Eustice’s appointment as Defra Secretary seemed to be a popular one among farmers, but this just shows they haven’t been paying attention, says Hywel Davies, who is a partner at Cyfreithwyr Llys Cennen Solicitors and helps his parents run the Aman flock of pedigree Texel sheep, the 2018 Champion Flock of Wales.
Fair play to Boris, he has pulled a reshuffle out of the bag just when it looked like Brexit politics had become boring.
Thursday was a different planet.
I emailed in a Brexit hub piece with my thoughts on Jeremy Corbyn’s tenure as Labour leader.
Mainly how I saw that he, above anybody else, delivered Brexit, possibly without trying, and lead not only to Boris’ rehabilitation, but also his comfortable majority.
Now the honeymoon is over, the first plate of the wedding present tea service has been smashed.
Sajid Javid always struck me as out of his depth, but the Chancellor’s resignation was not in the script. Drama.
Dominic Cummings has been promoted to most of the big jobs.
Some thrusting youngsters and leadership campaign loyalists have been placed as public facing pawns on the arch-weirdo’s chess board.
The boring, the ERG plants and the continuity May sops have been cleared out.
Julian Smith seemed to be the quiet operator popular with all sides that the Northern Ireland job needed.
I suppose if you’re a convention-chewing controversialist like Cummings, that just painted a target on the poor man’s back.
Of more interest to you, reader, may be George Eustice getting in at Defra.
A quick scan of Twitter showed this to be a popular choice among farmers, which just goes to show, I think, that they haven’t been paying attention.
Whilst Eustice has a bit of farmer caché as apparently coming from farm stock, and talking the talk, I’m not his biggest fan.
It’s easy as a backbencher or junior minister to talk big, but it’s his big talk that first put me off.
It was, of course, during the referendum campaign.
He made a pitch for leave. Not surprising as an ex-UKIP man.
The contributions we wouldn’t be sending to Brussels could be spent on maintaining or even increasing farm subsidies.
Nonsense, bare electioneering, was never going to happen. Amazingly brazen, but then maybe not for the ex-PR man.
Within a month of the result at the Royal Welsh Show he’d changed his tune.
He could not guarantee that future agricultural support programmes would be as generous as EU subsidies.
Let’s hope my doubts that he is an ambitious, craven yes man are misplaced and he becomes a doughty champion for us in these crucial domestic budget and EU and other trade deal negotiations.
We’ll certainly need one.
Grass growth has benefitted in the mild winter, but underfoot its sodden. I hope we don’t pay for this mildness later on.
Thankfully the sheep are in and due to kick off lambing next week.
I hope these storms which are named don’t try to outdo each other and clear off by then as we like the ewes and lambs to go out at a day old if at all possible.
We might just have to let them get on with it and hope for the best, like Boris and his new boy Rishi Sunak’s impending first budget.
Hywel can be found tweeting at @DefaidTexel