Bring back the fish counters

Sainsbury’s and Tesco cut back their fresh fish counters to tackle the hoarding demand for other groceries at the start of the lock down. It is time to bring them back. Indeed, it is time to open  more and reverse the trends of recent years. where  some retailers were closing fresh fish and meat counters anyway.

The UK fishing industry had become  very dependent on the catering trades and on export for its fish sales. Retailers are busily importing packaged fish. The Covid 19 policy assault on the hospitality industry, and the end of the Common Fisheries Policy, provides an ideal time for a re think.

The aims  of getting control of our fishery back is twofold. We both wish to catch less to allow stocks to rebuild from the damage of the CFP, and greatly increase the proportion of the catch to be landed in  the UK so we can eat  more of our own fish. This is not difficult given the huge amount of fish taken by other countries every year under the CFP.

So now is a great time for the supermarkets to work with the fishermen and women to  offer contracts for more UK fish to be sold direct to customers in shops. It is ridiculous that this island nation set in a sea of fish has major supermarkets that do not allow us to buy fresh fish from the UK.  I trust the government rejects any idea of giving much of our fish away in some new deal after we have properly left the EU in December. This provides commercial opportunities for the fishing industry and for retailers. Decent contracts from  major retailers would allow the UK fishing industry to borrow to invest, to expand its capacity to serve the local market.

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  1. Mick
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:25 am | Permalink

    We can’t even stop illegal immigration from entering our fishing waters so god knows how we’re going to stop fishing boats from entering our fishing waters

    • Bob
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:40 am | Permalink

      But those illegal immigrants are asylum seekers fleeing from the EU disaster zone, aren’t they? Why else would the Border Farce send boats to rescue them from French coastal waters?

      • Hope
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

        JR, why has your underhand dishonest govt extended review of national house arrest to four weeks rather than three? Speaking for England, Why have you let them?

        Protests for Extinction Rebellion allowed, encouraged and watched by police while they commit crime, BLM protest this week allowed, yet two peaceful protests against national house arrest people arrested and fined!

        Illegal immigrants being helped into the country, by bodies of the Home Office control, illegal immigrants in deportation centres waiting to be deported let out all under cover of Chinese virus!

        Your Govt has really become the epitome of everything wrong in a democratic nation. This is not a request by instruction: Rules to be obeyed by public and yet does not apply to MPs or relatives or close associates i.e. Johnson, Symmonds, Jenrick, Cummings and four Labour MPs! Law now says cannotmhave sex with a person from a different house, how about Labour MP? Anyone investigating?

        Sneaked in a huge pay rise under cover of Chinese virus betrayed peomiss to cut number of MPs, change abortion laws etc.
        Hancock and Johnson deceit over testing numbers, followed science lies. A couple of months in office and it is out of control!

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 8:02 am | Permalink

      We can, but won’t stop illegal immigrants AT PRESENT.
      But we will, and we will defend our fishing grounds and fishermen.

      • Hope
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

        Lynn, Not with Johnson in Govt. A person of little moral or values I suggest.

        Johnson’s national house arrest had the sole reason to squash the sombrero flatten the curve so NHS was not overwhelmed. 9 weeks on the reasons have changed so many times! Now he wants the review every four weeks! There should not be any restrictions on our lives whatsoever. All conditions not applying to MPs, family or friends.

        He advocates and stands for curbing of free speech and brain washing of children of tender years under his Relationship and Sex Education Act. Included in this law a man can be a woman and vice versa and all manner of things and still claims his govt follows science!

      • Hope
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

        Get real. Tory govt gave it away in the first place forty years ago! Johnson annexed N.Ireland betraying the DUP following traitorous Mayhab. Who gives/annexes their country away? Remind me why the U.K. fought Argentina?

    • glen cullen
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 8:22 am | Permalink

      I’m confused by your comments about stopping illegal immigrants crossing the channel….I thought our current policy was to assist and aid….oh and stay alert

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

        I need a holiday and wondered if PritI could arrange for me to stay in a hotel courtesy of the tax payer. If it’s good enough for illegals then why not me?

        • Hope
          Posted June 3, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

          FUS, I thought I could use a spa long weekend. Could you book me in as well.

          As far as I can tell as long as you claim to be of no fixed abode, the taxpayer foots the bill.

          Some MPs forget some homeless people choose to be homeless and go off the grid. I understand that some on welfare have learned to use food banks to help increase their budget so they can spend more on other items.

          A leading supermarket has put up signs to remind customers govt food vouchers are for food because some were trying to buy other non food items with them! Politicos never learn and are happy to spend other peoples money, i.e. Our taxes on wasters.

          Yet,we hear MPs blurt how food banks demonstrate more poverty! Hardly, it demonstrates people learn to use the system and take advantage of others.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 9:10 am | Permalink

      “We can’t even stop illegal immigration”

      There is no intention of EVER stopping it Mick. No-one is even trying to.

      • Peter
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

        No, of course they are not. They are just paying lip service to the idea -despite any statements from Priti Patel.

        However, this is a big taboo subject on this site.

