Saturday, 6 March 2010

Not Makin Bacon

This is an oldie but goldie. First went round in 2007, noticed by our friend Guido Fawkes.
I am pleased to count Nigel Johnson-Hill as a friend and neighbour. His razor sharp wit and splendid imagination for this letter was, and is, a joy.
Read it and laugh/weep. It encapsulates so much of what is wrong about this country.
Miliband was, in those far off days, the DEFRA secretary. Yes, a political wonk from the Chosen Race's enclave of North London, who had never been further out of London than Mill Hill, was the FARMING secretary. Gawd elpus!
Rt Hon David Miliband MP
Secretary of State, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)
Nobel House17 Smith SquareLondon SW1P 3JR
16 May 2007
Dear Secretary of State,
My friend, who is in farming at the moment, recently received a cheque for £3,000 from the Rural Payments Agency for not rearing pigs. I would now like to join the “not rearing pigs” business.
In your opinion, what is the best kind of farm not to rear pigs on, and which is the best breed of pigs not to rear? I want to be sure I approach this endeavour in keeping with all government policies, as dictated by the EU under the Common Agricultural Policy.
I would prefer not to rear bacon pigs, but if this is not the type you want not rearing, I will just as gladly not rear porkers. Are there any advantages in not rearing rare breeds such as Saddlebacks or Gloucester Old Spots, or are there too many people already not rearing these?
As I see it, the hardest part of this programme will be keeping an accurate record of how many pigs I haven’t reared. Are there any Government or Local Authority courses on this?
My friend is very satisfied with this business. He has been rearing pigs for forty years or so, and the best he ever made on them was £1,422 in 1968. That is – until this year, when he received a cheque for not rearing any.
If I get £3,000 for not rearing 50 pigs, will I get £6,000 for not rearing 100?
I plan to operate on a small scale at first, holding myself down to about 4,000 pigs not raised, which will mean about £240,000 for the first year. As I become more expert in not rearing pigs, I plan to be more ambitious, perhaps increasing to, say, 40,000 pigs not reared in my second year, for which I should expect about £2.4 million from your department. Incidentally, I wonder if I would be eligible to receive tradable carbon credits for all these pigs not producing harmful and polluting methane gases?
Another point: These pigs that I plan not to rear will not eat 2,000 tonnes of cereals. I understand that you also pay farmers for not growing crops. Will I qualify for payments for not growing cereals to not feed the pigs I don’t rear?
I am also considering the “not milking cows” business, so please send any information you have on that too. Please could you also include the current Defra advice on set aside fields? Can this be done on an e-commerce basis with virtual fields (of which I seem to have several thousand hectares)?
In view of the above you will realise that I will be totally unemployed, and will therefore qualify for unemployment benefits.
I shall of course be voting for your party at the next general election.
Yours faithfully,
Nigel Johnson-Hill

16 comments:

lilith said...

We loved this. I wonder if he ever got a reply?

Trubes said...

Marvellous stuff...
I didn't eat a Bacon Buttie this morning, does this warrant a cheque from the RPA?

Di.x

El-Kevo said...

I haven't been breeding pigs for 45 years. I must be in for a hell of a rebate.

Thud said...

Invisible pigs,the best type pre landing on toast.

Elby the Beserk said...

Lil's ex, who has to have dealings with DEFRA, renamed them to something along the lines of

Department for the
Eradication of
Farming and
Rural
Activities.

Quite so. Was it Milliband in charge when foot and mouth broke out? I do recall he was useless. So no change there, then.

Scrobs... said...

Excellent!

Bit like getting paid for not producing houses...

Philipa said...

Was this letter sent? Excellent.

El-Kevo said...

Fewer pigs free up more troughs for politicians.

apricotfox said...

Rasher and Spam will never be bacon so that's my fortune made, too!

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The worst example of the "not doing things industry" is politicians getting paid for not doing what's right. Mind you, they might have us on a technicality, as they seem to make a good living out of getting things wrong.

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