ePolitix has a post entitled: "UK unprepared for foot and mouth outbreak", so I thought it worth having a look, purely from a political point of view, you understand. As "Head Man", or "Top Dog", let us concentrate on David Cameron.
Here's what he told Jeremy Paxman in an interview on 23 April:
"We have absolutely no plans to raise VAT. Our first Budget is all about recognising we need to get spending under control rather than putting up tax."
Before that, in April 2009, Cameron promised he would not raise a tax that "hits the poorest the hardest". He said:
"You could try, as you say, to put it on VAT, sales tax, but again if you look at the effect of sales tax, it's very regressive, it hits the poorest the hardest. It does, I absolutely promise you. Any sales tax, anything that goes on purchases that you make in shops tends to . . . if you look at it, where VAT goes now it doesn't go on food obviously but it goes very, very widely and VAT is a more regressive tax than income tax or council tax."
During a pre-election Cameron Direct event, the Tory leader issued this "read my lips" pledge:
"I'm not going to flannel you, I'm going to give it to you straight. I like the child benefit, I wouldn't change child benefit, I wouldn't means-test it, I don't think that is a good idea."
On the weekend before the general election, Cameron memorably told Andrew Marr that a Conservative government would not cut any front-line services. He said:
"What I can tell you is, any cabinet minister, if I win the election, who comes to me and says: "Here are my plans" and they involve front-line reductions, they'll be sent straight back to their department to go away and think again. After 13 years of Labour, there is a lot of wasteful spending, a lot of money that doesn't reach the front line."
Then we can add: funding/not funding the Booktrust; Free milk; the infamous pledge on the Lisbon Treaty; repatriation of EU powers; reversing the hunt ban; trying to fix the chairmanship of the 1922 Commitee; speaking to the BBC's Politics Show, he explained: "We're not talking about swingeing cuts. We're talking about making a start in reducing our deficit."; the cull of quangos; the "Referendum Lock" that won't become effective until after 2015.
I think we are well prepared for an outbreak of Foot 'n Mouth - we seem to have had nothing but since May 2010!
Finally: last, but not least, I believe there was a 'minor' change to the Lisbon Treaty which allowed a new mechanism to be instigated in order to cover future bail-outs for those nations in the euro zone, a treaty change to which the UK has agreed. How can we, the people, agree to change a treaty to which we had never agreed in the first place, as the promised referendum was withheld? And please don't quote Article 48, as logically it cannot apply. The politicians may have signed it, but they did so without our authority, ergo our signature is not, therefore, on that treaty! Likewise, the Nice Treaty and the Maastricht Treaty are - as is the Lisbon Treaty - in effect, contracts and no contract is valid in law unless it bears the signatures of those to whom the contract has effect. Also bear in mind that to sign a contract on behalf of another, or others, it is necessary to have the legal authority so to do - and I for one signed nothing.
Just though it worthwhile raising that last point.............