This is John Peel's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following John Peel's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
John Peel
Recent Activity
Never read it, but my friends in the Countryside Alliance and the Country and Land Business Association tell me about its hysterical, dishonest and nasty campaign agin the draft new planning policy framework. I guess I'll continue to ignore it. Life's too short.
1 reply
From what I can see, read and hear - as a Cumbrian Farmer - the Telegraph has been running a misguided and dishonest campaign. Moreover it has been very selective in its reporting. A pal of mine was at a Tory conference event organised by the Telegraph where Charles Moore - a right toff in my view - and Oliver Letwin were pitched against Fiona Reynolds and some failed politician who heads the Campaign to Preserve Rural England. He says that Charles and Oliver decisively won the debate, abetted by lots of support from Tory councillors in the room. This was not reported by the Telegraph. Then there is the NT which is acting outside its brief and powers and has been hijacked by its leadership to run an expensive and hysterical campaign agin the draft NPPF. Rumour has it that they are spending £500,000 of subscriber's subs on the campaign. Have we been asked? As a farmer I’m with the position taken by the two organisations that truly represent us – the Countryside Alliance and the Country and Land Business Association. They support the proposed changes. It’s been a wet and windy day here - thus I've time to look at this blog. Wouldn't want to do so very often.
1 reply
Enough of this 'Midsomer Murders' view of the countryside. This countryman has been toiling in wet fields for the past month and is grumpy. At a wet Westmorland Show this week I stumbled upon the National Trust stand, almost entirely devoted to its petition on planing reform. Are they nuts? Looking after the bits of the countryside - farms and houses left to them - is surely the job of the Trust. Its drying up - back to the fields.
1 reply
In from the fields to warm my hands and I see that Gareth is blogging. Still can't get over that he saw Tim Farron - who pretends to support us farmers - increase his majority to over 12,000. Given the dismal record of Westmorland Tories, I expect that Farron will be with us for a generation. Back to out to take fodder to the sheep.
1 reply
Spokesman for the Council for the Preservation/Protection of Rural England? An organisation for which we farmers have complete disdain.
1 reply
Catch up George. Eric Pickles is to abolish the ridiculous quango that is the Commission for Rural Communities. Predictable patronising drivel from a Tory MP representing a rural area. Back to shear a few more sheep before the rain comes.
1 reply
Is he your son in law George? From my silage fields north of Westmorland I hear that Farron jumps on every passing bandwagon, that his literature is misleading and dishonest, that he has a slick publicity outfit - all empty claims and spin which give an impression of activity but he achieves little or nothing and, more galling for us farmers, he seems to be listened to on agricultural matters which is strange because he is a vegetarian.
1 reply
My MP Rory Stewart is a strange lad. I read that he is to do another Afghan lite walk around this constituency. Has he nothing better to do. Out here in the country we only walk when we have to or perhaps when courting. Back to the silage fields.
1 reply
According to The Cumberland News, my local Tories chose Rory Stewart as PPC a few weeks ago at a caucus. He was described as 35 year old, Eton-educated, Harvard professor, tutor to Princes' William & Harry, ex soldier and former diplomat with an OBE. We countryman have too much experience of chancers not to question this chap's burnished and well publicised CV. In from the fields to read this week's Cumberland News, I see that John Stanyer, a Conservative from Wigton who was at the caucus, is unhappy with the choice of candidate and is calling on Penrith and the Border Association to hold an extraordinary meeting with a view to restarting the process. All rather puzzling – I look forward to news in next week's paper.
1 reply
My chums on Cumbria County Council tell me that the Council is to recruit a replacement Chief Executive - salary £170k (£200k when other costs are included). We farmers know waste when we see it. The post is unnecessary and the salary is plain silly. Totally laughable. But councillors like to be schmoozed by an overpaid nonentity. A waste of our taxes.
1 reply
Its been a long day in the fields and I have come in to read the above. This regular member of the party has a counter request for the 166 MPs. Please ignore Mr Isaby's mischievous missive.
1 reply
Just in from milking to hear that the local caucus has predictably chosen a proper chap as our candidate. The Cumberland News has been describing him as the favourite for weeks. A stitch up. We farmers used to vote National Liberal - we might do so again.
1 reply
Give it a rest Tim. From what I can see, so far today you've sorted the Charity Commission on the status of private schools, given instructions to the European Conservatives and Reformists on how to organise internal elections, and now you tell the Telegraph how to run a newspaper. This is on top of your daily instructions to team Cameron. I expect you are opinionated on country matters too - please leave us alone.
