Registering with the Raw Tobacco Scheme III

Mission accomplished! In the post today I received a very dull letter on gray paper from HMRC, providing me with me Raw Tobacco approval number which “should be quoted on all correspondence relating” to my “controlled activities”. I still wonder just why growing plants and throwing them away should be controlled but there you go. I’m now approved for a year to throw away up to 15kg of dead Nicotiana plants. All it took was a short letter and a phone call to be allowed to throw away legal garden waste. Time will tell if they come round to inspect me or not. Also I note that this says it doesn’t approve “receipt of raw tobacco in any form” – which makes me wonder how that relates to non-registerable levels.

Baccy approval  - page 1 Baccy Registration -page 2

Now they want to talk…

The problem with talking about the general tone of media and the people you interact with is it’s very hard to provide references and evidence and all that sort of thing I generally like to do. However I shall for go such matters on this occasion so that I have a hope of remaining topical, and because I’m hugely amused about the sudden desire from the like of “hope not hate” and many people on social media to have a “serious conversation about migrants”. I’m amused by this because in the past that’s been the very last thing they’ve wanted, any attempt to discuss how we might want to control immigration, put any sort of restrictions on it or even just discuss if all migration is an unequivocal good have been shut down with cries of “racist”, “bigot”, “xenophone”, “islamaphobe” and so forth. I suspect the conversation they want to have now isn’t a serious one, nor even an honest one so much as a declaration that all immigration is good. However what prompted this was people sharing this video from those defenders of free speech and tolerance “Hope not Hate”

There’s an awful lot of appeals to emotion and generalizations which dimply don’t wrong true but it does open with “Everyone knows we need a proper conversation about immigration”, which is odd given the efforts “Hope not Hate” and their supporters have gone to to shut down such debates in the past. In shutting down attempts to have a proper conversation in the past they’ve killed the chance for such a thing and for moderate views, after all if you get called “racist” for asking for such a conversation just as much as for suggesting all foreigners should be shot it doesn’t leave much room for debate. Anyway lets look at some of the claims made in this jolly little video and see how they stack up for a proper conversation.

The initial lot of claims are quite uncontentious until the claim that EU migrants support our universities with massive tuition fees which are exactly the same as UK residents as the EU doesn’t allow you to charge EU members differently. I think the claim that we’re be dead without them is a tad hyperbolic, and the claim that they keep our laws and speak our language really does need to be qualified somewhat. In the main undoubtedly true, but there is enough of an appearance that at least some groups of migrants aren’t quite so good on these points that it should really form part of a proper conversation. A bit further on he says “migrants actually want to embrace being British”, well again mainly they probably do but lets talk about the ones that don’t as well so that we can have a proper conversation. There’s then a lot of quite reasonable stuff before suggesting that the alternative position to welcoming migrants is to sling them all out, a proper conversation you’d have thought would allow for options between these extremes.

Now of course that video was all about Eu migrants, which are I suspect a far simpler case than the question of migrants as a whole. I’m quite in favour of migration it’s generally a good thing when done correctly, and that of course is the issue. For most people the conversation to be had is about migrants generally not just EU migrants and that is for years where the problem has been, a continual bait and switch when it comes to talking about migration. If you try to discuss the issues that some migrants cause you get accused of being against all migrants, any suggestion that migration might want to be controlled differently is rapidly accused of being an attack on hard working doctors and nurses and so forth. If we want to have a proper conversation about migrants then we need to talk about the bad as well as the good, and to follow Presidents trump advice let’s consider what’s going on in Sweden. Here’s another video, this time from Sweden to do just that:

Registering with the Raw Tobacco Scheme II

Baccy A little while back the HMRC introduced the Raw Tobacco Scheme, and I as a keen gardener and law abiding citizen duly applied to register with them. Today a charming lady from HMRC gave me a call to discuss my application , despite my saying all communication in writing please but I forgive them.

The call mainly went over my application, why was I registering and such. Having established that I was registering purely as a gardener they wanted to know how many plants I have growing and how many of the annual variety I was planning to plant. When I mentioned growing several non-decorative varieties she was interested as to what size they grew to and what varieties though she’d never heard of Burley. She did then get further perplexed when I informed them that I mainly used the flowers for making wine ( recipe here ) and pesticide. The lady I was speaking to apparently had a small Nicotiana plant of some sort in her kitchen and was interested to know when it was fragrant as I’d mentioned my decorative varieties were also for fragrance, I suspect she obviously has a less fragrant variety.

Moving on from the pleasantries there were the normal verification of the details I’d provided. she also checked the following:

  • My ID requesting passport or driving license number
  • If it would be ok for someone from the HMRC to inspect my garden
  • If I was giving any of the leaves to anyone else
  • That it was just prunings and dead plants I was dealing with
  • What I’d be putting in the compost and what would be going in the council green bin

So really nothing to out of the ordinary, though as I’d mentioned I make wine from the flowers she did check if that was for personal consumption only. Which I assured her it was though probably just as well I didn’t mention that I bottled 145 gallons of homebrew last year. Really the only surprising thing was that they followed up my application at all and seem to be taking it if not seriously at least with a straight face. I of course immediately popped over to UK Tobacco Plants to make sure that the HMRC will have something to look at if they come round.

So long and short of it if you’ve applied to register the HMRC will be in touch, they will want to verify your ID against an official document, they may ask if it’ll be ok to visit and are going to double check that you’re actually going to do what you said you will in your application. So all in all just tediously bureaucratic. Further updates as and when things happen.