At least we have finally seen a few dry, sunny, warm days as June draws to a close.

What an awful season this has been weather wise. Every job has been made so much more challenging trying to work with Mother Nature who hasn’t been remotely helpful in 2024 to date.

Michael started cutting silage on June 9, in reasonable conditions, albeit some of the heavier fields were still pretty tender from the spring deluges. Then, late afternoon on Monday, June 10, 46mm rain and hailstones fell in half an hour. The next day, SRUC had organised a beef roadshow at Knockenjig and the many visitors we had saw at first hand the challenges of farming heavy land in a wet year.

It’s not ideal when feed trailers doing farm tours are tracking a half-lifted silage field. But it was great to see such a big turnout and the obvious enthusiasm that some still have for beef production.

Anyway, two-and-a-half days and a couple of fields to plough later, a big crop of silage was duly gathered. Apart from the last 50 acres (out of 650) that was pretty wet, the rest was remarkably dry. Huge credit to Davie Laird and his team for a great shift to get so much lifted so quickly in such challenging conditions. How anyone, contractor or farmer, is supposed to plan any job on a farm this year I have no idea.

To be honest, I’ve never seen anything like it.

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The week, before attending Scotsheep at Aikengall was the same. Freezing cold, intermittent hail and sleet showers didn’t waste a good event, which was really well supported, but it certainly didn’t make it any easier to organise and run. So a massive shout-out to the organisers and the Hamilton family in particular for such a Herculean effort and such a successful event.

My old pal Joffy would have loved it!

Of course, predictably Mairi Gougeon didn’t turn up, but Jim Fairlie did and so did a senior Scottish Government AG official George Burgess. Disappointingly, but equally predictably, neither of them said anything of any note. Nor did they even attempt to shed any more light on the details of industry support mechanisms/schemes due to be introduced over the next couple of years.

I guess that even though it’s their job they just don’t know it was embarrassing how little preparation had gone into their speeches/presentations, especially in front of an audience desperate to plan for the future – whatever it might hold.

That trend continued last week as there was nothing new or remotely interesting from either the First Minister or Mairi Gougeon at the Royal Highland Show because they are now in the run-up to the General Election in July and in a period of purdah.

After the election, it’s the holiday season for Scottish politicians, so that will be another three months of a policy vacuum.

But hey, what’s another few months after three years?

Sitting beside a government minister and a senior official listening for any hints or clues as to what is really coming our way and detecting none, my mind started wandering and I began to wonder how our modern-day politicians and their officials would get on in the ‘real world’ in performance-related jobs.

Of course, the vast majority of them wouldn’t, particularly in the senior roles like they hold in government

and phrases like ‘deadline, action, delivery, value for money, or efficiency’ just don’t seem to matter in this day and age at either official or political level.

Pledge after pledge that they know can never be kept, broken promise after broken promise, deadline after deadline missed, and unbelievable waste and budget overruns in the majority of public-sector projects are now the depressing norm we have to endure.

And worst, absolutely no accountability whatsoever for the individuals involved in debacle after debacle.

Across the UK, the appalling treatment of subpostmasters and mistresses with the Horizon Post Office scandal and, in Scotland, the ferry scandal at Ferguson Marine are classic examples of this.

The list is endless and won’t improve any time soon – whoever wins the UK election – and the individuals responsible always keep their jobs and pensions, and no-one ever pays the price as would almost always be the case in the private sector or the real world.

The financial cost to the taxpayer is one thing, but the financial and human cost to the individuals having to deal with the consequences of this inexcusable incompetence is quite another.

So that’s OK then, that’s that box ticked. But of course it’s not OK and the consequences of poor government and sound-bite politics impact the lives of the individuals involved and their families, often for the rest of their lives.

I haven’t been able to watch any TV recently as I simply can’t stand the worthless promises and posturing from politicians across the political spectrum, and I am pretty sure I am in the majority on this point.

As for the Leaders’ Debates, frankly there isn’t a leader among them.

I’ve no doubt that there will be a total change of the face of government across the UK on July 5 – and to be honest, no wonder.

Neither the UK nor Scotland have been served even remotely adequately, never mind well, by their respective governments for years now and they will undoubtedly (and rightly) pay the price at the ballot box, either now or at the next Scottish election.

To enable change, you need vision, leadership and resources both financial and human, and we have little or none of that from any political party and the country is skint.

And no wonder – how could you or why would you?