CONTINUING OUR series of articles reviewing what the Farmers Weekly Farmer Focus writers were talking about in 2005, politics comes under the spotlight.

“My initial thoughts have been confirmed by all the parties’ manifestoes; none of them seem to be paying more than lip service to our industry.” John Jeffrey (May 6)

“I think there is more hot air on global warming coming out of governments than there is methane coming out of cattle.” Richard Crewe (Jul 8)

“I am heartily sick of and very annoyed with DEFRA.” Richard Ward (25 Nov)

“My initial thoughts have been confirmed by all the parties’ manifestoes; none of them seem to be paying more than lip service to our industry.” John Jeffrey (May 6)

“Perhaps Tony Blair might have a point. Perhaps we should let [other countries] produce food for us and create “Parkland Britain” for the urban masses. But that does not sit right with me.” Matthew Dale (Jul 1)

“I think there is more hot air on global warming coming out of governments than there is methane coming out of cattle.” Richard Crewe (Jul 8)

“It wasn’t really surprising our ‘president’ Tony Blair used agriculture as a political football when retaliating against Chirac over the EU budget.” Kevin Littleboy (Jul 15)

“For the first time I pitied the normal Labour supporter; you get either punched by a deputy prime minister, chucked out by bullies for saying an innocuous word or locked up under the terrorist laws.” Kevin Littleboy (Oct 7)

“From this week it is possible for everybody to see the amount each farmer gets as subsidy from the EU grant. I don’t see the advantage. I haven’t found a site yet where I can see what each employee gets paid at the ministry of agriculture.” Hendrik Visser (14 Oct)

“The best of the lot has to be “degressivity”. Why could Brussels not have been honest and called the reduction of our subsidies a scale-back, reduction or cutback – the dictionary is not short of real words to describe what they have planned for our futures.” Matthew Dale (21 Oct)

“Never before has there been such a convincing case for home-food security, and a government-led ban on sub-standard imported food.” Steve Bumstead (11 Nov)

“Having to wait for our SFP is bad enough, but for goodness sake, doesn’t DEFRA think it should compensate us for holding op our ELS application.” Richard Ward (25 Nov)

“Nobody likes getting low prices for their produce, but I personally don’t believe withholding products from the market place helps.” Mark McFerran (25 Nov)

Keep an eye on FWi over the festive period to find out what our Farmer Focus writers had to say about a host of topics, including Harvest, Sugar Reform and the weather. On Tuesday (27 December), agronomy is the hot topic!