Two years ago we left Liverpool for a village in Yorkshire. One of the differences is the changing colour of the landscape. The urban palette is throughout the year concretely monochrome whereas the colours of the countryside are forever changing with the seasons. This morning the ochre yellow of harvested fields stands out against the clover clad pastures.
But the differences between urban and rural life can be exaggerated. They share the same challenges. Both can struggle with housing, transport and poor infrastructure. The only common place within walking distance is a church and, if you’re lucky, a pub.
Our house is next to a farm. Our neighbours, a herd of cattle. Every time the price of milk goes down I wonder about the impact it’ll have on the farms, the villages and the countryside.
Early risers will know that Farming Today has with other programmes been tracking the milk crisis and the intervention of the Prince of Wales in advocating the value of the family-run farm. We’ve also heard arguments for and against subsidising the dairy farmers. This debate brings into sharper focus all the other businesses that benefit from public subsidies.
In a hundred years’ time social historians, examining the 21st Century, might well analyse our values and principles by listing the full range of Government subsidies. This will tell our successors what we most valued.
An image in the Bible that describes a people at ease with itself is of a ‘Land flowing with milk and honey’. Long before words like sustainability became vogue here was ancient wisdom telling us that an ecology based on beasts and bees was one that was good for people.
It’s an unusually prescient image for our own time where bees are now in dramatic decline and cows in crisis.
The old fashioned word for sustainability was providence. The difference being, Providence sees God at the centre providing for all his creatures, whereas sustainability envisages humanity as solely responsible for its destiny. And that’s where principles, policies and subsidies come in.
This weekend on this programme David Cameron repeated his pledge to do only two terms as Prime Minister and the Labour Party is in the throes of finding a new leader. It’s agreed that political leadership should be more about policies than personalities.
But deeper than both of these lie values and principles. And it’s these things in the end that will become manifest in both our rural and urban landscapes.
《 BBC Radio 4：政府是否应该补贴奶农？》出自：天天学英语