Jeremy Clarkson has issued another message to Boris Johnson, this time demanding that farmers shouldn’t have to jump through a million hoops in order to grow food.
After the Prime Minister responded to the former Top Gear presenter’s call for the Government to prioritise farming last week, the Grand Tour host has reached out once again.
But what’s he after now? Jeremy is asking for the leader to introduce a ‘don’t be an arse’ rule so that he can get on with producing crops with ease. Yes, really.
‘I’m trying to farm,’ he states. ‘I’m trying to grow food. And you simply would not believe how many times every single day I come across another rule that says that I can’t.’
‘This, then, is my personal message back to Johnson: you’ve got to announce that you will not tolerate arseishness,’ Jeremy continues.
‘Not in business or the Channel or outside nightclubs or especially on the road, where the new law would work particularly well. If you drive at 85mph around a housing estate, you’ve been a massive arse and you’ll go to prison.
‘If, however, you are stopped at two in the morning on an empty and dry motorway, then it’s the Five-0 who’ve been arses. And they’ll be dealt with accordingly.’
He adds in his column for The Times: ‘But it’s in farming that we need the new rule most of all. Because we are about to enter a very dangerous period. The rising cost of fertiliser, the war and the floods in America mean that a lot of people will soon start to go hungry.
‘And we simply cannot allow arses to stop farmers trying to do something about it.’
Jeremy’s fresh plea comes after Mr Johnson said he wants to ensure farmers ‘make the most’ of their crops and land.
The television personality initially posted a video saying farmers had been asked to diversify their produce but were being restricted by local authorities.
Speaking from a field and wearing a high-visibility jacket, the Prime Minister responded by saying that he wanted farmers such as Jeremy to be able to develop their properties ‘when they want to turn a barn into a bistro – or whatever you want to do’.
Jeremy has previously criticised the ‘not terribly bright people’ who work in planning departments that have blocked him from making changes to his property.
Mr Johnson said he hoped Jeremy had been able to look at the Government’s food strategy.
‘What we want to do is back farmers in all sorts of ways, particularly making sure they have access to the labour they need but also supporting them when it comes to their fuel costs, their fertiliser costs, but supporting them also with innovation,’ he added.
‘And we are putting a lot of money into new technology. I have just been looking at a machine that can plant 150,000 cabbages, Jeremy, every day.
‘What we want to do particularly for farmers – and I know that you care about this a lot – is ensure that we say that when farmers want to develop their property, when they want to turn a barn into a bistro – or whatever you want to do – that we make sure that computer does not say no and we help them, and we help farmers to make the most of their crops and make the most of their land as well.’