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Government: are share prices, lucrative consultancies and directorships more important than justice & food security?

Farmers’ lives are being shortened to give company shareholders, high flying consultants and industry leaders a substantial income and maximise corporate profits

andrew hemming on protest 2

 

A dairy farmer writes about the death of Andrew Hemming, vice-chairman of Farmers for Action:

This is so sad, I heard him speak at a few protests and meetings he attended in our area and he came over as caring, dedicated to our cause, and inspirational. I am truly sorry that his life has been cut short at such an early age and send his family my heartfelt sympathy.

I fear the same for members of other equally dedicated and caring farming families who are also fighting desperately for survival. They also may be shortening their lives by working far harder than is reasonable, or safe for their health, just in order to feed animals, meet bills and survive in a ruthlessly competitive target driven industry where maximising profit is considered by some as more important than people or animals, and for what?

To give company shareholders, high flying consultants and industry leaders a substantial income and maximise corporate profits?

All we ask is control of our own destiny by earning a fair and honest living from the land we are responsible for, with income derived from producing a good source of staple food that people need, and to leave a realistic and sustainable future for our families and communities, which is what Andrew was working so hard to achieve.

We do not want this continual conflict, and I am certain that Andrew didn’t

It is 2 years since Asda wielded their massive financial power to intimidate Andrew, David Handley and the other FFA regional coordinators by taking them to court.

Their crime was to help secure a fair price for our milk, which we are still seeking.
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Media 21: Starve protesting farmers of the oxygen of publicity? Is a police state just around the corner?

Demonstrations and meetings are no longer being reported in the national press though the regional media is covering them. The latest Farmers Guardian had a VERY short paragraph at the bottom of one page. Has the word gone out from on high to ‘cool it’?

Responding to a post on this theme on the website of the Fair Deal Food Campaign, farmer Julian Rose says:

It has to be remembered that the media appear to be owned/controlled by the government (BBC) and by industry (ITV). The government, however, also appears to be owned and controlled by industry (corporations). When they start to hurt, the blinds are pulled down and no more main stream publicity is allowed.

Campaigning without any access to mainstream media becomes a different proposition. There is a need to concentrate on how to remain effective in spite of this blockage. All areas of ‘resistance’ are now affected by the same top down control mechanisms. Is a police state just around the corner?

Establish direct dealing with the public, as it is feared that no government officials are trustworthy

This requires us to establish direct dealing with the public, as it is feared that no government officials are trustworthy. Farmers are very slow to recognise this and therefore place themselves in invidious positions that increasingly have no way out.

True – and Andrew Hemming, vice-chairman of Farmers for Action, is so skilled in the art that he could take masterclasses for farmers in dealing directly and persuasively with the public.