I steer clear of too much heated debate on the subject of local sourcing, after all my credentials as a wine merchant are based principally on importation, so my own morphic resonance may well return to haunt me one fine day.

On the subject of food however, and, more importantly, the cost to us, to me, to the planet and to my bank balance, I tend to pop my toe into the muddy waters a little more often.

Many of us have become a tad cynical and considerably uninspired by the stream of politicians who feel their endeavours need the additional reward of a second plazma screen or a refurbished duck island. But when it came to the true interface of snouts in troughs I was intrigued. Had one of them mentioned that they had claimed a larder full of great British food produce to feed and enlighten their family and loved ones I would have felt a tinge of understanding, even forgiveness. All I could find, apart from Fortnum and Mason’s hamper frenzy, when trawling through the small print of their inevitable death sentences was a bevy of take-away foods, delivered pizzas or the nation’s rich bounty of damp, cold garage cuisine, known as the motorway sandwich. This from a parliament who lecture us on the merits of buying British, saving air miles, cutting transportation costs and supporting our local chaps toiling in our feudal fields; arrogance and ignorance have always been a lethal combination. Can they really not make a sandwich or two for a long day out, support a local baker or cheese maker? Could they not pop in to a local to support the tireless efforts of some of our beleaguered landlords, gobble up a noble ploughman’s, a pork pie and pickles or a pint of fresh local prawns washed down by a provincial pint? I know I would I think a little more of them all if every endeavour to support British produce was not principally seen as yet another photo-call for the local rag. One back-bencher appears to have claimed an unjustifiable amount to schmooze a few foreign dignitaries in an off-shore owned Thai restaurant in the heart of our capital city, what sort of vote was that meant to engender?

When it comes to voting, as we all must soon, whether it be for the European parliament or closer to home as the bloody coup some political commentators predict, why not vote at the restaurant, the pub or the supermarket? How many less than angelic governments does one support when purchasing snap peas or shrimp paste, spices or beef steak?

We Brits have so much varied produce growing, grazing or swimming on our doorstep, why import barley for our beer, lamb for a Sunday roast or top-up the children’s packed lunch with foreign yoghurts? If price is the only reason why blame out political masters for popping their fingers into the European financial pie?

Food, it seems in some quarters, is still the sole province of an efficient army, only marching to victory on a full stomach. Food is not seen as a vote any more than it is seen as a sensual pleasure. We snatch the garage sandwich filled with who-knows-what as if to admit that any greater deliberation on the daily diet is nothing short of a sin.

The reason we have so much trouble finding a suitable word for a wonderful pub or wayside tavern is that we have never engaged in the language of food. Gastropub fits every drinking house that serves grub these days. All the useful words available in relation to our thoughts thereof are French: restaurant, café, cuisine, bistro and even chefs spring from a culture that could so easily be ours. In fact it is out there knocking on our door daily.

With a wealth of stunning dishes dating back to the Elizabethans (the first one that is, I’ve never heard the Duke of Edinburgh’s views on the second) we appear to over look sometimes, to our detriment, our.  parliament’s food proclivity is somewhat disappointing to say the least.

When it comes to food, rather than political manifesto, I vote daily. Provenance, support and locality outweigh any thoughts on price and, if my budget is restricted (as it usually is), then there are more foodstuffs to fit my spend than I can shake a stick at.

Let’s not ask too many of  our confused parliamentarians to step down at the next election, let’s insist and support our fishermen, our cheese makers, our growers and our butchers and ask them instead, to step up.

Hope they haven’t cleared their moat recently.