Fishing for power


          Yesterday there was a short debate on the Common Fisheries Policy. The short time for the debate prevented  me from making  a speech. Had I been called, I would have said something like this:


       “Today is groundhog day. For 38 years this House has held regular debates on the Common Fisheries Policy. MPs often have cast aside their party differences. They have forgotten their varying prejudices and viewpoints. We have frequently united to condemn the Common Fishery Policy.

         We have condemned the chronic waste of fish with the demand to discard dead fish in the sea in the name of conservation. We have condemend the collapse of the UK trawler fleet as the policy has degraded our fishing grounds. We have complained that the policy has left us short of fish, with dear offerings in the supermarket.

          Ministers of various parties have usually sympathised. They have told us their aim is to reform the policy. They tell us they will go to Brussels to negotiate a better deal. We are often told about the EU in general that we need a place around the table in order to have influence.

              38 years of having a position of influence around the table has not yielded a Fishing Policy we are proud of, nor even one we can accept. Many of us have concluded that the only answer is to regain control over our own fishing policy. Some of us would like the UK to say it will enact the return of our fishing grounds if we do not get a reform we can accept.

              The Common Fishing Policy has made the UK Parliament powerless in this field, and left successive governments impotent to create rules for a successful UK fishing industry. It should be a warning not to allow the EU similar control over other matters. When they run a policy, it causes decline  and unemployment.

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  1. niconoclast
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    Why be’whale the fishing policy when you decry the solution ie exit from the EU? Your position is not credible sir.Follow the logic.You admit being a member has not helped protect us in any way from EU depradations but when the logic cries out for the obvious solution you tangent away into irrelevancies. This the very reason why your leader could not even defeat Brown and is now shackled to EU- crazed liberals.If the tories could not cope with the EU on their own how on earth will they do it manacled to the liberals? This cognitive dissonance is deafening and credibility destroying. No one believes this ‘in the EU but not of the EU’ nonsense except you.

    Reply: You can’t help some people! My position is renegotiate and then have a vote on the results. That gives the whip hand to the British people to settle our future, and puts all the pressure on the EU to try to persuade the British people to stay in.

    • scottspeig
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 8:54 am | Permalink

      niconiclast, do you read his blog? John is all for exit of the EU – he voted against Maastricht. Don’t blame him for the naffness that is the prime minister! If I lived in Wokingham (I don’t) I’d be proud of him as my MP and would not be voting UKIP (I’d still support UKIP though)

    • Disaffected
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 9:58 am | Permalink

      The German’s already think the UK is only interested in benefits for itself and is using this line to grab revenue from the transaction tax. They do not want to entertain any renegotiation. Germany are currently in a very powerful position. Look at the amount of time wasted on trying to renegotiate the CAP and given back rebate money in the hope of change- our farmers have hugely suffered under this and successive half-wits in government have achieved nothing for many years.

      The game is up. We have clearly witnessed the sovereignty of two nations disgracefully taken away to form a pan European state led by Germany without so much as a protest from the other so called democratic countries. It is simply a question of either in/out of Europe. Clegg and the likes will say and do anything to con the public to fulfil their pan European state dream. The UK needs to get out before it is incrementally taken over by unelected dictators who act against respective national populations. Let’s have the pain and get on with it.

      Reply: A federal Commons is not about to do that

      • Tim
        Posted November 16, 2011 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

        Well if a federal commons is not about to do it then WE the voters shall give up voting for the same old, same old, tired mainstream three and go for the obvious UKIP option. Politicians need to learn that the public out here in the real world are angry and alive to the lying, cheating, patronising professional political class who are making them poorer through higher taxation, not taking action on the EU, public spending, immigration, higher windmill tax on the utilities, whilst being fleeced at the petrol pump. Enough is enough. There is NO discernable difference between the last shower and Mr Cameron, his u turns, his falsehoods. He is all talk and no action. Pray tell what has he achieved after 18 months??

        • lifelogic
          Posted November 16, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

          You say of Cameron:- He is all talk and no action. Pray tell what has he achieved after 18 months??

          1. He almost did get rid of HIPs but not quite.
          2. He did get rid of the M4 bus lane.
          3. and he is working on getting us a queen rather than a king in 65+ years time when we might well be a republic anyway.
          4. and he is working on a “vital” Happiness Index.
          5. he has changed the non win no fee racket a little in the right direction.
          6. he has appointed the Lord Patten to the BBC trustee.
          7. he has changed the insurance world to make men live as long and woman and drive the same by some miracle.
          8. He has increased public expenditure and waste.
          9. He has pushed up energy prices for some discredited science/ exaggeration.
          10. He has made people pay up to £50K for degrees often worth less than £5K.

          1,2&5 are at least in the right direction but not much for 18 months I agree. Perhaps he could add a few if he can think of any more. Not much here to help his happiness index I fear.

          • lifelogic
            Posted November 16, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

            His main failure is his lack of a small government, low tax, business friendly direction and his failure to convince anyone he is likely to win an election outright at the second attempt.

        • Disaffected
          Posted November 16, 2011 at 5:48 pm | Permalink

          It looks like European Union leaders have told the European Parliament that they are pushing for greater intervention into countries’ governance.
          Jose Manuel Barroso said that for countries running excessive deficits he would propose giving the European Commission power to make recommendations on draft national budgets before they are voted on by parliaments.
          While Herman Van Rompuy said governments should also consider giving a central eurozone body the power to more directly intervene in the budget process of member states.
          12.35 Germany is prepared to cede some national sovereignty to the EU to achieve closer economic and political ties, Chancellor Angela Merkel has said, adding that the EU cannot solve its problems without a treaty change.
          Germany wants a strong European Union with 27 members… also wants a 17-member eurozone as strong and that inspires confidence. We are prepared to give up a piece of national sovereignty to achieve that.
          Cameron needs to be ready to the play the game of Euro dominance versus sovereignty.

