When the next edition of Farm Business lands on your doormat, it’ll be the day after the elections to the European Parliament, so this is my last chance to get in a word about what I think is the duty of all of us on 22nd May.
Please don’t be one of those people who announces that “if you ask me, they’re all the same”, in a tone of voice intended to make it sound as if you are the possessor of a huge depth of world-weary experience. (Fortunately the habit of mouthing platitudes in an attempt to look wise, so popular with my parents’ generation, has now gone out of fashion.)
If you don’t vote, let’s not hear a peep of complaint out of you about EU legislation at any point in the next five years. You’ll have had your chance and blown it.
Really, please don’t be one of those people who votes for a joke candidate because you think it will upset career politicians in London. This is the European Parliament. The clue’s in the name. It’s not a poll on what you think of David Cameron.
Why am I ranting at you about this? You may have seen the row about whether 7% or 75% of our laws are made at EU level, but in agriculture you can’t possibly have missed the fact that a lot of legislation comes from that direction. While it’s still very much a carve-up between national governments, Members of the European Parliament have a lot more power than they used to.
You need an MEP who’s going to represent your views properly. This isn’t a party political magazine, so I won’t suggest who that might, or might not be, but please think about it carefully.