Matthew Steeples calls out Daniel Hannan for ludicrously not wanting to encourage British people to consume locally produced food
Daniel Hannan claims to support localism. He wants to end Value Added Tax and replace it with a local sales tax, set by local councils. The ex-MEP is also obsessed with national sovereignty and whilst often bizarrely banging on about trading with Ethiopia also, today basically said he wishes to discourage British farmers to produce more on their own land.
In an article for The Telegraph, this fan of Enoch Powell claimed “COVID-19 is pushing us to protectionism” and added that: “The idea that growing your own food makes you more secure sounds plausible, but turns out to be nonsense… If you think about it, national food self-sufficiency makes no more sense than village food self-sufficiency.”
Whilst rightly Hannan admits “we have one of the most innovative agri-food sectors on the planet,” wrongly he doesn’t want to encourage it. Here, in my self-imposed isolation in East Anglia, I’ve seen exactly to the contrary. Walking in the local countryside, I pass farms with roadside stalls. They sell locally produced eggs, locally produced fruit and veg and even offer locally grown flowers as well. The village pub – turned into a community shop due to it being unable to sell booze in its normal manner – now sells locally produced pies and locally made ale even (at a most reasonable just £2 to fill a bring-your-own bottle) to takeaway and frankly, it’s all for the good. People are eating more healthily here now and surprisingly these goods are being sold at a lower cost than they’re retailed for by the greedy middlemen – AKA the supermarkets – in normal times.
Growing local is good for the local economy and buying local is even better. Supporting your local food and drink producers is a jolly good thing and Daniel Hannan is dumb to say otherwise.