More on the EU budget

Institute for European Environmental Policy.


Martin  Harper’s blog.

Defra website – nothing at all.

I am always shocked by the fact that our government doesn’t think it has any obligation to  feed back on the results of major EU decisions – like settling the budget for the next five years.  It’s hardly surprising that there is a wave of anti-EU feeling when our own government does little to explain what has happened, describe the  implications or comment on whether they are good or bad for UK farmers or  UK taxpayers.

I’d make Owen Paterson record a little video on the subject if I were his boss.  But I know  he is too busy looking around for the stable door after the horse has bolted into lasagne, burgers and heaven only knows what  else.

I hope they have tested for badger DNA too.





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14 Replies to “More on the EU budget”

  1. The current EU 'debates' are the most worrying political hoodwinks in resent times.

    Public opinion is far too easily swayed with the EU: The trick is to highlight immigration and the figure of money going out, after that people seem to lap everything up. This trick is often used on question time - on several incidences leading to people applauding getting rid of the working time directive. I don't think any of them realised that that was the only thing limiting them to a sensible working week and health checks for night workers.

    The same trick is pulled with the CAP, with people starting to believe that treating agriculture solely as a capitalist market is best for everyone. They don't seem to see the link with the decline of wildlife - the state of dairy herds and the fact that they formed the opinion whilst eating horse burgers

  2. Do not get the bit about state of dairy herds.
    That depends entirely on the owners and herdsman,just like everything else including conservationists,some good some middling and some not so good.

  3. “I hope they have tested for badger DNA too”

    Something New Labour in 13 years refused to do with PCR technology (DNA Amplification) - just in case it was used to identify TB diseased badgers – and this from a regime that thought it developed Evidence Based Policies

    Labour said – “we will not use PCR in badger – alive or dead”

    The other point of course is – like BUTE – the danger of ‘poisoning’ – ingesting BroXetomol ©

    1. "ingesting BroXetomol"

      No worries unless you are diabetic with a peanut allergy taking high doses of paracetamol for arthritis.

  4. Forgive me for going off-topic and adding a post-script to the recent EDM603 discussion.
    A number of people commented that their Tory MPs stated they never sign EDMs because they are expensive and not cost effective. I enquired with the House of FOI office about the actual cost and they have indicated that it is approximately £360 per EDM based on estimated staff costs, IT costs and external printing costs. That seems like pretty good value to me if it allowed nearly 150 MPs to go on record with their concern about the threat to funding of the NWCU and arguably contributed to swaying the decision to maintain the funding for another year. No other mechanism was available that enabled this depth of feeling to be so clearly expressed.
    Any parliamentary mechanism may be used frivolously or ineffectively but if an EDM addresses a serious topic that is not otherwise covered in the House of Commons business timetable there seems to be a strong argument in favour of their use as part of an MP's democratic toolkit.

  5. Mark, I found the links to the Institute for European Environmental Policy and particularly interesting, thank you.

    The NFU's language is also revealing - " ‘greening’ conditions that are imposed". Like the EU website that's quite a witty to describe it, rather than, say, "support for the efforts of those farmers who want to manage their farms for the benefit of wildlife", "improving the environmental performance of farming and food production" or "ensuring public money delivers maximum public benefit".

    Still no mainstream media coverage that I can find reacting to the environmental side of the EU budget, which does come as a surprise - nothing on the Gruaniad's environmental pages for example. Not that I've had time to look very hard. However, there was this from the Independent's Mike McCarthy earlier this month which synthesises quite a lot of related EU and domestic concerns:

    Letters page of the UK national dailies anyone? That may sound old fashioned, but letters also find their way onto newspaper websites, which then turn up in Google searches ... and may trigger environmental correspondents into action?

  6. Diap etc

    Don,t worry they're shooting 28,000 cattle a year with TB so problem should soon be solved. Can't think why someone didn't think of it sooner really. Get rid of all the cattle and the badgers can get on with it without causing any problems. God I'm a genius, may be I'll get a knighthood ?

  7. Brian May wants to vaccinate every Badger good luck to him,that still leaves the problem of at the best of it not any use to those already infected that will be infective to cattle and other wildlife.Surely there must be a way of testing live Badgers once caught for whether they have TB? Think someone may soon suggest we keep Horses and eat them instead of beef.
    Something has gone desperately wrong with the system if the figures I saw are correct.
    1986 number of cattle slaughtered due to BTB 235
    2010 number of cattle slaughtered due to BTB 28,541
    The idea surely is improvement in all things each decade,well that is certainly not progress in this case.Whatever anyone says this is disgraceful how this has been allowed to happen.

  8. This just out from NE on CAP story so far, and New Environmental Land Management Scheme (NELMS) under development to replace ES

  9. Ignorance is No Excuse

    Prof Christl Donnelly was vice chair during the RBCT trial and was partly responsible for designing the trial., in March 2010 she submitted a paper which stated that based on a subset of data taken from the RBCT, results indicate that cattle-to-cattle TB could be substantially reduced, possibly even eliminated, in the absence of transmission from badgers to cattle - Just as it does in every other instance / country where there is no wildlife reservoir (badger deer etc)

    No wonder Mark’s bloggers do not use their real name – demonstrating one’s profound ignorance is not a good idea my friends !

    Really Mark !

  10. I'v just received a predictably depressing response from a UKIP MEP on the subject of CAP reform:

    Dear Sir/Madam
    Thank you for your recent email on this subject.
    I sit on the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee in the European Parliament and I am involved in discussions on CAP Reform.
    The philosophy behind the reform is the word ‘Greening’ so, in principle anyway, it is moving in a direction that you would like to see it go. I personally have great reservations about the proposal that 7% of all land is designated as an Ecological Focus Area and thereby lost to food production, at a time when basic foodstuffs are becoming scarcer. On my own farm I will lose a further 18 acres to ‘nature’ beyond the areas already in environmental schemes. This, in my opinion, is more than enough to ensure bio-diversity.
    As a UKIP MEP, I look at the policy through British eyes and do not agree that British soils are ‘unhealthy’ and in need of EU interference. My own soils, and those of my neighbours, are producing far more than they were 40 years ago without any hint of degradation. This success is mainly due to the efforts of plant breeding companies. British farmers are being expected to adopt measures under these reforms to solve problems that exist in other EU countries, not here.
    This particularly applies to the rotational clause. British arable and livestock farms all practice satisfactory rotation. These new EU measures, which insist on three crops in the same year on the same farm, will make things particularly difficult for small farmers who, for reasons of logistics and convenience, have all their farm in one crop one year and a different crop the following year. Multi-cropping on these small units means more tractor traffic on the roads for contractors servicing these farms and an inevitable increase in the small amounts of treated seed and pesticides that are left over, at the end of any particular treatment.
    The EU encompasses 27 different countries from Cyprus to well north of the Arctic Circle. It is simply impossible to please everyone in this situation. Arguments about different pillars simply add to the confusion.
    We have a unique agriculture in Britain that, in my opinion, should be directed by the British people themselves through their elected Government and Parliament at Westminster.
    With best wishes,
    Stuart Agnew MEP
    UK Independence Party

    "Losing land to nature", huh? Needless to say I did not and will not vote for him!


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