YP Letters: Gove is wrong to criticise over subsidies

From: Dick Lindley, Birkwood Farm, Altofts, Normanton.

Michael Gove says Brexit gives scope for Britain to be a global leader in environmental issues. (PA).

I WAS astonished to read in your excellent newspaper that the Environment Secretary, Michael Gove, suggests that it is about time farmers started to earn the subsidies paid to them by the state.

Does this man not understand that farmers the world over are paid subsidies in order to produce food for our populations at below the real cost of production? Without subsidies the real cost of food would be much higher and unaffordable for a large proportion of our people.

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It is ironic that a Tory MP and Minister with an obscene salary and huge amounts of benefits, also paid, like agricultural subsidies, out of the public purse, should admonish hard working farmers for not earning their subsidies.

A brief look at House of Commons, in which our MPs supposedly earn their salaries, or should I say subsidies, shows it is almost empty for most of the Parliamentary session.

Where are these MPs who are absent from their place of work on an almost daily basis? If farmers operated their businesses in a similarly irresponsible and casual manner, this country would be without food.

I am also astounded that a Tory Minister, who I presume is aware that millions of children throughout the developing world are dying of starvation, should require farmers to reduce food production.

To reduce the amount of food produced by increasing the amount of farm land taken out of normal agricultural production to enable beetles, bunny rabbits and weeds to prosper is in my mind a genocidal policy which will inflict even more suffering on those poor kids who are starving to death.

Any reduction in food production any where in our globalised world will have catastrophic effect on the starving millions, though I 
doubt that it will affect the fine dining enjoyed by our overpaid MPs in the many restaurants 
and bars in the House of Commons.

Unenviable task for Davis

From: Geoff Sweeting, Selby, East Yorkshire.

There are two issues in particular that really irritate me, regarding Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator in the Brexit talks. What planet does this guy live on?

He’s come up with a ridiculous Brexit divorce bill. Their figure is obviously plucked out of very thin air, as without authorised accounts for about 20 years, how can they have any idea of who owes what and why?

He wants the European Court of Justice to have control over the rights of EU citizens living in this country. Presumably he would like America, China, Russia, Bali and Tonga to name but a few, to have control over the rights of their citizens who live here too. The man is an absolute idiot who doesn’t realise what he is asking for. Does he want any of the aforementioned countries to have jurisdiction over their citizens in the EU?

David Davis has an unenviable job negotiating with such an idiot.

Park must be protected

From: Sue Cuthbert, Newton on Rawcliffe.

How dare the fracking company Ineos threaten the National Trust with legal action because the trust will not allow them access to test for shale gas (The Yorkshire Post, July 21).

The National Trust was set up to protect land and properties for the nation “in the national interest”. Where have we heard that statement before?

Ineos do not want shale gas for energy, as the Tories would have us believe. They want this gas for plastics production at their Grangemouth petro-chemical plant.

The shale gas industry is not clean and safe, as we know from other countries like Australia and the US. Ineos is only interested in money, not beauty. They say that the fracking industry will create “tens of thousands of well paid jobs”. This is a fantasy.

Clumber Park is a beautiful place which must be protected from being industrialised.

All our country must be protected from this unnecessary industry.

Cheating is widespread

From: John Norris, Chiswick, London.

Re: ‘University in Battle to purge cheating – Thousands of students caught in crackdown’. Are Sheffield Hallam University students the worst in the nation for cheating? Of course not! The notion that Sheffield Hallam students are any worse for plagiarism than at any other institute is highly doubtful.

Sheffield Hallam should be commended for their transparency on the issue of plagiarism: they took a brave 
step forward when other universities took a collective step back.

Putting your head in the sand does not solve the issue of plagiarism, and it is a shame that Sheffield Hallam comes across badly for being one of the few institutions to be upfront about the number of students caught cheating in coursework in the last five years.

Other universities should be ashamed for pretending there is no issue, and letting Sheffield Hallam be the only ones to 
stick their heads above the parapet.