        • A different Simon
          Posted November 16, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

          John ,

          You point out that UKIP has no representation at the moment .

          That is quite correct but what practical difference does it make on Britains relationship with the EU to vote Conservative instead of Labour ?

          A vote for UKIP may be a wasted vote but from what I can see a vote for the Conservatives is too .

          I wish I knew what the answer was .

          • lifelogic
            Posted November 17, 2011 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

            A Tory vote clearly has a very small chance of doing something unlike UKIP as Westminster – a huge UKIP vote at EU level, by-election level would help concentrate the tories’ minds too I think.

            But under Cameron we are likely to get little but a silly happiness index and a queen in 60 odd year time or more!

  2. lifelogic
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Indeed 38 years of absurdity and yet our “democratic” government has not dared even to seriously address it. Central control from the top down simply does not work. The same applies to almost everything else the EU has addresses from the EURO, recycling, green energy to CAP.

    Influence around the table what real influence do we have?

    An absurd discussion on Newsnight last night with Chris Grayling and Milliband both competing with each other for the number of “government schemes” to help introduce people into work. All doubtless employing yet more government people in the process. Endless stories of people applying for hundreds of jobs without even getting replies.

    What is needed is more real jobs – which will only come from less government and less tax, fewer regulations, easy hire and fire and a smaller state. Not from yet more gimmicks and initiatives to help people write CV’s and the like.

    Clearly Cameron will not deliver and is firmly routed in the gimmick, distraction photo OP and the say one thing do another school of politics.

    Perhaps the most worrying thing is the number of people with largely pointless yet expensive degrees who think they are above most jobs.

    The aid should be to eliminate pointless and parasitic jobs everywhere in the state sector and those in the private sector created by sill laws, legal structures and regulations.

    Start with halving the state sector, building regulations, energy certificates, health the safely laws, employment laws and tribunals, simplify planning laws, the minimum wage, fewer lawyers though better structures, abandon HS2 and get the banks moving. Abolish inheritance tax and stamp duty with the proceeds to set a real direction and get on with the two new London runways needed.

    Stop taxing the productive and giving to the the state sector and the feckless and you will get more of the former and fewer of the latter.

    • lifelogic
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 9:57 am | Permalink

      Of course creating more jobs will anyway suck in more EU immigration who will undercut the UK workforce. When Paxman asked about this, the question was, of course, ignored.

      • Bazman
        Posted November 16, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

        As my questions to you about the usefulness of less than six pound an hour jobs with no rights is?

    • Disaffected
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      Spot on. The time is not to negotiate, it is time to get out of the EU. We want our fishing grounds back, we want our farmers to produce as much as they can (as idiots in government and EU have allowed mass immigration to distort our population growth, we need more resources not less), we need sustainable energy at competitive prices for residents and industry (Huhne’s policy is economic lunacy and totally stupid), restrictive practices in law and employment, vast amounts of taxpayers’ money paid to the EU club with little in return. The EU is political ideological crap. It has hamstrung the country’s prosperity for far too long. Time to build better relationships with the common wealth countries that have been neglected because of the stupid political EU dream.

    • a-tracy
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      “Endless stories of people applying for hundreds of jobs without even getting replies”. Yes I read these endless reports.

      However, what is never discussed is the opposite side of this coin. You never hear about the applicants who you invite for interview, some who even confirm they will be attending who just don’t turn up, your interviewer having set time aside to read through their application and free their diary to see them. Some people do need help with their CV’s you get a scrap of paper with insufficient information to consider them otherwise. We interviewed a man this morning who thought it was ok to turn up unshaved, very casual, chewing gum throughout the interview for a front facing customer service role, he “forgot” to bring items to the interview that he’d been asked to bring along and let himself down.

      Degree holders applying for low skilled jobs often declare how unfair it is for employers not to consider them, however, from the other side if you take them on to fill an unemployment gap in their work history, spend time training them, buy them a uniform, spend more time appraising and helping them for them to treat it as a stop gap and be gone with a week’s notice, sometimes not worked because they go sick a couple of months later it is a massive drain on resources in small organisations who then have to start the advertise £800 – £1000, read all the applications, interview time, process again.

      With regard to the Common Fishing Policy. How was this voted into existence? How many votes were for it and how many against. How did the British MEPs vote – did they all vote as a block to turn it down, which other Countries supported it? Which Countries benefited from it and how many MEP’s compared to us did they have? What was the main point of creating it and did it do it’s proposed job?

      • a-tracy
        Posted November 16, 2011 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        We ask for e-mailed applications so that we can reply and I would recommend that to other employers that have a large number of applicants for just one job.

        • Mike Stallard
          Posted November 16, 2011 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

          I was on the dole myself for a number of years. You are so very right! A quick e mail by REPLY – addressed by Christian name only – with very best wishes for the future really worked for me. You do not need any sort of apology or explanation. Just a few kindly and above all, encouraging words, however insincere, work wonders for a jobseeker.

        • Bazman
          Posted November 16, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

          Many employers are fishing in the sense of interviewing large numbers of people for simple jobs. They are looking for fools. Tell them and their agents to ram it if they do not want to pay interview expenses.

