11 October 2009

Prince Charles frustrated using Youtube

Well I'm guessing that's whats going on.

Imagine being Prince Charles. Never a worry about where to live or how to afford to do anything really, never a concern about being unable to generate publicity, and then not actually having a coherent philosophy about anything at all. More recently, this man with many a car to his name, called on Britons to drive less and walk more - the height of elitist hypocrisy if ever it could be.

Now he wants to make Britons pay so that rural folk can have broadband, presumably because he sits on one of his estates unable to watch funny videos on Youtube because of a lack of broadband access at prices he is willing to pay.

He is fighting for rural Britain, which he could well do with his own ample resources and fundraising. Good luck to him doing that. However he's more concerned about farms going to the wall when subsidies drop in 2012:

"Quite frankly, the fear that many of us hold is that after 2012, when support from the E.U. will alter so dramatically, it may be simply impossible for our family farmers to continue – particularly in the remote uplands, where farming is at its toughest. If they are to stay on the land they will need all the help they can get, and denying them broadband, and effectively cutting them off from the Internet, will only be more likely to drive them off the hills and into the towns and cities taking with them generations of inherited knowledge. "

Yes Charles, where farming is uneconomic, where the environment should be left to be as it was. Nobody denies them broadband, they just aren't willing to pay for it. It could be available via satellite and other means, but people in cities, who pay much much more for living space, face chronic congestion and overcrowding on roads and public transport, don't expect a subsidy for their high costs.

A better approach would be to encourage farms to consolidate, become more efficient and to attack the one tax that hits rural areas unfairly - fuel tax. Fuel tax recovers four times what is spent on roads in the UK, and given rural areas disproportionately face relatively low road costs (getting little capital investment), it should drop or be replaced with road pricing.

Charles, farmers are struggling in many countries. Farmers in Europe are among the most feather bedded in the world, and if they were so efficient they'd have nothing to fear from reduced subsidies, as their European compatriots would face even tougher conditions.

Of course, given you're own status as one of the bigger receivers of EU subsidies for your own properties, you can excuse someone for claiming that this is a hint of vested interest in this.

To say "the stakes could not be higher" shows how incredibly out of touch he is, peculiarly so. Farmers in Australia and New Zealand were weaned off of many and all subsidies respectively a couple of decades ago. It's time to grow up, and to find stakes that are higher. I'd have thought the living conditions of children growing up in homes of violence, neglect and poverty would be more important a charitable cause than subsidised farmers who find it hard to use the BBC iPlayer or video porn.


Lewis Holden said...

Funny thing is, New Zealand farmers are starting to notice their future head of state advocates a lot of things that are against their interests.

Libertyscott said...

Yes, it makes the whole republican case increasingly sound by default.