Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

It Never Rains but It Pours for Our Poor Milk Producers; Columnist

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

It Never Rains but It Pours for Our Poor Milk Producers; Columnist

Article excerpt

Byline: David Banks

OLD David Harvey of Yetholm floated up and moored alongside me at the bar of the Red Lion, offering a watery smile (what other sort is there these days?) and throwing me the masonic line with which one greets a fellow member of the Godzone St Swithin's Society: "Banksy, ahoy!" Farmer Harvey and his redoubtable lady had paddled their Landcruiser Convertible - converted to a Cabincruiser especially for the trip - down from the Cheviots for a meal and were not looking forward to the homeward journey upstream.

That's how it is these damp days, our farmers are beside themselves with worry. Flooding is so bad that dairy cattle which normally graze the inundated fields must bide inside and feed on last year's silage while next year's winter feed rots in the ground.

The Met Office long-range referring callers recorded Genesis Remember THAT next time you gleefully download a couple of cheap litres of milk from the shelves of Asda, Morrisons or the Co-op. The shopper's insistence on a 'bargain price' has been putting Britain''s milk producers out of business since long before the heavens opened.

Amazingly, Dave Harvey and his ilk battle on regardless while I hear that the Met Office is abandoning long-range forecasts and referring callers to its recorded Genesis Hotline for information.

Having chosen correctly from the multiple options available, selecting Chapters 7-11 on your dial delivers the following stentorian version of that Good Book: "And it came to pass," intones the Look North weatherman... "that the waters of the flood were upon the earth. In the six hundredth year of Noah's life were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the rain was upon the earth forty days and forty nights."

The rest of his forty-day forecast gets even gloomier: "Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail, and the mountains were covered. And the waters prevailed upon the earth a hundred and fifty days. …

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