The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #51709   Message #789432
Posted By: Skipjack K8
23-Sep-02 - 05:38 AM
Thread Name: BS: (UK Only) Anyone going to today's march?
Subject: RE: BS: 9UK Only) Anyone going to todays march?
I do enjoy reading your prose, Gervase, the pleasure probably stemming from broad agreement.

However, I didn't go on the march, because of the inchoate (thanks for that one, how does one pronounce it?) grievances brought together under the catch-all banner. Oliver Sterling appeared the typical tally-ho hunting activist, rallying anglers and allotment buffs, and any other grouping that has anything to do with the place where the pavement runs out behind the (however emotive) economically minute Hunt Debate. That reduced the potency of the message to the periodically staged farce of Wurzels wandering round Trafalgar Square with a piglet under the arm.

Have a Hunt Rally, sure. Single message, no dilution.

However, Tone didn't hang about in town to greet the green peril, which about sums up the actual penetration of this bluntest of weapons.

I'm not rubbishing the well meaning efforts of the rural communities in shouting their anguish. I work in agriculture, and my livelihood depends directly on competitively produced food grown on British farms. But the problem is not one of government. It is one of economics, and the current over-mighty subject, the supermarkets.

40% of white meat consumed in the UK is imported, much of it from south-east Asia. It is produced in and transported from Thailand more cheaply than indigenously available chicken, because of vastly cheaper labour, and the use of meat and bone meal, animal fat (tallow) and fishmeal, which are products proscribed in the EU, and shipped to Thailand at giveaway prices. And who is to blame for this one example of 'world' markets? The supermarkets, for not applying the same feeding and welfare criteria to non-EU imports as the beleagured UK farmer.

So, in summary, railing at the people who set taxes isn't hitting the heart of the problem. Until labelling (and what a farce that issue is) is sorted out and mounting a successful 'Buy British Food' campaign, agriculture is going to remain buggered, even if Iain Duncan Smith married Anne Widdicombe, and we made them king and queen.

But I'm glad everyone had a good day out, and it wasn't hijacked by the loonies that caught you last time, Gervase!