        So I will not be surprised if this post is deleted.

    • Hope
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      I am surprised there is anything to talk/negotiate about. WHO terms to trade with the EU is much better than anything the EU is proposing. EU demonstrated bad faith by applying terms far inferior to any other nation. No more discussion, walk away. Any issue to be discussed on its own and on its own merits against U.K. national interest.

      Buy British wherever possible.

      Trump is right about WHO, time to cancel our taxes from this rotten organization. It has advocated children 0-4 being taught touching themselves is okay and finding their own gender to be their right! No children of tender years should not be brainwashed in this way, it is child abuse and it is for parents not the state to teach them values, morals etc. Good article in Con Woman today about RSE.

      Hence why the Tory Govt. Relationship Sex Education Act must be scrapped before implementing in September this year. The Tory Govt. stating no parent has a right to withdraw their child! Authoritarian, totalitarian bunkum. It is a parents right not the state how it wishes their children to be taught! Get this Govt and any other advocating such perverse legislation out of office ASAP. I would not let my child be subjected to Tory Govt grooming/brainwashing emotional abuse. This is more dangerous to children’s well being than Chinese virus.

    • Lucy Hawkins
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink

      We might be able to keep the factory fishing boats out.

    • Peter
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

      Meanwhile, John Redwood discusses the bigger picture in the Daily Express.

      In summary :-

      1 not being in the Euro meant the UK was an outsider in key meetings.

      2 EU never take countries seriously if they think they will cave in.

      My view :-

      1 Nicholas Ridley was correct – even though it cost him his job at the time.

      2 The Euro is just a ‘German racket’. Same applies to the EU.

      As the League of Gentlemen might put it ‘There’s nothing for you here.’

  2. Peter Wood
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:28 am | Permalink

    Good Morning,

    Sir John, of course your post brings happiness to our hearts; BUT on finishing reading it is written as though this is a new set of ideas and principles, please tell us it is not and that there are detailed plans and arrangements ‘oven ready’ for the 1st January? Can you get the fisheries minister to expand?

    • miami.mode
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:15 am | Permalink

      Unfortunately Peter, you only have to study our host’s words….”I trust the government rejects any idea of giving much of our fish away in some new deal”…. to realise that everything appears to be up for grabs.

      By writing like that it almost seems as though you and I have as much influence on the government as a Conservative MP has and my trust in them is waning.

    • UK Qanon
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

      No one gave a toss when we lost our fishing industry so there should be no love lost with the French, Spanish etc.

      • Fred H
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        where on earth did you get that idea? Were you born prior to 1957 and the Common Fisheries Policy?
        The combined EU fishing fleets land about 6 million tonnes of fish per year, of which about 700,000 tonnes are from UK waters.
        In 2012, the UK imported 754 thousand tonnes of fish (excluding fish products), with a value of £2,569 million. It exported 466 thousand tonnes, leaving a trade gap of 288 thousand tonnes.
        So the UK clearly has an appetite for eating fish, why do people say we don’t?

        • UK Qanon
          Posted June 2, 2020 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

          Fred, Yes I was born before 1957 but fail to see the relevance of your reply to my comment. By the way the whole of my comment was not published. Truth hurts.
          I have spent a lot of time working in Hull, Grimsby Lowestoft and have seen the devastaion. I repeat, no one in the EEC, as it was then gave a toss about the anihilation of the UK fishing industry.

          • Fred H
            Posted June 3, 2020 at 7:26 am | Permalink

            I can’t reply to what Sir John removed! The Brits certainly did ‘ give a toss’! The fishermen across the water gladly bought up the vessels whose owners couldn’t see making a living any more. How can you appear to think nobody cares? Fishing features in Brexit arguments all the time!

    Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    What’s the betting this PM contravenes the result of the EU referendum and drags this nation into a UK-EU deal that ties this nation up in the EU cobweb?

    It is my belief that the modern authoritarian politician despise two things more than anything. Freedom of expression for the majority is one. Democracy is the other.

    This is not about fishing rights in UK waters. It’s much more than that. The world today is a dangerous place. Authoritarianism, violence and and intimidation is now part of conventional politics both in this country and in other nations as well. There are politicians who revel in instability and use it to call for more action to destroy freedom of expression for the majority. They call it equality, I call it fascism

    It is my belief that in the next decade the UK and the US will be an authoritarian State in all but name. The majority is slowly being strangled

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      Fishing is an exporter’s game.

      And anyway, Leave voters eat even less seafood than the average British.

      They seem to prefer cheese strings, chicken nuggets, take aways, and crisps.

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:09 pm | Permalink

        Leave voters ARE the average British.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 3, 2020 at 6:29 am | Permalink

          No, they are seventeen million out of sixty-seven million.

          That is about a quarter of them.

          • graham1946
            Posted June 3, 2020 at 9:35 am | Permalink

            Still have no idea of the number of voters then Martin. You’ve been told many times that your figure is ridiculous, but you persist with it. Truly unbelievable that you think there are 67 million voters.

