Monday, April 14, 2008

Is it Worth it?

Oh, dear fucking god—the sky is falling and... brrrr... hell is freezing over! That's right, I have agreed with something that Jon Worth has said on the subject of politics. As Jon Points out, not only does the Common Agricultural Policy eat up 40% of the EU's budget (and it's responsible for a great deal of the fraud in that budget too), but it also screws up farmers in Developing Nations.
CAP means it’s still viable to grow sugar beet in Denmark rather than import sugar cane from sub-Saharan African countries.

Indeed. In fact, let's go a step further and point out that the CAP kills Africans.
France, together with others such as Finland and Ireland, have always sought to protect the CAP system. So what an irony today that French agricultural minister Michel Barnier (a former Commissioner in the Prodi Commission) stated that it’s necessary
“to bring together the efforts of various member states to help developing countries rebuild their agriculture” and that “we cannot, and we must not leave food for people… to the mercy of the rule of the market alone and to international speculation.”

See all the quotes in this BBC article.

Yes, unchecked market forces can lead to unintended consequences, but planned markets like that for agricultural products in the EU can have very dire consequences indeed, and the irony that France thinks it now help developing countries after CAP has screwed up their chances of exporting for decades?

Jon is a little too kind in calling this an irony; it is stinking fucking hypocrisy. Especially as you may remember that the French scuppered the Doha Round trade negotiations by defending their share of the CAP.
French Agriculture Minister Dominique Bussereau ruled out changes on Monday to the European Union's system of farm subsidies, saying he would prefer that the Doha trade talks fail instead.

"I would prefer that the negotiations fail rather than negotiations that would raise questions about the CAP (Common Agricultural Policy) and its future," he told reporters in Austria.

Does anyone really think that the French are going to change their tune on this? No, I don't either.

So, what is it that the French Agriculture Minister is proposing?
Mr Barnier told French radio on Monday: "We cannot, and we must not leave food for people... to the mercy of the rule of the market alone and to international speculation."

He is proposing four ideas:
  • Production of more and better food to enable Europe to respond to the food challenge

  • To bring together the efforts of various member states to help developing countries rebuild their agriculture

  • To redirect public development aid towards the agriculture sector

  • To ensure that poorer countries do not become the victims of the World Trade Organization's Doha round of negotations.

OK. Now, here's a swift translation for you all.
  • Production of more and better food to enable Europe to respond to the food challenge

The best way in which to get more food is, obviously, to subsidise farmers even more. This will also stop them being subject to "the rule of the market alone and to international speculation". Plus, of course, French food is, as we all know, the best in the world.

So, obviously, we need to send more subsidy money to French farmers.
  • To bring together the efforts of various member states to help developing countries rebuild their agriculture

And, obviously, the best way in which to do this is to send lots of money and food aid. This food aid will need to be grown in Europe and, as we want the Africans to have the very best food aid, that means that we need to give lots more subsidies to French farmers.

Oh, yes, and we should also subsidise French farmers to go and train the Africans to grow food as well as France does.
  • To redirect public development aid towards the agriculture sector

Particularly the French agriculture sector. In other words, we need to give more subsidies to French farmers.
  • To ensure that poorer countries do not become the victims of the World Trade Organization's Doha round of negotations.

We need more price-fixing of essential goods, to ensure that the Africans get a good price for their agricultural produce. We also need this price-fixing to ensure that French farmers are not undercut by the cheap African produce.

However, since food prices are already on the up and French farmers cannot compete with the African famers on price, we need to send more subsidies to French farmers as compensation.

So, the solution to the massive price rises and the fact that the CAP is fucking over Developing Nations is to subsidise French farmers even more.

Yup, that sounds about right...

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

just one thought, if a country becomes completly dependant on other countries for food, than there is quite a large defense issue. For instance how Britain was severly dependant on food from colonies in the second world war and had to drasticaly ration it whenconvoys were attacked.

Anonymous said...

"...there is quite a large defense issue"

CAP is, first and foremost, a quality of life scam by the French with a few other client nations on the payroll to run interference.

Expect to see some "very French" diplomacy in the comming years.

Anonymous said...

At the risk of sounding like a bigot, may I just say that I hate the cunting EU and the fucking french fuckpigs with a passion.

riddler said...

on the other hand, anonymous, you have to admire the frog for doing what a government should be doing - looking after the interests of the country. And if you can get some other poor unsuspecting sods to pay for it, that's even better.

Anonymous said...

Right from the beginning the CAP has always been the WORST case in modern times of cynical self interested warping of trade in favour of the smug and indolent (ie basically the French)and against the weak and hard working(ie basically the third world).
It continually amazes me how any decent liberal person can have anything to do with it.

But they do!