In the week the Conservatives proudly announced the creation of thousands of virtual hospital beds more evidence emerged of them abandoning trying to fix things in the real-world.
Britain needs more black pudding
Have you ever played the ‘last meal’ game? You can choose anything for your final meal. Mine would be a round of black pudding topped with mushy peas and a scallop.
So why am I sharing this strange little obsession of mine?
Meeting local residents recently at a Farmers’ Market one said to me “the problem is we don’t make anything anymore”. It’s a good point. Since the deindustrialisation under the Conservatives, and in fairness the rise of China, Britain has become heavily dependent upon services, such as banking, to create our national wealth. As those service industries weather the storms caused by leaving the European Union we do need to make more ‘things’.
Luckily we have an industry that is already there and needs little investment to make things that the country can sell. It’s called farming.
That’s where the black pudding comes in. Puddings, sausages, pies, cured meats, scotch eggs and cheeses are all examples of what are called ‘added value’ products. A basic material, meat, eggs or milk, has been turned into something more valuable than the basic product.
Better still some of these products are highly prized overseas and can help bring wealth to the UK. Think of the King of Cheeses, cheddar, or the Prince of Bangers, the Cumberland sausage, or even the humbler black pudding.
We don’t think of farmers making things but they do, just as much as Aston Martin makes cars. Did you know £874 million worth of sausages were sold in Britain in the last year? That’s why we should be supporting our farmers to add value to their produce, and helping them to find export markets where the high production and quality standards of the UK agricultural sector are prized. It’s also why we should not let hastily struck trade deals cripple our farming sector.
Personally, I think the humble black pudding (especially paired with some mushy peas, and a scallop) can be a global export winner for the UK.
Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Central Devon
Nymet Rowland, Crediton EX17