The lack of intellect, empathy, integrity and the sheer un-remarkability of the talent on display in this Government goes a long way to explaining where we with Brexit, says Leicestershire arable and beef farmer Joe Stanley.
I occasionally happen across people who insist on referring to our looming departure from the European Union as ‘Britex’.
I like this; a change, after all, is as good as a rest – and don’t we all need a rest.
Britex! The short-lived rival to the overwhelmingly more successful ‘Brexit’; the 2016 equivalent of Betamax vs VHS. Or – is Britex a new thing?
The damaging version of our EU exit currently being hawked by Government bears no resemblance to that promised during the referendum.
I don’t recall Johnson or Gove standing before a red bus emblazoned with promises of food shortages, medicine stockpiling or a wilful undercutting of British farmers with cheap and nasty trade deals.
Could this be the Great British Britex?
The farming community has grown used to broken promises these past three years.
It might be less hassle for all if, in future, our political masters wrote their rural policy ideas not on the customary napkin or fag-packet, but rather with a stick in the sand at low tide.
No mess. No fuss.
The Schrodinger’s Cat that is the deeply flawed ‘Agriculture Bill’ is, after all, taking up valuable space on my hard drive which would be better filled with pictures of dogs.
In 2016, nobody voted ‘leave’ in the hope that, three years later, they would be the proud owner of a shed full of grain or a herd of livestock worth less than the cost of production, while watching their Government conduct itself on the international stage with all the decorum of a vomit-flecked drunk burping the tune to ‘Rule Britannia’ while urinating in the reference section of a public library.
What we are witnessing is a total failure of leadership. A triumph of tawdry political self-regard over the national interest.
The free-to-air psychodrama which is the explosive disintegration of the 185-year-old Conservative Party on 24-hour rolling news.
The Westminster Hunger Games – set in a more dystopian world.
This is the nadir of all political generations. The lack of intellect, empathy, integrity; the sheer un-remarkability of the talent on display in this Eton mess of a Government goes a long way to explaining how we are where we are.
With Gove at Defra we had – it is considered – the cream of the crop, the doyen of his cadre. Yet what good did it do us?
As the top Google search result for ‘Health & Harmony’ becomes, once again, a beauty salon in Leigh-on-Sea, our new Secretary of State has no more insightful views on her brief than to suggest the only thing for farmers to fear is an insufficient stringency of Brexit itself.
To any politician reading this, I make it crystal clear: British agriculture is a vital strategic, economic and environmental interest.
It is not an acceptable casualty in the Britex/Brexit bun fight, to be betrayed in sordid trade deals or sold out for the sake of a few weeks’ political survival.
Your trivial personal careers are of no interest to either the populace or posterity; the ability to feed this nation is.
Joe can be found tweeting at @JoeWStanley