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Letter to Times about grants for '.. not raising pigs ..'

Letter to Times about grants for '.. not...

The old ones are still the best ...

Not a question - but nevertheless an amusing letter and pertinent now that David Miliband is in the news

Rt. Hon. David Miliband, M.P.,
Secretary of State,
Dept. for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA),
Nobel House,
17, Smith Square,
London  SW1P 3JR.

16 May 2007.

Dear Secretary of State,

A friend, who is in farming at the moment, has recently received a cheque for £3,000 from the Rural Payments Agency for not rearing pigs and I would like to join the ‘not rearing pigs’ business.

In your opinion, what is the best kind of farm not to rear pigs on, and which is the best breed of pig not to rear? I want to be sure I approach this endeavour in keeping with all government policies, as dictated by the EU under the Common Agricultural Policy. I would prefer not to rear bacon pigs, but if this not the type you want not rearing, I will just as gladly not rear porkers. Are there any advantages in not rearing rare breeds such as Saddlebacks or Gloucester Old Spots, or are there too many farmers not rearing these already?

As I see it, the hardest part of this programme will be keeping an accurate record of just how many pigs I haven’t reared. Are there any Government or Local Authority courses on this?

My friend is very satisfied with this business. He has been rearing pigs for forty years or so, and the best annual return he ever made on them was £1,422 in 1978; that is, until this year, when he received your cheque for £3,000 for not rearing any.

If I were to get £3,000 for not rearing fifty pigs, will I be entitled to £6,000 for not rearing a hundred? I plan to operate on a small scale at first, holding myself down to about 4,000 pigs not raised, which will mean about £240,000 for the first year. However, as I become more expert in not rearing pigs, I plan to be more ambitious, perhaps increasing to, say, 40,000 pigs not reared in my second year, for which I should expect about £2.4 million from your department. Incidentally, I wonder if I would be eligible to receive tradable carbon credits for all these pigs not producing harmful and polluting methane gases?

Another point: these pigs that I plan not to rear will not eat 2,000 tonnes of cereals. I understand that you also pay farmers not to grow crops, so will I qualify for payments for not growing cereals in order not to feed the pigs I don’t rear?

In order to diversify, I am also considering the ‘not milking cows’ business, so please send any information leaflets you have on that too, please. Would you also include the current DEFRA advice on set-aside fields? Can this be done on an e-commerce basis of ‘virtual’ fields of which I seem to have several thousand hectares?

In view of the above, you will realise that I shall be totally unemployed and will, therefore, qualify for unemployment benefits over and above the monies that I shall receive from DEFRA’s Rural Payments Agency.

I shall, of course, be voting for your party at the next General Election.

Yours Faithfully

Nigel Johnson-Hill.


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By Anonymous
13th May 2010 10:21

Thank you

Great reading! It has cheered up my day :)

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By 3569787
03rd May 2016 18:59

New manifesto pledge

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By Anonymous
13th May 2010 10:45

Would appeal to me

I would love not to rear any farm animals - it always upsets me when I see River Cottage and the like slaughtering animals they've named and treated like pets. I could keep a few "not for rearing" on the back lawn, no cost, no mess but will they mow the lawn?   

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By Anonymous
13th May 2010 10:58


you get paid for not working ... now you also get paid  for not farming ... what next?




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13th May 2010 12:11

This is not without its risks..

There are downsides to the not rearing pigs business.

Barriers to entry - none, therefore you will soon find other people on the bandwagon, driving down the price you get for not rearing pigs.

Animal rights activists, - you may find that, unless you are using the latest humane methods of not raising pigs that the animal rights people may invade your not land and interfere with your not rearing activities. Not to mention the bad PR.

Changes in government - there is a risk (small though it be) that a change in government may result in a Secretrary of State with connected neurons who may think that there is something wrong with not rearing pigs and thus reduce your income.

Remember Swine Flu - well the dangers of Not Swine Flu can not be ignored, what happens when it breaks out, your non reared pigs will be quarantined and thus you would be forced to not rear them for longer with no prospect of being able to generate income.

Banks, sooner or later those clever people in the banks will take your not reared pigs, collateralise them, bundle them into a new type of derivitive and sell these not reared pigs on to people who won't understand the business as you do, there will be a bubble followed by the inevitable crash and you won't be able to give away not reared pigs and the resulting government bail out of the banks will drive the economy to the brink of bankruptcy again.  

That's all Folks...........


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13th May 2010 12:16

Its a sunny day

I think I'll go and sit in the sun and apply for an afternoons "not doing a dam thing" grant.  How much is that nowdays?

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13th May 2010 12:44

Global problem or bizarre coincidence

It seems that farm subsidies are a global problem, as an American seems to have had exactly the same idea, here:

And as he was writing it back in 2003, during the GW Bush presidency, it seems to happen under the most laissez-faire capitalist regime, as well as the dreaded CAP.

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13th May 2010 16:34

Protectionist not Laissez-fair

I do not think the Bush regime  understood the idea of a free market any better than Thatcher

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13th May 2010 17:12

In response to Democratus...


"Banks, sooner or later those clever people in the banks will take your not reared pigs, collateralise them, bundle them into a new type of derivitive and sell these not reared pigs on to people who won't understand the business as you do, "

....Would that be a not-sausage then?


Boom boom!

Atkinson Accountancy

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13th May 2010 18:00

Marketing opportunity


....Would that be a not-sausage then?




You could sell those to vegitarians.


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13th May 2010 18:14


A not dog?

-- Kind regards Andy

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