If the cost of living is going to be kept in reasonable bounds, we will need to produce more of our own food post Brexit. It sounds like good news to me, particularly for those farmers in vegetable growing areas, but less so for those on hill farms and the poorer soils.
Without doubt the farm support system will have to be looked at with great care and ingenuity. Further, what we produce must be consumed in a less wasteful way with households encouraged and cajoled into throwing away less, indeed none, of what they have bought. “Best befores,” “sell by dates” and “BOGOFs” must be rationalised to benefit the pocket of the purchaser rather than the cash account of the supermarket.
One statistic that highlights British buying and eating habits is the fact that of all the processed food consumed in Europe, our country consumes roughly 50%. We eat on average six times more processed food per capita than the Spanish! That is a frightening statistic and probably explains one of the reasons our population is heading for an explosion of obesity and consequential ill health, which our NHS can patently not deal with, however much money is chucked at it.
Not wishing the topic of waste and sell by dates to slip away, there is more. Tony Blair, while putting himself forward for the role of messiah has finally proved to the voting public that he has no relevance. His last speech has finally proven that every single political decision he has ever made has not been with hand on heart, but more hand on back pocket. He has made a career of brown nosing his way around the globe, most of which countries have realised he is totally vacuous. This last hurrah is a veiled attempt to become the next president of Europe. Time to go and enjoy your millions in one of your many mansions and out of the public eye. Your opinions are totally worthless and totally self serving. Incidentally his address was not headlined on any of the main news channels the following morning.
We have recently learnt that the House of Commons has been suffering years of decay and will need a fortune spent on it. The genus tetraodontidae has wormed its way into the building and is causing considerable unrest. For those who did not do Latin at school the above named is a puffer fish. Top facts about this fish are they can grow to nearly four feet long; when threatened they can puff themselves up to three times larger; they are among the most poisonous animals on earth; puffer fish are like chameleons; they have four teeth; some species build nests; puffer fish can be kept as pets; some species of this fish are facing extinction; and there are more than 100 species of puffer fish and the one in the House of Commons is called the John Bercow, or berk for short.
It has slowly dawned on me why our prisons are overflowing. Given recent pictures of inmates spaced out on drugs, it must be a fact that most prisoners when released will have a habit which needs to be financed – inevitably by further crime, so reoffending is more likely than not. Can this cycle not be stopped? Is it really impossible to keep drugs out of prison or have we given up the struggle?
On the farming front, I have been a bit short of keep this year, but the weather has been helpful with fields on the north downs greening up during the second half of February and my 200 ewe tegs are all looking well and skipping about. I am undecided whether to sell my store tegs now, as the trade is very strong, or risk a shortage of sheep meat after Easter. Has anybody got a crystal ball?
Management is getting itchy feet and has started scratching round the garden with increasing vigour, so pressure is now on myself to get the vegetable patch up and running. I must finish this article and go and find the spade!
One last thought. It is inevitable that driverless trains will be the norm in years to come, so who is going to sort out ASLEF then?