Thursday, 15 May 2008

Oh The Hypocrisy

I know I’ve criticised him before but his is annoying so here we go again. Prince Charles was on this mornings Radio 4’s The Today program talking about deforestation and how they are the earth's "air conditioning system". His point being that the trees store an amazing amount of carbon within the and in the soil and The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change, published in 2006, suggested that the destruction adds about 18% to the CO2 from human sources. All well and good and I’m not going to argue with him on this point as I agree totally, it’s just that he is such a hypocrite. He suffers from the British Middle Class disease of seeing the problem with everyone else whilst considering yourself perfect. “Oh see the young people drinking so much, pass that 3rd bottle of Chardonnay darling”, “damn foreigners coming over here, I’m of to my second home in France”, “oh such terrible deforestation in South America, I’m so upset that I’m going to plough up Dorset fields and build houses on them.”

Yes ladies and gentleman, I’m on about Poundbury again. Well it’s a reasonable point. Before the ego village the whole area was productive farmland but now it is a very large housing estate but he’s allowed to destroy it because it’s not a middle class obsession and in this country not somewhere where you can sound caring and worthy at a dinner party when you talk about it whilst complaining endless about your home country but doing nothing to help.
This brings me to another dinner party favourite, Fair-Trade. Now I’m a fan of this, a fair price for products so that farmers can make a decent living and help support their communities. Fantastic. What a great idea but why does it include British farms. According to a Nation Farmers Union (NFU) survey British chicken farmers are making an average loss of 2.7% per chicken following an approximately 25% rise in costs in the last couple of years. These price rises cannot be passed on to the consumer because the supermarkets won’t do it. They want to cheapest food they can. Whilst cereal farmer’s profits are up because of rising grain prices around the world, the average pig farmer made a loss of £4000. Some 2,500 UK farmers are expected to quit dairy production over the next two years due to the incredibly slim profit margins that will vanish as feed prices rise. They are also cut off from the world milk market so the massive surge in world milk price, mostly in milk powder, will not affect them. So all I am saying is can we have Fair-Trade for British farmers, that’s all.

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