With less than 100 days to go to the general election, it will be absolute hell for all of us. Already there are so many promises flying about that it is increasingly difficult to pick out which ones are relevant and how, if any of them, are carried through. Can the administration even afford to pay for some or any of them. One thing is certain – the economy has picked up dramatically over the last two years and wages are rising quicker than inflation. For how much longer can the Labour Party play “the poor working class” card. Being divisive has always been the modus operandi of the socialists.
The debate on the NHS has already escalated and scanning through readers’ letters to The Times, it is quite evident that attending to drunks on most evenings is taking up a disproportionate amount of resource. One reader suggested that these idiots should be left to the end of the queue and dealt with when time is available. I agree.
Enough of Politics – it’s becoming boring to write about it and no doubt boring more so to read about it. Management employs a handyman one day a week – she refuses after all these years to chop down trees and dig ditches – it isn’t as if I am not generous with the housekeeping! His pet moan is the fact that because he has a van, he is not allowed to deliver any waste material to the local recycling unit which is limited to those delivering by car. This is madness when you remember that most of the fly tippers captured on camera are driving vans or small tippers. As a consequence our local council employs a full time team of four men with two vehicles to clear up this mess in the countryside and then take it for recycling when it could have been delivered free of charge. One wonders whether anybody in local government has any brains at all.
Farming is stressful enough right now – particularly with the supermarkets charging less for milk than bottled water and knocking out pork and lamb for half price. Does any single supermarket care one jot for those of us who work seven days a week to scratch a living and seven days a week to maintain this green and pleasant land? Obviously not. Add to this the rampant increase in rural crime and you can see why many of our farming colleagues are throwing in the towel. In our locality there are two white vans constantly on the look out for opportunities and with lambing approaching there are recent reports of dog worrying causing immediate damage and no doubt creating further problems as the ewes lamb. If the police had to spend less time outside pubs and clubs in urban areas they could find more resources to look after those of us who live and work in the countryside.
The fall in the milk price has prompted a large increase in culling dairy cows and while it was chuffing for Ashford Market the other week to be fourth largest in the country for culls, we have to think about the future. This will inevitably lead to a decrease in the supply of home grown beef in eighteen months time. Good news however, was a report in my daily newspaper that up-market restaurants across the country have suddenly realised that steak from quality dairy culls is of vastly superior taste and texture. Giles Coren writing in The Times sampled some of this steak and reckoned it to be the best he had ever eaten. To counter this however, the writer of an adjacent article could not resist quoting from PETA, who were astounded that dairy cows which had worked all their life to produce milk should end up on a dinner plate. PETA incidentally consists mostly of c-list celebrities with d-list brains and e-list ideals. What do they think happens to the tens of millions of cull ewes and cull sows that have to be disposed of every year let alone the cows.
Good news – I just paid about 90 pence net of VAT for diesel which now enables me to look at all my sheep every day. The only problem is the pub is between my sheep and our home!
PS. Dear Mr. Cameron, you promised to repeal the ban on hunting when you win a majority. Please keep this promise as the foxes on my small farm have developed a taste for Crystalyx and are looking exceedingly healthy.