Jeremy Corbyn claimed yesterday that the Conservatives are no longer the party of farmers and rural communities, that the Tories’ willingness to take the UK out of the EU without an agreement paves the way for “devastation” of the agricultural sector comparable to Margaret Thatcher’s coal mine closures in the 1980’s. His pitch at the UK countryside appeared to be based on a document drawn up last year by Fabian Society townies in partnership with the Countryside Alliance entitled Labour Country: How to rebuild the connection with rural voters.
Labour Country is a worthwhile document – there are some elements of it that the Tories and other parties should continue to pay attention to. The report outlines a strategy to reposition the rural economy through small-scale manufacturing and enterprise, a place-based investment strategy that works with the distinctiveness of rural communities and a renewed technical education programme. Rural isolation should be countered, it argues, by reopening rural bus routes and rail networks. More housing is needed, but it should involve local communities – affordable, smaller in scale and designed to fit the rural aesthetic. All admirable goals.
However, there is one section describing how Labour’s strong “eco-credentials” will come into play in its commitment to conservation and the environment, such as innovative strategies for developing the countryside, a more cautious approach to rewilding and support for sustainable and smaller-scale farming. This section runs counter to what Corbynites are really thinking about the countryside – their true destructive aims for land ownership changes, Venezuelan-style farm cooperatives, an insane organic action plan for Britain and increased rewilding can be seen over at Sustain (another Marxist cluster that needs putting back in the Hard Left box, along with blue-haired Extinction Rebellion, and nailed shut permanently). Other actual Corbyn plans are found in this scary document, Land for the Many, which reads like a Citizen Smith manifesto drawn up in a vegan cafe in Tooting.
Which leads those of us living and working in the UK countryside to beg the questions:
- Why would rural Britons want to repeat the damage the SNP are trying to land on the Scottish countryside?
- Why would rural Britons vote for Marxists who want to carve up the UK countryside and threaten a Venezuelan-style parcelito crisis, where those who know next to nothing about farming are put in charge of farmland?
- Why would the UK countryside, which prides itself on fairness, ever steep so low as to vote for anti Semites?
The reality is that Mr Corbyn over in Islington may think he’s the friend of the countryside and of farmers, perhaps because Farmer Eavis of Glastonbury makes him welcome at his festival, which takes place in green fields and features hay bales. However, most farmers would vote for anyone but Corbyn and Labour – knowing full well that whether departing the EU causes friction for farmers or not, voting in a Marxist Government dressed up as Labour would wreck markets for farm produce, splinter farmland along ideological grounds and threaten the future of farms via inheritance law changes. Corbyn would be a nightmare for farming and both the countryside and the rural community depending on the rural economy know it.
What Corbyn and the townies over at the Fabian Society and Sustain ought to do is travel to the Conservative rural heartlands to speak to farmers who run their farms efficiently and ethically, and who would vote Conservative even if their election candidate were one of their herd (indeed many would prefer if their local MP were one of their herd). They should listen to what rural folk really think of Marxist crusties’ (and Sustain’s) madcap ideas to break up existing countryside structures, how country people are talking openly of not paying taxes to a Corbyn Government, how many would approve of a UK shutdown to remove Labour and its chief anti Semite from power within his first 100 days should he ever get there, even if it meant Trump shutting down SWIFT, causing bread queues and initiating riots. Experience the anger, “Labour” – you and your ideas are detested in the UK countryside.
For Corbyn’s Labour to think it can ever have any kind of foothold in the proud and rebellious (indeed, shotgun-rich) countryside, it is living on another planet. Labour – as it is infiltrated now – has no future in Britain let alone in rural Britain and would do well to gauge the considerable fury that exists in rural parts against it, and the poisonous philosophies it is currently built around; the socialist heroin which is thrust on our children through schools and universities.