Friday, March 6, 2009

The great urban-rural divide down under and on top!

So you thought we were the only country stuck with this ever growing resentment between the big smoke and rural industry?
While we may have been struggling to assert our prominence as an industry into the hearts and minds of Aucklanders (like John I don't give a stuff about the rest of New Zealand Banks) and politicians, the recession has helped agriculture to 'show off' its wares once more with economists stating it is us that will lead New Zealand out of recession and the news that Marac Finance is looking to regional New Zealand (yes you heard correctly) for economic growth and opportunity.
No such luck in England however. Read these comments from Farmer's Weekly blogger David Richardson:

"According to today's Daily Telegraph an un-named, but by implication, influential senior economic adviser to Gordon Brown told him the City of London was the only really important engine of the British economy and that "the rest of the country can be turned over to tourism".
Admittedly this advice was said to have been given sometime before the fall of Northern Rock. I should also point out that the expose has come from the UK National Defence Association which particularly deplored the fact that defence was looking at a £15bill shortfall in funding and that it was bracketed by the said economist alongside manufacturing and virtually all other industries.
There was no mention of agriculture or food in the report. But doesn't its content sound familiar? Our industry has suffered from the same kind of attitude. Government policy towards it, delivered through DEFRA, has sidelined us. Food and farming were branded unimportant. Tourism and a pretty environment were given top priority. You could just imagine that same economist telling Gordon Brown to let farming go hang and import most of our food. It is entirely consistent with what happened to defence.
And where has that advice to rely wholly on the City got us? I don't need to give an answer. It is transparently obvious to us all. And it confirms what dangerous people some economists are. Governments should sack them all and go back to legislating with common sense. But they've been listening to economists for so long they have probably lost the ability to think for themselves. Sometimes I pull out my hair in despair. And if you've seen my photograph you will realise where that leads."
In the words of our most famous export - Fred Dagg, "We don't know how lucky we are!"

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