Friday, 12 October 2012

Do Smallholders Have A Voice?

The Irish Farmers Association held a big demonstration in Dublin the other day.  Over twenty thousand farmers and country dwellers protested about the proposed changes to C.A.P.  I personally think that farm payments should be a lot more equitable and the smallholder/small farmer, should have a bigger share of the EEC farm subsidycake.  Some farmers get kings ransoms farm payments and some  small farmers and smallholders get a few hundred or even nothing.  Why is this so?

Mainly because C.A.P is based on the animal census of each holding in 2004.  Why should a farmers income be determined by an historical  record that paid more to somebody who had more livestock?  We live in 2012 not 2004.  The countryside needs jobs, infrastructure and hope.  Surely distributing EEC payments more equal would create more jobs, public transport and keep the pubs open?  Ninety pubs closed in county Cork last year.

Time for a song.  One of my rock heroes Neil Young.  Neil organizes a concert every year in America called Farm Aid.  Famous artists raise money for the Farm Aid charity, which helps farmers financially.  Perhaps  there could be Farm Aid concerts in Britain and Ireland for small farmers and allotment holders?

20 comments:

  1. For me, 'Rust Never Sleeps' and 'Live Rust' are the two best Neil Young albums, Dave.

    How about you organising a 'Farm Aid' concert in Ireland, and inviting Hawkwind; Gong; and PIL to play at the Festival? If I remember correctly, you were once considering this, Dave.

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  2. Hi Pat,

    I listen to Neil Young and good old Thin Lizzy at least once a week. Totally agree about Neil Young's best 2 albums.

    Wouldn't a 'Farm Aid' Irish concert/festival be fantastic Pat? I think I would also invite Julie-Anne (is that the correct spelling?) Reagan and All about Eve, Jethro Tull, Marillion, Magnum and Sharon Shannon to name a few. Maybe even Neil Young, Kansas, ELP and Blue Oyster Cult? We can dream can't we?

    Thanks.

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  3. How about your old mate, Fergal Sharkey, hosting the event, Dave?

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  4. Why not Pat. We could also get Bongwater to headline it.

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  5. And Bob Weir's Rat Dog, too, Dave

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  6. Yes he could be on the line up too Pat.

    Wouldn't be great if we could organize a rock festival with a rock line up from a few years or so ago? Can't believe how the likes of Reading and Glastonbury have become ordinary pop music festivals. Perhaps we are getting old?

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  7. What would be useful would be if CAP payments were directly related to the sustainability, environmental impact and animal husbandry of the land use, which would benefit a lot of smallholders, and would deter people from ploghing over every inch of land at the expense of existing habitats.
    Some of my farming neighbours, although fine people are still firmly wedded to intensive use of oil based fertilisers, pesticides and monoculture crops, and one day its going to catch up with them..

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  8. Dave lad, some really good news for you, lots more Bongwater stuff has turfed up on Youtube. Hope you like it. They really were pioneering genius. Can understand why they were your favourite band.

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  9. I agree with you Steve that CAP payments should be directly related to the environment..., impact of the land. The so called experts say that it costs five hundred and fifty Euros to over winter a cow. So therefore farmers need a fortune to run a farm?

    I have said it before that I have looked into the feasibility of going organic. There is no way I could afford to or make any profit. A dairy farmer recently told me the only the only way he would make any profit is if he owned sixty cows.

    Hand on heart, I don't think it's possible for a small farmer to make any profit these days. This year cattle sold for record prices. I saw a week old bull calf sold for five hundred Euros. Now cattle are back to last years prices.

    I would love to know more about Permaculture and organic farming. Yet there seems very little information out there about it. I farm for sentiment and realise that the small farmer is an endangered species. The powers that be seem to care little about the small family farm. Will all the big farms and big supermarkets eventually own the countryside?

    Thanks.

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  10. Hi Pat, You have a great sense of humour. I love talking to you about rock music. Bongwater really make me laugh. They didn't seem to care. I agree they were pioneering genius.

    Thanks.

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  11. See the Republic of Ireland provided the comedy in the football last night, Dave. It's usually Scotland or Wales.

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  12. Yes you can't beat the international teams results for a laugh and a joke Pat.

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  13. Did you watch the Ireland-Germany match, Dave? Who were you cheering for? I remember you liking both sides.

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  14. No I didn't watch any of the football internationals Pat. Don't see any point in international football. The best players play in the Champions League. Don't remember me ever supporting Germany. Think the only world class player is Gareth Bale at the moment.

    Did you celebrate the Europeans beating America in the Ryder cup Pat.?

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  15. Find the Champions League boring, at least the international matches have some comedy

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  16. I also find a lot of the sport on television boring Pat. Perhaps there is too much quantity and not enough quality? I feel the same about television in general.

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  17. I don't watch TV at all, Dave, because it's all revolves around politically-'correct' brainwashing. For me, it's just politically-'correct' ideological state apparatus.

    This is where the internet is wonderful, you can find views, perspectives and opinions that are neither controlled nor conditioned by political-'correctness' (by PC, I mean the cultural marxist ideology that evolved from the Frankfurt School ideologues: Adorno, Lukacs, Horkheimer etc.)

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  18. Cumbrian says he doesn't watch TV either Pat. Have you or other Sociologist done any studies into television addiction Pat? I find it refreshing to find that you don't watch television.

    Local Irish people tell me that years ago rural people used to go: 'Scraitin' (hope that's right?, visit your neighbours for a talk and a drink. So many people today seem to want to live isolated lives and not talk to their neighbours. I had never heard of rural isolation until I moved to the countryside. The long nights can be very lonely and television probably takes away some of the boredom?

    You sound like you know your stuff about the Frankfurt school and PC, Pat? I think people should have equal rights but I hate the PC fascism that tells us how and when to think.

    Thanks.

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  19. The Frankfurt School, when based in the States (after leaving wartime Germany), did pioneering work on how the masses could have their opinions conditioned and controlled by the mass media. Adorno, in particular, was at the forefront of this pioneering work on social engineering or brainwashing, if you like.

    In his theory of the 'Authoritarian Personality', Adorno pioneered the now common association of 'moral conservatism' (e.g. traditional Christian-type beliefs and lifestyle) with mental illness. Having done lots of observation work on various Christian and new religious movements, I view the latter kind of poltically 'correct' assumption as nonsense. These communities are like any branch of society, containing 'good', 'bad' and mainly 'somewhere in between' people.

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  20. Thanks Pat. I think it's sad how every things got to be dissected and questioned these days. Belive what you want.

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