The discourse about Brexit at and around Westminster is thick with either/or thinking. Every action and every person is one thing or another.
Brexit, the resurgence of the far-right, and the danger of a coming collapse of the European Union, have all escalated on the back of a global migrant crisis that was fuelled by climate change.
Today is about changing the conversation about Brexit. It’s about moving forward – humbly, positively and with hope.
Watch how our politicians demonstrate Einstein’s definition of madness – trying over and over again what has already failed – because they cannot grasp that the time is for degrowth – and a lot of sharing – rather than their insane attempts to grow more powerful at the expense of others in a disintegrating world.
With only a few months remaining before our scheduled departure from the European Union, Brexit is looming large on the horizon. As talk of transition, hard borders and ‘no-deal’ spreads, we wanted to find out how farmers and food businesses across the country were feeling about the future of UK agriculture.
One of the highlights of my summer was collecting my Totnes Passport. The whole Brexit debacle from inception to its current state of woeful ineptitude and brazen jingoism has been one entirely bereft of imagination.
We can no longer give voice to the pseudo-science of climate change deniers; we must urgently move the debate on to how we address the causes and effects of dangerous climate breakdown.
Viewed over centuries, the beneficial role of upland farmers as stewards of both the landscape and their local communities is clear. However, George Monbiot, spoke for rewilding largely from an ideological standpoint.
On May 8th the government will end its consultation period on a new agricultural policy for England. Revealingly, its policy document – called ‘Health and Harmony: The future for food, farming and the environment in a Green Brexit’– has more to say about the environment than either food or farming.
Perhaps I should essay a brief report here on things I heard and learned at the 2018 Oxford Real Farming Conference that I attended a couple of weeks back. If I try to lay it all out in connected prose I’ll probably come grinding to a halt after about 5,000 words, so I thought I’d present it mostly in the form either of little news snippets or of one-sentence assertions…the latter being things I heard people say, or thoughts I had while listening at the conference.
A curious consensus has emerged in the debate about how farming should be supported if the UK leaves the European Union. With a few exceptions, everybody, from the Country Land and Business Association to the New Economics Foundation – including the Environment Secretary Michael Gove – is in favour of paying landowners to provide “public goods”.
The future of the United Kingdom’s food system is currently up in the air. Policy analysts and academics have warned that the UK’s decision to leave the European Union (EU) will have considerable impact on its food system. In recent years, a number of food reports and manifestos have been developed, calling for new visions and policies that ensure the future of food and farming move in a sustainable direction. The Brexit vote has stepped up these calls…