Casuistry at Unherd

Why doesn’t Britain value its farmers?

Bollocks, Britain spends £3 billion a year on subsidising farmers.

This crisis has shown we need to think very carefully about how the nation feeds itself

How might that be then?

Last week, for example, sheep prices collapsed, because the system was suddenly frozen with confusion and log jams.

Genius seems to think that a fall in the price of food is evidence of a shortage of food.

Norway has a deeply protectionist food system that supports its farmers as a matter of national strategic importance. Farmers there, for example, produce 80-90% of the national demand for beef and sheep meat. Since large areas of Norway aren’t globally competitive for agriculture, it doesn’t want to ‘outsource’ what food production it is capable of and put its rural communities — where family-run farms drive the local economy — at risk. It may turn out to be a very sensible policy. Ask yourself whether you trust Donald Trump to keep food supply lines to Britain open in a time of genuine food crisis? Or whether he might look after America’s interests first?

Given that the Americans are banging on the door asking us to buy their food we might have a clue. Another one being that when we were in crisis the Americans filled the Atlantic Ocean with ships carrying food to us.

Things are going to get a whole lot worse if, after this is all over, we continue as though nothing has changed and throw British farmers to the mercy of global free trade and systems that are big, bad and ugly. We need to protect this key national resource so it is there for us through thick and thin.

Because if another disaster strikes — and it will — then I want a significant share of my diet to be available within walking distance of where I live. I want to know where I can source food for my family, and if that means I pay a bit more for food in the good times, then so be it.

And that’s not what the correspondent, a Lake District farmer is asking. Rather, he’s asking that everyone else pay more for their food so that Lake district farmers gain more subsidy.

At which point, of course, fuck ‘im.

Groceries Prices in United Kingdom are 36.00% lower than in Norway

Him and the horse he rode in on.

20 thoughts on “Casuistry at Unherd”

  1. And spends about £4bn a year subsidising other countries farmland owners.
    Gawd know why the competition is getting big hand-outs, although some of that should end if there is no trade deal.

  2. Sadly nothing produced in the Lake District is within walking distance of where I live. I am hardly alone.
    So how does supporting Lake District farmers help me?
    Oh sure they maintain the Landscape which tourists like me love, so there’s a case for paying them for that. But it isn’t about food production.

  3. “big, bad and ugly.” Why were those immensely useful technical terms not on page 2 of my economics textbook, right after “supply and demand”?

  4. “Ask yourself whether you trust Donald Trump to keep food supply lines to Britain open in a time of genuine food crisis?”
    A lot more than I would the French.
    And since he’s complaining about ” the system was suddenly frozen with confusion and log jams”, also the British.

  5. Things are going to get a whole lot worse if, after this is all over, we continue as though nothing has changed

    Bollocks. why would things be worse than before if we carry on as we were? and I’m getting really pissed off with all these mono-maniacs insisting that Covid-19 is the catalyst for change in the thing they’ve been banging on about ad nauseum. I was fairly happy before Covid, and if Boris gets us out of the EU with the right/no deal I will be afterwards.

  6. oh, and Unherd is a pile of shit cos they don’t have comments. Means they post this and related toss-pottery and get away with it.

  7. Paying for food security is one thing – paying extra to have dairy production in the UK reduced so that we can be a dumping ground for the milk and dairy products that the French cannot sell at home is another.

  8. I’m getting really pissed off with all these mono-maniacs insisting that Covid-19 is the catalyst for change in the thing they’ve been banging on about ad nauseum

    Yep. See also, the EU in Tim’s earlier item, every authoritarian nut job on twitter and the world’s leading green snake oil salesmen.

    Seriously though, I think the COVID-19 outbreak proves how essential it is that we provide Hong Kong-based British expats with heavily-subsidised cocaine-dusted leggy Russian hookers. On a yacht.

  9. I would love it if when this is over the UK went to a system of unilateral free movement – Ellis island style checks for communicable diseases and criminality – and then you’re in.
    Even if just for Hong Kong residents to test the strategy.
    And Newmania can eff off to Eastern Europe to suck the cock of the landowners he so desperately wants a centralised subsidy system for, and to live with his aggregate more racist EU friends.

