Monday, October 18, 2010

Addicts say: "We want more drugs"

The BBC has a rather extraordinary piece up on its website,

Farmers defend controversial EU subsidies
Well, errr of course they do.

It is about as controversial as say, 'Navy wants more ships', or maybe 'Dogs reported to be quite keen on bones'.

That is neither here nor there. What we have here is a couple of carefuly selected farnmers from France and the UK who have shown great entrepreneurial spirit, and asked them if they like to receive CAP money. They are paragon's in their fileds. So one canot criticise them individually, that would be mean after all. But they are entirely unrepresentative of the general situation within the farming industry.

Having subsidies set at betwen 40-60% of their annual income means that they are not ndependent dfarnmers, merely part of the last great nationalised industry, with all the problems that being directed from above entails.

The French farmer points to the problem,

He is paid according to the size of his farm - which is monitored by satellite - and the way in which he farms.

Under EU rules, he cannot turn to the cheap fertilisers or pesticides they might use in Latin America. His fields are surrounded by streams, grass borders and woodlands which he is paid to protect.
He cannot act in a way that woyuld maximise income because of various rules and regulations that impede his actions. He is paid as a custodian, not as a farmer. Fine if you want it that way, but is that what the vast sum of money handedc over by the taxpayers is for? The CAP and the rukles that surround it are bad for farming. But it would take a very brave farmer who revbels against it. They know that ist hampers their actions, they know that it has turned them into subsidy junkies and they know that in the ened it is bad for them and for the continuation of food production in the European countryside, but they would be mad to turn down such a massive slice of their income.

How worrying this all is is made clearly apparent by the caveat on the comment section,

Are you in the EU? What do you think of the EU's system of farm subsidies? What do you think of the points made by the farmers in this story? You can send us your views using the form below.
At no time should you endanger yourself or others, take any unnecessary risks or infringe any laws.

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