    • Sebastian fairweathe
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      To Lifelogic:
      My husband wants to know(he is a scientist) what are your scientific qualifications and publications in peer reviewed journals to be able to trash the work of scientists on climate change, who have done the research?
      Will be interesting to hear what Attenborough has to say

      • lifelogic
        Posted November 16, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

        I studied maths, physics and electronic at two top universities but I do not claim to be a “climate” expert. I am merely pointing out that no one can predict future climate with any accuracy in 100 years, which clearly depends on many many factors – most are not even knowable and also complex chaotic feedbacks not understood.

        Also that a little hotter on balance is probably better.

        And that reducing C02 is not the best way to cool the earth anyway even if needed.

        And that the main argument used by the AGW side tend to be purely emotional rather than logical.

        Atmosphere temperature measurement do not support the main theory.

        The money is better spend doing good now anyway (that we know work) – like clean water basic medicine, trace elements ……….

        The temperature has clearly not risen for about 13 years anyway despite the C02 increase.

        Please look at James Delingpole’s blog which will lead to countless sensible and better scientist than me who agree. Or watch the Intelligence squared US debate on the internet.

      • Alan Radford
        Posted November 16, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

        You don’t need more than ‘o’ level science to understand that the AGW fantasy is a crock. Of course to some, it’s a crock of gold and pays the mortgage. p.s. Attenborough works for the BBC – his script on global warming is pre-written by the Policy Department.

      • Mike Stallard
        Posted November 16, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

        Me, I am neutral over climate change etc.
        In no way am I a scientist (History degree).
        But there is now not really a consensus among scientists. Delingpole, the journo in the Speccie and Christopher Booker in the Telegraph have long disputed climate change and, to me at any rate the score is even stevens.
        I have been on a cruise to Norway (the top) recently and the glacier we saw did melt very fast for a number of years, then they and then grew a metre last year. But the Museums are all full of climate change.
        I don’t think that you can claim a consensus any more. Also Al Gore isn’t a scientist. Mr Pachaury is a railwayman. Nasa could very well be specialising in space exploration and several of the commentators I have heard about are not meteorologists.

      • lifelogic
        Posted November 16, 2011 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

        I too would be interested to hear what the excellent Attenborough has to say he seems to have stepped back somewhat in recent interviews- only stating something along the lines – climates do change, temperatures have gone up (about .6C in 100 years according to the records) and that man is clearly one factor in this.

        No one sensible could disagree with that.

        I too would indeed be interested to know if he think £billions are better spent on C02 reductions for 100 year time or on clean water, basic medicine, trace elements, and similar that we know works and could be done far more cheaply now.

        Any why does he think a little hotter is worse if he really does?

    • Winston Smith
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 3:10 pm | Permalink

      Off topic, but its important an issue. People are getting to the origins of the BBC’s climate change propoganda. This should be a lesson on how the State funded marxists operate to influence news, indoctrinate and ultimately create policy and legislation, making elected representatives ,like JR, redundant.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 4:56 pm | Permalink

      Care to explain how Germany has tougher regulations than the UK, a higher minimum wage, and stronger unions yet has an even better economy. Perhaps what we need is not less workers rights but more workers rights.

      • lifelogic
        Posted November 16, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

        Economies of scale better run state sector better land communications with other EU countries, fewer lawyers more engineers, anyway they are not doing much better in fact.

        • lifelogic
          Posted November 16, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

          GDP per capita in US$ Germany 37,000 UK 36,000 in 2010.

          Also more land per capita in Germany and good connections the the east and its lower labour cost base.

      • Alan Radford
        Posted November 16, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

        Their average level of education is higher, they work harder and are better engineers.

      • Winston Smith
        Posted November 16, 2011 at 10:07 pm | Permalink

        Their unions are not run by extreme socialists. Radical socialism gave them a few problems a while back.

  3. Steven Granger
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Yes John just another reason that should demonstrate very clearly to you why your fantasy position of repatriation of powers rather than withdrawal is a pointless distraction. After 38 years of debating this matter with apparent cross party support you haven’t made one iota of difference. If nothing has changed in this relatively small area of policy what gives you the confidence that renegotiation will now achieve anything? In persisting you are doing more harm than good.

    Rerply: Nonsense – my proposal is to tell the EU we will put the renegotiated position to a vote of the UK people, so the EU can then decide whether it wants to make us an offer we are likely to accept or not. If you are right and they will not change the deal then the UK is more likely to vote to come out altogether. If they wish to keep us they will need to make it worth our while. What’s wrong with that? Your approach might just lead to the Uk voting to stay in on current terms, if we could ever get a referendum out of the MPs elected, which so far has proved impossible. It is your approach which is a fantasy.

    • martin sewell
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      I spend quite a lot of time in a rural French village. Talking to everyone living there – English/French, retired/unemployed, tradesman/ farmers, I have yet to meet anyone who thinks the Euro and the current system is working for them. My farmer friend is a particularly interesting. He acknowledges that he grows to the subsidy, we
      see him with high quality machinery at all times on the year, he works hard and was a Sarkozy supporter- which ought to make him the clasic CAP supporter, but he is not.

    • lifelogic
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      I agree with JR’s approach but will we ever, even get even close to that sensible position with Cameron and the LibDems we are miles away. At best is will be given as a pointless cast iron promise at the next election.

    • Disaffected
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 10:20 am | Permalink

      Germany will not renegotiate, that debate is over. It is not necessary the MPs but the three line whip system that allows leaders of parties to act contrary to the consensus of the party and national wishes. You commented that the true number of MPs who actually wanted to vote the other way on 23rd October was much higher. It is time for a concerted effort by all those opposed to the EU political ideology of a pan European state to unite and act in concert for the UKs national interest.

    • lola
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 10:33 am | Permalink

      Meanwhile, just in case it starts to get nasty (for third time in 100 years) start building lots more frigates and fishery protection vessels.

