Ahem

the Suffolk Punch has been described as having “the face of an angel and the backside of a farmer’s daughter”.

Strangely, still rather useful in forestry. If managing mixed woodland one or two horses are much easier to use to get just the one tree out rather than some vast machine. No help at all with clear cuts and all that of course.

18 thoughts on “Ahem”

  1. The truly evil and degenerate nature of political scum is obvious. In many other ways than their inability to keep faith with even their supposed “loved ones” never mind the rest of us.

    Be it Vaz or Wiener in the US obsessed with sending photos of his dick across the airwaves. Or his deceitful Persian rug-munching supposed wife –who, even as she is publicly humiliated, still works daily to lie and con one of the most evil women of all time into power in the US.

  2. Little confused, Theophrastus, are you suggesting that if Vaz turned his attention away from gay Poles to Suffolk Punches, the breed could be saved? I don’t follow the logic, Vaz doesn’t have the face of an angel although he does have the backside of two farmer’s daughters.

  3. So Much For Subtlety

    Strangely, still rather useful in forestry. If managing mixed woodland one or two horses are much easier to use to get just the one tree out rather than some vast machine. No help at all with clear cuts and all that of course.

    Why is that strange? Wheeled or tracked vehicles tend to work best on roads. Not a lot of those in forests.

    Clear cuts have been the way that forestry management has gone. Whether that is sensible or not is arguable. It works for vast pine plantations that produce cheap planks. The solution is to buy something else. Preferably something a lot more expensive. Oddly customers don’t really want to do this unless the walnut is over 100 years old.

  4. So Much For Subtlety

    DocBud – “are you suggesting that if Vaz turned his attention away from gay Poles to Suffolk Punches, the breed could be saved?”

    I would think that being sodomized by Keith Vaz would produce an automatic state of existential despair that would make extinction look attractive. Even in an animal as robust as a Suffolk Punch. I don’t know how his wife has survived.

    In fact it would not surprise me if this worked by proxy and the entire nation of Romania does themselves in by next weekend. Which would, at least, save us from the Cheeky Girls ever releasing another album.

  5. In an attempt to bring two extraneous themes together, I note that the elephant is extensively used in forestry operations in south Asia and that the elephant with its trunk has an advantage over the heavy horse and can be used for lifting and loading as well as dragging logs.

    The working life of the forestry elephant is, like Mr Vaz’s, approximately thirty years. Thereafter it enjoys a long and peaceful retirement which Mr Vaz will not. It enjoys nothing more esoteric than being rubbed down with a coco-nut husk in a lake or river.

  6. “There are now just 300 Suffolk Punch horses left in the UK”

    And? Do they have a natural predator? Are people hunting them? At a rate of 30-40 foals born a year, it seems they’re probably sustaining that number.

    But, what would be wrong with just creating a big area in one of the unused bits of the country and letting them get on with things? Sure, it won’t be the pampered life of vets and stables. A lot more will die than in farms. But they should be able to survive as a breed like any other wild horses. Plenty of areas up north that we could use.

  7. So Much For Subtlety

    dearieme – “A bit of GM and we could have working elephants here. Or should we go for mammoths?”

    We could have working elephants here anyway. We did during World War Two. But we have enough immigrants from Asia and Africa in this country. We don’t need any more. Besides, genetically modified illegal immigrants? The Daily Mail would go spare.

    Bloke in Wiltsire – “But, what would be wrong with just creating a big area in one of the unused bits of the country and letting them get on with things?”

    Because one of the things they will get on with is miscegenation. Or whatever passes for it among horses. Extinction through interbreeding is extinction none the less.

    The sensible solution is to do what most people actually want – shift agricultural subsidies from big producers with enormous combine harvesters to small scale farmers. So instead of giving money for production, we should be giving money for protecting hedges – and using horses.

  8. “The sensible solution is to do what most people actually want – shift agricultural subsidies from big producers with enormous combine harvesters to small scale farmers. So instead of giving money for production, we should be giving money for protecting hedges – and using horses.”

    Do people want this? First I’ve heard. Seems much simpler to stop all subsidies and if there is a demand for hedges and horses, then people will pay for it themselves instead of appropriating the money from everybody’s pockets.

  9. So Much For Subtlety

    Doug – “Do people want this? First I’ve heard. Seems much simpler to stop all subsidies and if there is a demand for hedges and horses, then people will pay for it themselves instead of appropriating the money from everybody’s pockets.”

    Have you ever met anyone who thinks it is a good idea to give massive subsidies to the largest land owners in the country so they can produce fields that look like they are in the American MidWest? Yes, it would be a better idea to stop all subsidies. But if you ask people what they want the countryside to look like, they want it to look like a Constable painting. Hedges. Wildlife. Birds. Deferential yokels. That is, not the modern industrial scale agriculture the EU pushes. They may be better off with no subsidies and no hedges. But all other things being equal that is not what people say.

  10. I’m with SMFS on this one, and if he and I agree…

    Instead of subsidising farm production, we should turn farmers into countryside custodians – to some extent, at least.

    Doug>

    “if there is a demand for hedges and horses, then people will pay for it themselves instead of appropriating the money from everybody’s pockets”

    If a sufficiently large number of people agree, then general taxation is a reasonable way to go. And while it’s very unlikely to work in practice, in theory it’s possible that the economy might be better-off as a result, which is the other justification for government spending.

    The problem with charging people for it individually is that the benefits of having nice countryside don’t accrue to the farmers/custodians, they accrue to the B&B owners and so-on.

  11. SMFS – Hhhhm… not convinced at all that most people want a countryside as you paint. I’d venture a good proportion of folks have minimal interest in such. There is a very vocal section of society pushing for landscape preservation – whether it’s a majority I have my doubts.

    I’d also suggest that you can both (more complex than that but…) styles of farm without subsidies. There are various niche farms springing up which also, by their nature, preserve the 18/19C landscape. Without subsidies there be much more scope for this. The buyers can pay.

  12. Doug, SMFS et al
    I have the solution!
    Instead of red diesel, tax farm machinery fuel at punitive rates.
    That way they would make circular or oval fields and leave quite a bit to nature.

  13. Bloke in North Dorset

    “Instead of subsidising farm production, we should turn farmers into countryside custodians – to some extent, at least.”

    To a large extent they are. As part of the subsidy regime they have to set aside strips of land at the edge for wildlife, manage footpaths and stiles (I help out a widowed neighbour by mowing a footpath alongside my house to ensure it is passable for when townies come for a walk).

  14. One of my great uncles used to breed Suffolk Punch horses. They were bred for tasks such as pulling ploughs and other implements. Lovely creatures, strong as heck. With the advent of the tractor, the need for them declined.

    During the first world war, the army requisitioned (seized) one of my great-grandfather’s complete roster of heavy horses. Imagine the economic devastation that wrought.

    The horse is also the symbol of Ipswich Town FC, which isn’t yet extinct. Gulp.

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