Why the Silence on Land Owning Subsidies?

Posted on April 16, 2015

I was speaking to a chap I know the other day and he was telling me, as a land owner, how shocked he was at the subsidies he was able to claim for doing absolutely nothing. It may seem unusual for a land owner to admit such a thing but as with all walks of life, tarring with the same brush is in my opinion, a bit ignorant. Judge people as you get to know them is my motto.

Anyway, this bizarre admission almost seemed like a cry for help from someone trapped in a crazy world where if he put his head above the parapet and said “this is wrong” he would get covered in the blood of a fox and be chased through the countryside by a baying mob of humans and hounds wishing to silence him for being a traitor.

They would have every reason to silence him as well, as landowners are benefiting from hand-outs that are so preposterous, they beggar belief. Because the cash is delivered by the hectare, the bigger landowner you are, the more free money you can collect, it is a fantastic form of benefit tourism that can earn millions for the biggest landowners who are often nom doms, oligarchs, sheiks and of course, newspaper barons like Paul Dacre and the Murdoch’s. That’s why you never read about these hand-outs in the media.

With spectacular hypocrisy, the minister for cutting benefits at the bottom end of society, Iain Duncan Smith, lives on an estate which allowed him to claim £1.5 million in free subsidies over a ten year period. I’ll repeat that… Iain Duncan Smith, lives on an estate which allowed him to claim £1.5 million in free subsidies.


Iain Duncan Smith; benefit scrounger who doesn’t like benefit scroungers

Some of the more progressive European nations have been trying to limit the amount of hand-outs a farmer can grab under what is known as the common agricultural policy and at one point it looked like they were on the brink of success but two governments in particular fought against it with formidable gusto: Germany and the UK. Thanks to their lobbying, the deferrals keep coming.

It is hard to know why we don’t really hear much about this, as in times of alleged austerity, it should really be a national scandal that has everyone fizzing with anger. One of the reasons, as I have stated before, is that it is not in the interests of media barons to report the hand-outs to the masses as it affects their own income. Media organisations such as the Express Group, The Mail Group and News International don’t generally make huge profits, they are there to influence the masses and turn them on the defenceless, alleged scroungers, at the bottom end of society rather than those at the top, many of whom are not only milking hand-outs rather than cows but are not even paying tax in this country.

The other reason sits in our sub conscience. If you look at infant school books, many of them are of a happy apple faced farmer surrounded by ducks, a loyal sheepdog and free range chickens living a full and happy life of natural food and fresh air. The same applies to all those little places called names like ‘Homestead Farm’ that have sprung up all over the place, where kids can see lambing, feed the ducks and watch piglet racing organised by some kid on the minimum wage.

What you don’t hear is; “After the piglet racing children, you can all come up and watch Farmer Palmer fill out his subsidy forms, as he needs a new Range Rover Vogue to ensure the farm runs as smoothly as his 5 litre engine.” 

You are also unlikely to get a tour of a battery farm.

When I said to the chap I know, that it is difficult to believe this goes on and no-one does anything about it, he ended the conversation on a tone that was as depressing as it was desperately true.

“You know Bob…I went in to Festival Place (Basingstoke town centre) and I don’t mean to be horrible but it was full of idiots who don’t care about the future, they are just not interested in change…it really frightens me that that there is a prospect that they will be allowed to vote in a referendum on Europe.”

It frightens me too.

Meanwhile, because of subsidies many landowners have seen their land treble in value in the last decade and they are free to build structures without the draconian planning permission us mere mortals would never get away with, yet they offer no thanks for our generosity and the masses just ignore it. Maybe we suffer a deep seated form of feudalism that will not allow us to trespass into their activities?

What I do know is that it is the most self-serving Government we have had for some time.

One more time.. Iain Duncan Smith who oversaw cuts in money going to the poor, lives on an estate that between claimed £1.5 million in free subsidies.

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