      This is not as off the wall as it seems considering the headline in todays DT:

      European Union debt crisis: Britain must help rescue eurozone, say Germans

      So, that’ll be the third time that we’ve had to rescue Europe then?

  4. Martyn
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    John, you say “The Common Fishing Policy has made the UK Parliament powerless in this field, and left successive governments impotent to create rules for a successful UK fishing industry”.
    Why stop at fishing? I realise that you are probably setting this out as but one example of how Parliament has been unable to decide what is best for the UK in the realm of EU diktat, but does not that mean that Parliament is not (and long not been) a sovereign assembly, thus Parliamentary debate on this and a raft of other issues is meaningless? One might reasonably observe on a matter such as this that Parliament has been reduced to being no more than a talking-shop when it comes to decisions on matters of national interest that depart from the directives.

    Reply: Of course – I am showing this one as one of the longest and most comprehensive losses of power by the UK. And I am suggesting a way in which Parliament could recapture control if it had the will to do so.

    • lifelogic
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 8:24 am | Permalink

      The people have the will just not Cameron and the government far more concerned with gender succession for the next queen.

      • Tad Davison
        Posted November 16, 2011 at 11:26 am | Permalink

        Not dealing with the REAL issues that matter, and not for the first time. Theirs is to create a distraction. Succession is hardly a pressing issue, but the denial of genuine debate is. John should have his say. To deny debate, is to deny democracy, but isn’t that what pro-Europeans have been trying to do all along, in the forlorn hope we wouldn’t notice?

        Many weeks ago, I asked my own local Lib Dem MP, Julian Huppert, what was the nett figure Britain had paid into the EU since we joined?

        To date, I have not received a reply, and soon, that fact, and his tardiness will be given to the Cambridge Evening News.

        Tad Davison


        • norman
          Posted November 16, 2011 at 2:16 pm | Permalink

          Don’t be too hard on your MP I don’t think he’s ignoring you.

          Like those MPs on the Ch4 document who, hilariously (or it would be if it wasn’t our money they take under threat of imprisonment), hadn’t a clue what the national debt was or what the difference between debt and deficit is, he probably hasn’t a clue how much we give, even a ballpark figure, it could be a million pounds or a hundred billion, whether we are a net contributer or receiver and that’s just for the last fiscal year, let alone since we joined.

          And he probably doesn’t care, unlike his expenses chits which he could tell you to the last penny (probably).

          • Tad Davison
            Posted November 16, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

            Norman, then they have no business being there and drawing their pay. If they don’t know the figure, they can get it. Huppert should know me by now, that I’m not one to be fobbed off, as I’ll mince him in the press and local radio. There’s no excuse. Were I an MP, I would bend over backwards to accommodate my constituents. This issue is far too serious for any MP to merely treat as incidental.

            Tad Davison


        • Disaffected
          Posted November 16, 2011 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

          A clip from the Telegraph today:
          It looks like European Union leaders have told the European Parliament that they are pushing for greater intervention into countries’ governance.
          Jose Manuel Barroso said that for countries running excessive deficits he would propose giving the European Commission power to make recommendations on draft national budgets before they are voted on by parliaments.
          While Herman Van Rompuy said governments should also consider giving a central eurozone body the power to more directly intervene in the budget process of member states.
          12.35 Germany is prepared to cede some national sovereignty to the EU to achieve closer economic and political ties, Chancellor Angela Merkel has said, adding that the EU cannot solve its problems without a treaty change.
          Germany wants a strong European Union with 27 members… also wants a 17-member eurozone as strong and that inspires confidence. We are prepared to give up a piece of national sovereignty to achieve that.

          Cameron needs to be ready if he wants to play the game of Euro dominance versus sovereignty.

  5. Jim Clavie
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 7:42 am | Permalink

    Lets not forget the party that got us in to this mess in the first place! This is the reason that natural Tory voters like myself can not bring ourselves to vote for your party.

    The Moray Firth is a shadow of its former self, yet I’d guess that fishing effort in the North Sea is at least as intensive now as it was in the 70’s. Hopeman is a village that had 26 seine net boats in the 70’s, each employing 5 or more crew with all the local spin offs that entails. The is now 2 boats!

    Reply: I seem to remember all 3 parties lining up to support memebrship of the EEC, and to vote those of us down in the referendum who wanted out.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 11:41 am | Permalink

      Both are true, but my argument always has been, that we already know (or at least should know) what trash Labour and the Lib Dems are, with one or two notable exceptions. I have never yet been able to swallow the duplicity of the pro-EU wing of the Tory party.

      We expect more from them. We certainly expect them to be pro-British. I defy anyone to show me how membership of the EU has benefitted the United Kingdom, yet they persist towards federalism, against all reasonable logic. They are a danger. Snakes in the grass. They are not really what they want us to think they are. They assume the cloak of patriotism that is traditionally associated with the Conservative party, but all the time, whether though ineptitude or subterfuge, they won’t about-turn. That is deceitful.

      Tad Davison


      • uanime5
        Posted November 16, 2011 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

        We the EU did outlaw firing women for being pregnant. They also passed laws giving consumers more rights.

        • lifelogic
          Posted November 17, 2011 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

          No sensible employer ever wants to fire anyone if they are any good and they have a job for them.

      • Disaffected
        Posted November 17, 2011 at 9:58 am | Permalink

        Spot on Tad. But the problem is the leadership f the current Tory party is Europhile despite comments by Cameron to suggest otherwise. Actions speak louder than words.

