NFU National Farmers' Underground
james36army at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 29 08:21:47 BST 2008
Copy of a complaint sent to BBC
NFU - NF Underground?
Can I draw your attention to the former practice of government reliance on NFU and CLA being
the subject of a judgement against a government agency by the Queens Bench Division (later overturned on appeal). The effect was that from September 29th 1954 lay members of the Agricultural Land Tribunals were no longer selected by the Minister of Ag. from lists submitted by these two 'private' parties , but thenceforward the independent legal chairman made an independent selection of members. (See Woolett v Agricultural Land Tribunal of Chelmsford.)
NFU has a dedicated parliamentary department , and is a major commercial lobbyist.
NFU is represented similarly in Brussels
NFU has a media department
NFU is a corporation with commercial and corporate funding
NFU is not representative of 'farming' generally , since agribusinesses working thousands and tens of thousand acreages are over represented in the membership.
NFU is not uninterested in supporting the continuance of huge annual subsidies amounting to £billions
NFU has long established political connections which it is fair to say hark back to the less egalitarian social conditions of yesteryear when the heredity landed interest commanded deference.
The regular and repeated airtime opportunities given by FT to representatives of the NFU give rise to questions of judgement and propriety by the producers of FT and suggest the regulation of their conduct by BBC management is lax.
Is there also a creative input by NFU?
It is arguable that BBC should shun association with sectional commercial interests that savour of yesterday's agricultural practices.
It is incontestable that BBC gives undue opportunities to NFU (and to a lesser extent to CLBA) To push commercial self interest on behalf of this sectional minority.
Acreage buys influence but is not the test of democracy and it should not guarantee deference from FT producers.
Rather, I would like to think that FT staff are politically as well as environmentally green, so for the information of any tyro producers, the NFU is a trenching machine with a very long history of worming their way into HMG, the EU , and now it undermines the integrity of BBC Radio's 'Farming Today'.
The headline which FT fails to grasp is that "Farmer Giles" has got no clothes!
Two million households who own no bulk land pay £1,500 each to subside 'farmers'. This money goes , at the rate of £15,000 each, to 200,000 rich landowners, and £2million each to five dukes and one duchess. The BBC corporation gets quite a few pennies from quite a few people to tell the world how it is with farming in UK.
But they don't. NFU helps not to tell the story. Its time to ditch the trenching machine.
May I please have acknowledgement of receipt and reply to my letters of complaint ?
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