Wednesday, 25 June 2008

FOOD PROBLEMS?


I am glad to see, as I drive around Thanet, that a farmer between Birchington and Manston has a lot of land growing maize at the moment. It might come as a surprise to the urban Thanetonians and I include TDC in this description, that we have real food and feed crops growing in Thanet and not just land waiting to be built on by developers. As I write, potato, wheat, barley , oil-seed rape and maize is thriving in the June sunshine. It is not the case elsewhere.
The picture above illustrates the problems of the US maize (corn), soya bean and rice crops this year. Flooding that has swept through the main mid-west 'corn' and wheat belts of Iowa, Illinois and Missouri followed a wet spring and late planting season. Not only will yields be down but it is estimated that upto 5 million acres of crops have been destroyed and that it is too late to re-plant this season. What's this got to do with us, you might ask; my answer is the same as that wonderful line from 'Cabaret' about money 'HUNGER!'
I will probably be accused by some as a scare-monger but when the US wheat supplies are currently lower than at anytime since 1948 and countries have been restricting food exports to prevent food riots and basic food prices are escalating sky-wards, we need to wake up and fast to the fact that home production and our farming industry producing food on good agricultural land will be needed to feed us in the years ahead. An interesting snippet is that Japan literally ran out of butter in April!
Just to add to the problem of world food supplies, in December 2007, Bush signed The US Energy and Independence Security Act. What this means is that the US has to produce 36billion gallons of bio-fuels from crops to run cars rather than food crops to run people. In simple terms a tankfull of diesel requires the same 'food' that would keep a person alive for 270 days! Brown has instituted the same bio-fuel nonsense here!
I wonder if CGP is looking at world-food prices (maize doubled from $3 to $7). Will Gateway be scrapped as they go into the farming business, having bought up swathes of agricultural land last year and now constructing a new agricultural barn for the storage of grain at Manston Business Park? (see F/TH/07/0126).

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Yes I am a local developer, and I am proud to be able to provide people with homes.

We now live in a global village and as a nation we are better to inport our food. More houses are needed and I see no wrong in building on farm land to provide these homes for needy people.

Anonymous said...

There are too many do gooders in Thanet we need experts on the council who understand planning and provide homes and jobs.

Anonymous said...

Import our food (or 'inport' as anon.18.05 put it) is a crazy idea as it leaves us dependent on nations who will be unable to feed their own people soon if the population globally keeps growing. The Chinese are buying up land in Africa and South America to grow food for their people. They will soon be able to hold us to ransom for basic foodstuffs. Global warming and more flooding as has been experienced recently wiped out crops that would feed the US so they'll be after imports as well.

'Needy people', anon. Get real. These houses are being built for DFLs with their flash cars who are moving in to the area and squeezing out locals. No, I'm not jealous of these people and am more than happy with my lot, thank you. Just concerned for the area and those who work hard for a living. How many of the new houses being built are within the price reach of locals?

Anonymous said...

Now you know why the allotments are getting fenced.

One aspect of allotments is the facility they provide seed growers for trialling new products. Such as in recent times new cultivars for smaller families and suitable for window box type veggie growing.

There is an alarming increase in thefts from allotments. not ours yet. but we are thinking of rostering up for overnight guarding. Dogs, quarterstaff, kukri and air weapons.

We have built an observation platform on one shed roof from where the allotments can be seen boundary to boundary.

Anyone know how to work a longbow ?

Anonymous said...

And an appropriate thread to mention the folly of closing the mines.

Maggie dullard. We tried to tell her. Listen ? Her ?

Anonymous said...

raspberry thief named and shamed mid account

Anonymous said...

Dear developer (TDC's) friend,

The globalisation you mention will hold this country to ransom.

Your millions or thousands will just about buy your food in 6 years time?

More importantly developers greed will just about see the end of the human race which this planet will gladly see the back of.

Get real, for gods sake you need food to live as well as fresh water, houses give you neither?

Tony Beachcomber said...

Bertie, I can always recall when I was at school doing Geography. One thing I found interesting was that every part of the UK produced something from local resources to keep their local economies bouyant.In the area of East Kent I remember writing Mining,Fishing,Agriculture,Light Manufacturing, Tourism,Generating Electricity. All these areas were the backbone of the local economy and to sustain these industries required no reliance on anybody just support from the local government set up.
Since the 1981 Thatcher/Howe recession all our local industries have been slaughtered and all we have left is a pale shadow of any local industry that once sustained our local economy. It is not all doom and gloom as there are a few success stories and some people do deserve some praise for what they have acheived, but this is not enough to take Thanet forward.

