I’ve just received an email from someone who only calls himself ‘Philip’. There’s no text in the email but this is in the subject line:
“I love the way you are chipping in your two penn’orth about badgers, when you represent an urban constituency that has no farmers and very few, er, badgers… Trying focussing on your OWN constituents, not parti pris hobby horses…”
I’ll perhaps blog in more detail later on the complete fallacy of making this a urban -v- rural issue, as they tried to with fox hunting. In fact why should farming be just a rural issue? Farmers produce food, people in cities eat food. They’re as entitled to have a view on farming as the farmers themselves. That’s why I think it’s wrong that the Defra ministerial team in the Commons consists of two farmers and a former adviser to the NFU (it’s not detailed in her biog, but I’m told that was part of the fifteen years working in th agricultural industry listed on her CV). And the Minister in the Lords is a horticulturalist. Defra shouldn’t just be about the producer interests. That’s why Labour changed it from the Ministry for Agriculture to Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Perhaps more later on why people in the cities and towns are allowed to care about badgers…