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Alistair McConnachie published Sovereignty from July 1999 to its 120th consecutive monthly issue in June 2009, and he continues to maintain this website.
Alistair McConnachie also publishes Prosperity - Freedom from Debt Slavery which explains why a publicly-created money supply for the people and by the people is the answer to the banking crisis and A Force For Good which explains the positive case for the Union of the United Kingdom.
To find out more go to the about who is Alistair McConnachie page.
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Peter McCaig

Peter McCaig - urban dweller, environmentalist, vegetarian and editor and publisher of Green Events penned the following article for its April 2001 issue...

It is a good example of the sort of big-picture thinking which enables us to understand that rural problems are part of an overall national malaise in a "political, social and economic system that is accumulating more and more control of our lives into a centralised, unelected, and unaccountable bureaucracy. A world owned and controlled by banks -- where ordinary citizens have no say, not even on their own land."

This is a special issue of Green Events -- with six extra pages devoted to the farming crisis -- and one that I hope will bring the city and the country closer together. Although I live in the city and care passionately about the Environment, I know nothing about farming. A bit of hedge-cutting is the closest I come to Stewardship of the Natural Environment. The countryside is somewhere I travel through on the way to another town. And my vegetarianism makes me acutely aware that many of the cattle now dying were living in intolerable conditions or already scheduled for an unseemly demise.

But this doesn't mean that I know nothing about what farmers are going through. In fact my uniquely informed position lends me perhaps a bit of perspective and perception of things beyond the average yeoman's grasp.

The countryside has been ridiculed and caricatured by the recent debate on hunting as a place for hard-bitten souls who take life and death in their stride, and their role as stewards of the land has been much maligned, but in truth this is a warped image, as if a ruse to disenfranchise the affections of us city folk.

I am one who believes that ordinary farmers, if left alone and given appropriate support are the ones best suited to care for our natural environment -- they have the knowledge of generations in their bones. So when the animals they have cared for and the land they have tended for generations are taken from them, one can't help but wonder at the engineering behind it.

I see a scenario where they are forced to witness a heritage of hundreds of years of work being wrestled from their care -- and handed over to those who care the least.

Their problem, it seems, is the same as ours -- how best to stave off the tyrannical oppression of a political, social and economic system that is accumulating more and more control of our lives into a centralised, unelected and unaccountable bureaucracy. A world owned and controlled by banks -- where ordinary citizens have no say, not even on their own land.

When scientists come to their land -- perform an unverifiable test on their cattle, and condemn the whole herd to death -- they know the game is up. They have no authority or recourse. For no good reason they will have to sell up, take a flat in the suburbs and leave their land to the creditors. Inevitably some of them contemplate a grimmer alternative.

What can you do? In a political system gone completely mad, when to stay on your land, persevere with a lifetime's work, is no longer an option.

Once the land is passed on by the banks to commercial farming it will be denuded of its fertility and abundance -- turned into prairie by those who think that big is best, and a featureless monoculture of genetically modified crop and beast the best way to feed the world.

That is the real story -- and not one that you will read in the mainstream press because who owns them, do you think?

What we are witnessing is the continuing story of a land grab that has been going on since the Clearances and found its ultimate vehicle in the Common Agricultural Policy which has turned European Farming into a stack of dominoes just waiting for a stiff breeze.

The ordinary farmers don't understand it -- they have been forced into a corner by its contradictory policies against their common sense. They have tried their best to do what the regulators expect of them, and this is the outcome -- they can no longer see the wood for the trees.

Well maybe now they will have more empathy with we environmentalists (however seldom we have to muck out) because it seems we have a common enemy -- one who would rob them of their independence, their autonomy, make them victims of macro-economics, until they become strangers in their own land, robbed of their heritage, bereft of community, unable to decide what they should or shouldn't grow, how they should farm, who they should sell their produce to, what price they are paid, what their cattle should feed on, how to tell whether they are sick or not, why they should be killed. It is not only the cows that have no choice.

Personally I would regard the killing of any animal a great personal failure. It would mean that I have found no other way to maintain body and soul than to slaughter a living creature. But the land needs animals, and man needs the land, and we have not learned to live in co-existence all three together. Traditionally the wealth and security of the tribe lay in its animals, they were only slaughtered in times of need. How far have we come from that -- when a piece of cow on a bap forms a regular snack.

If there is one clear solution it would be to stop the slaughter, clear farmers of their debt, encourage them to farm organically, tend the land as their fathers did and as they would teach their children, only to kill the weakest animals in times of over-population or lack of feed, and make sure everyone shared in a proper feast. We might not eat meat as often and have to pay more for milk and eggs, but these are the values which will keep our land abundant and save us in times of drought or famine -- the very things we are creating in a world where interest rates are our main concern.

I know a vision of such a world where words like 'sustainability' and 'ethics' become the common watchwords -- and not just a marketing cliche -- is a lifetime away, but then I am an incurable idealist, and I can't help but race ahead of my cynicism and wish it were so, because that is the world I would want to live in or to give my descendants a chance for. And my intention is every bit as strong as those who would have it another way.

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