EUROPE: Worry of hard times ahead
As I write, it is a fortnight since Brexit and the country seems to be in limbo.
I will admit to having taken advice from my son, a farmer, and my grandson who is developing a very new business. Little, as yet, is understood in Europe.
I grew up in London through the war and I have a good memory of what it was like to live in the air raid shelter every night, with bombs falling and the constant bombardment of the firing of anti-aircraft guns.
My father, a Geordie by birth and an ex-pupil of the Royal Grammar School in Newcastle and a pioneer neurosurgeon, was in charge of all the head injuries south of the Thames, many of whom were from injured forces.
My father’s brother, an engineer, ex-pupil of the Royal Grammar and expert in foreign languages, including Russian, was known post-war as ‘over the Rubble Jackson’ in the Eastern Bloc countries, where he was sent to repair the railways that had been wrecked from 1939 to 1945.
His last job before retirement was working on our Metro in Newcastle.
Having married a farmer from Northumberland, I have been here for 60 years and have fought for the needs of the county in every way I can as the area I have the greatest love for in its remaining beauty, flora and fauna.
It is noticeable that our new Prime Minister has not given breath to the impoverished rural areas and their needs.
The counties of Cumbria, Northumberland and the six in the South West of England have all suffered over the last 20 years in favour of the cities.
It seems that the last member of David Cameron’s establishment, George Osborne, who was beginning to give the North East of England a chance with the Northern Powerhouse, has been given the sack, which I think is a mistake.
Rural areas have missed out on money as there was investment in the Olympic Games in London and other urban things, so that the elderly and disabled may not have the home services they need and are in difficulties if they have no relatives nearby.
As for agriculture, I think that the only time it has been well served was with the post-war Labour Government as we had learnt the true nature of rationing due to allowing agriculture to decline in the years of the 1930s. Now we are governed by an urban elite. Without bread, milk and meat they cannot survive.
Alnwick is struggling to recruit GPs, and in the schools we cannot recruit heads, maths and science teachers.
This county is not so well supplied from the pot as Pwys in Wales, despite its exact similarity in roads, people and sheep per acre.
I must also point out that our MP was a Brexit supporter, but she did not tell us that last year during the election and she seems to have disappeared since the vote.
I am very scared for the county and the Borders which I love. Scotland doesn’t help after the upset caused by the referendum last year. It is such a threat for the border, where we depend on access to the markets for our produce.
In the past, the North East has led the way in engineering, developing the traction engine for agriculture and the railways, armament, steel, coal and, more recently, car production.
We are good for having new ideas in Britain, but so often they are carried forward by the USA as there is cash available there to back up the greater production and work.
I am quite sure in the end we will make something good, but it is going to take a lot of years and I wonder if there is enough cash.
There are very hard times ahead.
Harehope Hill End,