Letter: Farmers fight back

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The Independent Online
Sir: You display complete insensitivity to the plight of farmers and their important role in a nation increasingly dominated by urban values (leading article, 28 May).

I suspect that if the writer, from a low base, had suffered a 46 per cent decrease in income, he or she would be "bleating like a spring lamb", especially if the fall had nothing whatsoever to do with performance.

Anyone who imagines that the demise of our home farming industry would lead to lower prices is living in cloud-cuckoo land, as a visit to any supermarket proves, when farm-gate prices are at their lowest for a generation.

We are ruled by Brussels, not the market. There is nothing farmers wish more than to be allowed to compete on fair terms in world markets, but that option is denied to us.

Britain is beautifully farmed, lush, green, and productive. Without farmers there would be no countryside as we wish it, and to suggest trees and housing as acceptable alternative uses means nothing less than its destruction.

Think seriously before you condemn this "interest group" to the scrap heap. To imagine that "townspeople are more solicitous" of our countryside than those who live and work there and who are the traditional keepers of our pastoral heritage is a misconception for which our descendants will not thank us.

PETER ASHLEY

Hertford

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