“Because if they don’t, there will be no-one left on the ground to deliver ‘public good’.”To paraphrase some recent posts on here:
‘The EA staff aren’t what they were. Can’t even hang a gate properly.’
‘The vets aren’t what they were. I seem to know more than they do.’
‘The Defra staff aren’t what they were. Just don’t understand the practicalities.’
‘The Ag colleges aren’t what they were. Crying out for lecturers with practical experience.’
My late uncle worked for the EA, before that the NRA. He also had a farm. Not a big one, but big enough for him to keep his hand in and to pass on skills to my cousins should they wish to use them in later life. Through the centralist food system policies we have rigorously pursued in recent decades, we have managed to wipe out tens of thousands of such farms. The repercussions are everywhere. Less and less people have the skills and knowledge required to keep the countryside running.
There are people who will tell you that it doesn’t matter. That it is the free market at work. That skills die out because they are no longer needed. They are wrong. They should talk to my colleague working her socks off developing a business based on wool. A business that is all of a sudden highly relevant in a World waking up to the dangers of micro-plastics. She is having to train people from a standing start. All of the skills she needs are in the churchyard. Look at the work the RBST have done with breeds that were deemed no longer relevant but are now once again relevant. As it is with livestock, and seed varieties, so it is with skills.
ELMS as it stands is going to turbo charge the loss of critical mass in UK agriculture. Any individual, any organisation that sees the folly of this, needs to put whatever effort they can into getting Defra to see sense. Because if they don’t, there will be no-one left on the ground to deliver ‘public good’.
Err that was the idea all along….
Comrade Putin may well after the thinking….