  6. Mike Stallard
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    I was brought up in the post war years of austerity under Socialism.
    Nothing – nothing – makes me crosser than waste. Waste of people, waste of time, waste of money and, above all, waste of food.
    We were brought up on “the poor starving Germans.”
    Now it is the Germans and French who, for purely Socialistic reasons insist on wasting our precious fish stocks.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      Well put Mike

    • uanime5
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      Discards are more capitalistic than socialist. Fishermen discard less valuable fish or fish they can’t legally sell so they can try to catch more fish which they can sell for a higher price.

      Reply: Dream on – they are made to throw back valuable fish

  7. Duyfken
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 8:05 am | Permalink

    Whilst applauding all that you have written and regretting you did not have the chance to say it in the Chamber, I wonder whether any of such messages get back to the government or indeed are read by Cameron. For instance do you send a copy of your blogs to No. 10 or to cabinet members on a regular basis or at all? I hope so, for it is these who need to be persuaded rather than your loyal readership here.

    Reply: Of course I tell them my views.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 11:44 am | Permalink

      They sure as hell know mine!

      Tad Davison


  8. barnacle bill
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    The Common Fisheries Policy should have been a wake up call to all UK political parties that the EU was an out of control monster.
    But no it’s been ignored by all our politicians, hoping instead this passivity will allow them to be invited onto the EU gravy train.
    It is now not only an In or Out question position we have reached, but one of whether we want to forever surrender democracy in our fair land in return for joining the fascist-federalism sweeping across Europe!
    No ifs, not buts …

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 11:50 am | Permalink

      Good point Bill, but I often wonder what sort of gravy train is funded by debt?

      Surely they all knew there would be a day of reckoning?

      If they didn’t, it either shows crass stupidity, or sheer underhandedness. Maybe even both. Either way, the EU doesn’t work, and the political elite must now be held to account. Will that happen?

      Don’t hold your breath!

      Tad Davison


      • Mike Stallard
        Posted November 16, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

        Remember that they are right out of touch with us common people. So was Marie Antoinette, and look what happened to her. So was the Kaiser and little Willie, and look what happened to them. So was Nicholas II and look what happened to him.
        In every case their country was deep in debt……

        • uanime5
          Posted November 16, 2011 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

          What happened to Marie Antoinette also happened to a lot of the people who brought about the French Revolution (Maximilien Robespierre was paranoid).

          The Kaiser was removed because Germany lost WW1 and he was forced into exile.

          Nicholas II was overthrown because he lost WW1 and high inflation made food unaffordable.

  9. Pete the Bike
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    “When they run a policy, it causes decline and unemployment”.

    Just alter one word and you’ve summed up the whole EU.

    When they run a continent, it causes decline and unemployment.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

      Other than the UK has any other EU country declined or had increased unemployment? If not try to guess why.

      Reply: Yes, several – try looking at the poor employment position in Spain, Greece, Portugal etc

  10. Single Acts
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    The failed CFP and the failed government response to it over many years is a nice metaphor for the current failure of front bench party politics. The problems are widely known, the solutions obvious and understood.

    And there is no chance they will be implemented. Look at almost any aspect of policy and you can apply this description.

  11. A different Simon
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 8:49 am | Permalink

    The EU were warned that stocks of some species of migratory tuna were down to (to not by) 5% of their historic levels and were requested to give the population a chance to recover .

    What happened ?

    They went through the motions , pretended to listen and doubled the quota .

    This is their typical modus operandi , the decision had already been made and none of the consultation was authentic .

    There would be an uproar if lions or tigers were driven to extinction but apparently it’s OK for the Europeans and Japanese to cause the truly magnificent blue fin tuna to disappear from our seas .

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 11:53 am | Permalink

      More evidence of bureaucracy in action (or should that be ‘inaction’)!

      Tad Davison


  12. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    This can be extended to all the powers that our MPs have given away without even the pretence of asking the permission of those from whom those powers were entrusted. There is a total lack of trust that any mainstream political party will even seriously contemplate returning powers to the UK. David Cameron says he is a sceptic but which of his actions rather than words support this? William Hague, once thought to be seriously keen to want to return powers to the UK, appears to be a different person now he is Foreign Secretary. George Osborne clearly has little time for democracy when he implores the eurozone to become a fiscal union regardless of the views of the people in the member countries. In addition to that, they have the convenient fallback position that Nick Clegg and the LibDems won’t let them be more robust in their attitude to the EU. Sorry, but you will experience many more such groundhog days as too many politicians have sought office and then happily given away the powers with which they were temporarily entrusted. We will be threatened with economic devastation if we go against the wishes of the EU or have the courage to say we wish to leave this destructive, anti-democratic organisation.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 12:02 pm | Permalink

      You make my own point better than I could myself Brian. We’re sick of ’em!

      All of those mentioned are getting an awfully bad reputation for going back on their word – even amongst true-blue Conservatives like myself. We are disenfranchised and unrepresented, yet make up the majority in terms of public opinion. Our views are constantly being dismissed and overridden, so how can these people possibly claim legitimacy, if they don’t do what we elected them to do?

      Tad Davison


  13. alan jutson
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 9:07 am | Permalink

    The fisheries policy and its stupidity of conservation with dead fish, is symptomatic of the whole of the EU’s present bag full of policies.
    Expensive, complicated, and not fit for purpose in todays World.

  14. backofanenvelope
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    Do we still have national waters? If we do, I suggest we get what is left of the Royal Navy out there and inspecting every non-British fisher they find. Apply the EU’s own regulations to the last letter. I doubt if many of them would pass inspection. Make them come ashore in British ports for court appearance.

  15. Rebecca Hanson
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 9:44 am | Permalink

    This should lead to a result. If it does then we have a model as to how similar results can be achieved.

    Whatever happens it’s important to watch the Scottish press for detailed insight into the mechanisms at work here.