I must admit when this China gateway thing was first announced I just thought it was another idea that would never come about and just sat on the fence.I now find myself pulling towards your direction because the whole project is setting Thanet up on the path to dependancy, for example we are putting our own produced drinking water at risk, we will loose the capabilty to grow our own food and the whole thing relies on China sending whatever over. The trade off for something sustainable for a something that embraces dependancy is simply not worth it. Perhaps the China Gateway may be better relocated to a area that doesn't displace a sustainable industry.

Anonymous said...

There are plenty of other sites more suitable ie Richborough area. Councils should be protecting our valuable arming land, an not just pandering to developers with their cash.Thanet is becoming over developed.

Anonymous said...

We have nothing to worry about.The UK is just a tiny part of Europe. The UK will be a City Island and we will get our food from the main land. I am not ashamed to be a property developer as I provide people with homes, I am also proud to have a an interest in local politics.

We need to be postitive, Thanet is alovely please to live and I am happy to live here.

Anonymous said...

25 June 2008 21:16 I have never read a greater pile of b*** s****. And why on earth should Europe be the slighest bit interested in feeding the "city island". Thanet is becoming a concrete mess - developers like so many vultures waiting to pick at the bones and line their pockets. Shame on you.

Anonymous said...

That is not a nice thing to say, we build home for the needy, and my wife is French so I have no problem with those who live on the main land

Anonymous said...

There's no bread, let them eat cake
There's no end to what they'll take
Flaunt the fruits of noble birth
Wash the salt into the earth

Lessons taught but never learned
All around us anger burns
Guide the future by the past
Long ago the mould was cast

For they marched up to Bastille Day
La guillotine claimed her bloody prize
Hear the echoes of the centuries
Power isn't all that money buys

Bertie Biggles said...

I am suspicious 18.05 and 18.13 that you are just 'stirring'. If you are serious then 'may The Lord preserve us from the Dane and developers'!
Tony, I hadn't thought of your approach to further 'dependancy' in this issue and I must say it's an interesting and valid stance; thanks for that.
Thanks 00.16 for the lyrics that convey a serious message.
Time to crawl to bed now!

Anonymous said...

hope local developer can sleep at night - he is one of the many who will be slatted in the future for spoiling our lovely island just for the purpose of making himself richer.
How many more of them got an interest in local politics - sure it isnt with the labour party?
Just epitomises the backbone of Thanet tories - selfish, greedy person.

Anonymous said...

This is why I do have a problem with developers and builders sitting on the planning committee. Sure they may bring expertise, but they may also bring a very one sided viewpoint which may not be concerned with the local environment and community. They could possibly also be more concerned with helping themselves and friends in the trade, although I sincerely hope not.

Anonymous said...

Sorry, Mr. Anon, I think you're a wind-up merchant as I can't believe there are people who genuinely think as you do. Heaven help us though, if the Planning Committee is made up of your business colleagues or we'll soon disappear under concrete and then get flooded when it rains. Developers, out for a quick buck. help the needy, don't make me laugh!!

Anonymous said...

I think that greed is a healthy thing because it stops people from being lazy, and I am not a Tory, I vote Lib-Dem. The Conservatives have big issues, and Labour Thanet Group are totally lazy. I should know as my-ex wife was one of them

Anonymous said...

The sad thing is people do genuinely think like him

Anonymous said...

I love this web site, its the best part of my life

Anonymous said...

Jesus how sad can you be?

Anonymous said...

some people watch telly, but my life this blog.. I am 87 but i don't feel it

Tony Beachcomber said...

We have all heard the saying when America sneezes we all catch a cold, well very much the same can be said about our local economy in relation to the rest of the uk.It can also be said that certain communities in Thanet are hit harder that others. So why should this happen, for example Newington is always hit harder than say Birchington North.
The answer I believe is down to the origin of income. In Newington, traditionaly most income in the past was was earnt by people working in the more local industries like mining,light manufacturing,agriculture,tourism etc, which had a certain amount of local sustainabilty relying on local resources and global implications had very little bearing on the economy.
Then came the 1980's and local government I beleive could have done more to help these industries but because of political idealogy in the 1980's they allowed these industries that sustained areas of Thanet to die. It could be argued that it is the sign of the times, but whatever the outlook these economic areas of Thanet need to be sustained with locally resourced industries and should not be dependant on global decisions and implications. So I cannot understand why agriculture land that has sustained our economy with the assett of food for centries should be displaced with something that can come and go.
I know Thanet is not a economic island and we do have some dependancy , after all incomes in Birchington North are not earnt locally they are earnt elsewhere. But every effort should be made to protect and encourage the locally resourced parts of our economy and expand them.

