I have been drawn, reluctantly, back into looking at Stuart Agnew, UKIP’s chemically-challenged farm spokesman, as a result of some undercover filming carried out at his “free-range” chicken farm in Norfolk. Agnew, you will recall, is so worried about the great climate change conspiracy, that he believes it will suck so much carbon dioxide from the atmosphere it will stop plants growing. And he needs his 400 acres of EU-subsididised arable farmland to grow wheat to feed his chickens.
Whether animal welfare conditions for animal like free-range egg laying chickens would improve if the UK left the EU is unclear. Brexiteer farm minister George Eustice as suggested that under a UK only farm subsidy scheme, farmers should be paid extra for better animal welfare. So much for regulation then.
But what really caught my eye was something I had missed him saying at the recent conference of the National Farmers Union, for which has was previously Norfolk chairman. For Norfolk, perhaps as much as any rural English county, depends on a large number of low paid farm labourers. Labourers who in the main come from central and eastern European countries. Labourers who can move here without restriction as we are part of the EU. Bearing in mind 38% of the workforce in “the manufacture of food products” are foreign born, I imagine Agnew uses east European labour to pick his free range eggs.
This is what Agnew had to say at the NFU conference:
“You do not have to throw your doors open to, at the moment, 480 million people just to get a few people to work in agriculture. Alongside those who work in agriculture, you have got criminals, traffickers, people who are carrying infectious diseases, people who have murdered other people. All we need is a work permit system. It’s not really very difficult where the employer sponsors the individual who comes to work, agrees to accommodate them, guarantee their good conduct and make sure they return when they finish.”
I’m glad I don’t live in Agnew’s world, where, apart from a few people who work in agriculture, johnny foreigner is either a
- a murderer (of other people).
UKIP received 34.5% of the vote in the East of England in the 2015 European Elections.
Blimey l thought my uncle’s friends in one company of Royal Canadian Guards cleaned out the last SS running from Belsen CC in April 45, but some bas___dsl got away and their progenitors are “defrauding taxe payers” running such animal CCs in Norfolk. So l have been told..
l wonder if it is this guy. ..no surely not..
I cannot tell you the real difference between the brown shirt fascists with the quasa fascists of the purple brigade….it’s the 30s all over again and they speak in English rather than German! I never thought this l am only giving the opinion of Herr Farrage’s cousin!
The far right is rising again – from Slovakia, where 20% of seats in the latest Parliamentary elections were won by neo-Nazi’s and National Socialists, to Germany regional elections where Action for Germany has just won 25% of votes in the former East German region of Saxony-Anhalt. Here we have UKIP regularly getting 15% of the vote, but actually in European elections they are regularly achieving over 30% of the vote. Not all who vote for UKIP are supporters of the far-right, but then presumably not all of the nearly 14 million who voted for Hitler in the July 1932 election were Nazi’s. And then there’s Donald Trump…..
I think you’re misunderstanding his comments: I don’t think he’s claiming that all foreigners are criminals, traffickers, murderers, or diseased. I think he is saying that in place of using foreigners we should put our home-grown criminals, traffickers, murderers, and diseased folk to work in the fields.
So he’s not casting overwhelming aspersions about foreigners. He’s just proposing chain gangs, that’s all. For the diseased, as well as the incarcerated.
Ah, thanks Stuart. Yes that must be it.
The last time I heard Agnew speak was during a Brexit style debate at the Three Counties Farming Conference last November and I struggled to find anyone in the room (apart perhaps from a few arch conservatives) who was impressed with what he had to say. Interestingly, Eustice was also present at this debate and his position was far less clear cut than it is now. Something I often find with UKIPers (and I realise I am generalising here) is that they usually have very little positive to say about anything or anything constructive come to that. However, whilst shouting shouldn’t get you anywhere (something Stuart Agnew is very good at doing) it is usually necessary to get your point heard and 9/10 it works. As conservationists perhaps we need to shout more.
Link to previous blog post on the 3 counties Brexit debate – https://thinkingcountry.wordpress.com/2015/11/13/do-uk-farmers-need-the-eu/
thanks very much Ben. I completely agree – it’s up to us to lay out a positive vision of the future and shout about it more.
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