NFU Scotland’s conference on greening the CAP was a really good event. Some useful ideas were generated, and the Cabinet Secretary’s speech this morning went well, I thought.
I was pleased that NFUS had invited speakers from other Member States and other parts of the UK. They had avoided the trap of thinking so hard about the situation here in Scotland that we forget about the rest of Europe.
Serious issues were being discussed, but it’s still possible to retain a sense of humour at the same time. At one point this morning, the representative of the Irish farm union was explaining how his members are giving the Irish government a really hard time on a particular aspect of the CAP negotiations. I happened to be sitting in the audience next to a senior NFUS figure, who leaned over with a grin and murmured “Now you see, David, what an easy life you have here in Scotland”.
Twenty minutes later the speaker from the Danish farm union was describing the super-stringent environmental rules imposed on their farmers by their government. I couldn’t resist saying to my neighbour “Now you see what an easy life you have here in Scotland !”