The word ‘environment’ is used increasingly strategically and politically, sometimes genuinely, but also by those wishing to be considered as being of a caring disposition.
Some are beginning to question why farming, house building, transport and industry, the ability to ‘manage’ our surroundings, make progress within our communities, create homes, jobs and produce food, all appear to take second place to the ‘environment’.
The shortage of housing and inability to build enough homes, is not unconnected to the planning system which now prioritises the ‘environment’ by protecting the wellbeing of the odd patch of moss, or the welfare of badgers, of which there are too many, or a few Greater Crested Newts, above common sense and the needs of local communities who require homes, and places of work.
Those in the best position to care for the ‘environment’, and who have done so for generations, indeed centuries, are farmers. Recent reports by so called experts, that livestock’s emissions are more damaging to the planet than CO2 from cars, should have been backed up with statistics illustrating the advantages and benefits of farming livestock, instead of allowing the ensuing hysteria.
Negativity sells newspapers, and excite those whose lives appear to revolve around what they read on Facebook. The Agriculture Bill focused upon public good and the environment, rather than promoting sustainable food production. A big mistake on Mr Gove’s part, who did little to endorse British agriculture and fishing. British agriculture and our fishing industry is suffering from the lack of a dedicated Minister. The management of rivers and waterways have deteriorated since the River Authority was replaced by the Environment Agency.
I rather think that if Mr Gove was less influenced by the deafening clamour emitting from environmental lobby groups, most of which are financed by processed food manufacturers, was renamed Minister of Agriculture & Fishing, farmers and fishermen would have a more positive public image.
Livestock production generates outputs such as meat, milk, skins and hides, fuel energy, and in many third world countries, essential draught power. They also increase the fertility of soil which enables the growing of the very crops so enthusiastically devoured by vegans and vegetarians.
They enhance the landscape, and promote species amenity values, waste assimilation, and ecological functions such as nutrient recycling.
The pressure will now increase upon the livestock sector to demonstrate its sustainability credentials in future. Surely not so difficult for the UK’s predominately grass-fed system.
It is understandable that the modern consumer demands food which impacts as little as possible on emissions and climate change. So it is important to promote British livestock farming, its advantages and opportunities to enhance the environment, and high welfare standards.
Talking about ‘positive’ messages, it is about time Mrs May and her collective government stopped the gloom and doom and start to promote the advantages and opportunities that leaving the Single Market, Customs Union, European Court of Justice, open borders, CAP and the Common Fisheries Policy, offers the UK.
The sight of senior MPs and ministers openly doing their best to rubbish Great Britain, our sovereignty, and our ability to govern as directed by the electorate is shocking.
Democracy is teetering on a knife edge, as those advocating a second referendum, stopping a no deal Brexit, and anything else they can think of to defy the will of the majority, by wrecking Brexit.
There are rumours that the Prime Minister, who is clearly enjoying her humiliation, will shortly call a General Election. If she remains leader of the Conservative Party, we shall without doubt end up with a Corbyn government.