Saturday, 15 January 2011

Farmers 4 Justice ....

Only 15 days in and I’ve packed a lot into 2011 ... I’ve given up smoking three times already.    
I have used the ‘F (sweary) word’ - as a noun, verb, adjective and prefix - a total of 328 times.  Principally its usage related to EID tags and getting them into sheeps‘ ears ... its harder than you think ... if you are a bit useless.  I huffed and I puffed and now two thirds of the flock are done.  Some currently have 5 tags in their ears which - deep in the dark recesses of my mind - I think is illegal, punishable by continued tutting and a resultant long term sense of worthlessness.
I also had that weak stab at the resourcefulness I mentioned in the last post.  Its 75 days and counting before I need to be off my current grazing.  I have nothing secured for the summer (just writing this makes me feel slightly queazy).  So, I wrote a press release and sent it to my friendly local farming editor from my friendly local paper.   It has a circulation of 80,000 and a good farming section.  Alot of people read it and hence if you appear in it, the teasing is relentless.

Article so big, A4 size just wasn't enough!!
Not my best side ....

Obviously I’ve had no success.  There was a very nice lady that phoned up to say she wouldn’t like to see me stuck and has 100 acres. It’s even further away.  I worked out that by March this year - having had the grazings 35 miles away for 5 years - I will have travelled the equivalent of twice the circumference of the Earth just to get to the same point where established farmer’s walk out their house door!  .... I have the carbon footprint from the really rough area of hell.  The nice lady was nice enough to say she’d keep the offer on hold just in case I can substantially aid Kyoto Protocol emission targets and find something closer.

One of my friends - he just thinks he’s a client - said I had shot myself in the foot by saying, at the end of the piece, that if I don’t make it up the “Ladder” it would have been down to me and no one else.  He reckoned I had a duty to complain about what is obviously a failing system.

Now I’m feeling guilty.  I’ve also started thinking that perhaps if publicity and phase two of my plan - to be confessed in time - doesn’t work ... maybe it isn’t me after all ... maybe there is nothing available.  Phase three will have to be dressing up as Batman and shouting from the roof of the Parliament building at Holyrood ... either that or actually phoning people ... I’d prefer the former - I’m no good on the phone and like how I look in a Batman outfit.

I just feel there has to be opportunities out there ... people thinking about letting ground out ... but its the efficiency of providing them with comfortable solutions that is screwed.  Taxation; complicated, legal methods of tenure; risk (not knowing or trusting that person); security of tenure; right to buy; knowledge (lessors have no idea where or who all the potential lessees are); ignorance (they don’t comprehend the extent of the potential benefit); fear of the unknown ... they all cause friction and resistance along the path from landowners thought to landowners action. 

That’s the angel on my shoulder speaking ... the devil is whispering in my other ear that land ownership does not come without responsibility. It should not be a tax, subsidy or wealth haven that effectively encourages a lack of agricultural efficiency in many instances.  He reckons, that soon it will be in the national interest to farm land as efficiently as possible and poor land use will be outlawed.  He is really keen on the idea that I should get some mates involved, grab my pitchfork and storm the capital, shouting in a way that leaves no room for doubt that I am profoundly irritated ... Even he thinks the Batman costume is a bad idea, though.

There is the Farming Ladder - with or without rungs, that are obvious or just hidden - but there is also the person climbing it .... surely we have a duty to ourselves to climb it the very best we can, using everything in our power.  I’ve got a bit more in the locker than one article in the Dundee Courier .... last resort is my Wonder Woman outfit.


Rona Amiss said...

Hurrah you've started marketing, good lad. Don't give up you know it takes farmers plenty of time to think these things out. Keep reminding them and send more articles in the next couple of months and stop talking yourself down, it's not you it is the system. If it's not a failing system they wouldn't have given you a Nuffield to fix it.

Anonymous said...

Looks like it's the Wonder Woman suit for you. After all there's only one Batman - (think about it!)

Michael Blanche .... bless said...

Ad, I have thought about it .... and I'm still struggling. Please advise immediately as it is annoying me. Is it something to do with your close relationship with Angelina?