        • Martin in Cardiff
          Posted June 3, 2020 at 9:17 am | Permalink

          Detailed studies have shown that an average Leave voter is of above average age and of below average educational attainment.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 3, 2020 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

            Yet still won a majority.
            Sad you will not calm down and accept the result.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

        Got any data to back up your smear?

      • Fred H
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

        what about Welsh cakes, leeks, haggis, scouse, Irish stew and fried Mars bars?
        So you should want to protect your Dover sole, sea bass, crab sarnies and prawn cocktail?

      • Peter
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

        Older people eat more fish:-

        You cannot have it both ways.

        You need to get your story straight with Andy and the others before posting.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

        You really are trying hard to be a snob aren’t you? Just remember the most brilliant people fought to Leave for decades. People whose IQ you can’t even count to. It’s you limited lot who simply can’t comprehend the argument, you just don’t have the wherewithal.
        I’m surprised you are not busy today with extinction rebellion fighting to assert that ‘white lives don’t matter’.

      • mancunius
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

        It is really unsurprising that the Remainers such as yourself have comprehensively lost every argument and every election where the EU has been on the agenda. And you still can’t work out why.
        All you have in your armoury of debate is snobbish, class-ridden cliché – and you are too blinkered to see how sterile and self-defeating it is.
        Happily, stuck as you are in your petit-bourgeois group-think, incapable of listening or learning, you will compound your losses.

        Personally I relish your helpless ranting. Do carry on – you help the cause of UK independence far more than if you were pleading on its behalf.

      • Fred H
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

        I see the SNP voters are causing the Polis to direct traffic queues to the re-opened McDs.

      • margaret howard
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 8:36 pm | Permalink


        That is soooooooooooo unfair – you forgot fish and chips -:)

    • Andy
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:40 am | Permalink

      The referendum was won by Vote Leave, who promised leaving would mean a new UK-EU deal. That is literally what they said.

      Vote Leave’s literature is still available online. You can all go back and check what you actually voted for.

      I would suggest you do as many of you seem a little foggy about it.

      • glen cullen
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

        The referendum vote was won by the general public voting leave and NOT by the political campaign group ‘leave-leave’

        • margaret howard
          Posted June 3, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink


          It was ‘won’ under a system whereby 17m voters had the power to decide the future of 70m.

          Whatever you may like to call it, it is not democracy. We live under an oligarchy.

          • Edward2
            Posted June 3, 2020 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

            We have some simple rules for elections.
            You have to be 18.
            You gave to be a UK citizen.
            It is voluntary to vote.
            For all you know Margaret, those who didn’t vote might all be leave supporters.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

        Still can’t accept that we voted to leave the EU can you andy.

        Still thrashing about looking for odd reasons or people to blame.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

        WTO is a deal, and the one we want.

      • mancunius
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

        Such a ‘promise’ was never made in campaign literature, and you know it. Nor did the UK voters cast their momentous vote in the belief that

        It was merely obvious (and still is) that if the EU maintained their stubborn pre-referendum threat to boycott a trade deal with the UK, that they would be the losers. We couldn’t realize that they would happily plunge their own citiziens into economic disadvantage just for their own amour propre.

        There will of course be a new UK-EU deal. We may merely have to wait until the old men of the EU Kremlin – and their grizzled, ageing supporters such as yourself, Andy – have retired from the fray or been given the coup de grace by the desperate citizens of Europe – about whom you seem to care nothing at all in your destructive rage.

        • mancunius
          Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

          typo ‘in that belief’.

        • Will in Hampshire
          Posted June 2, 2020 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

          The Europeans will be fine. Much of what they sell today in the UK will get sold anyway under WTO terms except at a higher price than before – this is the high-value premium stuff like BMWs and champagne, for which the buyers aren’t price sensitive. The remainder, which is priced lower and for which there are substitutes in the UK market will get sold elsewhere in the Single Market (population ~400 million) at lower prices. The producers will see a loss in revenue but it will be small and certainly not enough to force them to trade with GB on terms they don’t want.

          • Fred H
            Posted June 3, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

            I doubt the previous sales of German cars, Italian white goods, the French wine and cheese, the Dutch flowers, the Danish bacon, the tomatoes etc will remain unaffected. The Brits will simply reduce or stop (preferably) buying, but will seek similar from other market places.

          • mancunius
            Posted June 3, 2020 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

            That’s fine – the import duties will be shouldered by the wealthy elite, and the UK taxpayer will have a net benefit in the balance of payments, paid for by the 400 million. Win-win.

    • James Bertram
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:57 am | Permalink

      Agreed, Dominic.
      This lockdown has shown the iron fist in the velvet glove – this has been a coup, and we are now run as a police state. Government has colluded with mainstream media to terrorise the people, and the big tech companies have censored medical opinion that contests government policy. Fascism through and through.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

        You seem pretty easily terrorised, James.

