A couple of weeks ago, I wrote to my MP asking why he chose to vote down the Agriculture Bill when, in the constituency that he represents, the largest sector of employment is agriculture. Do you know what he said?
No, neither do I. I am still waiting for an answer. And I dare say I am not the only one.
I had hoped after a few weeks since the Bill was defeated that I would have calmed down a tad. And to a degree, I have. My anger has subsided and delightfully been replaced with massive disappointment.
Like them or hate them, as a collective industry ‘we’ appointed the Conservatives as the party who ‘understand’ farming and are ‘on our side’. As it turns out, they are just on their side. There’s a shock.
I do not think any of us truly expected Government to stick the two finger salute up to Uncle Sam, especially as we hurtle towards Brexit and desperately need to make a new friend in trade, but at least try to make it look like you care, won’t you?
And so what next for UK Agriculture? Deserted by most of our political party, it appears we are soon to be awash with delicious chlorinated chicken and hormone-injected beef.
Step forward the NFU and its online petition. More than one million signatures urging the Government to ensure trade deals do not lead to imports of food that would be illegal to produce here, as well as the introduction of a trade, food and farming standards commission.
Obviously, they will not go through with the latter. Setting up a new department in Whitehall is as easy as getting my son to homeschool. We are three months into lockdown and his hours of work can be counted on one hand; okay, three fingers.
It may sound somewhat cynical, but if Government can ignore millions of people marching against Brexit, then I am very sure they will choose to turn a blind eye to a petition.
Indeed, Farming Minister Victoria Prentis all but confirmed this and has urged us to trust the Government’s ‘verbal assurances’. Which is all well and good until you remember Boris Johnson is in charge.
At the last election, I felt politically homeless. In fact, the only thing the Conservatives had going for them was that they weren’t the Labour Party.
If I look ahead to five years’ time, I can see the same thing happening for Labour. I am tired of our industry being undermined, undervalued and only restricted to soundbites by Adam Henson on Countryfile. We need our voices and concerns to be heard and acted upon.
We do need to make a lot more noise. And if this party is not listening, perhaps it is time we stopped sleepwalking to the polling booths.
Vote for the NFU Party and Minette Batters for Prime Minister. She has more courage than all of Westminster combined.