This is an acid test for the poseur Boris Johnson and his faux Tory regime: a trade deal with Australia has been negotiated and appears to allow high quality Aussie meat and other foodstuffs to enter the UK tariff-free. This has sparked a row within the Tories which would have greatly entertained my Grandfather, Sir John Winnifrith, once the senior civil servant at MAFF, so a man who knew about farming, an anti EEC campaigner in 1975 and a staunch political soulmate of his pal Tony Benn. This is a real test for Boris.
Tories, you may remember before this spend, spend, spend Nanny State regime came to power, once upon a time believed in free markets and capitalism. So they accepted that inefficient companies go bust allowing capital to go to efficient companies which can expand, hire more staff and pay more taxes. That is what Tories believed when they really were Tories and most of them pretend they still believe in it.
But the Tories also like to look after their traditional pals and, therefore, many of them are attacking this deal as it may cause problems for British farmers. Not for efficient ones but for inefficient ones who need consumers to pay inflated prices for them to maintain their business and lifestyle. But we smelly oiks who voted Tory in red wall seats last time just want cheaper, high quality food. That is one of the main reasons why my grandfather and Wedgie Benn wanted to stay outside the EEC where most food producers are inefficient and high cost. In the old days, good socialists wanted high quality cheap lamb from New Zealand and cheap beef from Oz for the workers. That was a time when the labour party cared about conditions for the working classes rather than ensuring that coppers knew how to wave a Palestine flag at the Pride parade.
So Boris, which is more important to you: high quality cheaper food for millions of ordinary folks or making sure that rich British farmers can keep sending their kids to boarding school and poorer, less efficient British farmers can continue ensuring capital is misallocated by distorting the price mechanism? Your call…