UK "Meeja" folk are traditionally an impatient lot, especially when it comes to government matters. So it's hardly surprising that some of them are bemoaning lack of progress in implementing the proposals of Sir Don Curry's Policy Commmission into the Future of Farming and Food. Sir Don, while keeping a wary eye on things, is showing characteristic diplomatic restraint and refusing to be dragged by the BBC and some less informed members of the farming press into a public slanging match with DEFRA and the government. For, despite the antics of certain "don't let the facts get in the way of a good story" hacks, no-one in the know ever expected Gordon Brown to address the Commission's desires in his April Budget. It was always going to be the midsummer Whitehall spending review before any real news about hard cash emerged. Having said that, as we have said many times in these columns, Margaret Beckett and her DEFRA gang face a heck of fight to extract sufficient money out of the heavily armoured Treasury coffers. So, wearing a seductive smile and carrying a large moneybag, she will park her caravan outside Gordon's office with a string of other hopeful Cabinet colleagues. But no-one, at this stage, can offer the merest suggestion as to how much cash will come her way. They can only hope that Tony Blair, who has publicly backed Curry, can wield some influence over his biggest rival for the top job. But at least other parts of the document, such as the Food Chain Centre, can be set in motion. And this week, in Preston, the first consultative workships were held with key stakeholders. However, whatever lucre Mrs Beckett is granted, at least the well formulated Curry report has set the chain talking to each other in a way we have rarely seen before. So there are hints of a new willingness along the chain to engage in meaningful co-operative dialogue. And that could form an encouraging foundation for when the real action starts, in the autumn. {{OPINION }}