Food is the most important component to human life, other than oxygen and water, yet for more than eighty years, Britain has been unable to satisfy her subjects’ appetite. Instead imported food makes up much of the large deficit, and other than under rationing, this arrangement has been adequate if not desirable. However under the direction of the Labour Government, this deficit has reached a record level. The food trade gap has now reached a crippling £15.2 billion. As the Telegraph reports; “Labour has spent more than a decade undermining farming, creating a culture that seemed to regard farmers as intruders in a landscape that should be reserved for birds and tubercular badgers.”
They have attacked those who live in the countryside as ‘Toffs’ and ‘leachers’ and in a failed attempt to prove their anti- affluent credentials, Labour even went so far as to make illegal an industry that many in the country relied on; fox-hunting. Now finally, Defra (the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) have decided to get worried. They are suddenly cautioning the nation that the food situation is a recipe for disaster. They are warning that fuel shortages, international disputes, terrorism and foreign price hikes could all have a devastating impact on Britain’s ability to feed herself! We need to be worried.
But even this ‘wake-up call’ has not convinced the “Government of the People” to help the 3.6 million workers who are employed in the agri-food sector: Defra still advises the public against ‘unsustainable’ local produce and has fought against making honest labelling of food compulsory. It even lobbied against such a step during recent EU negotiations against the wishes of many in the farming industry. Since 2002, some 7,300 dairy farmers have gone out of business and since Labour came to power in 1997, cultivated land has contracted alarmingly. The Labour government have done little to hide the contempt which they feel towards the rural community. They have characterised them as elitist, bloodthirsty and lazy but they forget that it is those who live and work in Britain’s countryside who secure many of our greatest British values. It is they who support our wildlife and it is they who provide us with the food with which we survive.
Under a Conservative government, all would be defended not just those employed by Labour’s bureaucratic superstate; the chocking red-tape would be slashed and if the nation in 2010 elects the Tories to power, maybe they can reverse the devastating, Labour-led decline to our farming industry.