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Wednesday, 29 June 2016


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You think your head is hurting? I've just been told that without the EU subsidies the farmers will stop producing food and we will all starve.

No Brexiteer seems to have an answer for this.

Don't you worry, Miss Mayfly, I can always spare you a few sticks of rhubarb!

Here's one Brexiteer's answer to the point about farmers being unable to farm without EU subsidies:

"It's not true".

Why would you starve?

Westward you have Canada with its almost never ending wheat fields and in the south you have New Zealand with gazillions of sheep and dairy products and us across the Tasman Sea in Oz with all of the above and beef.

Who fed you before you tossed in your lot with the EU?

FFS cheer up.

"Of course, they may be consoling themselves with the thought that the EU itself might not be around for much longer - an outcome much to be desired!" The most likely outcome. The news people didn't call Brexit a "shot heard 'round the world" for nothing. Freedom is intoxicating.

Well, the point as that the farmers would stop producing food since they wouldn't be paid a high price for it. Now, admittedly, they have no interest in starving. However, if several farmers go out of business, how long will it be before someone 'picks up the reins' and starts again? It's not that I don't believe Britain can feed itself, it's just with the amount of 'slopey shouldering' going on, will anyone produce anything until we're fighting in the street?

And I can't cheer up when I see my business already going down the toilet....There's a very real possibility I will be out of work by the end of the year, although my cleaning job will probably pick up.

"That the best classroom in the world is at the feet of an elderly person." Andy Rooney. Britain, like any country, has more resources available than they might recall. It's just that many of them are not connected to an app.

Fair points, Mayfly, and I'm genuinely sorry to hear about your business. I hope things pick up.

With regard to farming in the UK, if farmers are not paid subsidies, then they will have to charge higher prices and sell direct within the UK. This would hurt in the short term, but the market would sort things out. Some farmers will presumably go out of business, but if they have been harvesting subsidies rather than the stuff people eat, then they deserve to. Those who are best at producing food will meet the demand, which will stay pretty constant overall.

If Britain can't feed itself any more, the biggest reason is over-population and over-building.

Duffers - do cheer up, and read a thingie on the insufferable R.North's blog called the Leichtenstein option in which the EEA entry deal has been tweaked to allow for a points based immigration policy.

There's hope yet.

David, you might be gloating prematurely. Cameron intended the referendum to be a sop to the Tory Right that would slow the decline of the Conservative Party. Instead, he probably accelerated it.

We have something similar in the US. Many Democrats are delighted with the prospect of Trump fatally wounding the Republicans, and there's a small chance he will. But if they try the same detached intellectualism and fear mongering the Remainers used to defend globalization, they'll go the way of Labour even if the Republicans go down first. Luckily for the Democrats they'll have the lessons of Brexit if they're smart enough to use them.

Thank you Whyaxye, I am waiting for TPTB to finish begging the bank for money.

I would absolutely agree with you on the fact that any industry which relies on outside sources to keep it going is one which is destined to fail. However, it was pointed out that they are not subsidies to keep the business going, they are to ensure that the quality and the amount are consistent. I too believe that we have resources, but since no one is able to forecast exactly how many mouths are here (all those immigrants we keep losing...) it will be difficult to understand how much we will need in the future.

SoD needs to moderate those apocalyptic visions of Scotland and Wales leaving the UK - Wales voted for Brexit anyway, so Cymru am byth !

"Mr Rajoy said after a summit of EU leaders in Brussels that he wanted to be "very clear Scotland does not have the competence to negotiate with the European Union".

He added: "Spain opposes any negotiation by anyone other than the government of United Kingdom.

"I am extremely against it, the treaties are extremely against it and I believe everyone is extremely against it. If the United Kingdom leaves... Scotland leaves."

Spain was a vocal opponent of Scottish independence ahead of the 2014 referendum, largely because of the situation in Catalonia where there is a strong independence movement.

Meanwhile, Mr Hollande said: "The negotiations will be conducted with the United Kingdom, not with a part of the United Kingdom". "

Quite right Laban

SoD for all his undoubted qualities obviously pays too much attention to what he reads in the dismal "Economist" magazine.

"in the south you have New Zealand with gazillions of sheep and dairy products"


And you know what, they do it all WITHOUT subsidies!

Who'd have thought it was even possible...

AH yes Andrew, the point is not that it can't be done. The point is that the farmers may be used to surviving on subsidiaries rather than the prices they can get for their food. Whilst this is completely wrong, the effect of changing it maybe greater than the farmer's desire to grapple with the issue.

Mayfly....sounds like the French dairymen who pile up mountains of butter and make lakes of milk which they waste because of subsidy fights. Whyaxye has the proper take above at 12:18.

Mayfly- are you referring to a doom-n-gloom piece in the New Yorker?

Timmy and friends refer to it in comments here:
and demolish it here:

The gist of the gist:
"What do they think is going to happen? U-boats in the English Channel? Plucky merchantmen braving the wolf packs to bring their precious cargoes of cold-pressed olive oil and Provençal Tarte Tropézienne?

