BBC in landowners' pocket.

james armstrong james36army at
Sat Feb 14 17:06:31 GMT 2009

There is a need and opportunity to make a cogent case for an alternative  approach to (agricuiltural) land use, with a view to BBC giving it air.
Farming Today  would be one forum, The Archers, another.
This letter to Feedback gives the  flavour.
BBC, Feedback
Arguably the best know economist in UK, Kate Barker of the monetary policy committee of the  Bank of England, prepared the definitive report on UK housing for HMG, the Barker Review of Housing Supply,2003/4.
Five years later the Office of Fair Trading Household Survey ‘discovered’ that self build was the largest supplier of new houses in UK, larger than Taylor Wimpey combined or  the output of Persimmon. The Barker Review had completely missed the self-build sector This, not the corporate p.l.c. builders, is  the mainstay of house building in UK.
Like Kate Barker, the corporatist BBC corporation sees the world through corporatist spectacles and misses the non corporate farming sector, and defers to  the multi million pound NFU corporation and allows the President of NFU to make , unchallenged, the schoolboy howlers that if CAP subsidies were withdrawn, 
1    ‘All UK \ farmers would go out of business’                    and 
2     ‘All UK food would have to be imported.’
Consider the first:  Low impact small scale small holders and would be self sufficient producers would flourish and expand to fill the gap left by the departure of “all” farmers. There would be more not less hands-on agriculturalists as there were before 1973. Output might even go up under intensive east asia style agriculture. S ome commercial agri businesses would go out of business which is what the NFU president presumably means.
As to 2,  importing all our food.:    Much of our food is already imported. Most of our UK wheat goes to make chocolate  biscuits. Much of the barley to make beer. Many of the crops grown are non food and many food crops go as animal feed, land is left idle,  a` million acres is reserved for wildlife which is then shot, poisoned and trapped. If there is a danger, the first step is to regulate land use and designate crop choice.So what is the specific danger of importing most of our food? We are part of the EU We have been in a stable E. Union since 1973 Are France? Germany? and U.S.. the danger?
The  countryside is littered with often illegal and always farcical  advertisements ‘Beautiful British Countryside thanks to British Farmers’ financed by NFU. 
BBC systemicly avoids posing these questions.The entire output of BBC Farming Today is questionable. To-day and yet again, BBC turns to NFU to speak for farmers? Why?  Is BBC in the pocket of NFU?- which would not be surprising since Brussells and Westminster have been suborned.
The presenters on FT display total inadequacy in penetrating the issues in farming, and do not expose the shallowness of the case for subsidies especially as presented by NFU.  .
The  programme on Saturday 14th Feb allowed some three or four minutes to address the issue of the #3billion subsidy. No alternative scenario was even sketched..
The issue of bulk land ownership ,  the monopoly, land price hike, agribusiness,  the political effect of the agricultural lobby  are all apparently off limits to the BBC 
If FT is not the place, FT is unsupportable without an in depth radio series evaluating these and other issues relevant to farming. 
Farming Today’s contribution to spreading knowledge of the subsidy regime has failed at entry level. 
 Yours faithfully,
James Armstrong 
Other Farmoing Today howlers :  
CAP subsidies are paid to farmers
(They are paid to landowners)
farming is equated with afgriculture 
(many farmers, and for sure the ones receiving the giant subsidies,  never take off their jackets (or ermine robes)to smell the  manure)

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the Diggers350 mailing list