No doubt what the big event is this week. England and Wales’ matches this week at the Euros, whilst important to some, aren’t quite going to affect our futures as much as the vote on Thursday. I heard on the radio this morning that Lord Bamford (owner of Daylesford Farm Shop and multi-national company JCB) has written to his 6,500 employees asking them to “Vote Leave”, so whilst Cotswold Fayre is a small drop in the ocean, I have written to my own employees this morning to encourage them to vote in the opposite direction. I know for a fact that one employee over 40 is voting for the first time in their lives on Thursday, although I don’t know which way!
Whilst I definitely think that the best way to vote for business is “remain” I have never been one to vote for self-interest. In one election, many years ago, I had a load of people door-stopping me (I think it must have been a marginal seat) and the campaigners were all telling me if I voted for them I would get “more” in my pocket. I started saying to them, what if I didn’t want more for me but wanted the system to give more to others? This statement generally caused them confusion as their basic assumption is that everyone is selfish. One of them, thinking on his feet, actually said to still vote for him as I could get more to give more!
One of the central messages of the “Out” campaign is annoyance that some of the UK’s money goes to subsidise small artisanal farmers and businesses in the poorer parts of Europe. I haven’t got a problem with this at all, and it seems that farming organisations in the UK don’t either as they are all encouraging their members to vote “remain”. We are one of the richest nations in Europe and I don’t have a problem with supporting those smaller farmers that often farm in more sustainable methods than some of our own massive farms.
Whatever the vote is on Thursday, it will be an interesting political season for the few weeks thereafter. Personally I am fleeing the country. Off to Fancy Food Show in New York next Friday.