In my early years I well remember the nursery rhymes we were taught at home and recent events have brought to mind one which was fondly remembered.
“The Grand Old Duke of York, he had ten thousand men, he marched them up to the top of the hill, and he marched them down again.” Is this not rather reminiscent of the machinations of our beloved leader? To win the last election he scuppered UKIP by promising the electorate a referendum on membership of the European Union. So having dragged the country up that particular hill he is now hell bent on making sure we amble down the other side and vote to stay in.
He has instructed his lieutenants to spout out at great length all the frightening predictions that can be mustered to unnerve the potential out voters. How on earth can anybody predict that by 2030 each household will be £4,300 worse off if we have left the EU? Well of course, economists can predict anything, but where do they hide when their predictions fail to materialise?
Further, I fail to be convinced that on leaving the European free trade area, we are at risk of losing business. Half our imports come from the EU so who is going to tell Spain they can stuff their vegetables, who is going to tell Germany they can stuff their sausages, and who is going to tell Italy and Greece that they can stuff their olives? Statistics also show that our largest export market is America, followed by Germany, the Netherlands, France, Republic of Ireland and China. Who is in danger of losing the most – the UK or Europe?
Now if Cameron can prove beyond doubt that on leaving the community we will have a plague of locusts, followed by decades of pestilence, then I might just believe some of the garbage that is being thrown at us right now. One final point before I blow a fuse is this: if Cameron and co knew without doubt that Brexit would lead to the crashing of our economy, why on earth did he propose having a referendum in the first place?
Asda, Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Morrison’s, those magnificent institutions who claim to guarantee our farming community a fair return for our endeavours, between them employed last year 519,000 low paid workers. These workers were so badly paid that between them they claimed £936,000,000 in working tax credits and housing benefit! Given that the supermarkets are very happy to sell milk at less than the cost of production and less than a bottle of water – and they are also overtly keen to stock their shelves with imported meat rather than our own – why on earth should our hard earned taxes be used to bolster their profits? I must ask some of Mr Cameron’s pea brained economists how this all works.
On the subject of milk, I have read that Saudi Arabia’s largest dairy company has decided that being unable to grow enough alfalfa in its own parched country to feed its 170,000 cows, it has purchased 14,000 acres of land in the drought stricken American south west with the crop being irrigated by water diverted from the Colorado river before being shipped back to Saudi Arabia. Now I think we have missed an opportunity here. Could we not have offered to supply Saudi Arabia with our own milk and dairy products, given that it is obviously not valued in our own country?
Management is still hopping mad following my purchase of 21 scruffy in-lamb ewes back in March, but I must report that the whole project could earn me a fortune! The score to date on 20 April is as follows: one ewe aborted a single two weeks prematurely and one ewe pushed her reed out three weeks before lambing twins, but she is now off her feet and has no milk anyway.
Fortunately I have found an empty tonic bottle and a teat that is not perished! Nevertheless 16 ewes have lambed with 19 lambs and they are doing well, with the final three due to lamb shortly. So since 1 April I have been getting up at 5.15am to check the sheep and to get a bit of peace and quiet. Generally though, I hear lambing in the South East has gone pretty well and I wish all my farming friends a decent grazing season and some trade to go with it.