Britain's Farming on Fire    
    Colin Jordan says that the Foot-and-Mouth crisis has brought those who want our agriculture to disappear out of the woodwork    

This is an abridged reproduction of an article which first appeared in Gothic Ripples newsletter, to which we owe acknowledgements. Gothic Ripples can be obtained from Thorgarth, Greenhow Hill, Harrogate, North Yorks. HG3 5JQ.

Smoke and flames arise from farms far and wide as the foot-and-mouth disease bestrides our land, and sacrificial killing and burning of farm animals, not only those already infected but also those deemed at immediate risk, is decreed as imperative, and proceeds apace. Farmers who have so far escaped a visit of the virus lose their sleep dreading the morning inspection, and those who have had a visit lose more sleep calculating the catastrophic loss of their capital and income. Although not a farmer myself, I live alongside their fears and woes, my home being a former small farm and my nearest neighbour a sheep farmer, and the farm track which connects both of us to the nearest public road being closed by disease restriction notices to deliveries, including that of the postman, so that mail has to be collected from the nearest post office four miles away.

The agricultural calamity has excited the urban zealots of liberalism - hothouse creatures of the concrete jungles who decry and agitate against anything and everything supportive of a national community of Aryans, such as immigration restriction or trade protection, to take advantage of it to declare British agriculture to be outmoded, and best to be allowed, if not encouraged, to die off in favour of importing more or less all our food while importing more and more persons from abroad to take up jobs and to enrich our culture. An open door to foreign food and foreign settlers are fundamental of the foreign mindedness of these deracinated frequenters of the bistros and wine bars of the big city who conceive the whole world as their habitat, and the global mobility of goods and bodies and ideas as the only way to peace and progress.

No longer "useful"

The Independent newspaper is pre-eminently the roosting place of the Liberal illuminati. Thus we found in its issue of the 23rd March 2OOl a Debor Orr intoning the last rites for what was once Britain's staple industry, but which now in her emancipated opinion has outlived its usefulness and should not be preserved. Here a few gems from her wisdom. "The agriculture industry in Britain is not economically viable." "The tourist trade is expected to expand, unlike poor old agriculture, which is expected to die slowly quietly and inexorably." "Agriculture must struggle on in some form for some time, but only to provide a backdrop to the thrusting young service industry that is really bringing wonga into the rural economy." "Farming is all over bar the shouting, and land-owning is back."

For the apostles of a one-world economy such as this Deborah Orr, it is the economic analysis and the almighty cause of "cheapness" which counts supreme - everything to do with a national and racial heritage which is not to be expressed in pounds and pence, being despised as relatively insignificant or fanciful illusion. With "cheap" food available from abroad, the cultivation of our soil and the care and continuance of our herds and flocks is an old-fashioned pastime which no longer pays, and should be discarded, the current foot-and-mouth epidemic being viewed by them as having the advantage of hastening the decline and abandonment of an outdated industry. What they really look forward to is a countryside relegated to the role of an expanse of country clubs, golf courses, theme parks and recreational areas where they can exercise themselves and their dogs, and ramblers from town can be free to roam.

To challenge them first on their own ground of "cheapness", let it be said that to a very great extent they are vendors of illusion - in that the food in question is cheap in its nutritional content as well and because of its price. In the case of crops, and whether produced at home or abroad, and unless expensively organic, the food is the product of drugged and depleted soil. Subsequently it is subject to extractive and additive processing which devitalises. In the case of meat, the animals from which it is derived in other than organic farming are the victims of chemical treatment of one kind or another, ultimately deleterious to both the animals themselves and the consumers of their flesh.

This preceding paragraph brings us to the question why British livestock are succumbing on such a scale to this foot-and-mouth disease. Could it be that their natural resistance to diseases in general has been undermined by modern practices resorted to in order to boost the animals as meat suppliers in compliance with the dogma of liberal capitalism that quantity and cheapness in cash terms count above all else? This is the opinion of a cattleman who provided a long article for the London Sunday Telegraph (4th March 2001). Modern farming methods, he said, subject cows to an unnatural diet of supplements and antibiotics which makes them permanently unhealthy and results in a disease-ridden industry that makes costly epidemics inevitable. "I am nauseated" he said, "by the idea of eating the meat of sick animals pumped full of antibiotics."

If we were not expending such an enormous part of our national resources on alien causes - be it the cost of enforcing coloured immigration on this country and massively subsidising coloureds here and abroad, or global interventions such as that in Yugoslavia and Iraq - we could, among other things, fund effective research into such disease of animals along with those of humans. There is nothing "cheap" about being a global busybody and a lady bountiful to internal and external Africans and Asians.

Vital to the nation

The second and overwhelming argument against those cosmopolitans who contend that we should discard our agriculture because the "cheapest" food from abroad is best is that a large and thriving agriculture is vital to a nation as the virtual heart of its body politic. A nation needs for its health of mind to have a sufficiently large part of its people bound up in the cyclical processes of Nature in an intercourse of blood and soil, an integration of land and people, whereby there is an organic growth of custom and tradition and perception of identity, the core of heritage; this pulsating to the rest of the population as from a heart, and forming the ethos of the nation. It is thus that patriotism and its component cohesiveness of community are nourished, and without these a nation falls sick, as is the condition of Britain today. Thus a nation's base in a thriving agriculture, which the likes of Deborah Orr would deny us, is a value completely outside and exceeding the cash evaluations of these cosmopolitans.

The blend of blood and soil and belief essential to a thriving nation is still to be found in the predominantly agricultural Yorkshire Dales in which I live, and where ancestors of mine have lived and farmed time out of mind. Most of the farmers work small hill farms of sheep and cattle. Despite all the deracinating, eroding and corrupting influences of global thought and practice, much of the England of old lives on in them. Many are of families who have farmed here for centuries, quite a number going back to the days of Viking settlement here, recorded in place names and dialect. They know and take pride in their ancestry and its roots in the Dales and cherish old values and habits.

In addition to the spiritual and cultural justification for a flourishing agriculture, there is the issue of national security in respect of our food in the event of dispute or conflict with other countries and the stimulus to national morale which a degree of independence in this respect brings. The advocates of global fusion fantasise that unrestricted mobility of men and materials throughout the world makes for universal harmony, but both experience and common sense hold otherwise. Independence, rather than dependence lessens the likelihood of friction.

Furthermore, a British agriculture possessed of that independence can not only aim at the greatest extent of home production sensibly possible - accepting that complete self-sufficiency is likely to be always out of reach - but can gradually increase its content of organic farming which is so desirable if we are to aim at providing the nation with high nutrition free of that chemical treatment of one kind or another which is suspected of contributing to such a vastness of ill-health in this purported year of progress 2001. It may well be that that we have to pay more for more nutritious and harmless food in revolt against the "cheapness" available in deficient and polluted food, but for anyone who puts high value of his or her health and longevity it is a higher price well worth paying in preference to extravagance on things of lesser importance.

    Spearhead Online