      • Original Chris
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

        I think you and Dominic are both right. With regard to the media, in particular the BBC, nothing will be done by Boris as I believe the BBC is useful to the government in cementing the hold of the Left/Marxists on our country, and the continued roll out of the one world government “progressive” agenda. This comment from Conservative Woman website comments section about the BBC and the Conservatives sums up the problem about the Cons perfectly:

        “…the BBC still exists because as always, the Tories are utterly, utterly gutless. They will fight for nothing, (least of all conservative values), stand for nothing, except office. They believe in nothing but the latest opinion polls and trade figures. Their only vision for the future concerns their performance at the next election.

        This is why Communism and the hard left in Britain has always had so much room for manoeuvre to do damage, and has come to infest and dominate the MSM, particularly the BBC, which is now nothing more than the broadcasting arm of the Labour party. As long as the Tories are doing well by their own narrow opportunist criteria, they are not much interested in tackling the left or defending conservatism. It would just cause a fuss and rock the jolly old boat too much”.

      • The Longest Campaign
        Posted June 3, 2020 at 2:33 am | Permalink

        We’ll see what happens with government, when one is elected.

    • Ed Hirst
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

      Certainly if Mr Trump loses the election in November there will be no-one standing in the way of world government/ dictatorship. He is not a paid up member of the Davos mob. That’s why they hate him so much!

    • Fred H
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

      My views is that:
      a) Freedom of expression for the majority. Rarely allowed, BUT MSM (BBC being possibly the worst) has run a leftish anti-democratic style for as long as I remember. Protest in London streets has the whole area corralled such that everybody suffers shocking treatment, locked in for hours – missing planes, trains, business appointments, interviews, hospital bookings — we don’t forget – do we?
      b) Democracy. Consider the way PP candidates are checked and approved of by local party committee, and often ‘steered’ as to the nature of who might pass the Central Office test. Then at election time who produced the manifesto (alright so far because who takes any notice of them!) but the slogans, the ones chosen to do the tv/radio broadcasts etc. The extreme bias taken by the media, tv, radio, newspapers. How do we expect to get a balance leading to democracy?

      So Dominic – I think the UK fails badly on both counts.

      • Fred H
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

        s/be My view is that:

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

        The party centrally produces the ‘approved list of wets’ from which the local party must choose, this was introduced by the sainted Ted Heath. Before that the constituency party chose anyone they liked, mostly a local person who had expressed his politics for decades – so they knew he was not a stooge. The MP also knew his seat depended on pleasing the local party who live amongst all the voters. Now they think They work for Central Office and represent the party in the constituency rather than the constituency in the party.

        • Fred H
          Posted June 2, 2020 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

          Lynn – – interesting that neither of us mentioned a candidate needing to have a vocation to make a difference! Too many appear to see being elected as a likely short-term career change. I remember a couple of businesses I worked for where the Board thought it essential they had an MP on the non-Execs – always good for appearances, but nobody seemed interested in their (MP) views.

    • Peter
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Permalink


      A last minute Deus ex Machina is my fear.

      Both sides talk tough and ‘No Deal’ seems inevitable.

      Then suddenly out of nowhere……

  4. Prigger
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:40 am | Permalink

    Yes but what about gender equality? For example is a male nurse or a female nurse better at at what times, in what locations and situations?

  5. Customer
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:44 am | Permalink

    “Sainsbury’s and Tesco cut back their fresh fish counters to tackle the hoarding demand for other groceries at the start of the lock down.”
    I took it that the sellers were not interested in selling when I was very much interested in buying. I shall not bother with these two again. Refuse my money but once.
    The Customer is always right.

  6. Mark B
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:49 am | Permalink

    Good morning.

    I agree. We need to get back to as close to normal as possible.

    One thing that I have noticed, is that some major retailers are now only accepting card payments. It seems to me tat there are those who are using this drama, turned into a crisis, for their own ends. Whilst I do not mind paying by card I do like to have the choice. If this choice is removed I may have to remove my custom from them 😉

    I wonder if others have noticed this and how they feel ?

    • Narrow Shoulders
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:27 am | Permalink

      I too have noticed that this Covid-19 situation has been an opportunity for many to advance their agendas by stealth while “helping” us Mark B.

      We can but vote with our feet.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:51 am | Permalink

      Going cashless means no cash-in-hand work, of course.

    • Sharon Jagger
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      I’ve noticed that some retailers are trying to switch to card only, but generally the self service payment allows cash. I’m a great advocate of use it or lose it. So though mostly for small amounts I use cash. Weekly shop, card, top up shop etc or greengrocers – cash!

      And Dominic is right, we need to ensure that some authoritarian folk aren’t allowed to take advantage of the situation. For example, The Mail reported a day or two ago that Town Halls were being given money to widen pavements outside of shops to allow room for queues. This of course is unnecessary unless it’s thought queuing in the street will become permanent. But this would be the thin edge of the wedge in the high street – narrower streets, no cars etc etc.

    • Bob
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:52 am | Permalink

      “major retailers are now only accepting card payments”

      Yes, it’s all part of the “cash free society” plan currently being piloted in Sweden, eventually everyone will have a chip implant which will enable authorities to track and trace where you get your money from and where you spend it. The same chip will enable you to pay for bus and train fares or charge your electric vehicle provided you have been vaccinated and are cleared to travel.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

        UN slogan being trumpeted by Boris.
        “Build Back Better”
        All the agendas rolled into one huge green blob.

