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Are You Local?
By Phil Thornton
Look, I dont care if my apples come from Northwich or Nepal, I dont give a fuck if my beef is sourced in Brecon or Buenos Aires, as long as it tastes good, then Im not arsed about where it comes from or who gets rich in the process. This relentless insistence that we consumers should demand locally produced food is nothing more than a rear-guard campaign by the farmers market brigade and various Little England cranks to dress up their bigotry as a crusade against global supermarket chains.
What it boils down to is protectionism, selfishness and the old Buy British mantra that kept subsidised farmers churning out substandard products that no-one wanted for decades in the sure and certain knowledge that, of all industries told to compete, cut costs and restrict by monetarist ideologues, theirs would be immune from the strictures of the free market economy. The same Thatcherite principles applied to the miners, the steel workers, the shipyard and car workers and the legislative powers enforced to restrict their dissent were of course never applied to the Tory supporting farming industry. No, the farmers were allowed to get away with anything, regulate themselves and offload any amount of shite onto the populace, hence mad cow disease, foot and mouth, salmonella, bird flu, the black plague.
Now that the EU has realised that it cant go on subsidising farmers indefinitely and building up obscene food mountains in the face of starving millions, the cheeky bastards have changed their strategy and now go around from village to village, town to town, city to city peddling their wares on tressle tables in a forlorn bid to appear humble, hard put upon and victimised by Tesco, Asda and the supermarkets who import produce from Woggawoggaland and suchlike, thereby doing themselves out of valuable subsidies. Lets face it would you prefer to eat lamb that has been raised at the foot of a nuclear power station forty miles up the road or one that has munched on a grassy hill in New Zealand hundreds of miles from human habitation? Would you prefer an apple from an orchard a few roads away in the shadow of ICI or an apple grown on the vast South African plains?
Even with all these Fairtrade initiatives theres always some over-subsidised, self-pitying, whining farmer getting rich somewhere in the world. So lets pay farmers NOT to grow food, lets pay them to turn their fields into environmental areas, lets pay them to diversify into tourism or paintballing or any other wacky, half-arsed concept which allows them to rake it in at every others expense. Just dont expect me to feel sorry for the cunts and buy local to save their fat, self-righteous arses, thats all.
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