We hear political commentators pontificating on bird flu: as indeed we heard similar commentaries during the last Foot and Mouth disaster. ‘The Government’ says this, thinks that, will do this, won’t do that (after crucial days or weeks of delays) etc. Could such spokesmen in future kindly specify to which ‘government’ they refer, Westminster or Brussels?

I seem to remember the foot and mouth debacle was presided over from Brussels by an Irishman. The British beef herd and trade, 11 million poor beasts and how many farmers? being decimated by unelected officials all but one not necessarily with England’s needs closest to their hearts. And perhaps the one English was a vegetarian.

Has our Westminster government tightened up on controls of illegal bush meats from Africa, and meat from countries with known foot and mouth disease? I think not. No wonder politicians are held in such low regard by the electorate that 40% don’t vote. Who can blame them?

David Marsh, Dip. Agric.