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Scrap several DEFRA quangos and their laws and regulations

Comment 7th July 2010

The government formed The Board of Agriculture in 1889 to encourage greater productivity and further farming interests. It employed 90 people and had an annual budget of £55,000. At that time of course it was accepted that the proletariat or hoi polloi needed managing and controlling and a Board run by aristocrats and officer class types was absolutely essential to be run effectively.

Of course, like all government organisations this one grew and grew and grew and by 19129 was calling itself The Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and during WW1 it created the Women’s Land Army and began bossing farmers about.

WW2 allowed the monster to become all powerful digging for victory, commandeering land with power to take over land, leases, tenancies etc and it became the sole buyer and importer of food.

By 1955 it became the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and |Food and took control of all scientific work being done on behalf of food and farming, all technology transfer and got involved in every aspect of a farmers life. Much of the grant aid given out by them was simply to allow farmers here to compete against government subsidised farmers exporting to us.

In 2002 the Ministry became a Department of DEFRA a massive organisation employing over 13, 000 people and spending almost £3 billion a year.

Unfortunately much of the legislation that started projects off and caused red tape and regulations to be implemented and policed are now no longer necessary but they have in fact grown and grown and are now an expensive anachronism that I propose should be scrapped to include all the legislation that they were authorised with.

My starter list of quangos and their laws and regulations are:

  1. Organic standards advisory committee….should not be a gov. organisation
  2. Packaging standards advisory committee…nothing to do with government
  3. Agricultural dwelling house advisory committee….time expired
  4. Agricultural wages board…time expired
  5. Agricultural wages board committees England (all 15) …ok when Victoria was Queen
  6. British Potato Council……gov. not needed in such a body
  7. British Wool Marketing Board….anachronism, nothing to do with government
  8. English Farming and Food Partnership…..chattering talk shop
  9. Farm Animal Welfare Council……doing the job of the RSPCA or should be.
  10. Home Grown Cereals Authority…OK when the Nazis were threatening to invade but inappropriate now.
  11. Horticultural Development Company recently Council…………………..nothing to do with government, it is a trade organisation.
  12. Independent science group on TB in cattle…nothing to do with government…industry should do its own R&D and planning
  13. Meat and Livestock Commission…an anachronism, nothing to do with government
  14. Milk Development Council….as for Meat
  15. National Fallen Stock Company……………………a bunch of zealots who ruined livestock farming in this country
  16. National Non Food Crops Centre………………………….nothing to do with government
  17. Plant Variety and seeds tribunal..an anachronism implementing daft EU laws banning varieties and seeds by committee…a nonsense
  18. Veterinary residues committee…nothing to do with government
  19. State Vet agency…why do we need a state vet or rather 1200 of them?
  20. Veterinary Medical Directorate…another bunch of red tapers.

And a further one, The Forestry Commission….why should HM Gov be running the biggest forest company in the UK?  OK in Communist Russia but inappropriate here nowadays.

Why does this matter?

This proposal would eliminate an enormous amount of red tape and make our food and farming industries more competitive and efficient.

Many of the organisations were fine in their day but are still embedded in the thinking of post war and 40s/50s state intervention in everything.

The cost savings would also be significant to government and industryt

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