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Highlands and Islands Greens
Highlands and Islands Greens

Farmers Questions

Sunday, April 12th, 2015

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The main Green event this week for me was the NFUS Hustins at Dingwall Auction Mart.

My six minute speech was re-written multiple times till eventually there was no time left for any more edits and I had to face 50 or so farmers and vie for air time with the other candidates.

In the end I settled for quoting James in the crowd-funder where he says. “Coming from a farming family I think in the long term and I cannot stand the short-termism of other political parties”.

I talked about a farm for the future, the year of soils (and that studies suggest we are loosing soil so fast we will only have 100 harvests left if we don’t change), climate change (and that paying to avoid it now was cheaper than paying for the consequences later), peak resources, pesticides, Fracking and TTIP. I ran out of time on GM and Land reform which was annoying but during the questions was able to talk about austerity and the scandal of having food banks in the 6th richest country in the world. The farmers did not seem convinced about the re-assurances of the other parties on TTIP and Fracking, so I think what I said went down well there, but generally they seemed to think it was a 2 horse race and the horse they were applauding loudest was the Tory one, despite the current government failing to pass on £200 million of CAP payments destined for Scotland. The candidate said they would sort this out. I said they should have sorted it out in the first place.

The question about support for renewable energy was fairly easy to be upbeat about. Quite a few questions were directed at the SNP which then gave Ian Blackford a chance to reply at length, which he was good at, and it was hard to get a chance for a response sometimes.

Anyway we’ll do it all again with a different audience in Caol, Lochaber on Tuesday hopefully this time with Charles Kennedy and the Independent candidate too.

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