You have the advantage of me, just about. By the time you get this the referendum will be over. I’m writing without the benefit of knowing what the result is going to be, but it seems to me that now’s a very good time to focus not on Europe, but on Britain. For a start, we’ve got to heal the wounds of what JK Rowling rightly described as “one of the most divisive and bitter political campaigns ever waged”. Let this be the last referendum. When there was an election, the politicians were all very keen to lead us. In future they should lead and stand or fall on their record at a general election.
We need to remember that, in or out, it’s British politicians who run Britain and they haven’t been making a very good job of it. It’s DEFRA that’s refused a derogation on neonics and it’s DEFRA that’s made a mess of the payments system. It’s DEFRA ministers who need to do a better job for British agriculture and if they won’t do it, we need to get better DEFRA ministers.
We’ve had decades of British governments shouting ‘look, over there, the EU’ every time people don’t like what’s going on. Whatever the result of the referendum, it needs to stop. The standard of British government is abysmal.
Brighter things have been happening. We have a new owner, Lewis Business Media, known to me and possibly you as the owner of the magazine Pig World. It means that Farm Business and its sister publications Agronomist & Arable Farmer, Over the Counter and Pig & Poultry Marketing are now in the hands of a group that understands farming publishing and is committed to it, which is the best news I’ve had in a long time. No quick changes are planned. We’ve got to get to know each other first and understand how we do things. But, as with the referendum, it’s great to end a period of uncertainty and start looking forwards.
Editor, Farm Business