Election comment 6 – reports

There was a bit of a fuss last week when the government, it was revealed, stopped the publication of NHS budget data – expected to be shockingly bad news – because Whitehall is in ‘electoral purdah‘. Now, as I recall, the purdah rules are really there to stop government putting out lots of good news…

Election comment 3 – compare and contrast

Here is an exam question for a politics course – and some notes to help you answer it. Q: compare and contrast the winter fuel payments to pensioners with CAP payments to farmers. Some notes to help your revision: similar annual sums of money are involved – around £2bn per annum all pensioners are eligible…

Tale of a hedge (revisited)

In 2014 I wrote a few blogs about a puzzling hedge (see here, here, here). The resolution to the puzzle was that a farmer had driven down the road with his spray still on and had, accidentally, sprayed over a mile of roadside hedge . Time for an update – this is the fourth spring…

Food prices may be lower after Brexit

This is an interesting article by Warwick Lightfoot, Director of Research and Head of Economics and Social Policy at Policy Exchange.  Unsurprisingly, from the Policy Exchange, it is strong on the view that leaving the EU will increase competition and therefore allow food prices to drop. This would be good news for consumers – that…

Dinosaur vocalisations in Jurassic Park

Guy Smith, vice-president of the National Farmers’ Union, said last week that farmers were at risk of being treated as “park keepers”, with Britain forced to increase its reliance on imported food. ‘If the only support mechanism that we get is for environmental delivery, we then become state paid park keepers,” he said. “My concern…