Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Some things never change

One of them is Tory hypocrisy or, if you like, total ignorance about the Common Fisheries Policy. They seem to think that if they keep telling us that they will change that noxious system then it will actually happen and appear oblivious to the fact that change might have been effected by the policy, carefully worked out by the then spokesman Owen Paterson and the Boss and adopted after a great deal of trouble by Michael Howard. As we know from previous postings on this blog (eg here) and on EUReferendum, the Boy-King's first action on becoming leader of that benighted party was to discard the policy.

Well, here we go again. The Press Association reports that Richard Benyon, the current Fisheries Minister is unhappy with the CFP and wants it reformed. Indeed, he assures us or somebody that the UK will speak "with one voice" when it demands that reform though he neglects to tell us that other voices, those of other member states will have as much say as the UK's. The Spanish Minister of Environment and Rural and Marine Affairs also thinks there should be changes but not necessarily reforms. She merely think quotas and total allowable catch (TAC), the system that has destroyed a good deal of fish and fisheries wherever the EU has any say on the matter, should be adjusted according to scientific reports.

And to prove how much he understand Richard Benyon added:
This is the UK's most economically important fishery, contributing £140 million to the economy, and is of particular importance to Scotland. The sustainability of this well-managed stock must not be put at risk by the setting of unrealistic and irresponsible quotas. I am clear that Iceland and the Faroe Islands must cooperate with other countries to effectively manage this vital fish stock.
Or, in other words, this is disastrous, appallingly managed system that has caused a great deal of social, economic and environmental damage; therefore Iceland and the Faroe Islands must be persuaded to take part in it. Otherwise, they might be more successful than we have been.

Meanwhile, over in the House of Lords, that "quango" as the Boy-King and Douglas Carswell MP seem to think it is, Lord Stoddart of Swindon has asked another pertinent question:
To ask Her Majesty's Government , further to the Written Statement by Lord Henley on 22 June (WS 101) on reform of the common fisheries policy, whether they will propose that the responsibility for fisheries policy is returned to member states.
It has long been clear to anyone who has even thought about the subject that there is no other way of managing fisheries successfully in a sustainable way.

Among those who have ever thought about the subject we cannot count the Coalition government or its members, the Lib-Dims and the party formerly known as Conservative:
We need to move on from the current centralised common fisheries policy (CFP) that attempts to micromanage fishermen's daily activities. In negotiations on the reform of the CFP, the UK will press for radical change that provides for serious devolution of decision-making, and simplification, to improve fisheries management. While it may be appropriate for genuinely strategic decisions to be taken at EU level, because many fish stocks are shared between various member states, more responsibility for implementation can, and should, be devolved to member states.
In other words, we shall do nothing but continue to whine and pretend that we have any knowledge or understanding of the subject, not to mention the political courage to tackle it.


  1. There's only one answer, we all know what it is, but CallMeDave and WotsIsName wont even think about it.

    Referendum on EU membership, accept the majority want out and then leave.

  2. anthony scholefieldJuly 2, 2010 at 7:39 PM

    Its the words'at EU level' I like.