Something fishy

If The Express was honest (stop laughing!) the headline would refer to a “slap down” for the mad Brexiteers and their proxy, Theresa May. What the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF) is condemning is, not Nicola Sturgeon or the SNP administration with which they have an excellent relationship, but the UK Government. They revile successive Westminster administrations which regarded fishing communities as “expendable”, in the same way as Thatcher sacrificed mining and industrial communities on the altar of her vile ideology.

The problem for the SFF is, not the commitment of the Scottish Government which, under the SNP, has worked tirelessly to get the best deal possible for fishermen despite the UK Government’s incompetence and disregard, but the dishonesty of the Leave campaign which deceived people into believing that Brexit was the cure for all the fishing industry’s ills, when in reality it will make little or no difference.

There will be no immediate change, of course, as the UK remains a member of the EU, with the timetable for invoking Article 50 slipping daily. (Tory party chairman, Partick Loughlin, now says only that it will be before the next UK general election.) But, as the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO) has warned, there may be precious little change even after the Little Englanders get their way. Back in June the NFFO told The Guardian newspaper,

Promises have been made and expectations raised during the referendum campaign and it is now time to examine if and how they can be delivered.

Unfortunately, perhaps, the UK’s geopolitical position means that it is not politically or legally possible just to ringfence most of our fish resources, in the way that, for example, Iceland can. The reality is that most of our stocks are shared with other countries to some degree or other.

We can certainly seek to renegotiate quota shares, as well as access arrangements, but it is realistic to expect that there will be a price. Who will pay that price is a critical question.

In the same article [British fishermen warned Brexit will not mean greater catches, The Guardian, Tuesday 28 June 2016], the New Economics Foundation said,

Those communities and fishers hoping for an immediate end to EU quotas will be sorely disappointed. In reality, there will be years of renegotiation, and given the small size of fishing compared to other industries, there is little chance it will be seen as a priority.

The Leave campaign lied. They lied about everything. But, perhaps most of all, they lied about fishing. And, when it came to peddling those lies, The Express was in the vanguard. So why would anybody be taken in by plainly dishonest articles which twists the words of fishermen’s representatives to make them seem a rebuke to Nicola Sturgeon rather than the Westminster machine?

The people of Scotland started their journey to a new politics with a questioning of the established order. When will people in England learn that the mainstream media is no more than a mouthpiece for the sordid network of usurped power, unearned privilege and corrupt patronage which constitute the British state?

When will they wake up to the fact that they are being manipulated?

When will it dawn on people in the rest of the UK that the media-driven hate-fest against Nicola Sturgeon, the SNP and Scotland is a diversionary tactic intended to distract attention from the political cliques and vested interests who are their very real enemies?

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3 thoughts on “Something fishy

    1. tarisgal

      Don’t think so, Dan. Around my area (Angus), Scottish farmers are doing very well, actually. They get very good subsidies from the EU, their farms are large and verdant with growing crops, and they have access to cheap labour through the Polish/Czech workers that come every year.

      They have fields full of ‘Vote Tory’ signs where everyone travelling the roads can see them and they hire out their hay bales to whichever Tory politician is looking to fill the Angus constituency at any given election. During the EURef, the signs were all ‘Remain’, trying to convince the locals to vote to let them keep their subsidies, their brand new Range Rovers & Audis and their tory lifestyle!

      I can see no signs of Scottish farmers being harshly dealt with through EU policies. Certainly not in this area anyway! However, I CAN see from their ‘Remain’ signs that should Scotland be hauled out of the EU against her wishes, these same farmers will likely be willing to throw their weight behind political choices that mean continuation of their subsidised lifestyle.

      And while I was in agreement with their political persuasion this time, it isn’t usual for me to view their ‘Vote Tory’ signs and think, “Sure I’ll vote Tory! They’ve been so good for us Scots!”

      1. Connor McEwen



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