Firstly, those of our buyers who supply these abattoirs having purchased cattle at market are precluded from sending the animals for slaughter for a further 30 days; and secondly, restrictions are being put on that limit the number of movements shown on the passport, and of course that 30 day limit adds to the number of movements. Without a shadow of a doubt it is on the agenda of the large multi species abattoirs, no doubt encouraged by the supermarkets, to reduce the auction system to a shadow of its former self, so as to give them even further control over price.
My thanks wholeheartedly go out to the small and medium outfits and to the traders who still support us and I cannot miss the opportunity to remind producers of what happened to livestock prices during the foot and mouth epidemic, and what will happen again when the scenario described above comes to fruition. It stinks.
Something else that stinks is waste and it has come to light that in many regions all or some of the biodegradable waste that householders have been encouraged to separate – despite having been composted at great expense to those of us paying council tax – is still ending up in landfill sites. Can somebody in the Environment Agency get a grip on this – it is pathetic.
Further, a report is coming out that supermarkets are encouraging shoppers to throw away billions of pounds worth of fresh food each year by labelling many of their products with incorrect freezing instructions. These instructions tell customers to freeze the product on the day of purchase and throw away if not consumed within a month, whereas the Food Standards Agency has advised that it is safe to freeze fresh produce up to its “use by” date and store it for up to six months.
It is a great pity that cookery lessons were stopped at schools many years ago, where the students would have learnt how to thrive without buying mountains of processed food; home produced food is better and cheaper than processed food; and that any advice given by a supermarket on the purchase and subsequent consumption of food is usually a load of cobblers and entirely aimed at increasing sales.
Given that management (who is still snoring at 7.20 am and I thought it was next door out early with the chainsaw) was a long standing teacher in the state system, education is never far away from my thoughts. To this end, I quite often engage students in conversation with regards to their plans and aspirations. I recently spoke to one who was working weekends at our local garden centre and learnt that she was going to go to university to study anthropology and, as a result, expected to come out with a debt of £60,000 which she would not have to start repaying until she was earning £21,000 a year.
On enquiring why she thought that was a good idea, she told me that schools encouraged students to go to university because it looked good on schools’ success rates in the league tables. Small wonder that those under 40 are now finding it increasingly difficult to get on the housing ladder. Note to our prime minister – who I hold in high esteem: get your education secretary to look into this and also promote the apprenticeship system which is more likely to produce the quality of young people our country urgently needs, and less likely to produce left leaning groupies whose only skills are intolerance, disregard for the job providers and the ability to go on the lash many nights a week. I wonder what they will be doing when they grow up!
By the way, it is a fact that aspiring scholars are finding it increasingly important to promote their hate of Conservatism in order to gain entry to Oxford and Cambridge. One further reminder to Mrs May – your greatest asset is Jeremy Corbyn and not the disenfranchised remainers in your own camp. Socialism is dead in the water. Which reminds me – up on the chalk downs we could do with a little rain.