Wednesday, April 17, 2024
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Farmers, don’t fall for Sunak’s sleight of hand


WATCH the magician’s hands, not his face, as he performs his conjuring tricks. Rishi Sunak’s hands have performed fully as a Remainer who affected sympathy with Brexit only for his own ambitions. 

The Bank of England and Treasury are dominated by Remainer economists after Sunak’s tenure as Chancellor. He has cancelled his promise to revoke the 6,000 EU laws. The Windsor Agreement (WA) is a sellout to Brussels in plain sight, in fact gifting Brussels even more that the Northern Ireland Protocol required, but with some easing of the trade hindrances between parts of the UK – very kind, but under the aegis of the EU court and with nothing to stop the worsening of these hindrances at EU demand. Forensic deconstructions of this particular conjuring trick are to be found in Briefings for Brexit’s expert analyses by Harry Western and Caroline Bell. The latter concludes her article with these words: ‘As it stands, the “Windsor Framework” is a staggering political and legal sleight of hand devised to facilitate the transfer of legislative control over crucial areas of UK economic policy to the EU, through the mechanism of the Northern Ireland Protocol. It takes the Protocol backwards, to follow the colonial path set out in May’s backstop, and cements it as a permanent arrangement which not only carves out Northern Ireland from the rest of the UK, but allows the EU to make new laws which are enforceable throughout the United Kingdom. You cannot really undo Brexit more thoroughly or more sneakily than that.’ 

Sunak is no fool and must know that his claim that the WA ‘takes back control’ by the UK is utterly specious, an act of political betrayal, but successfully sold to the public by a credulous and wholly uncritical mainstream media.  

The Conservative administration has been facing loud and potent criticism for its high corporation-tax plans and a policy of imposing further regulation on all aspects of the UK economy, as if to counter any freedoms gained by Brexit. Government policy, according to grocery directors, is described as ‘hampering efforts to rein in prices, with one figure describing the extra costs as “eye-watering”.’ These policies include added border checks, Scotland’s new recycling schemes for bottles – and plans to introduce a similar programme for the rest of the UK – as well as new labelling rules for Northern Ireland. From October ‘Not for EU’ labels are being phased in on all meat and dairy products sold in Northern Ireland, as part of a deal agreed earlier this year by the Prime Minister. No wonder supermarket chiefs  blamed ‘meddling ministers’ for contributing to the surge in food prices given the ‘eye-watering’ costs they have imposed on the industry.

And when it comes to the production of food itself, Jeremy Clarkson’s spat with the authorities reported here and here on TCW exemplifies just some of the hostility faced by farmers who, like him, are trying to make a living from the land and provide us with food; a battle which, but for Clarkson’s fame, might never have been reported. 

Mr Sunak, faced with electoral wipeout at the next General Election and the Tory vote in the shires crumbling fast, has gone on a charm offensive, writing an open letter from the government to farmers in the hope of reassuring them. Brexit deals are to be carefully limited so as not to harm national farming and animal welfare standards will be protected, he says, while leaving the controversially halal-killed meat unmentioned. Never minding that there will be greater opportunities for UK food exports, he declares citing a U.S. agreement to accept British lamb. On that issue however he restates the canard, not backed by science, that chlorine-sprayed chicken is dangerous and therefore will never be allowed into the UK from the U.S. Exposed by Dominic Lawson in the Times as  a protectionist ‘porkie’, it was first pushed by that agricultural expert Michael Gove when the U.S. was seeking a post-Brexit trade agreement under Trump’s presidency. A report for Global Britain two years ago by the economist Catherine McBride, arguing for a free-market food policy, exposed many of the irrationalities of the UK’s food policy as well as its hypocrisy towards other countries’ animal welfare standards. She has pointed elsewhere to the crass idiocy of the policy of allowing Irish beef imports to the UK, beef allowed to be fed on ground-up carcases, a feed that is banned in the UK! 

Mr Sunak’s letter, like his Windsor Agreement, is full of doublespeak – assuring farmers of governmental care and support while omitting the appalling bigger picture so damaging to what he purports to uphold. Nothing for example is said of the unnecessary and complex increased regulation, nothing of soaring energy costs laid on farming and industry as a direct result of the lunatic Net Zero plan to phase out fossil fuels no matter what the costs to UK economic and domestic life. For make no mistake, the banning of fossil fuels means banning fertiliser which depends on such oil, meaning that the overarching government umbrella policy is catastrophic for farming. Two eminent scientists – William Happer and Richard Lindzen, emeritus professors at Princeton University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology respectively – have warned that billions of people globally will be put at risk of starvation if this Net Zero madness is continued. Their 47-page report challenges Net Zero with science. But we know that Mr Sunak has already set his mind against science and is uncritically paid up to Extinction Rebellion-style prophecies of doom, as he revealed in a letter to one of our readers recently. 

‘First, it is important that we recognise the importance and urgency of action needed on climate change. The UN’s IPCC has concluded that the world is warming faster than anticipated, the effects of which are being seen in every single region of our planet. Immediate global action is needed to limit global warming, heatwaves, heavy precipitation, droughts, and loss of Arctic Sea ice, snow cover and permafrost.’ 

So watch the conjuror’s hands and beware his honeyed patter. 

Where does he stand on the EU’s anti-nitrogen drive, and Holland’s policy of shutting down farmland against which the Dutch farmers have launched a successful backlash? Is the UK quietly, under the advice of the cult ‘science’ blob, taking up this Great Reset revolution against farming? No mention of that by our magic man PM. Add to that the overt but grotesque policy of ‘rewilding’ farmland, bribing farmers to abandon vast acres of cultivated land to the weeds, brambles, and bog, which is government policy under Mr Sunak. Then there is the drive to cover valuable farmland with acres of ‘environmentally friendly’ solar panels and battery parks while all over the country we see estates being built on land previously cultivated for crops or grazing for sheep and cattle. 

No, Mr Sunak, farming is not being treated as important, not at all. 

Nor is British fishing. His letter’s afterthought reference to a ‘£1million Seafood Exports Package’ which he says ‘will continue for another three years with a further £1million funding, building on our wider £100million investment in infrastructure and skills to support our seafood industry’ is but more smoke and mirrors and doublespeak – the magician’s patter. Boris Johnson has already given our fish away.

Net Zero, the false god betraying farming as it is betraying the rest of our western way of life, has Mr Sunak as much in its grip as it had his predecessor. Don’t be deceived.

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Timothy Bradshaw
Timothy Bradshaw
Timothy Bradshaw is a Theological lecturer and Anglican clergyman

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