  16. Iain
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    But we have shared sovereignty on fishing, weren’t the EU fanatics telling us sharing sovereignty was wonderful way of having influence?

    It just shows sharing sovereignty is another way of saying we have been disenfranchised.

  17. Edward.
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    The CFP is a disaster, the French nearly fell off their seats when the original surrender Ultimatum was signed in 1973, such was Heath’s feeble minded rush to ‘make history’.
    Since then, at every turn the British have been stymied, fobbed off and scuttled.

    Certain things are non-negotiable in the EU and with the CFP, the French and more recently the Spanish have had it all their own way, nary a care was ever given to British trawlermen, their families and their livelihoods.

    The richest fishing grounds on the western shelf have now been decimated and we’re still pathetically mewling about re-negotiation.
    No wonder they look upon the British as the ‘soft touch’, we are.

    No negotiation is necessary, we must fire off our own ultimatum: do it our way or we leave, better yet – JUST LEAVE THE EU AND YESTERDAY WOULD NOT BE SOON ENOUGH!

    • Derek Buxton
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      All things EU are non negotiable, it rules and the people are not allowed a say. It is anti democratic, unaccountable and totally corrupt and now they have put “Gauleiters” in Italy and Greece. These are things our politicians will not tell the People, they dare not!

      • uanime5
        Posted November 16, 2011 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

        Your reference to Nazism means you’ve automatically lost the argument.

        Also the democratically elected Parliaments of Greece and Italy approved of their new Prime Ministers.

        • Robert Christopher
          Posted November 16, 2011 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

          Was it a free vote?

    • uanime5
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      The richest fishing grounds have been decimated because of decades of overfishing. I doubt our own Parliament would have been able to impose such restrictive quotas to help fishing stocks recover.

      Reply: Iceland and Norway did much betetr under local control

  18. Acorn
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 10:16 am | Permalink

    Having read this week’s Stratfor Weekly, we are trying to work out who the “European Elite” would install as technocrat governor for the UK; should / when it becomes necessary. We are assuming that you do not have to be in the EZ for this to happen, just being in the EU+IMF will be sufficient to get whooped on Teutonic style. .

    PS. Apparently voices behind me are saying that the European Elite already have their troops in position at Westminster and Whitehall. That’s why we have debates in parliament like yesterday. Hours of debate on fishing and petrol taxes; absolutely nothing changes. Unfortunately, the few MPs who bothered to turn up have yet to realise that energy consumption and economic growth are umbilically connected.

    • Derek Buxton
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 11:40 am | Permalink

      With Cameron in power, they have no need to appoint anyone, he is their’s!

  19. Mark
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 10:18 am | Permalink

    The phenomenon of the fishing policy is known in economics as the Tragedy of the Commons. That seems somehow appropriate.

    • lola
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 10:35 am | Permalink

      How very true!

    • lifelogic
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 11:15 am | Permalink

      Indeed “The tragedy of the commons” – a dilemma arising from the situation in which multiple individuals, acting independently and rationally consulting their own self-interest, will ultimately deplete a shared limited resource causing all to lose out.

      Rather like the state sector and the limited resource of “private sector tax payers prepared to be milked”.

  20. Electro-Kevin
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Fisheries is but one policy where we are expected to operate a duality with regard to the EU. Two parallel universes; one of reality and one of ideology, the realms of which can only be crossed through insanity or corruption.

    The Continentals have been far more pragmatic in paying lip service to the ideology of the EU. Thus far their people have been more sophisticated about the whole EU project and ours (having been subject to the full and literal application of EU directives) have spat blood and feathers and have been easy to caricature and marginalise.

    Fisheries policy is a fantastic choice to illustrate the argument in fact – it was one of the first to be implemented. What better imagery than tonnes of dead fish being thrown back into the sea because bureaucrats always know best.

    From the earliest policy to the latest – the EU produces much waste and unemployment.

    Hear hear, Mr Redwood.

    • Yudansha
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 12:57 pm | Permalink

      The CFP is good for seagulls though. Like EU officials they multiply on a diet of such waste, steal things we want to give to our children and then crap all over our country.

  21. A.Sedgwick
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    CAP and CFP are prime examples why we should exit the EU monster. What a number of us are writing is the days for finessing a better arrangement with the EU have long gone. It is a stalling device by this dreadful Coalition Government and completely wrongheaded leader, who has shown for years he and Osborne are out of their depths. Remember matching Labour’s spending plans, remember the cockeyed response to Northern Rock and so it has gone down hill ever since. Jeff Randall ended his progamme last night saying that Italy needed to refinance 200 billion Euros in the next year – beam me up Scotty! Whether we are in the Euro or not Merkozy and Co will be after more of our money and with Clegg, Cable and Huhne wielding massively disproportionate influence they will get it, unless……

  22. Jonah
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    I note that Merkel talks about ‘Europe’ as a country not a continent. For her evidently the Rubicon was crossed years ago.

    John, I wonder if the ever-politically-position-calculating Osborne will tell Cameron that he’ll have to ditch Clegg over this matter of renegotiation? Certainly I can’t see myself voting Conservative again if all we get are words and no action over the EU. UKIP looks very attractive.

    • Mark
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

      Will she cross the Tiber? Or retreat behind the Siegfried Line?

  23. javelin
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Sometimes you just have to wait to see if the argument is true.

    The argument was the the EU was in our interest and we would have influence.

    So that argument has now been proven wrong. Push for acceptance, if you dont publicise it. Get a list of arguments that have failed and rattle them off. Be as casual as you can about dismissing the argument and as strong as you can not to allow arguments like that again to be used.

