would be
neglected and there would be even more encouragement from the Government for
farmers to diversify.

What does James mean "free millions of U.K.  acres from
 commercial crop production"? What does he propose we should eat instead?
Commercial GM crops from the USA? or Brazil? or China?

If large scale commercial farmers can't make a living from growing wheat at
£60 per tonne, how does James expect sustainable smallhilders to be able to
do it without subsidies?

What James is advocating is the free trade model as advocated by Adam Smith
and  McCullough, ‹ the "Scotch feelosophers" that Cobbett ranted  against ‹
which totally screwed English farming for 70 years, from 1870 till 1940.

Stopping subsidies will only be benign for local food production if there
are tariff restrictions to discourage imports, and protect UK farming from
countries with comparative advantages; but  tariffs are not allowed by the
WTO.  One reason why we should all be demonstrating at the G8.

Finally, what's wrong with cheesemakers? Many dairy farmers have been making
the bulk of their income from cheese for several centuries?



> From: Tony Gosling <tony at tlio.org.uk>
> Date: Sat, 30 Apr 2005 21:42:49 +0100
> To: diggers350 at yahoogroups.com
> Cc: <james36armstrong at hotmail.com>
> Subject: [diggers350] Farming Today... and Tomorrow
> "Farming Tomorrow" not "Farming Yesterday"
> Dear Sirs,    
> 'Blessed are the cheesemakers for they shall inherit the earth.' Python, Monty
> Are the only alternatives for the future of the countryside 'an unmanaged
> wilderness or an ordered countryside cultivated by farmers'? What are
> 'farmers' anyway?
> Is someone who makes 70% of their income from cheesemaking 'farming' as one
> of your interviewees portrayed this week? -for 'cheesemaking' substitute
> B&B, Go-Karting, market trading, equestrianism, property developing

> If so, then "Are the cheesemakers to be the custodians of to-morrow's
> countryside?" would be an appropriate question for 'Farming To-day.'
> Or perhaps there are other more important factors affecting the look of
> tomorrow's countryside?
> I suggest one more relevant factor affecting the behaviour of those which
> your programme calls 'farmers' and who might better be described as 'those
> in the agricultural sector', is the countless £billions in public pensions
> paid to them  through the Common Agricultural Policy of the E.U.
> Tax farming' might better describe the sector.
> Another factor is the U.K. planning system which is injecting further
> countless £billions into the agricultural sector in the form of increased
> land values derived from directing planning gains to land-owners at the
> expense, principally of house buyers and the less fortunate tenant
> agriculturalists.
> Any debate about the future look of the countryside without considering
> these factors leads to such an obviously  false alternative as 'scrub
> versus  farmland managed under the present system.'
> The withdrawal of CAP support could free millions of U.K.  acres from
> commercial crop  (and waste)  production., and another million from sterile
> set-aside. It would also  increase the possibility and popularity of
> farming to perhaps a new generation of largely self-sufficient and
> sustainable  smallholders seeking an alternative to  town and city life
> which many feel is  becoming less and less attractive  because of
> unemployment, traffic, congestion and crime,  and less relevant  since the
> passing of our formerly industrial society.
> The effect of re-directing the planning system to support those in need of
> housing and away from rewarding those not in need of land, could lead to
> re-populating our deserted countryside.
> John Constable's paintings could act as a guide to the 'landscape with
> dwellings' to which we might aspire.
> Farming to-day, both the programme and the activity is as much about
> propagating myths about the countryside as about agriculture.
> Yours faithfully,
> James Armstrong
> email: <james36armstrong at hotmail.com>
> 22 Harveys Terrace
> Dorchester 
> DT1 1LE
> tel 01305 265510
> The Land is Ours
> www.tlio.org.uk
> Diggers350 - an e-mail discussion/information-share list for campaigners
> involved with THE LAND IS OURS landrights network (based in the UK ..web ref.
> www.thelandisours.org). The list was originally concerned with the 350th
> anniversary of The Diggers (& still is concerned with their history). The
> Diggers appeared at the end of the English Civil war with a mission to make
> the earth 'a common treasury for all'. In the spring of 1999 there were
> celebrations to remember the Diggers vision and their contribution. Find out
> more about the Diggers and see illustrations at:
> http://www.bilderberg.org/diggers.htm
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