3 October 2000
Labour sees country as ‘a rural Dome’

By Isabel Davies in Bournemouth

A CONSERVATIVE government would be committed to a fair deal for farmers, leader William Hague said on Monday (02 October) night.

In a speech to a countryside rally, Mr Hague said New Labour was dominated by a “metropolitan elite” who had no understanding of agriculture.

“The Government sees the countryside as one great theme park – a rural version of the Dome,” he said. “Farming and the countryside deserves better”.

Mr Hague said there was currently a divide between two nations – the town and the countryside.

It would be down to the next Conservative government to heal those divisions, he claimed.

He promised the Tories would work to introduce honesty in labelling, cut red tape, reduce fuel taxes and a radically reform the Common Agricultural Policy.

The mission of the government would be “to give agriculture a fair chance to compete,” Mr Hague said.