    • graham1946
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      Yes, I have and it is being pushed by the banks and government who want a cashless society and are even using adverts on commercial radio purporting to be a method of preventing the spread of the virus. We are on a slippery slope to loss of cash mainly due to the greed of the banks, for whom billions of pounds profit is simply not enough. Once they have achieved that, charges for every bank transaction will follow with costs rising and the government achieving what they want – to pry into every corner of our lives and to control us. The government have already put a stop to paying pensions into Post Office simple accounts where many pensioners like to get cash which they have used all their lives in favour of pushing people into the arms of their banking friends. I, for one will revert to cash when we are allowed to shop again.

    • MickN
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      All checkout staff have wipes and sanitiser on the tills. The company that refuses to take my cash payment loses my custom.

    • agricola
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      You are being asked to pay by card because only you the owner of the card needs to handle it. Paper money however has been everywhere unless you get it new from a bank. Not only can it come to your pocket infected by heaven knows what, including Covid-19, but you might even find traces of cocaine on it. Give it some thought before leaping down the conspiracy theory route.

      • Fred H
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

        the moral of that story is never sniff your new banknotes – you never know where that might lead you!

    • BOF
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      Yes, Mark B, and I will be going back to CASH as soon as I can. They either want my custom or they do not.

    • Chris Dark
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:20 am | Permalink

      All the shops we’ve entered (very few, admittedly) have said card only. However we now have a new local village shop, tiny but not bad, and the owner prefers cash. He has already won a number of people’s business as a result. It is of course the route to abolishing cash entirely and this must not be allowed to happen just because of a virus. We have used cash when flu is around, and also various tummy-upset bugs (norovirus for example)….why should Covid make any difference?

      • Fred H
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

        The Bank of England thought ahead insisting the new banknotes would be washable.

    • Everhopeful
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

      The long-promised abolition of money/cash?
      Vast control over us.

    • Andy
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:42 am | Permalink

      You’ll be removing your custom from everywhere then. Cash is dying.

      It is a pointlessly expensive and unnecessary way to pay for things.

      • Peter
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

        It also suits your globalist friends who want to keep tabs on people.

      • Anonymous
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:08 pm | Permalink

        Plus you can’t avoid tax.

        • Fred H
          Posted June 2, 2020 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

          Multinational corporations, Celebrities, Footballers and tax advisors manage that quite easily!
          Even that nestegg I saved for a lifetime (some call it a pension) gets taxed.

    • Caterpillar
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

      Mark B,

      If we were in a democracy and the BoE wasn’t so stupidly looking to push through the zero bound then I would feel OK. But.

      ( I do I think the insecurity of pinless tapping with risk borne by the cardholder not bank is wrong)

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 9:08 am | Permalink

      For whatever reason cash was instantly labelled as covered in covid disease and the vast majority believed it. Shops didn’t want it – but consumers buying their products had no idea if the stuff on the shelves had the virus on it at all. It was also a very nice chance for the govt to push for the cashless society ( one where the govt knows where every penny you spend has gone). It also gives the govt the chance to cut you off from your finances at a click of a button. Could you prove you had a certain amount – when the govt’s computer says you hadn’t? Orwell only a few decades out. You WILL be monitored Mark B – more than you are now.

    • DennisA
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

      Absolutely right. This plays into the hands of those who seek a cashless society, namely, the Banks. Also suits government because everything is then known about you. In Cyprus, it was very easy to extract-bail in funds for the banks from savers accounts and limits on cash withdrawals were imposed:

      At Tesco this week, the signs are all there to use cards only, but the checkout assistant happily took vouchers from me!

  7. Adam
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    A free country managing and eating its own fresh fish is naturally sensible. Selling our fish overseas to buy it back in packets is clumsy and generates needless waste.

    Consumers exercise the power of control over what they do, on which all else in supply, production, distribution and sales income depends. Some lazy consumers tolerate a lower standard by merely accepting what is available, enabling lower grade packaged imports to continue. Avoid swallowing low quality.

  8. Bryan Harris
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    Excellent proposed move..
    With the world in various degrees of recovery from CV, it will be good to have a certainty of fish supplies for the future.

    I’m concerned about supplies of other food items that are not grown in this country. Rice, for example. A staple for many. This has been low or non-existent on supermarket shelves of late.
    Importers need to work at ensuring supplies of basic items and raw materials.

    Is the government looking at this aspect of our needs?

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:53 am | Permalink

      This is the next crisis and it is an obvious one.

      Don’t let this be the Government’s next PPE.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:09 am | Permalink

      I do not think this is much of a problem. There is plenty of rice around and plenty of alternatives too many rather nicer. Pasta, couscous, lentils, beans, pulses, gnocchi ….. There must be loads of big, restaurant sized, bags around as the Indians, Thai and Chinese ones have all been shut down.

      • Martin in Cardiff
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

        Pity, really.

        If all the staff had just arrived from China, then those restaurants would be low risk places.

        The main danger would be from other British customers.