  10. ‘This crisis has shown we need to think very carefully about how the nation feeds itself’

    We? Is he royalty?

    ‘Ask yourself whether you trust Donald Trump to keep food supply lines to Britain open in a time of genuine food crisis?’

    After your gratuitous insult, he won’t. He’s not like other politicians. He won’t take it; he’ll fight back. How decadent to swipe at someone you must depend on ‘in a time of genuine food crisis.’ You, sir, are a turd. Karma demands your starvation.

  11. Ask yourself whether you trust Donald Trump to keep food supply lines to Britain open in a time of genuine food crisis? Or whether he might look after America’s interests first?

    Wait – I thought you guys weren’t eating food from over here because of ‘The EU’ and ‘OMG CHLORINATED CHICKENZ!’.

    As for this guy’s fear that the US might stop exports – well, first we’d have to have so little food production here that there wasn’t enough to export in the first place. *That’s* when ‘Trump’ (because Trump isn’t a monarch who’ll sit on a throne for 60 years) will ‘stop’ exports – right at the point when no one is going to want to export it anyway because local prices are now so high (due to some sort of shortage) that they don’t have to.

  12. I still think we should’ve revolted over the 60-year vassalage of lend-lease, given wot the Jerries got away with under the Dawes and Young Plans. Then the Marshall Plan.

  13. “when we were in crisis the Americans filled the Atlantic Ocean with ships carrying food to us”

    And did so despite the best efforts of the then European union to sink them.

  14. Groceries Prices [sic] in United Kingdom are 36.00% lower than in Norway

    He’s complaing about that while asking for Gov money to allow him to buy groceries?

    Idiot should move to Norway

    btw Lidl frozen chips are ~100% more expensive in Sweden

    @bis, jimmers, Gamecock

    Agree

    U.S. total exports of agricultural products to United Kingdom totaled $2.0 billion in 2018. Leading domestic export categories include: wine & beer ($261 million), tree nuts ($197 million), prepared food ($168 million), soybeans ($109 million), and live animals ($90 million)
    https://ustr.gov/countries-regions/europe-middle-east/europe/united-kingdom

    .
    In news (C4) “Brazil’s Far Right President refuses to introduce lockdown” – dangerous evil man

    Sweden refuses to introduce lockdown – silence

  15. Because if another disaster strikes — and it will — then I want a significant share of my diet to be available within walking distance of where I live.

    Erm, has he thought this through?
    If disaster does strike, such as a flood, storm, bad winter,etc then if a significant share of his diet comes from the local area, it too will be affected. Resulting in massively higher prices and lack of availability.
    A point made on here quite a bit.

    The whole “what if Trump wouldn’t sell to us” argument is nonsense.
    So what? Even if he decided that, there are still plenty of other countries to buy from. Unless he envisions us being a complete pariah state that nobody wants to do business with? (even N. Korea trades with some countries)

  16. I doubt NZ and Australia will decline to feed Britain.

    Vegans are in trouble though, if that happens.

  17. “Groceries Prices [sic] in United Kingdom are 36.00% lower than in Norway.”

    As I’ve said before, never mind the accuracy, marvel at the resolution.

  18. Years ago(a very prescient) Tim wrote a piece when Norway had a severe butter shortage crisis. Caused solely by their protection of norwegian farmers and one of the few opt outs they had with the EU. People went without butter or paid through the nose.

    the reason why i said prescient is because Tim said then the Norwegian political elite all wanted “IN” the Eu, but the populace always voted against, so the Policians signed up to everything they didn’t need an actual vote for. Described the the Theresa led situation some years later until her deposition and the UK general Election (and still not quite in-the-bag proven different since we’re yet to see how the gvt majority is used.)

  19. “Sweden refuses to introduce lockdown”

    Yes, the persistent issue will be “What would have been the government’s correct response?”

    Based on what we know – and there are still serious unknowns – I think lockdown is ridiculous. Dangerous over management by government. Closing certain government institutions is fine. Schools are full of kids, who can be counted on to do the wrong thing. So closing them is okay.

    Telling businesses they must close is wrong.

    Telling restaurants they must close is wrong. They know they’re is trouble, and will do what they think best in their situation.

    Telling people they must stay home is hideous.

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