Tuesday, September 25, 2007

The Polluter Pays - unless your name is Gordon

The British livestock industry is reeling from the twin impacts of Blue Tongue and Foot and Mouth Disease. We are told that Blue Tongue has been visited upon Britain as a result of global warning allowing a certain kind of midge to migrate Northwards through Europe, and high winds which then blew these midges across the North Sea. We cannot reasonably blame the Government for that. But we can blame the Labour Government for giving us the current outbreak of FMD.

The virus probably escaped from the Government Research Institute at Pirbright. Disgracefully, our 'Oh so moral' Prime Minister tried to dump the blame onto the Government's private sector partner at Pirbright, Merial. But inquiries suggest that the virus escaped from defective infrastructure which was the Government's responsibility. This is probably the first time ever that a British Government has infected the herds and flocks of Britain with FMD.

Now, the movement restrictions imposed on British farmers (including yours truly) has led to some big financial losses. A few weeks ago our farming leaders were talking big about suing for compensation - at a time when they thought the polluter was a small US private sector business. Have they got the b***s to sue when it looks as if the Labour Government is the culprit. I think not.

The reason all this interests me today, is that I received a phone call this afternoon telling me that the Government is recruiting a team of lawyers which specialises in resisting compensation claims. Can this really be true? Can our British Government really have infected our farm stock with Foot and Mouth Disease, then tried to dump the blame on someone else, and finished up used taxpayer's money to pay for a team of lawyers to avoid paying compensation for its crime? All I can do is ask the question. So much for 'the moral compass' we were hearing so much about yesterday.

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