This Great British Rake-Off

LP Columnist Barry Freeman
LP Columnist Barry Freeman
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If you, like me, have been deprived of sleep by the thought Britain’s land-owning aristocracy might lose out on Brexit through loss of Common Agricultural Policy subsidies, then you, like me, will have been catching up on the zeds since Wednesday just gone, like me, you.

Policy subsidies, then you, like me, will have been catching up on the zeds since Wednesday just gone, like me, you.

Only joking.

Not one wink has been turned or tossed off the obligatory 40 in regard of this matter. Indeed, it is fair to say nary even a doubt has been entertained that whatever post-disaster system is put in place to support food production in Britain (a vital matter of national security, a truth often forgotten), our bluebloods would land in gravy.

This became apparent at Prime Minister’s Questions when Labour MP Chris Bryant asked whether, once CAP had been doffed, our very own (although technically, I think, in law, he owns us) Duke of Westminster would continue to trouser £407,000 of public money every year.

And what, he wondered, of the Earl of Iveagh’s £915,000? Or the Duke of Northumberland’s £475,000? Oddly Chris (pictured)didn’t ask after the Queen’s half-millionplus annually, presumably because he’s a nice respectful politician who one day wants a gong. Anyhow, his mind was swiftly put at ease by the woman who last summer cut a backstairs deal with Andrea Leadsom to become PM without the bother of a vote.

“We are taking the interests of all parts of the United Kingdom into account when we look at that system and what it should be in the future.”

Put otherwise, commentators swiftly opined, expect United Kingdom Agricultural Policy to be CAP 2, more or less. Things might improve across the channel though, where support to amend the aged system is widespread. Designed for an era of many more small-holding farmers, the aim has long been to close loopholes exploited by Big Business and landed gentry alike.

Sadly wreckers have always been on hand to scupper such moves. That’s right, it was us. An effort led by right wings of all parties, the same political ground, of course, from which the bindweed Brexit sprang!

Don’t have nightmares.