Farmers are drunk on subsidies

03 September 1999

Farmers are drunk on subsidies

A SECOND broadsheet columnist has penned an article arguing that farmers are drunk on subsidies and dont deserve any more money from the government.

Simon Jenkins, writing in The Times, argues that farmers in distress deserve the publics sympathy, but not any more money from taxpayers.

Farm subsidies and the Common Agricultural Policy have not reduced the price of food nor conserved the countryside, says Mr Jenkins.

“Agriculture now evokes a landscape of gaunt silos, hedgeless prairies, pesticides, sacks, conifers, caravans and wind turbines,” he writes.

“It is common ground between town and country that a policy shift must occur from wartime self-sufficiency to farming as countryside conservation and amenity.”

Mr Jenkinss column comes a day after Guardian columnist Catherine Bennett argued that many farmers were responsible for trashing the countryside.

He describes Ben Gill, president of the National Farmers Union, as a “demented funeral organist” pulling out all the stops in the quest for more government aid.

The letters page in The Times and The Independent reflect similar unsympathetic views towards the plight of farmers.

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