Without doubt, Harvey Weinstein and his ilk are utter scumbags and deserve every punishment that is thrown at them, given that they were taking favours of a very dubious nature because of their powerful position.

However, I find it pathetic that so many individuals in the current public arena have found it necessary to drag up fairly innocuous approaches made to them many years ago. Take the case of Andrea Leadsom, who is obviously a woman of some substance and a lot of ambition.

She brought to light inappropriate comments made by Sir Michael Fallon some six years ago and as a consequence he – one of the few in the Tory cabinet with any real presence – was forced to resign. Further it was suggested that the same may have touched the knee of a political journalist some 15 years ago. Note, he may have touched her knee and probably after a few late snifters. This poses the question as to whether the highly subsidised bars in the House of Commons should be replaced with play areas serving lemonade and orange juice.

If only all these people who have been ridiculed in the press had been given the advice proffered to me at a very old fashioned boarding school: “If you simply put your foot in the place you desperately wanted to put your hand, the worst offence you could be accused of is trespassing.”

For every £100 that is made in the UK, 70 pence goes overseas on foreign aid and we pay pro rata three times more than the rest of the world. Is it because we are guilty of the domination we once had over much of the planet? Why on earth are we still donating vast sums to India for example, whose economy now is more buoyant than ours; and why do we spent £13 billion on foreign aid for the 20 most corrupt countries in the world? We even send aid to Iran which is now holding us to ransom over the wife and child of one of our citizens.

Further, I believe I am correct in stating that the Department for International Development is the only outfit in Whitehall that is increasing in personnel, presumably to make sure that all the money allocated to them is actually spent. We must be stark raving mad. We should be reducing what we send overseas and transferring half the staff to that government department that tracks down benefit cheats.

Having been an articled pupil at W & B Hobbs Ashford Market in the early sixties, on passing my exams I returned to my home county to further my career. This did not go too well and after 13 or 14 years in the wilderness, I was invited to return to Ashford in 1978. Purely by coincidence, one of my older farming friends brought in a copy of the Big Farm Weekly, published on 21 December 1978 and it makes really interesting reading, particularly with regard to commodity prices. I list a few below:

Good seeds hay £40, wheat straw £10, all live finished cattle 70p/a kilogram, finished lambs 134p/kg, finished pigs 62p/kg, spot prices for feed wheat £88 per ton, barley £80, oats £70, white potatoes £34-£40, and finally a 421 acre estate in Lincolnshire rented for £16,840 overall was sold for just over £600,000. How times have changed – but it would appear the price of finished lambs has improved the least.

One article of particular significance was the announcement made by the then EEC that after much deliberation they had decided to re classify frozen beef skirts from Australia as meat, rather than offal, and as a consequence, it would be subject to a 20% import levy. The bulletin finished by admitting that in 1978 Australia only exported approximately one tonne of beef skirts to the EEC. Nothing changes my opinion that the bigger an institution is – the greater the volume of hot air that will emanate from it. Roll on Brexit.

Management and her assistant wish you all a very happy Christmas.