Since I’m in cynical mood today I thought I’d have a browse around to find out about the new Minister for .
For those of you who don’t know the former UK Government Farming Minister, Jane Kennedy, resigned last week (read that as asked to leave) after refusing to vow her undying love and devotion (or was it pledge her support) to Gordon Brown.
Yes that’s the fifth Farming Minsister in five years … and we wonder why there’s no continuity in rural policies.
I quite liked Jane Kennedy and I don’t often say that when talking about anyone in government.
I admired her honesty when she took the post, saying she knew little of rural affairs and also her enthusiasm and willingness to at least try to understand the real issues in the farming industry.
I’m actually quite sad to see her go (never thought I’d say that about a Labour Minister).
Now while we watch Gordon’s swan song and the BNP gaining seats in the EU, we have yet another reshuffle to try to keep our lame duck PM in power (anyone else feeling like the American’s did with Bush … rather embarrassed to admit he’s ours?).
So who’s next up for the green wellies and white hat costume?
As I said, his name is Jim Fitzpatrick and the farming community needs him as Farming Minister like we need FMD to flood our countryside again.
No it’s not PMS or just a cynical mood.
Our new Farming Minister is staunchly anti-hunting and a vegetarian!!
Ok so he’s an anti-hunting vegetarian … I am against hunting just for the pleasure of killing something and I don’t eat much meat but I doubt very much if I’d make a good faming minister either.
Mr Fitzpatrick is a whipping boy who will tow the party line on every subject … other than euthenasia, abortion and of course anything that even hints at telling the public what Ministers actually get up to, only then does he rebel.
Also, as you know I have rather a bee in my bonnet about the issue of UK Food Labelling at the moment and the right of consumers to know the country of origin of their food.
On 24 Feb 2009 there was an Opposition Day (that’s where the opposition party get to set the agenda) and one topic was British Agriculture and Food Labelling.
The debate was opened by Nick Herbert (conservative) saying:
“That this House believes that British consumers are entitled to know exactly how and where the food they are eating is produced and that clear and unambiguous labelling stating the country of origin of the major ingredients is required to achieve this; further believes that this will level the playing field for British farmers and enable British consumers to show their preference for home-grown food which is produced to high standards of animal welfare, health and safety and environmental protection …”
The whole debate can be read on They Work for You, it’s long winded (well it is politics) but worth a flick through here.
So how did our new Farming Minister vote?
A big fat NO … as you can see from his voting record.
Just go to the voting record and search the page for “agriculture”, “countryside” or “hunting” … it tells a story.
From reading his voting record I get the scary feeling he is not only a yes man but knows as much about rural issues as I know about deep space travel … it’s a long way away and I’d rather not know what happens there.
It has been obvious for years that Labour care very little about the British countryside and our farming industry and this appointment just screams ‘we couldn’t find anyone less suitable but if we could we would have given them the job’.
Alan Johnson (Labour), talking of the recent bout of resignations and lack of confidence in the Government said “We can come back from this, I am sure.” “We have to listen to what people are saying to us, not just to our members and our activists, but to what members of the public are saying.”
Well listen to this Mr Johnson, what we in the countryside want is a government that cares about us and about our farming industry or at least be honest and admit your party wants the whole county concreted over. Oh and until we get the chance to vote in a new government can we have Jane Kennedy back please.
So three cheers for our new Food and Farming Minister and let’s pray he proves me wrong … I’m not holding my breath though.