1 reply
As a simple farmer I know not much about local government but I'm told that... Here in the rural north we have 2 tier councils and that around 20% of our District Councillors [allowance £3,842] are also County Councillors [basic allowance £8,007]. One pig feeding from 2 troughs. There is some duplication and overlap in their work - for which they are twice paid, and an obvious conflict of interest when reform of the two-tier to unitary authorities is considered. The party leaderships are paid more in responsibility allowances and have power over dispensing these goodies to fellow councillors. An additional incentive for them [Conservatives] to join others [Lib Dems]to form cabinets and its gives Leaders more power over their troops. Venal and depressing.
1 reply
Let a farmer try and enlighten a southern townie. I believe County Councils started to own farms in about 1908 – supposedly to give young people a start in farming. Further legislation was passed after World War I, to encourage/instruct County Councils to enlarge their portfolio to also meet the demand from war veterans. That was then now is now – and some County Councils still have these bloody farms – often occupied by long term second generation tenants thus thwarting the original objectives. Its time to sell them all. County Councils as estate owners! A joke on the Council Taxpayer. Back to my own non County Council fields
1 reply
Experience of, background in? They sound like folk who couldn't hack or were not serious about their former occupation, perhaps were burnishing their CVs - military and farming appeals to selection committees. I smell a lot of chancers and careerists amongst this lot. I'm back to the fields.
1 reply
Catch up Dan. The Agricultural Wages Boards [not Committees as you say and nothing like soviet institutions] have been around since 1924 and cost nothing to run. Bloody good job done for us in farming. Regional Development Agencies spend £2.2bn per year. What a waste.
1 reply
We English country folk can nominate lots of quangos for the chop. The first to go should be the Commission for Rural Communities - annual expenditure £8.3m. All it does is to produce reports and more reports. It is headed by the government appointed Stuart Burgess as Advocate for Rural Areas [a better title is Commissar for Peasants] who reports to one Gordon Brown. We can be advocates for our own cause and don't need to be patronised by an expensive, ineffective quango stuffed with jobsworths. Makes us farmers really angry.
1 reply
In from a very hot hay field to read these 'history' questions. Is Q2 a trick question? Q2 Who was the reigning monarch when the Spanish Armada attacked Britain? My grasp of history isn't good but I'd always thought that the Armada attacked England in the 16thC and that Great Britain was created in the 18thC. I see the questions were set by an academic at Cardiff University.He must try harder. Back to the fields.
Toggle Commented Jul 2, 2009 on A patriotic plea to David Cameron at thetorydiary
1 reply
The Kinnocks trouser a lot of our money - and for what. It is reported that Neil Kinnock trousers a pension of at least £64k from his time as European Commissioner. Glenys gets a pension of £66k for her time as an MEP and now a ministerial salary of £83k. Over £200k to this pair of mediocrities - it makes me laugh and cry.
1 reply
In from some haymaking. Rene Kinzett would have a point if she criticised the quality and venality of councillors. Here in the rural north we have lots of old and young farts serving on both County and District Councils, and then on Police Authorities and National Parks. By doing so they pick up £20k - basically for attending meetings. Back to the fields to do some real work.
1 reply
I'm spluttering with rage at my fellow huntsman - though no one at my hunt turns out like him. James Gray is the smooth, careerist, middle class, ex-army type that the membership falls for time and again. If I was still a member I could paraphrase Will Shakespeare - the fault is in ourselves for choosing such people as candidates.
1 reply
In from the fields ... ... to read that Tim Stoddard is Conservative leader of Cumbria County Council. Not when I last looked. Its north of Watford so you Con Hom blue boys are a bit out of touch - he is in fact leader of the Conservative Group on Cumbria County Council. His piece reads well - if you appreciate local government speak - but says nothing to comfort us real rural folk. Reduce the council tax Tim. Back to the fields
1 reply
Just in from lambing. Come of it Montgomerie, conservatives have long been, always in fact, concerned to enhance and conserve what is best in the environment. The Clean Air Act of the 1950s, Duncan Sandys founding the Civic Trust in the 1960s are but two examples. We farmers have done our bit too over the past 400 years - the hedges, woods and fields beloved by Montgomerie townies are my ancestors legacy. We have always been stewards of the land and don't need bureaucratic directives or the 'greens' socialist ideology to direct or guide us. Back to the fields.
Toggle Commented Mar 26, 2009 on All green issues are not the same at CentreRight
1 reply
Recently took time out from lambing to visit a farming friend in the Peak District and saw evidence of Andrew's efforts in the Chapel-en-le-Frith area. Wonderful stuff - as far as I could tell, here was an able, hard working, local candidate who resonates with all parts of the constituency. An example for us all in the rural north.
1 reply