Article 39 of the Treaty of Rome which set out the rules for the Common Agricultural Policy states:



  • 1. The objectives of the common agricultural policy shall be:
    • a to increase agricultural productivity by promoting progress and by ensuring the rational development of agricultural production and the optimum utilisation of the factors of production, in particular labour;
    • b thus to ensure a fair standard of living for the agricultural community, in particular by increasing the individual earnings of persons engaged in agriculture;
    • c to stabilise markets;
    • d to assure the availability of supplies;
    • e to ensure that supplies reach customers at reasonable prices.
  • 2. in working out the CAP and the special methods for its application, account shall be taken of the particular nature of agricultural activity which results from the social structure of agriculture and from structural and natural disparities between the various agricultural regions.
  • Nowhere in this book of rules does it say that supermarkets shall be able to sell the most natural and necessary element of our diet at less than the cost of production and thereby ruin those engaged in producing it. Further, where does it say that those countries who are making a good fist of running their own economies, resulting in a strong currency, should suffer at the hands of those who have made a pigs ear of their economy resulting in a weak currency. Is it not time the European Union went back to the drawing board, or should we let Jeremy Corbyn in and level the playing field?

    There is absolutely nothing to celebrate in British agriculture right now and this little snippet from Lily Bollinger of Champagne fame might just cheer up one or two of our fellow farmers. She said of her produce that: “I drink it when I am happy and I drink it when I am sad. Sometimes I drink it when I am alone. When I have company I consider it obligatory. I trifle with it when I am not hungry and drink it when I am. Otherwise I never touch it – unless I am thirsty.”

    One sparkling wit in the market the other day suggested that a good way of helping some of the obese to lose weight would be to confiscate their mobility scooters so they would have to walk to the shops to buy their processed food full of fat and sugar. He has a point there and I just can’t get out of my mind the footage of a 22 stone man pulling his 200 kilogram mobility scooter up five flights of steps to his house. He could get a job on the council pulling up ragwort from the roadside and earn a fortune on piece work and probably end up being as fit as a butcher’s dog.

    Away from matters agricultural, it never ceases to amaze me that a prospective purchaser of a property can agree a price with the vendor or his agent, can set the legal process in motion, but can withdraw at the last moment or blag the vendor into reducing the price. This is disgusting and should be addressed by the immediate payment, when a deal has been agreed, of a non returnable deposit to give the time wasters a good smack in the eye. In my sphere of operation a deal is a deal.

    Believing myself to be a bit of a technocrat I thought I would flash the cash and buy a smart ‘phone. This turned out to be a disaster given that the ‘phone was a damn sight smarter than me. I didn’t turn it off properly one day following a call and promptly blew £35 in call charges. If anyone would like a brand new Motorola 3G complete with charging kit please get in touch – like milk at Tesco, it will be tremendous value for money.

    One parting thought on China, whose economy has rocketed over the last 20 years but is now facing problems associated with too rapid growth. We learn that in the years 2011-2014, China spent more money on cement than the United States spent in the previous 100 years. Fact – look it up on your smart ‘phone if you have got one!

    PS: This article took one and a half hours to cobble together and an hour for management to type it, which in tube drivers’ parlance is worth around £83. At that rate we would soon be rich and could afford the 47 days holiday that I am sure tube drivers fully deserve!