BY NIALL McCRAE Dear Mr Gove, Although you are extremely busy, I feel that you should know of a scurrilous notion regarding your recent visit to Washington. It is doing the rounds in certain social media circles that you attended the annual Build-a-Bear convention, which as you know is an obsession of conspiracy theorists, who believe in a New World Order policed by microchip-implanted teddy … Continue reading An Open Letter to Michael Gove: What Did You Really Do in Washington?
CSM EDITORIAL The imam who questioned the Tory Leadership candidates on last night’s BBC debate has since been suspended by his employer – a school where he worked as Deputy Head – for antisemitic tweets. Meanwhile, another questioner, Aman Thakar, asked the Tory contenders if they would be a legitimate Prime Minister should they win – Thakar turned out to be a Labour Party council candidate in … Continue reading Wheels Fall off BBC
BY DAVID EYLES There are a large number of characters from classical literature who have wielded the knife and slaughtered their own allies. Shakespeare’s plays alone produce several such charmers: Macbeth, Richard III, Cassius and Brutus spring immediately to mind. It is a reflection of modern British politics that there is a temptation to draw parallels between these wicked monsters and some of our elected … Continue reading Gove is an Honourable Man
BY BEN EAGLE It was with a sigh of relief that I learned that Michael Gove was not moving to the Department for Exiting the European Union last week. Quite understandably most people were probably focused on the destination rather than the starting line. However, my eyes, as usual, were pointing towards Defra. The last thing that food, farming and the environment needs at this … Continue reading We Need Stability at DEFRA
BY JAMIE FOSTER The badger cull could be extended into low risk areas in England where badgers have been connected to outbreaks of TB by the autumn if licences are approved by Natural England. Despite opposition from the Badger Trust and other animal rights groups, Defra under Michael Gove has decided to carry on with the cull as part of the overall strategy to manage … Continue reading Gove Sticking to His Guns
BY BEN EAGLE Anybody involved in British agriculture should have accepted by now that the days for direct payments based on land area are limited in number. Instead we will be embracing a system of ‘public payments for public goods’, whatever that means. Although Michael Gove has in recent weeks offered a trickle of potential policy changes and words of general direction, there has been … Continue reading The End of Direct Payments?
BY BEN EAGLE The call for an agriculture GCSE has entered public discussion once again as Conservative MP for York Outer, Julian Sturdy, called for the introduction of a GCSE in agriculture for schools in England and Wales. He hopes that this would encourage more young people to enter the agricultural sector as well as improve their awareness of food, farming and environmental issues. The … Continue reading Time For GCSE Agriculture?
BY DAVID EYLES Somewhat overshadowed by the recent and momentous Cabinet Reshuffle – and the news that Larry, the Number 10 Downing Street Chief Mouser, remains in post – was a little reported item that the ever eager and cherubic Michael Gove has worked a blinder. He has announced that millions will be spent in creating a new Northern Forest along the M62 corridor. So we will … Continue reading Gove, the Northern Forest & Beavers
BY BEN EAGLE I admit it, I’m a Gove convert. However, when he was appointed to his role as Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs in the Cabinet reshuffle of June last year I took a big gulp and expected the worst. I was highly sceptical, looking back on his history in the Department for Education and his status as a Leave … Continue reading Converting to Gove
CSM EDITORIAL On 6th December 2017 Country Squire Magazine published “All Eyes on Torbay” highlighting the fact that Torbay Council were in danger of chalking up an ignominious first – a refusal to re-designate Neighbourhood Forums. Fortunately, Country Squire can now reveal that on the 7th December 2017, in an atmosphere demonstrating massive public support, sense prevailed and, in the presence of a significant number … Continue reading Gove’s Torbay Countryside Champion Opportunity
CSM EDITORIAL Torbay Council in Devon are in danger of chalking up an ignominious first – a refusal to re-designate Neighbourhood Forums. Neighbourhood Forums are a feature of the Tory/Lib Dem flagship Localism Act of 2011 which transfers a greater say in planning decisions to those most affected – the local communities. The great idea was that Local Authorities work with their communities to produce … Continue reading All Eyes on Torbay Council
BY JAMIE FOSTER Michael Gove has announced a new Environmental Watchdog which will be created to protect Britain’s wildlife, land, sea and air following Brexit. It is intended to be a bulwark against the powerful and to ensure that environmental standards don’t slip when we leave the EU. A cross party environmental committee has expressed concern about what will happen in the aftermath of Brexit. … Continue reading Gove’s Environmental Watchdog
BY JAMIE FOSTER We have reached a point in time where being offended is a default reaction to anything said by a political opponent. Take the Gove example last week – on the Today programme Gove made a rather unremarkable joke about John Humphrys’ interview technique. “Sometimes I think coming into the studio with you John is a bit like going into Harvey Weinstein’s bedroom, … Continue reading Humourless
CSM EDITORIAL The CLA (Country Land and Business Association Limited) is the membership organisation for owners of land, property and businesses in rural England and Wales. They have been safeguarding the interests of landowners, and those with an economic, social and environmental interest in rural land for more than 100 years. CLA members own or manage around half the rural land in England and Wales … Continue reading CLA 5 Point Plan For Fly Tipping
BY BEN EAGLE It was certainly a shock to see Michael Gove reinstated to the Cabinet, especially in his new role leading Defra. Rarely does the department receive such a ‘big hitter’, usually being seen (frustratingly) as a relative backwater from which lower profile ministers can rise through the political ranks. Gove is a controversial, outspoken character and his appointment has ruffled feathers in the … Continue reading Giving Gove a Chance