05 March 1999
‘Farmers must lobby harder’ says Lyon
FARMERS are not spending enough on their lobbying efforts compared with other pressure groups, according to George Lyon, outgoing president of the Scottish NFU.
Mr Lyon is seeking a new career as a member of the Scottish Parliament.
“As a candidate, I have seen from the other side the work, influence, and resources others put into getting their message across to politicians and opinion formers,” he told the unions annual meeting in Dunblane yesterday (Thursday).
“Our industry cannot do without a top-notch lobbying organisation and some would question the resources farming gives to that task when compared to other groups.”
But in his final formal speech to the unions council, Mr Lyon had an upbeat message. “If farming plays to its strengths, it can have a positive role in the future of rural areas. The past year has been gruelling for all of us. But we have reason for some optimism.
“We have convinced government of our role in the rural economy. They have responded with aid to help us though a crisis. Now we have to find our own way forward.”