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Dear Mary,

On Freedom of Information CD of farmer's 'incomes' from past subsidies, a friend has sent for his own to check his figures.

What if they are wrong? he asked.

They didn't know.

'Will you alter the CD run, print a retraction etc.?'

They didn't know.

'Does the total sum printed contain one off payments for tuberculosis reactors compulsorily purchased for example, which would skew the figures?'

They didn't know.

'Why are only England's farmers involved?'

They didn't know.

'Were other businesses in receipt of government grant aid, such as airports, car manufacturers etc going to be similarly listed?'

No comment.

On the same day as this interesting piece of (spiteful?) propaganda was released, we had a phone call from Defra to request a visit to 'check for sudden oak death' in our woodland.

I said that as the operative was tramping the area going from wood to wood, even if he/she disinfected wellington boots, the spores of previous 'hits' would be in their hair, nose clothing and there was no way they were coming into our ancient woodlands.

'Oh no', the lady said, 'we just need the farm maps to see who owns the woodlands'. 'But you've just released a CD showing how much subsidy we received - and the Wildlife team in the same building have the maps anyway.'

'Under Data Protection, I can't have access to them, I have to ask you'.

Quite bizarre Mary. Surreal even.

Best wishes Mary,

Pat