I happened to catch a story recently that mentioned that should the technology become available to make production affordable, sugar beet farmers were well positioned to benefit from the coming ethanol boom (the always riveting Biofuel Review has more details). As a child of East Anglia (for my American chums, that's the grumpy bit of merry olde England) this first filled me with joy.
"Oh!" I thought. "All my below sea-level dwelling, unisex frosted hair modelling, speaking like a seagull crapped in one's mouth paisanos are finally going to be able to break the bondage of the soil and live like Texans or Saudis. Yippee."
Then I contemplated the above sentiment, and a cold chill ran up my spine. It takes a certain sort of soul to remain on the land, growing unglamorous crops like oil seed and sugar beet, staring out over the flat and featureless landscape, never able to escape the smell of poultry dressing (its not for salads, lets leave it at that), and getting all one's news from Look East. Throwing mad money from the sugar beet-to-oil-substitute industry into the mix is only going to have two results, neither good.
Result 1: The formation of a primitive Methodist Taleban who'll impose strict shia'horse law on the county and blow up all the fonts in the Church of England churches like so many Bamiyan Buddhas. Face it: "wahabbi" already sounds like a Norfolk exclamation.
Result 2: They'll all take the money and end up like this proud successor to Nelson.
Please- don't give them any money. They'll only cause trouble as detailed above then blow whats left in the arcades at Cromer.