Extract: The Civil Servants who do this are preoccupied with retaining and enhancing their own jobs - and lining up for themselves, comfortable and lucrative retirements. They can be led or subborned by powerful and wealthy outside interests - in Agriculture, multinationals, agribusinesses, big pharmaceuticals, etc. These supply 'experts' to sit on advisory panels, narrowly directed 'research' and probably, offer more tangible inducements and rewards.

I am still suffering from mental fog induced by all those hours on a coach last Sunday.

Our coach left Barnstaple at 6.30 am, and after crawling through the congestion in South London, finally reached Southwark Street where we were to be set down, at about 2.00 pm. The coach had intended to leave at 4.30 pm and couldn't afford to leave too much later or the drivers would run out of permitted driving hours; so we couldn't linger over the March. Even so it was an unforgettable experience. In the mass of humanity I spoke to people from Oxford, Bristol, North Kent, Blandford Forum, Exeter, Belgium, Tiverton, Okehampton, Exmoor, Cornwall - and Barnstaple [they turned out to be on the other coach - which lft at the same time as ours!]. Having left at 5.30 am I finally returned to the farm shortly after 1.00 am on Monday.

Next morning, I listened with fury to the BBC R4 Today Programme's trivialising report on the March. The BBC really does seem to be part of the New Labour spin machine.

I agree with Dick Woodhead's letter to the Telegraph [that you quoted on warmwell] "Sir - Mr Michael has claimed not to know exactly what Sunday's march was about. That is exactly what it was about." My thoughts are that mostly, policy is made by the Sir Humphrys of the Civil Service - and the detail, in which the devil lies is devised by the lower ranks of the Service.

The Civil Servants who do this are preoccupied with retaining and enhancing their own jobs - and lining up for themselves, comfortable and lucrative retirements. They can be led or subborned by powerful and wealthy outside interests - in Agriculture, multinationals, agribusinesses, big pharmaceuticals, etc. These supply 'experts' to sit on advisory panels, narrowly directed 'research' and probably, offer more tangible inducements and rewards.

In the past [not so distant past], there were many MPs - and many Cabinet members - who had direct experience of farming, estate management and rural life. Even the Labour PM, James Callaghan, was a farmer. So the nominal decision makers had sufficient understanding of the issues to moderate and check the work of the Civil Servants.

No one in government has this understanding now.