Gordon’s solution for the Afghan crisis: a Common Agricultural Policy for poppy!
Never mind the army, send Defra to Helmand province.
Gordon Brown, the prime minister whom we are repeatedly told is brilliant, has let it be known (see all newspapers) that he has a new solution to the Afghan problem. It is to institute a system of agricultural subsidies to encourage farmers to diversify from the production of poppy. This will bequeath to Afghanistan a proven system for managing agriculture that has been such a success in Europe.
As a client of Defra, I thoroughly applaud this idea. The senior management of this government department should be sent to Afghanistan at once. Starting with the chief vet. The executive of the National Farmers Union could accompany them, to offer their colleague farmers advice on milking. (Milking the system, that is – not cows!) And harvesting. (Harvesting the subsidies, that is – not crops!)
This is not, by the way, remotely like my own plan to save Afghanistan. Which is that we should simply buy all the poppy and turn it in to bio-diesel.