lunacy on air

james armstrong james36armstrong at
Sat Apr 28 09:52:03 BST 2012

My letter to Farming Today This Week 

 RADIO 4 ,28 April 2012
. “Farming  Today feeding   the
world’s growing population on the moon. ” .

Gamekeepers Controlling feral  cats –might that mean paying them to
control cats – which they do anyway .?  Grouse
are not an agricultural species.

“ Controlling feral cats”? Does  that mean 
shooting or poisoning them?


In 1900 we imported 40% of UK
food.  After 40 years of CAP we import
40% of our food- what is the meaning of citing 
the need to  feed the growing world
population  in the context of British

Or what is the 
meaning of feeding the UK’s
10m pet cats and 10m pet dogs in the context of feeding the  world’s growing population (ftwgp)?

What the  meaning of
pasturing in UK
1.3million pet horses in the context of feeding the world’s growing population  ? (I understand Horse meat is very


If Ftwgp is 
important, (I believe it is) why has Farming Today never  devoted a programme to the relevance and
failure  of UK
farming  to  ftwgp-   out of
the 300 programmes annually?

If ftwgp is important when will we expect a programme about
supermarkets binning of out-of-date food every week – what is  the connection between UK
farming and food production?   

In any rational business context, if the goals of a  policy are seen not to work  there would be a quantitative  evaluation of achievements versus  investment, and the units of measurement
would include money invested (public money in this instance) – the effect of CAP on UK
agricultural , agribusiness and the landscape of UK.
 There would also be a reckoning .


In the   lunarscape in
which  Farming Today ,  farmers , and the Farming Minister  live, no one evaluates or measures the UK
effect of  £3.9billion  a year CAP . We hear from RSPB etc of the
environmental disaster and 80 per cent  decline in tree sparrows and the major decline
of 80% of bird species measured by RSPB  of
larks, lapwings and corn buntings but the farming Minister chooses to
concentrate on the  20 per cent  successes and mentions one, the explosion in
numbers of barn owls.  The  FT presenter does not comment.   The £billions creamed off by  agribusiness in UK as CAP payments each year
are neither  measured , mentioned nor


This fog of nonsense is what happens when CAP is judged against
rational goals such as  helping
struggling farmers or  maintaining the environment
or improving food production,  when in
reality the CAP was designed by agribusiness for agribusiness and particularly by
NFU staff working in Strasbourg, supported by an ongoing pr campaign on FT to   siphon money out of tax payers pockets in
£billions annually for NFU  members benfit - the
big farmers, landowners and 
foodprocessors . In these terms it is a roaring  success. But these aims must be kept secret
from the taxpayer.  

So  long as you judge CAP
 against  national democratic ideals , the welfare goals
of people in need , a sustainable vibrant UK
agricultural industry and protecting the environment,  CAP is an ongoing disaster

This explains this listener’s feeling that the Farming Today
team live on a different planet one traditionally  associated with lunacy.                                          James

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