  24. javelin
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 10:55 am | Permalink

    50% of the 120(?) billion EU budget is spent on the CAP.

    60 billion a year needs to be redirected from the CAP to pay key Government workers in the PIIGS Governments? This money could be used to prop up the smaller Governments and aid the larger Governments. Farmers being paid to leave fields empty cannot be as important as doctors and nurses not getting paid.

    That is an argument that needs to be made urgently to the EU.

  25. David John Wilson
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    Why if the British Government is so keen on a more amenable fisheries policy is it so slow, particularly in England, in implementing the no fish areas necessary to preserve fish stocks. We need to stop moaning about the restrictions imposed by Europe and take more action in those areas where we can.
    For example the Cornish lobster project is likely to be abandoned from a lack of funds even though it is proving so successful.

  26. Barbara
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    What a shame there wasn’t time for this to be heard.
    By the way, any chance of a link to your recent ‘referendum debate’ speech, for those of us who missed it at the time?

    Reply: Yes, I am told it is available

  27. Neil Craig
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Permalink

    The CFP is simply a particularly clear example of what has happened with all the “reforms” eirophiles ashamed to show their true colours have promised for 40 years. The best and probably only stimulus to reforem of the EU we could make would be quiting it. That might persuade those left that serious reform is needed. Uf it wouldn’t there is certainly no way we could persuade anubody whule staying in.

  28. Mike Fowle
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

    I am instinctively in sympathy with the sentiments expressed here, but there is a risk that the more strident the views the more one can start to look unbalanced. The great achievements of the EU used to be preserving fish stocks by throwing dead fish back in the sea; paying farmers NOT to grow crops; and turning every trader into a tax collecter with VAT. Now, we also have reigniting ancient anti German feeling. It is a piece of work, isn’t it?

  29. forthurst
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    Our country hs been sold down the river over the years by cowards, turncoats and traitors. Do we ever have any policy now of our own origination for our own benefit apart from shadow boxing the EUSSR for popular entertainment?

    We do not have frigates to patrol our ancestral fishing grounds, but we are able to blockade the Gaza Strip as I read a few weeks back; are the Palestinians our enemies? Do they have WMD? Why are our armed forces constantly fighting against other people’s enemies. What was the Chief of the Defence Staff doing in Israel the other day? Don’t we have any enemies of our own? Yes, but they live here; they are the ones who (allowed rapid migration to change the people of the UK – a mild paraphrase – ed). They are the ones who have handed the management of our commerce to an unelected bureaucracy in Brussels; they are the ones who believe they have become smart and important if they join nasty secretive democracy-disparaging elitist globalist organisations like Common Purpose, the Tri-Lateral Commission, the Billderberg Group as they had become secret internationalist Marxists and Trotskyists before. Our parliamentarians and those who hide behind the curtain doling out financial inducements to them to commit treason are but a small number but they have singlehandedly reduced this country to a whimpering whelp, of use to the international financial crime syndicate and myriad lesser criminals from far and wide, but a country whose native citizens have no more say in their future than a field of cattle, fattening for market.

  30. pete
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    I seem to remember a french politician (cant remember his name) a number of years ago talking about the slow transition of power to a central organiztion so it happens in a slow and progressive way and the people get used to the idea and don’t really notice until its too late….

    One step at a time – heres just one example of what happens when power is taken away. I’m sure the Fisheries policy could be reversed if Cameron had more backbone…

    …but the ace is when you surrender your currency – you leave the state as ‘sovereign’ for 10 years then you install puppet governments – a bit like a government putting their own people into a failing school.

    Is that not how Germany was formed out of several small Germanic principalities?

    The UKIP experts should be more clued up on that.

    I remember when based in Germany years ago you could almost predict the future – Germany becoming the dominating European force with the power to run Europe on their terms, only this time without firing a shot.

    • uanime5
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      Paranoid nonsense.

      Firstly only the Greek and Italian Prime Ministers have been replaced. Secondly the Greek and Italian Parliaments replaced them.

      Regarding Germany’s history the original Holy Roman Empire was formed when the Frankish Empire split into France, the Holy Roman Empire, and Burgundy. This lasted until Napolean conquered the Holy Roman Empire and replaced it with the Confederation of the Rhine composed of 23 states. After Napoleans defeat it became the 42 States of the German Confederation, which included Prussia and Austria. Finally it split into the German Empire and the Austrian Empire.

      Also Italy was formed from a collection of smaller city states; as was the United Kingdom, Spain, and Russia.

    • Tad Davison
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

      Scary isn’t it!

  31. Philip Hackett
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    This in another example of how our democracy has been diluted over time by the Elitists; Cameron, Osborne, Clarke, Balls and Mandelson are all in the control of personages not elected by us. Thus, internet censorship is being imposed by stealth. Equipment is being manufactured by (Named company-ed) and installed secretly by MOD and GCHQ personnel. Soon our the Government will be able to turn off our Internet and Cellphones preventing us from communicating and organising ourselves. It is part of the same pattern. Parliament is not able to govern us and debate is pointless. Until we win back our national control from the puppets nothing will happen.

    Reply: Clearly not in secret if you know about it. The government has not sought permission to censor or remove the internet in the way you suggest, and does have a duty to govern under the rules it helps make.

  32. Julian
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, and very much enjoy and agree with your political point of view.

    I can’t help thinking, however, that there was a time for educating the public on the dangers of the EU, the fact that it was more than just a common market and is essentially a project for a federal superstate – that time is now past, and recent polls show than over two thirds of the general public are mistrustful of the EU and want a severe renegotiation of powers, or to exit from the EU completely.

