Cartoon by Ralph Underhill (and an odd NFU story)

owen patterson

I don’t have a great deal of admiration for the NFU’s grip on science and so when I was sent a link to them advertising a job (but please read to the end of this post) for a scientific adviser and spokesperson I was quite sceptical – you might even say, cynical.

When I read the job advert my eyes lit up when I read that applicants should ‘have previous experience in arranging scientific data to support a policy that may not fit the conclusion of the study’ and that ‘we ask you not to discuss your application for this position with anyone other than family and close friends, as the individual who achieves the position will be acting publicly as an independent and not that of an NFU employee’.

So, the NFU is looking for someone to bend the evidence and pretend that they aren’t working for the NFU? I see.

Except when I checked with the NFU, I was told that ‘The advert was not placed by the NFU and has been removed‘.

And having talked to a senior member of the NFU I am fairly convinced that this was not an NFU advert but was an attempt to smear the NFU and to paint them in a bad light.

I’m glad I checked, rather than assuming the worst about the NFU. I still don’t have that much respect for the NFU’s treatment of science but I’m glad that it seems that this isn’t another black mark to put against their name.




6 Replies to “Cartoon by Ralph Underhill (and an odd NFU story)”

  1. Always thought the NFU could upset the apple cart itself without any outside help,even so far as upsetting loyal members who then became past members.

  2. “applicants should ‘have previous experience in arranging scientific data to support a policy that may not fit the conclusion of the study’”

    Was it taken from a DECC job advert, pre-2008?

  3. Hmmm, I’m a cynical young git I know, whilst searching for jobs via the net I have stumbled across many fake job placements, some are nothing more than scams that involve ID theft, hence now why the advice that when sending CV’s for jobs online they tell you not to submit NI numbers or your adress/date of birth (just your age) until the interview stage. Oddly the vast majority are/were on the website. Firms like Indeed/Monster Job and Safari are quite robust even checking the position is genuine. It’s their business and if fake jobs turn up it’s their reputation that goes down the swanny and rivals benefit and there are plenty of rivals, my point, did anyone check with Safari whom placed this advert, I know for a fact Safari will take contact details of the individual placing the job and DO check them before placing the advert, it would be a lot easier for someone to say the advert was fake then placing said advert.

  4. 1) Even the NFU aren’t stupid enough to give a job description like that in the public arena, we’re talking about an organisation that has been able to bend the government ears, where others have failed
    2)Shame on Safari in a competive online job market, with new companies joining the scene every week, I would have thought they would have stricter checking systems in place. As a one time jobseeker i know Yougov website played host to a variety of ID theft scams etc and the vast majority of online jobsites do a host of detail checking to prevent rubbish like this appearing, after all if a job is fake or scam it’s them who loose out
    3)Good joke though

  5. Surely the real problem is that Mark’s initial assumption was that it could be genuine ?

    OK, he’s a bit cynical about NFU but that is still a pretty serious image crisis for NFU. And whilst NFU may not be doing it, there seems strong evidence that over $180m has been funelled to the climate change denial industry in the US – and there is, apparently, even an American ‘friends of’ getting money to UK CC deniers ! Their practice of non-science is in a league that makes the badger issues look like chicken feed.

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