Farming Today/ NFU Watch

james armstrong james36armstrong at
Mon Jun 21 07:46:14 BST 2010

Farming Today / NFU Watch,
This BBC Radio 4 programme has been captured by the NFU and we should waken them up that we're on to the case.In general they give inordinate air time to NFU , they ignore the central effect that  Common Agricultural Policy and CAP payments have on British farming in distorting farming decisions- and inflating land prices.   NFU represent the receivers of CAP payments (many of the big landowners who prefer to call themselves "farmers" receive £100,000 each year. so you can understand why CAP welfare cliamants have the powerful NFU trade association to misinform the non farming population who pay the CAP tax.  NFU have press offices in every region and at HQ  at Stoneleigh Park near Coverntry and a paid lobby in Westminster and an office in Brussels.  (Its informative to listen to such a slick PR operation in action on FT.) Farming Today relies on NFU for contacts and members and subjects they want to plug and the research behind the programmes.  NFU members are introduced on air merely as " farmer smith of sunny dale farm "  who appears to be furnished with a well prepared script giving out "key messages" prepared by NFU  HQ.
Guardians of the countryside, stewards of the  countryside, wildlife conservation and most of all 'food security' are some of the lines plugged.
Others may want to call Farming Today to account.
Here is my e mail to them after  to-day's programme about Somerset County Council selling off farms  ."Somerset County Council received £28,068 from CAP payments in 2009 . Please do your homework. CAP payments are a huge influence on farming decisions and it is wrong for FT to  ignore this in  your programmes. Can you explain how CAP payments of some £30million annually to owners of  one million acres of pony paddocks in UK helps food production? " ("Food production"  is how  the  FT  interviewer defined farming. )James      		 	   		  
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