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Happy happy people

Rural rejoice
Mood change in countryside ushers new era of optimism ... says the BBC .

No longer are worried about stuffy old things like the F&M which is now "curable", the threatened fox hunting ban or arable farmers suffering from rock bottom market prices. No we are happy because "rural Britain (is becoming) more urban."

So headlines like Farmers face ruin as rain blights harvest or the silly worry that Tony will throw country sports, liberty and livelihoods to the Labour dogs to cheer them up are just
so irrelevant. Remember:
"Cool Britannia was urban. Rural Britain seemed to love conservation, protection and stasis." And now Nu-labour has worked its magic on us country dwellers and were are cool as well.


Youíve a habit of coming over all sentimental and anti-market when it comes to the countryside and I know you prefer anecdote to statistic. However, you might find this article in this morningís Times (as recommended by the Adam Smith Institute Blog) illuminating.

Here itís argued that enabling a competitive market economy (rather than trying to buck the market by controlling wages etc); allowing the pound to float freely (rather than trying to buck the market by nominating its value); and finally globalisation (rather than trying to buck the market by controlling trade) have all conspired to create Britainís economic success.

Anyway. Not all UK industries have enjoyed a comparative advantage from these trends. UK farming Ė dependent of governmentís ability to buck the market Ė will continue to decline. The pre-industrial life cannot be expected to make it in post-industrial Britain. Itís time to end the subsidies and manage that transition.

Stephen, I must go and have a lie down I agree entirely with you, or at least with that article. And that is me with my large subsidy cheque to enjoy at the moment! I used to be an agricultural entrepreneur but the subsidy system ruined that so I earn my shilling away from the land. My point about farmers was simpler than that and has been picked up by the BBC today; arable farmers are having a shitty harvest due to weather and that has knock on effect on the rural economy.

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