I qualified as an economist back when inflation was current rather than past history.

All the things said about it are as true now as they were then. It is the thief of prosperity; governments that fail to tackle it are guilty of taxation without representation. The best quote was from US president Ronald Reagan, who said it was 'as violent as a mugging, as frightening as an armed robber and as deadly as a hit man'.

Two generations on, many people are experiencing cash devouring inflation for the first time, and it should terrify everyone for the impact it will have.

Back in the 1970s, the phrase stagflation was coined for the British economy. It faced the twin evils of inflation and stagnant economic growth. With inflation now a fact of life, the world in economic turmoil and the UK government displaying no coherent economic policy to tackle this, those days are looming again. Current events will soon snuff out the post-pandemic economic recovery we thought was now established. Stagflation will soon raise its very ugly head and it will make the impact of inflation for people worse.

For economists, rising prices come from cost push or demand pull. The latter is positive, in that it reflects the effects of booming demand. However what we are experiencing now is cost push and farmers are centre stage in that process. They are not the cause of it. In fact they are the real victims of rising costs, because they are less able than many others to pass those on along the supply chain.

Events in Ukraine are horrendous at every level. It is a humanitarian crisis on Europe's doorstep that has, rightly, made all other issues irrelevant. Even if a shaky route to peace and a ceasefire is found, there will be no speedy return to normal, not least in terms of trade with Russia. We will have to get used to living without Russian oil, which accounts for more than a third of UK diesel, without its ammonium nitrate for fertilisers and without its grain to balance out markets.

Equally it will be a long time before Ukraine again finds its role as the bread basket of Europe, and when it does it may find it is forced to supply Russia and its satellites rather than the rest of the world.

There is no quick fix to the economic situation we are in. The isolation of Brexit has become more difficult as global alliances are shored up against tougher economic times. Trade deals have become more difficult as food security is deemed more important than exports. Oil and gas deals are harder to make, and any far-thinking government would be doing all it could to head off with practical measures the twin issues of energy and food shortages.

Some are, but sadly there are no signs that the UK is doing so. Why this is the case defies logic, but over agriculture and food it is seemingly sticking to its business as usual approach. This is based around seeing the countryside as the foundation of a green Westminster fantasy, rather than as a priceless food producing asset than in the past rose to the challenge of feeding the nation in tough times.

What makes this all the worse is that the EU is daily demonstrating its grasp on this thinking. It has already released funds from its post-covid food crisis programme and is thinking seriously of suspending green schemes to get more crops grown. Its new food crisis group is meeting regularly now to tackle issues around food security, or in the new terminology food sovereignty.

In its negotiations over Brexit, London prioritised sovereignty over market access. It would serve the country well now if it prioritised food sovereignty over other issues. It needs to accept that when other countries, including the EU as our biggest supplier, focus on food security we could find that depending on imports is a policy that looked good a few months ago, but which is now potentially disastrous.

In tough inflationary times food security also means that while price inflation cannot be avoided, the consumer pound spent in the UK remains there to help an increasingly ailing economy. Decisions like this should be easier to take from outside the EU and they make sound economic sense.

Pretending that there can be a solution to today's problems without a focussed campaign to tackle long term food security is economically illiterate.