Widely unreported yesterday was the news that Rural Affairs Minister, Barry Gardiner (who he?) told farmers at the Labour Party Conference that the dairy industry needs "a hell of a shake out".
Apart from the fact that the dairy industry has already undergone "a hell of a shake out" in the last 20 years or so, Mr Gardiner also expressed breathtaking contempt for the people he is supposed to represent by revealing that he had insisted on changing the name of his department.
"The first thing I asked to do was to change the title from Minister for Rural Affairs, Landscape and Biodiversity to Minister for Biodiversity, Landscape and Rural Affairs."
"it was clear biodiversity was the most important part of his brief" he told reporters - who largely ignored him.
Born in Glasgow, Mr Gardiner is MP for Brent North - which is in London and about as far removed from rural life as it is possible to be. Why we should have an MP who represents an urban area being given responsibility for rural affairs is beyond me, but his remarks above tell you all you need to know about his views on rural people - "biodiversity was the most important part of his brief". More important than the lives, livelihoods and futures of the people in rural areas are the plants, trees, fluffy bunny wunnies and little crawly bugs? I'm not sure they'll give you many votes Bazza, but seeing you represent a London borough I don't suppose it really matters if you don't give a toss about people in Norfolk or Devon.
On his website, Mr Gardiner lists his views on various topics. It's no real surprise that the only issue bothering Mr Gardiner that might have something to do with rural affairs is fox hunting - and even that is well down the list. Iraq, India, Pakistan, Israel and Palestine are top of the pile. It's quite interesting that a British MP has such issues as his primary concerns - but maybe that's a fair reflection of the people he represents in his constituency.