      • Bryan Harris
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

        Rice is but one example where stocks are already low – it would be good to know that something was being done for all imported food items as well as other raw materials

        • Fred H
          Posted June 2, 2020 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

          Rice is best served in a milk pudding!
          With a skin and possibly a little drizzled syrup……yummy.

          • Bryan Harris
            Posted June 3, 2020 at 6:25 am | Permalink

            That was a favourite old recipe of my mothers

    • Everhopeful
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

      Not much govt can do if rice-producing countries refuse to sell.
      Water issues ( to grow rice) and latest scare make them worried for their own food security.
      (India, I believe not too keen on supplying us with drugs at the mo).
      IMO ALL supplies have been dodgy for some time.
      Anyway we should be eating dumplings and potatoes!

    • Poor cook
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

      “Rice….non-existent on supermarket shelves of late.”
      I thought of Pearl Barley as it was termed in my late mothers day. It was expensive in my eyes for a 250g small pack two weeks ago. She added a few grains to ham-shank and peas cooked for many hours .
      So I bought it and put it all in a large pan. My word it drinks like a trooper, water. I have never seen such water absorption. Every meal, I added some on the plate each day for a week.Various consistencies. Surprising how it will absorb more and more of whatever gravy, sauce, herb or condiment and goes with practically every other dish hot or cold including salad, .Good Bye to rice for me. Not tried making a typical rice dish with it, sweet, but I bet it works. We grow barley.You can make barley wine too as well as rice wine.
      I can see why barley is not promoted in TV ads. It is too good and cheap. Boy is it filling and not just for a while.

    • bigneil(newercomp)
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

      With reports of flooding due to Climate Change and the ground being covered with millions of buildings here in the UK, I’m sure someone will start growing rice here soon.

    • steve
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

      Bryan Harris

      “I’m concerned about supplies of other food items that are not grown in this country. ”

      The answer is simple Bryan, if it’s from a country not of your liking, just don’t but it.

      I no longer buy anything produced in France or RoI. I still buy Italian foodstuffs on occasion, but mostly now I buy homegrown / farmed.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 8:36 pm | Permalink


    Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:57 am | Permalink

    Barnier made a public reference to ‘easing his demands regarding EU fishing rights in UK waters’. To make a conciliatory and obvious public statement like this may suggest Johnson is weakening in his position. That won’t come as a surprise to anyone. I find Johnson a politician of infinite emptiness.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

      To appeal to both the Northern heartlands and the Tory heartlands at the same time… what did you expect ?

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:42 pm | Permalink

        And losing both! Try to be all things to all men and you end up being nothing to anyone.

    • jerry
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:04 am | Permalink

      @Dominic; Only you could think a team offering to make concessions is a sign of weakness in the opposite team! If the UK was weakening the EU would likely be increasing their demands. It is clear that the EU has become very worried that the UK is prepared to walk away on WTO rules, that the UK will not be agreeing to pay for access to the single market etc, just when the EU is faced with an even larger debt crisis than the UK.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:17 am | Permalink

      A bit unfair to poor Boris. I will give him a bit longer though I am very concerned that his wife might encourage him to continue with all this green lunacy. Sunak was on about government investment in Carbon Capture and Storage the other day.

      Also the plan is to finally stop burning any coal at all this year. So why do they import wood to burn and yet do not burn old wood in the form of coal?
      Why not use the new wood to build things and burn the coal. It would produce no more CO2 (if that is their misguided concern) and it would cost far less? Can ministers not do basic logic or sums?

      • Zorro
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

        Clearly not.


    • Bob
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:49 am | Permalink

      “Barnier made a public reference to ‘easing his demands regarding EU fishing rights in UK waters’.”

      Since his opening offer in was wholly unreasonable he left himself plenty of room for “easing his demands”. Standard negotiating procedure.

    • Andy
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:55 am | Permalink

      Johnson is a salesmen. He will do a deal – a rubbish one for the UK – but he will sell it is a great win. Like he did when he gave up Northern Ireland.

      The EU understands that the Brexiteers need to be able to at least pretend they have won something. And fishing is symbolic for the Brexiteers despite being an all but irrelevant industry. So the EU will give some ground on fish.

      And all the elderly Tory Brexiteers will claim a massive victory despite it being a clear surrender. Then we will gradually undo their mess over the next few decades.

      • Edward2
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

        4 years on and still no real alteration in the vote to leave.

    • beresford
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 10:11 am | Permalink

      We don’t need to make any further concessions to the EU in order for them to have a trade surplus with us. We have already given them 39 billion Euros that we don’t owe them plus our share of the EU’s assets, AND agreed to continue underwriting the EIB. If they are not prepared to give us the same trade deal as everybody else then we should walk. These ‘negotiations’ set the tone for our future dealings with the rest of the world, if we appear pushovers then other countries will expect free handouts too.

  10. Dave Andrews
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:59 am | Permalink

    To promote the sale of fresh fish, it would be helpful if the supermarket fish counters and local fishmongers provided recipe leaflets.
    Many people aren’t familiar with methods to prepare fresh fish, or how to make a meal using it.