    It is not the public at large who need convincing on these matters. But for some reason, our elected representatives willingly choose to take a course of action that is not representative of the views of their constituents. Whilst I am very grateful at the effort you put into this blog, it seems to me that your energies might be better focussed on convincing your colleagues in the commons. They are our representatives, and not our rulers.

    For one, Cameron’s oft stated belief that HIS opinion on the EU is more important than the 40-odd-million voters is frankly staggering.

    Reply I do talk a lot to Parliamentary colleagues and make these points in the Commons. MPs and media people also read this site.

    • A different Simon
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 7:06 pm | Permalink


      When you talk to parliamentary colleagues what is there opinion of the EU and British Sovereingty ?

      What proportion of the house is genuinely in favour Britains complete integration into Europe ?

      What proportion of those who are unhappy have resigned themselves to ever closer integration within the EU ?

      Reply: There is clearly a pro EU majority happy with the current degree of integration or accepting there will be more. Just look at the crucial vote ona referendum, where only 111 voted for it.

  33. Mike Stallard
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 3:42 pm | Permalink

    The comments on this blog are changing fast. Have you noticed? A couple of months ago there were not as many commentators and we seemed to be saying that the EU was a sort of intellectual question that we could discuss in a fairly erudite way amongst our Eurosceptic selves.

    Now look! Lots more comments, and many of them (like me) are saying that the time has come to leave the burning building. No negotiations. Just straight down the fire escape and – Sauve qui peut! (tr Every man for himself!)

  34. Mike Chaffin
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    Shame the debate was a short one.

    Whilst few have a direct involvement in the UK’s fishing fleet it is the clearest and most totemic issue that has been imposed upon us by the EU. I doubt anything signifies the waste, beaurocracy, mismanagement and price that the EU charges us as clearly.

  35. uanime5
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    I’m surprised that more European countries haven’t call for discards to be outlawed, as it is in Norway. The EU needs a policy where all fish caught count towards the fishing quota, even discarded fish.

    • A different Simon
      Posted November 16, 2011 at 7:09 pm | Permalink

      Yep ,

      There is a case to be made for ships bringing back all fish which are caught not that there would be any way of enforcing it .

      Europeans in general aren’t very conservation minded .

  36. Bill Dale
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    Not sure that I would start with reclaiming sovereignty of fishing grounds.

    Of all the areas to take on the EU this would be the most difficult and would require enforcement by the Royal Navy – risk of “cod wars”
    I’m not even sure that we could legally roll out the limits to pre EU days.

    • backofanenvelope
      Posted November 17, 2011 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

      Well, as I said earlier, we could just insist that all foreign fishers in our waters obey the EU rules. As far as I know, we still have territorial limits out to 12 miles, French warships have no right to be there.

      As an earlier correspondent said, I don’t understand we don’t introduce more areas such as the non-fishing area around Lundy. Apparently that has been a great success and has led to a revival in adjoining areas even though fishing is still allowed there.

  37. Martin
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Permalink

    Does your statement –
    “When they run a policy, it causes decline and unemployment.” only apply to Brussels ?

    Has the new Secretary of State for Transport dumped the do nothing – cause unemployment and negative growth civil aviation policy she inherited ?

  38. NickW
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    The new Brussels imposed Italian Cabinet has NO elected MPs in it, none; not one.

    What chance is there of us influencing this kind of dictatorship in our favour?

    Are we going back to the 1930s?

  39. i.stafford
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    Heath should never have conceded that the EEZ was a common resource of the EC. It was not until it became so in the process of UK’s application for membership of the EC. Unlike the CAP which fortunately does not depend upon the EC having control of ownership of farm-land, the CFC does depend upon this common resource point. Power over national fishing should be restored to the states with the EEZs under UNCLOS. This is the more fundamental point on which, if implemented, the CFC would fall. The EU would then cease to be the sole representative on the North East/West Fisheries Commissions.

  40. Tad Davison
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 9:09 pm | Permalink

    Not totally unrelated, as these things are all linked, and this needs to be said.

    Vince Cable on the proposed Tobin Tax………..

    On Channel 4 News this evening, the Business Secretary, Vince Cable told John Snow,

    ‘The Tobin tax was a tax on Britain to fund the European union, and we’re not falling for that one!’

    I can’t stop swearing under my breath! What the hell does he think we’ve been doing since we joined the EU in the 1970s?

    The only year we got more out of the EU than we put in, was 1974, when the Labour government and the trade unions drove this nation to the brink of bankruptcy.

    The British people really need to know how much our nett contributions have amounted to, then factor in all the other costs. It will soon be seen, that it hasn’t once been to our advantage.

    The need to get out is rapidly gathering momentum.

    Tad Davison


  41. Kenneth
    Posted November 16, 2011 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    The various eu quango fisheries policies have been an example of how NOT to do things and how those who are not properly accountable can get away with such nonsense despite the devastating effect it has on families and livelihoods.

    The eu quango seems to revel in policies that impose cost on all parties. It likes policies that require expensive policing and administration. It likes policies that cannot easily be delegated but rather require frequent meetings at a ‘high level’.

    I am no expert and I am happy to be corrected but I cannot see why, instead of the mad bureaucracy we cannot have internationally recognised no-go sanctuaries in different portions of world’s seas.

    Surely this would be much easier and simpler to police (with modern geo-sat). It would allow fish stocks to rebuild and leave a level playing field for all.

    Nick Clegg should take note of this particular comment from John:

    “We are often told about the EU in general that we need a place around the table in order to have influence.

    38 years of having a position of influence around the table has not yielded a Fishing Policy we are proud of, nor even one we can accept.”

    Can Mr Clegg and any other eu apologists find any words to excuse this?

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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