The global market forces us to compete for food with a world population now growing at 148 more hungry mouths every minute
By Martin Wingfield
THE GLOBAL market is behind food prices in our http://www.wvwnews.net/story.php?id=4493 hitting the highest levels in real terms since the post-war rationing days of 1945, and petrol heading for a record £5 a gallon.
The global market forces us to compete for food with a world population now growing at 148 more http://www.wvwnews.net/story.php?id=4249 every minute.
With money earned from the cheap imports the http://www.wvwnews.net/story.php?id=4015 allows India and China to dump on Western countries, these countries can now afford to outbid us on the world grain and meat markets which drives up prices.
At one time this wouldn’t have happened. We grew almost all our own food and didn’t need to worry about world food prices. But successive Governments over the last 40 years, aided by the Brussels Common Agricultural Policy, have undermined British farming and driven many small farmers to the wall.
Now we import much of our food – in the last quarter of 2007 alone we imported over £1.8 billion worth of food and other agricultural produce, exporting only £330 million. We can no longer feed ourselves from our own soil. Which means we have to scrabble on the global market against the Chinese and Indians for food to put in our children’s mouths.
Again, with oil and petrol, although our North Sea reserves could have made us self-sufficient, our oil reserves were sold off to multinational corporations, so now we must import much of our oil and petrol. Here we are competing with newly wealthy Chinese and Indians who can increasingly afford to drive more and more cars with the money we have given them for their cheap imports and also because we have allowed them to buy up and ship home much of our motor industry.
High oil prices – now an unprecedented $120 a barrel, three times what it was a few years back – have in turn encouraged multinational corporations to turn wheat and corn fields over to producing crops to be made into biofuels for cars and trucks. This in turn reduces the world food supply and drives food prices even higher.
As long as we stay in the global market, we are at the mercy of the blind implacable laws of supply and demand that govern it. With limited supply – almost all the best food growing areas are already growing food and there is only so much oil in the ground – and steadily rising demand as more and more Chinese and Indians use money earned from dumping cheap imports in our markets to buy food and fuel at our expense, in the long term the prices of food and petrol can only go one way – UP. Whilst our living standards can, in the long run, also go only one way – DOWN.
Instead of competing against the Chinese and Indians for food for our children to eat and fuel to keep us warm we must ensure we have a stable supply of what we need under our own control.
We also need to stop immigration and those who have no legal right to be here should be sent home, reducing the number of mouths this country has to feed. Self-suffiency is the only sustainable long term alternative to rising fuel and food prices and, eventually, British people dying from cold and starvation.