Being an avid subscriber to the Daily Telegraph, I always digest the page containing letters from readers and one in particular struck me as common sense of the highest order. The writer acknowledged the fact that medical students, having finally qualified after five years, have racked up a considerable debt and many flee the country, precluding we Brexiteers of their expertise forever.

This writer had written to the government suggesting that in return for these newly qualified doctors continuing to work for the NHS post graduation – each year of employment would, in addition to their salary, write off one year’s worth of debt. This I thought to be a great solution to an every increasing problem. As of the date of this letter no reply had been received. A shame, as common sense isn’t in great abundance in SW1A 0AA. I only know this postcode because I have recently written to my MP who to his great credit helped me enormously, and also to Andrea Leadsom that well known agriculturist in charge of DEFRA. I warned Ms Leadsom that without any intervention from the government, the supermarkets were going to reduce the profitability of meat production to zero or less, in much the same way that they have ruined the dairy industry. I await a reply. On that note, if you want any cream on your Christmas pudding – buy it now!

I’ve just had my annual blood test which has proven that having decided not to take statins, I am not bound for the funeral pyre just yet, but I do have an unused, unopened box of said medicine, which if I return to the surgery, will be binned. Waste is one of the biggest costs to the NHS and yet nobody seems to have the desire to control it. I often wonder what would be the result of sacking all the pen pushers who monitor performance, throw the money saved at those on the coalface and just get on with the job. It used to work.

I’m contemplating putting down some rat poison, but have started to read the option for farmers in the “UK Rodenticide Stewardship Regime” which if management let me would reel off 30-40 pages from her computer, I have given up. It was interesting to note however that a list of 15 CRRU (Campaign for Responsible Rodenticide Use) approved certificates have been released, and even more interesting to note that had I been a member of Red Tractor Farm Assurance, Quality Meat Scotland, Farm Assured Welsh Livestock, Scottish Quality Crops and Northern Ireland Farm Quality Assurance Scheme – I could be easily certifiable. Some think I should be! Anyway in desperation I stopped off at our local garden centre, where I could have bought several kilos of Rentokil rat poison for use by non-professionals with no questions asked – as long as I wrap the dead rats up in two black plastic bags and dispose of in an appropriate manner. The good news is that the CRRU regulations will not be affected when we finally Brexit because the rules were hatched up by our own HSE and not the EU.

A question for anybody with more knowledge of the CAP than me, and of course that is millions, why are farmers who have solar panels on their land not entitled to the single farm payment on the acreage so covered, while farmers who are contracted to grow maize for Anaerobic Digesters are. It does not make sense or is even fair.

By way of entertainment during December, how many of the readers of South East Farmer when watching TV announcements can detect than when a programme is announced for one hour later, it is described as in “a nowers time”? Now I know all about nowers – when I started work in 1962 I was paid 12 pence per nower, I spent two nowers scratching my head over this article and one and a half nowers writing it! When this magazine is published there will be approximately 576 nowers to Christmas.

Richard and management wish everyone a very happy Christmas.