The need for cheese
Suzanne Christiansen, ICDA 2021
It has been quite a week in the news, for both the countries where I hold passports. I try to explain how the US operates – its politics is messy and can often seem, from the outside, to make no sense at all. Even the previous president, Donald Trump, opined that the Supreme Court ruling would hurt Republicans in the November elections. It will and it should, and it should wake up the electorate. As he so bitterly taught us, elections have consequences.
The British public is also learning this. The six-year anniversary of the vote to leave the EU passed by without much notice last week, mainly because the current prime minister, Boris Johnson, was… take your pick. Saying he’d go for a third term (causing most voters to clutch their hearts), losing two by-elections and not caring (because if he wins, it’s his achievement, and if Conservatives lose, it’s anybody’s fault except his – he has obviously been studying the Trump years), getting flagged for wanting to build a £150,000 (€174,500) treehouse for his son at the prime minister’s country estate, going to Rwanda for Commonwealth business (where his government wanted to deport arrivals to the UK). Every day it’s another mess.
So, the news that he’d lied about just about everything for Brexit was unsurprising. Fishermen who can’t quite get the control of the seas that they had, and have to fill out reams of paperwork to sell their catch to their largest market – the EU. Farmers who relied on the EU’s CAP payments, watching their annual payments dwindle, and be replaced by… nothing. Certainly not the £350 million weekly that he alleged the UK was sending to the EU. I wonder where that bus is now.
I suspect the Netherlands will be sending along a giant tulip bouquet to 10 Downing Street, to thank him and the other Brexiteers for giving the Dutch a giant economic boost – warehouses have sprung up in Holland to house British goods, which are then shipped elsewhere in Europe. Rather than having the warehouses in the UK, helping the local economy.
The good news is the British public is eating more domestic cheese, as Continental cheese makers have put their prices up, and there’s a lot more of it around in the shops. Which is good. And speaking of cheese, this week the International Cheese and Dairy Awards sets up shop in Stafford for a few joyous days of cheese judging and tasting of thousands of domestic and international cheeses, along with their accompaniments. It will be a lively meet and greet, and we will have reporting from there.
- Suzanne Christiansen, editor, Dairy Industries International.
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