Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Militant Bee-Keepers on the March!

I had a phone call quite late yesterday, from a chap who is in Brussels to lobby MEPs on a matter that is very important to him. It is a quiet week, and there are not so many MEPs around now, and so I guess that he had to make do with me. I admire anybody who is prepared to put his, or her, hand in their pocket and give up valuble time to come out here and make a political point. I was not going to say no to him, and in any case, in our office the constituent always comes first. And when he introduced himself as a "militant Bee-keeper" then I was totally hooked!

Having formerly sabotaged fox hunts, and burnt GM crops, this guy is clearly a serious campaigner. I do not condone illegal actions, but God knows, politics could do with a bit more passion.

One of the hottest potatoes in Brussels at the moment is reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP). Much to the horror of many of my colleagues and friends (especially those who have not yet left UKIP), I describe myself as a 'soft' environmentalist. Actually, 'post-materialist' would be a more accurate description.

The militant Bee-keeper came up with some strong objections to certain proposals currently being considered as part of the CAP reform.

Nobody likes CAP, except for agrarian French farmers and East-Anglian Hen-keepers cum politicians, who make a fortune from the subsides. When well-informed environmentalists start ringing alarm bells about the supposed 'greening' of CAP, then we know that something is wrong. The greening proposals are likely to have an adverse effect on local biodiversity, and you don't have to be James Lovelock to work that one out.

We all know that in terms of failure, CAP comes a close second only to the Common Fisheries Policy.

I remember my Head Teacher, Mr Newsombe, once reviewing a homework project of mine which I had been asked to rewrite in the hope of injecting a modicum of relevance into it, before handing it back to me with a shake of his head, and declaring 'You can't polish a turd, Cartwright!'.

He was absolutely correct. CAP is beyond reform. Scrap the CAP, or beware the wrath of the militant Bee-keepers!

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