Anonymous said...

Most people don't work in the part of Thanet that their home is in. So what you are saying is nonsense.

Anonymous said...

ITS A BLOG OF A LIVE
we live to blog and dog cllrs

Tony Beachcomber said...

What about the Thanet unemployed who would have once worked in the manual industries.
Thanets economic problems are about people who are unemployed or are in poorly paid jobs.

Anonymous said...

One should not count lazy people that don't work

Anonymous said...

Tony is the village know all

Anonymous said...

Most true Thanet people are lazy, and are against progress.People like OBE are not from Thanet and they try to help its people to learn how not to be so lazy. We do have some unpleasant people in Thanet. One just needs to walk past the bus stop to smell the BO

Business should always come before the lazy people of Thanet.

Anonymous said...

I don't think much of his dark humour, but he does have a point about many people in Thanet not wanting to work. Most that I have spoken to choose not to work


KL

Anonymous said...

There are unemployed and unemployable in every area.

What the Council cretins in Thanet fail to understand is that if the local people willing to work, are employed by multi national companies, the money goes out of Thanet.

The big companies do not hire local electricians, builders etc, but use their own, cheapest bid companies. No money is circulated.

China Gateway bollocks will be the same. Pay minimum wages to foreign workers, with the profits going out of Thanet.

We get used and abused as usual. I am sure that our Councillors who have already as much agreed this monstrosity, have done so with the best intentions however.

Just whose intentions we will find out in due course.

Bertie Biggles said...

19.32, glad to hear that. But, without the blasphemy, maybe 19.46 is offering good advice. Go and deliver leaflets for Stop China Gateway,as well as visiting 'Strife'! It is very therapeutic.
22.46 whilst I might share some thoughts concerning some Councillors, try not to be too rude by describing all our Cllrs as 'cretins'. Most of our Councillors whether, Ind, Labour or Conservative are just trying to do their best and have no doubt about it, give up a great deal of their time for us. There may well be some who are 'self-serving' but that goes for any organisation of human beings you might care to mention.

Now, come-on 22.05, give Tony the credit where credit is due. His points are valid and well put and very balanced and fair. He has the interests of Thanet close to heart and has a valuable and historical outlook concerning our present woes.

Anonymous said...

Are some of the posters indicating that some of the families in newington are lazy?

Some of the families in Newington have sons and daughters on the front line in Iraq/Afghanistan earning less than a TDC traffic warden.

This family has a son living elsewhere because of the bad conditions and pay in Thanet and his doing much better and paying his way. He has some friends in the electrical field and the word is that China is taking many jobs from highly skilled English technicians (and he is one of them), due to our incessant needs for dodgy and cheap consumer goods.

Some people need to get out more, especially from Thanet, and we are not talking about day trips or holidays!

Tony Beachcomber said...

5:26 annon, I agree a solution has really got to be found to end this endless cycle of economic blight of unemployment, low pay and few job career prospects in Thanet. It is just not fair that generations of working people have had this to contend with.

Spare a thought for the jobs that are no longer with us, Klingers,Rovex,Emco Wheaton,Ranks,GEC,Steelcase,Stelrad,Norman Hensher,The Tourist industry,P&B components,Richborough power station,United air coil,BOC,Pearce Signs,The Kent Coalfield,Sally Ferries,Bowketts,Fishing industry, all manufacturing and consumers of local resources. RIP

The village know it all.

Bertie Biggles said...

Thanks, Tony. The history of lost employment is relevant to the claims made by CGP to allow a major business park to evolve through 3 phases on agricultural land that is off the Thanet Plan.

Anonymous said...

http://www.24dash.com/news/Communities/2008-02-20-Wigan-Chinagateway-to-become-largest-textile-centre-in-Europe

Anonymous said...

Thanet is now becoming over developed and needs to readdress the balance of development and tourism,the latter has not been promoted fully. We have a beautiful part of the country and this is being erroded and spoilt at a very fast rate.

Bertie Biggles said...

I couldn't agree more!

Anonymous said...

21.55 -I also agree - it seems to me that Thanet is being turned into a concrete isle. Any tiny spare piece of ground is eventually snapped up and built upon and planning permission is just a formality that has to be gone through. What I want to know is, where is the employment to support such an increase in development?