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A month in Ambridge - Down the plughole

Thursday 15 November 2012, 15:34

Keri Davies Keri Davies Web Producer, The Archers

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A month in Ambridge

Nancy Banks-Smith casts her eye in our direction again.

"... you never saw a family further down the plughole..."

And to which couple does she liken the erotic twang of a snapped suspender...?

Keri Davies is an Archers scriptwriter and web producer.

Read the full article in The Guardian

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    Comment number 1.

    I have some sympathy with Ed and Emma, but we need to know if they are claiming all the benefits they are entitled to, perhaps a session at the CAB

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    Comment number 2.

    In the small unit dairy business in UK agriculture, the national and local, agricultural press have been full of stories like Ed's and Emma's. I listen to TA with increasingly angry incredulity and wonder who is advising, who is briefing, and who is directing the team?

    You have to ask how the purple-spotted, choke-making heck does BF manage, Brokefailed manage? I just cannot get past the appalling feeling often advanced on the message board that in one tiny village, there is one law of economics for the Archer clan and an entirely other one for non-clan.

    Which at least but only just goes part way to explain why the Chair of the local NFU, a few steps from the doorstep of this family in direst of straits and in the same basic biz is so manifestly totally unable to see / inquire about / be active on behalf of his neighbour and distressed mate. Or why Ed's hobby farmer backer is also totally unable to see / has never read in the press about the plight of dairy farmers, and why Mike Tucker is not quietly explaining to anyone at all that the cut in milk deliveries is having the knock-on effect on Ed's business.

    The insistence by the TA team of writing Ed / Emma as appearing to be in a totally separate bubble floating somewhere in space and apart from anyone else in this tiny village, the planet, has meant that they are apparently unable to speak to, consult, ask advice of, seek benefits support, and even, in the Editor's own immortal words, show them as completely ignorance of the benefits system at all.

    Well, if you write your local NFU Chair as being as feebly ineffective and unobservant as DD and his toe-cringing wife clearly are, you show the UK rural scene as worse than Dickens or Hardy, with apparently no networks, no empathetic intelligence, no social or business support for farmers in trouble. That is simply untrue. It is a travesty, and in fact if I were any kind of official in the NFU, I'd be bending the ear of the TA team with angry remonstrations.

    If we ever needed a graphic demo of just how wilfully ignorant of the complex strata of UK agriculture, and thus how increasingly urban / suburban the TA team is being driven to be by this Editor, this SL would be the locus classicus. It is deeply insulting and deeply depressing that no-one seems able to control this Editorial stance - 'we chose not to go down that road' - such that one has to suggest a degree of astonishing supine compliance in the team that we are regularly told helps to plan and manage the 'big stories'.


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