Farmer Focus: Kevin Littleboy

IT IS official that British Agriculture is in decline.

It cannot be right that two owner occupier farmers can be subjected to such humiliation due to the state of our once glorious and profitable industry which looks after 80% of the land mass.

I saw a near neighbour of mine, who farms over 445ha (1100 acres), walking into the latest retail outlet in Thirsk – The Junk Shop. This close to Christmas the mind boggles at what presents he was planning to buy his wife and children.

In another instance I witnessed a large Cambs farmer from the land of milk and honey having the audacity to enter the House of Lords for lunch in a city suit but wearing brown shoes.

His new wife will, I hope, soon correct this lack of protocol by buying him black shoes for Christmas.

I was there, invited by CPB Twyford, to witness the Food and Farming Industry Awards. An extremely pleasant lunch preceeded the ceremony, but a glitch came when I wanted a between courses cigarette.

After countless visits to the House of Commons I know exactly where to have an illicit smoke. I didn’t have the same inside intelligence on the House of Lords. So I was delighted to be rescued by host Lord Palmer as he wanted a cigar.

I suppose that will change if this government gets its way. Tobacco tax is more than the cost of the NHS. If we all packed up smoking VAT would have to rise to 22.5% and income tax by 11.5p in the pound.

Isn’t it ironic that smoking is being made illegal but cannabis is being decriminalised? The incarcerated will still be able to smoke in prison. So Labour will make smokers criminals, and criminals legal smokers. Can I book a bed now?