Regardless of party, politicians are now in general election mode. Every action and every decision is taken with sights set on how it might play out with voters – and in the short term how it will go down with the media.

This could be a long game. Prospects for a snap early election have receded. Autumn is on the cards but a government desperate for the economy to show signs of improvement might take things up to the last possible moment. That would mean an unpopular winter election in January.

Of course, it all depends on the hunches of Rishi Sunak about how he can mitigate what looks like a certain defeat for an outcome that would at least leave his party with a base from which it could rebuild.

All lobby groups are targeting politicians now to secure post-election commitments. Sadly, for agriculture, while they will do this, no-one seems to be listening.

The government has had years before, during and after Brexit to be radical and make a difference, but it failed to seize the opportunity. What it has delivered are unimaginative green policies transferred from our days as an EU member state – but without the funding to make them work. This leaves exiting the EU for a better future for agriculture, which many farmers wanted, a bet that did not deliver. The Conservatives are offering more of the same – proving the old Einstein adage about lunacy being repeating the same mistake in expectation of a different outcome.

Labour claims it wants to be radical but not, it seems, when it comes to agriculture. To date, it has offered similar green policies with an appeal to urban voters with the promise of a ban on fox hunting.

Both leave observers grinding their teeth and questioning why politicians cannot see the opportunities to exploit Brexit to build a truly great industry, built around quality and short supply chains – which would automatically deliver green outcomes.

Some farmers from England headed for Westminster this week to whip up some of the influence that has flowed from protests in Europe. They had good points to make about lack of financial security, the failure of the government to match EU spending on the CAP, and the damage caused by cheap food imports. In response, the UK Government claimed it put farming ‘at the heart of British trade’.

It also confirmed it was looking at food chain fairness and seemed surprisingly proud of the UK being 60% self-reliant in food. Not, to say the least, a radical agenda and one that left the protesting farmers unimpressed, with one accusing the government of hammering the final nails into the coffin it has been building around British farming.

Protest done, the farmers headed off, leaving inevitable questions around whether small-scale events like this can ever achieve what European farmers are now achieving.

In just a few short weeks, from when Europe was gripped with protests, things have changed. The Europe Commission has eased back on some environmental regulations for the current year. It is seeking to reduce the red tape burden and has started a root-and-branch review of how the CAP operates, built around what can be done to reduce the concerns that drove farm protests.

It has set up an observatory to make information on production costs and margins freely available; and it has promised to ease competition legislation that acts against farmers boosting their market muscle and will soon deliver a report on what can be done to strengthen the unfair trade practices directive.

These are immediate actions, linked to a longer-term policy to take on board the criticism levelled at Brussels by farmers. Simplification is the new buzzword for change and even the Nature Restoration legislation, hated by farmers, seems to have been put into a slow lane, to the frustration of green lobby groups.

This all proves that a mix of protests and politics can work well – with the case for farmers in Europe boosted by the upcoming elections to the European parliament and the danger disaffected farmers might support far-right political parties. In the UK, we might lack the appetite for protest and direct action, but we have a general election coming.

Farmers must make full use of the fact it is an event that needs to be used to achieve for agriculture, post-Brexit, the changes the industry would have gained from, had the UK remained in the EU.