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My neighbour and I were having a debate on Tuesday morning over a cup of coffee. (Nothing stronger)

He said he was trying to be charitable. He put forward the notion that Govt is in fact trying to do the best it can for agriculture and the environment. However, and it’s a very big however, as they are all so totally, abysmally and culpably ignorant of all matters rural they tend to choose as advisors those who will only tell them what they, the advisors, think the Govt wants to hear.

Hence we have Prof King as chief scientific advisor, a man discredited by his peers and Lords Haskins and Sainsbury whose dominating interest is in retail profit regardless of the social and economic consequences.

I put forward the view that the Govt interest was in being seen to do the right thing whilst actually achieving the opposite, for some hidden political reason: hence their dependence on the above three “chosen ones” and an ever increasing reliance on the RSPB and RSPCA whose charitable status is questionable but whose credentials, in the eyes of the general public, are impeccable.

We could agree that Govt only reacts to crises, lurching from one to the next with increasing rapidity. That is the direct result of there being no cohesive policy. Think about that, it applies to everything else too, from health, education and transport to defence of the realm.

For two thirds of the last 160 years agriculture has been deliberately suppressed, pushed into the background, in pursuit of the myth of “cheap food” regardless. As a result of this mistaken policy we were uncomfortably close to starvation and humiliating defeat in two 20th century wars.

“…But it will never happen again…” Don’t you believe it! Have a look at the M 20 where wagons are stacked right now; all because of trouble at Calais. It doesn’t take much to disrupt what’s left of our trade does it?

I’m not sure which of us is right. Either way, the result is chaos; social, environmental and economic.

The loser? The Nation.

We are in the position of a chap with a headache whose doctor prescribes “asprin”. As the pain doesn’t go away he is given ever more potent and expensive pain-killers until he becomes really ill;…and all because the doc can’t be bothered to find out why the poor fellow has the headache in the first place.

Richard.