  11. Sakara Gold
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    Waitrose kept their fish counters open. You can get fresh cod fillets, haddock, sea bass, bream and oysters. Also lovely net bags of fresh mussels!

    Their deli counter is also excellent

    • Fred H
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      Waitrose is perceived as a supermarket for those who are prepared to spend more for ‘possibly’ better quality.
      As a friend reminds us ‘ you meet a better class of obesity’.
      love it!

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

      My children were all very keen on moules marinere and moules a la creme from todlers onwards – as indeed were my wife and myself.

  12. Stred
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    In Skunkville on Sea, the outdoor market has been open for sale of food and my wife bought some locally caught sea bream. There were so many needle sharp bones in it that it took half an hour to eat. The continental customers are welcome to them. On the other hand we often make dishes with prawns, squid and mussels and trout and salmon are regulars. Why on earth the trout farms could not gut and package the fish and the supermarkets deliver it is a good question.

  13. Ian @Barkham
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    Yes and all well and good. That opens up many questions.

    If the UK is a Sovereign Independent Nation, how come we are even discussing the right of a Foreign Power(the EU) to dictate the laws that govern our territory. While we might be in a position to permit fishing in our grounds on a reciprocal basis, it is the choice of the people of this country through our law makers and no one else’s.

  14. Peter
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:14 am | Permalink

    Waitrose have a fish counter if you still want fish from a supermarket. Twenty per cent off on Friday too.

    However, large chain supermarkets are probably capable of deciding what is best for their own business.

    I do wonder how fresh some supermarket fish actually is. Not very in some cases – is the answer. Other countries are more interested in fish and care more about it. Look at the range and quality of fish in somewhere like Madrid for example (despite its distance from the sea).

    The purchaser customer needs to have an interest in the product. I don’t think sufficient British people have an interest in fish, unfortunately. Then there is the cost. A nice Dover Sole is a treat but it’s not cheap, nor – unaccountably – is monkfish.

    • Fred H
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      There you have it – the cost!

    • Ian@Barkham
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 8:32 pm | Permalink

      Just a note, to the best of my knowledge Waitrose like other supermarket does not sell proper fresh fish. It is frozen fish alowed to thaw, that is why it smells like decomposing flesh – something that doesn’t happen with fresh fish.

      • Peter
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

        Buy whole fish. Then you can tell from the eyes how fresh it is.

  15. Ian @Barkham
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:16 am | Permalink

    Sir John

    Your item makes me smile. ‘Fresh Fish’ – Sainsburys, Tesco’s in the same sentence. They have to the best of my knowledge never sold it. What they sell is thawed out frozen fish, you can tell because of the smell – it is at the decomposing stage. Fresh Fish doesn’t smell.

    Like a lot of people I like fish and I like my fish fresh. Yes we should eat more of our own produce and enjoy the variety. For that reason I always by direct and have never been disappointed.

    • Peter
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      I remember in the 1970s certain fish and chip shops sold an offering that stank of ammonia. They did not go bust. Their customers just switched to pies and saveloys.

    • Thomas E
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 8:57 pm | Permalink

      Hi Ian,

      I worked at a meat and fish counter at Tesco’s until it was closed last year. All meat is fresh. None comes in frozen. For fish it was all fresh with the exception of prawns and squid.

      It was also a deeply unprofitable section of the business.

  16. George Brooks.
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    The fourth round of trade talks start today and the EU has not changed it’s stance on fish, the ECJ, State aid to industry etc etc. They have even suggested that Boris might go across to talk to the Commission to break the impasse.

    Such a visit should NEVER happen. To imitate Theresa May would wreck the PM’s standing forever and quite rightly so. We are taking back control and that is end of the matter.

    We should have many more fresh fish counters and it would be great to see the return of the independent fishmonger. As and when the French and others want our fish they can come and buy it and we would welcome the trade.

    The quicker Barnier stops being so ‘pig headed’ the better. If not, then let’s spend the next 6 months getting ready for WTO terms

    • Zorro
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      The Dear Leader should not travel and spend the rest of his life recuperating lest he goves some stupid concession to ruin our position so that everyone likes him.


  17. Narrow Shoulders
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:22 am | Permalink

    Tesco and Sainsburys merely accelerated a process that was already underway.

    The customer data suggested that they could shut meat and fish counters, especially in less affluent areas, so they did.

    Having put fishmongers and butchers out of business they then withdraw the service and require us to conform. This is why customers should value their local stores.

  18. Ian @Barkham
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:29 am | Permalink

    Clearly this week we will see if this Government is just all talk or just a benign puppet of dictator in a foreign land.

    In trade there is no compromise, we are all equals and everything is reciprocated equally and not dictated to be one party or another.

    In a Democracy the laws we live by are created, changed and repealed solely by people through their representatives. The only good deal on trade is were there is no compromise or fudge of that principle.

    But as with a lot of people I am not holding my breath, we have seen time and time again what passes for a democratic UK government capitulate and destroy the meaning of democracy. What ever the weasel wording chosen it is cheating the people of democracy.