Say food prices go up by 3% ‘cos of tariffs. Then the average UK household spend on food goes from something like 9.1% to 9.4%. I doubt people will be hunting stray cats for food any time soon."

Nope, I am referring to a conversation I was having with someone at work, who was revealing exactly what the subsidies were for. The thing is, I feel as though I have to understand the whole of the EU economics situation in order to make an informed vote (and sorry, David, but I found Dawkin's article to be far more useful that the idiot brother of Christopher Hitchens). Anyway, my colleague made the point that food in Australia was more expensive than in the UK and (his words) was of a worse standard. Mind you, I checked some cheap food from Denmark which consisted of formed pork and rusk and was injected with a solution of water and dextrose. Yum. If Australian food is natural but expensive, then that would be worth paying for. In fact, we could see a drop in cancer rates - certainly a drop in diabetes if we were 'forced' to eat real food in controlled amounts.

If all else fails, I was thinking I would simply follow my colleague back to his allotment, and pick him off with a bow and arrow from a distance. Or else get him to farm it for me...


"Liechtenstein" not "Leichtenstein"


When the shiite hits the fan, the best thing to do is lie low until it blows over (preferably in the direction of France; the Fwench eat that stuff up).

The 1970's conversations have started already, with farming - how appropriate you Worzels!

Everyone thinks they're the Richard Branson, Bill Gates, Alan Sugar of farming, and soon car manufacturing, steel, construction, transport, energy, telco, finance will follow.

When all those industries are as fucked up as they were in 1975, the country bankrupt, dangerous, powerful, vested interests at large in every sphere of the economy, the IMF bailing you out and balancing your books, you'll be begging for the EU rules and regs to keep you on the straight and narrow and freedom of movement so you can get the hell outta Dodge.

There'll be no Maggie T to save your blushes this time, only the Kaiserin's warm embrace.


I bought "some" of your British pounds this morning Mayfly. Looks like I might've done a good deal.

Doesn't look like you'll have to eat any rats.


"Well, the point as that the farmers would stop producing food since they wouldn't be paid a high price for it."
In a market economy, such as the one operating in GB, when the price of goods (or services) is reduced, the production of the goods does not simply stop on a dime -- the production is just reduced commensurately. That reduction leads to a reduction (but NOT to zero) of supply, which, in turn, leads to an increase in demand for the product. And, naturally, when demand increases, the price people are willing to pay for the product increases. Finally, the supply and demand find a new market price that becomes semi-stable as before.

In short, when the farmers' subsidy is eliminated, the farmers are NOT going to stop farming immediately. They, instead, will reduce the amount of their produce that they bring to market until the prices go up to make it worth their while to produce more.

"that food in Australia was more expensive than in the UK and (his words) was of a worse standard".

Apologies for being blunt about it Mayfly but that statement is just bloody wrong.

I spent some time in your Septic Isle last year and dollar for dollar [or pound for pound if you like] food in the UK was much more expensive and in most cases not up to the standard of what we produce down here.

Subsidies are your problem, not ours, as we have a very healthy export market for our produce. One more outlet would be welcome but we are not reliant on it.

Get in touch with me Loz if you find yourself needing to switch from Microsoft consultin' to something more lucrative.

Yeah its a Arkie company - I promise.

You got a Wal-Mart over there?

Arkansas stands at the ready - just give us a shout.

Oh. Almost forgot.

One of my sons-in-law is a program manager for the F-35. If'n you'd prefer to remain in tech, you can do that too - from your desktop. In the UK.

The Big Henry - thank you... good to see that pedantry never goes out of fashion.


Good to see a dyslexic take pride in his typos.

Thanks JK!

How about Barney McGroo and Co up in them thar mountains? Do they have an export rep in Blighty? I have a two-for-one advantage - they won't be needing to hire a UK testing and quality control manager ...


OK, I will take comfort from here, since I am surrounded by (apparently) every single person who voted in. Not only that, but according to them, the Brexiteers should have known the company was going to need the EU in the future, and talks which were top secret are now fully disclosed to every expert of the water cooler, and I should have known the details before my vote. *sigh*

Like I say, "wise after the event".

AussieD, I certainly feel your words are bourn out by our local supermarket, and the current health crisis in our country (although I believe Australia is struck by the same attitudes to food that our doctors labour under here. Admittedly, you seem to be taking a stand against a high carb diet, but everything has gone quiet after the first rumblings) would also support this.

The Peoples Front of Judea has got another splitter - The Gove from above drops a whoopsy on BoJo! : -

"Why this is it when men are ruled by women" - Dick III


We all knew there was something weird and robotic about Gove, now we know for sure: He's a Stepford Husband.


Was the Sarah Vine email leaked? Or was it 'leaked', as one might say.

It read as though it had been written for its glorious moment in print.

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