Meanwhile in other news…

While the mainstream media in the UK is obsessed with the travails of the Tory party and government as they start the process of picking a new leader, across the water in mainland Europe, things have been getting a bit ‘tasty’. There’s a farmers revolt going on in response to a range of issues from soaring fuel and energy costs through being told to cut emissions and on to being told that a proportion of farmers may have to consider quitting farming. This wave of protest kicked off in the Netherlands but looks to be spreading and escalating.

There has been a fair bit of speculation as to why most of the mainstream media has so far, chosen to ignore what’s going on across the EU. One suggestion being that they don’t want to give an already brittle populace over here facing rising food, fuel and energy prices any ideas about taking action. When it comes to deterring people from taking action, we think they may be a bit too late with that one: Don’t Pay UK. A campaign which from what we can gather from a number of accounts we follow on Twitter is gaining support across the board and not just from the usual suspects on the left. Interesting times and all that…

Another reason – and this is only a suggestion – is that the actions of the farmers have revealed how easy it is to disrupt food supplies to the supermarkets. In so doing, they have focused attention on how brittle the food supply chain is. Even though the UK government in is turmoil, those behind the scenes in the civil service are sussed enough to realise that an already edgy populace could easily be tipped into getting more than a bit stroppy if there’s a risk of food shortages on top of rising prices. Particularly when we appear to be heading into a period of the type of weather than makes people a bit short tempered and more likely to come out onto the streets to express their discontent. Hence the suspicion that maybe a bit of behind the scenes pressure is being applied to push this story down the news agenda.

Anyway, we’ve gathered a selection of articles about this unrest for you along with explanatory notes where needed. Enjoy:)

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OffGuardian may not be to everyone’s taste and this piece may well ruffle the feathers of a few people we’re close to. However, as it’s mainly the so called ‘alternative’ media leading the way on covering the unrest among farmers and others across Europe, these are the sources we have to cite…

The Dutch Farmers’ Protest and the War on Food – Kit Knightly | OffGuardian | 2.7.22

This week, tens of thousands of farmers have gathered from all across the Netherlands to protest government policies which will reduce the number of livestock in the country by up to a third.

In a typical example of media weasel-wording, the press reports on this all headline something like “Dutch farmers protest emissions targets”, but this is a massive lie by omission.

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Useful reporting from a European source…

Poland shocked after Dutch farmers shot at by police; expert warns of violence seen in Western liberal democracies coming east – ReMix | 7.7.22

Climate protection policies are a useful tool for the Dutch government to create a pretext for reducing the size of the country’s agricultural sector. An estimated 30 percent of farmers are expected to lose their livelihood, but that will not be the end of it. The Dutch government seems to believe that agriculture is not essential and that food can be imported from abroad. It is this attitude that has spawned the mass protests, including the blockades of distribution centers, which have, in turn, led to shortages in shops — all to demonstrate to the public what can happen when there is no local food provider.

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Yes, we know…it’s Spiked! We’ve had our knuckles rapped in the past for mentioning their articles and even people who write for them. There’s no doubt we’re going to get our knuckles rapped again for linking to this piece. So be it. As much as we very rarely agree with the thundering rhetoric that O’Neil is renowned for, he does ask the important question of why most of the mainstream media and the left seem to be ignoring what appears to be brewing up to a major revolt.

A people’s revolt against eco-tyranny – Brendan O’Neill | Spiked | 7.7.22

If police were opening fire on protesters in a European nation, we would have heard about it, right? If there was a mass uprising of working people in a European Union country, taking to the streets in their thousands to cause disruption to roads, airports and parliament itself, it would be getting a lot of media coverage in the UK, wouldn’t it? The radical left would surely say something, too, given its claims to support ordinary people against The System. Cops shooting at working men and women whose only crime is that they pounded the streets to demand fairness and justice? There would be solidarity demos in the UK, for sure.

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There’s one mainstream news outlet which is paying attention to the wave of discontent across the EU and that’s the Brexit backing Daily Express! Given that it’s not exactly all sweetness and light in the EU at the moment, you can’t really blame them for pointing it out on their pages:)

Summer of Discontent! Europe on brink of chaos as protests & strikes threaten standstill – Daily Express | 5.7.22

EUROPE is gearing up for a summer of travel chaos amid skyrocketing inflation and hikes in fuel prices as farmers and airline workers in Spain, the Netherlands and France take to the streets to protest living conditions.

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Last but by no means least, there’s the question of what the left and anarchists are going to make of all this. We’d like to think that some nuanced thinking and analysis will be applied but based on prior experience, we’re expecting to be disappointed yet again. As we have mentioned previously, when revolts happen, they very rarely come with a unified, fully formed political outlook. Particularly when those revolts involve people who have never taken to the streets before. For sure, the current wave of farmers revolts won’t pass an anarchist purity test and that includes some still close comrades of ours. The point is that as with the anti-lockdown and anti-vaccine passport protests, we’re witnessing a new social and political phenomena. One that has the potential to make history. One that has to be acknowledged and engaged with.

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