Anton Coaker: Milk


Staff Member
Well that’s a bother. I’d written a fairly careful piece on the woeful state of the dairy industry, closing with a broadside at Somerset council for their myopic lifting of the cobbles in historic Dunster. And what happens? While I was finishing the piece over my bowl of mid-day gruel, the postie brought my daily bill delivery, and the paper. When I finally got to open it come evening, there within were pieces by my respected colleagues -Mssrs Hesp and Bowern- which might’ve been lifted straight off my screen. Little blighters… even I’m not brazen enough to run the piece now, so it’s back to the drawing board for me.


OK, since these minor matters have been dealt with, we’d better move onto the important stuff. Apparently there’s to be no more bare chested girls on page 3 of The Sun. The owner of said publication thinks they’re a bit old fashioned –which isn’t exactly the image of old fashioned that I had- and with little initial fanfare, the offending items were quietly covered up this week. Well, I say covered up…only just covered up if we’re frank, and leaving little work for the imagination.

Feminists everywhere applaud, while white-van-men and brickies are downcast. Well, maybe it’s not just like that, but some maid on the radio phone-in, as I trundled back from feeding the South Devons, certainly seemed very pleased with this development. Curiously, there’s still a redtop paper printing such pictures, but because its circulation is only a tenth of the Sun, that isn’t as important. Presumably, the fact that 2 million people a day were buying a paper –I use the term in its loosest definition- that featured such dreadful imagery must offend ten times more than the other lesser one. Hmm.

Although I’ve never purchased a copy of this paper, I can’t say as I find the page three girls that upsetting when I do catch a glance. Indeed, for natural enough reasons, I quite like the appearance of such healthy young souls. I daresay I’m not the only one. Despite this, I do usually manage to interact with other members of the fairer sex without letting this fondness interfere. That’s what civilisation is, isn’t it?

But, apparently, these images ‘objectify’ women, and should you sit next to someone on the bus looking at – or slavering over- such images, you might find it very uncomfortable. I’m not altogether clear what you will feel should your fellow traveller happen to have reached up to the top shelf at the newsagents, for his morning read, or should he have an electronic device showing some rather more, er, exacting images. Presumably, if he wishes to look at such things, he’ll find them somewhere else.

And if we’re going to pick away at the matter, I notice various highly respectable papers, including this very one, are all too happy when the first warm weekend of the spring gets folk down on the beach. Photos of the new seasons beachwear inevitably appear on the front page come Monday. It would be reasonable to observe that the young lithe female form generally features in these photo-journalistic masterpieces.

There’s a bit more to this than just covering up the bare boobs in the Sun. And what we’re supposed to think about the matter I’m not altogether sure…but since you insist, I’ll go and do some careful research for you.

There, and I managed to get right through without one single dairy industry/page three crossover gag.

Oh, and I see it’s suggested I need religious education, by someone who apparently believes in reincarnation or whatever is supposed to have happened to that carpenter lad. This resurrection is, I’m firmly told, ‘history’.

All I can say is that my kids were brought up to question everything. And if someone starts trying to teach them such mumbo jumbo at school, they’re to ask for evidence that would stand up in court. The whole point of what I’d said previously was that, with mankind’s unprecedented impact and self-awareness, it’s time to put away such foolishness, and to face up to our responsibilities.

Unbelievably, I see one of these religious leader chaps has been out and about telling everyone to save the world. Unfortunately, he also seems to think contraception is a bad thing, which pretty much sums up the whole nonsense far neater than I could.

My moral compass points me to try and find a way for my descendants to continue to live on the surface of this big round ball of molten rock. And after careful consideration, I rather suspect that the answers will have to be found within us, or we won’t find them.

Gotta go, cows to feed.

About the author

Originally published in The Western Morning News, these articles are reproduced for the enjoyment of TFF members World-wide by kind permission of the author Anton Coaker and the WMN

Anton Coaker is a fifth generation farmer keeping suckler cows and flocks of hill sheep high on the Forest of Dartmoor and running a hardwood and mobile sawmill.

A prodigious writer and regular correspondent for The Western Morning News, NFU and The Farming Forum, Anton’s second book “The Complete Bullocks” is available

News: Riggit Galloway semen available internationally from Sherberton's bull Clifton Red Pride


S E Cornwall
Two recent letters from the Western Morning News re Anton's musings:):whistle: thought you might enjoy @JP1

WMN Letters: Columnist lifts my spirits
By Western Morning News | Posted: January 22, 2015
What a delightful gentleman your columnist Mr Anton Coaker must be!

His column uplifts this tired 92-year-old heart of mine every week, after reading his articles.

His sense of humour, in spite of the many adversities he experiences, is an example to all and I feel may be it is worth staying on this planet Earth! I often want to stop it so I can get off!

Well done Mr Coaker, long may your columns continue.

Best wishes to you and yours, including your animals and chickens.

by Joyce Palmer


WMN Letters: Disappointed by columnist's views
By Western Morning News | Posted: January 28, 2015
I read with interest Joyce Palmer’s letter on Anton Coaker and his column and I thought this sounds good so I set about reading it.

I can’t tell you how disappointed I was. It did not lift my spirits one jot. It was not a good week for him. I have read his column before and found it quite good but my advice after this week’s would be – if you have to change your subject so dramatically then please don’t bother if this is the result. Derogatory comments about religion, suggestions on how to educate children – preferably not to believe. It would seem that all who do believe are talking mumbo jumbo.

It just seems a reckless, thoughtless column without thought for anyone else by someone who seems confident that they are right. Very annoying. We all have the right to freedom in our beliefs and choice – please don’t attempt to tell me what I should believe, and the derogatory comment on the ‘carpenter lad’ following his opening on the Sun newspaper and Page 3 was just too much for me. I

by Mrs Sheila Moston

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