    To many times the UK Government bends and manipulates to satisfy the pressure from big business. Only for the following day for those same businesses to strip the UK of their assets and move them to another domain.

  19. davews
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:30 am | Permalink

    Our Tesco cut their meat, fish and deli counters a year ago, nothing to do with COVID.
    But the supermarkets need to rapidly get rid of the queues outside by whatever means as a step to show we are back to normality. Yesterday huge queue outside but inside store virtually deserted, huge spaces for ‘social distancing’. In reality, the first step to normality must be GET RID OF THE 2m RULE

  20. Sharon Jagger
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Agreed! And considering we’re an island, fish is particularly expensive, which shouldn’t be the case as an island! If prices dropped, people might eat more fish.

    Asda have a wet fish counter – that remained open during the lockdown.

  21. John Downes
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Morrison’s has kept its fish counters, and very good they are.

  22. jerry
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

    So you want queues forming down the store, at the required social distancing 2m apart, just so people can buy unwrapped what they can buy (perhaps filleted &) wrapped from the chilled cabinet?!

    It’s the same fish you know, just as the salami on the deli counter is the same as pre packed, and in some stores the meat on the meat counter could well be from the same beast as that in packs.

    If social distancing is to become the norm then what we need is, not more fresh food counters in supermarkets, but the return of the independent and trusted fishmonger, butchers, bakers, greengrocers etc. on the high streets, perhaps even door-step milk delivery, all being able to offer old style home delivery services, often ‘on-account’, either at the end of a telephone call or via a shopping list/note.

  23. Ian Wragg
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:56 am | Permalink

    This includes ASDA which annoyed me
    As someone has already said, we can’t even stop illegals landing so how do you intend to stop foreign fishing vessels.

    • steve
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

      Ian Wragg

      …..20mm deck canon should do the trick.

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

      Tony Abbot, Australia’s ex PM has got it right. There is an interesting interview with him and Farage on YouTube talking about how Australia handled illegals ftom china.

  24. BeebTax
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    We could learn from how the Icelanders run their fishery industry.

    We should not favour any one sector of our fisheries over others (e.g deep sea v inshore).

    We must recognise that Brits will not eat some of our fish or are not prepared to pay as much as foreigners for it (eg. Hake, Herring, Cuttlefish, Prawn, Crab, Whelk). So either our guys catch it and then export it, or foreign boats are allowed to catch it (in return for reciprocal rights, or a licence fee). We should aim for our guys to catch it, to help our onshore fishery businesses and to avoid the minefield of swapping rights.

    It’s our sea and our fish. Don’t throw it away in the EU negotiations.

    • Peter
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

      Kippers are still very cheap though.

      I am not sure how Manx kippers are viewed after Brexit, but kippers from the North East are definitely outside the EU. You don’t have to grill kippers if smell is an issue. Heat them in boiling water instead. Probably regarded as old fashioned food now though.

  25. graham1946
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Fish sales have been declining for decades – first the supermarkets killed off the wet fish shops, then some decided they no longer want to sell like that and want everyone to buy in packets from the freezer. One big obstacle to fish is that few people these days know how to prepare or cook it. Cooking in general I believe is in decline apart from being a spectator sport on the telly. Some younger people I know would rather buy fast food than do a Sunday roast which would do them more good physically and emotionally. Is anything better for family unity than preparing a good meal and all sitting down to eat it and socialise? Maybe the pandemic will bring it back to some extent.

    • Peter
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      True. You would hope home cooking might enjoy a new lease of life in the absence of much else to do. The queues at drive in McDonalds indicate my hopes might be ill founded.

      What will happen is that sales of precooked frozen fish dishes with a nice photo and a celebrity chef on the box will do well and will sell at a premium.

  26. agricola
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

    Your piece today is virtuous but fails to understand the UK market, The supermarkets do not withhold fish from the UK buying public out of spite, they are in business to sell anything the public demands. Their abysmal fish counters and ignorant sales staff reflect the general lack of interest in fish and shellfish in the UK. Rick Stein has done his best but people in the UK do not want to know. To the average member of the UK buying public fish comes in the form of fingers, cod and chips at the local chippy, or a piece of salmon farmed in Scotland or Norway. In Worcestershire the only place I know of where you can buy Turbot, Dover Sole , Plaice, Scallops or Dublin Bay Prawns (Scampi, Langostines ) is at a garden centre near Bideford. Monkfish only became of interest when the catering trade realised they could portion it and prepare it to look like Scampi in a Basket.

    The virtue of getting our territorial waters back under our control is that we can conserve the asset and farm it as a growing export business. To those who say the EU countries will refuse to buy I would say you do not understand the EU market for fish and we could just as easily export it to Japan. The UK population might in the long term future get around to realising that there is much more in the sea than current eating habits suggest. For those who do not believe me, just visit a few supermarkets here in Spain when you are next let loose in Benidorm and glory at the size and product variety on their fish counters and the expertise of those that man them.

  27. Richard1
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:13 am | Permalink

    Interesting exchange in the FT. Philip Stephens, a left-wing and very strongly pro-EU writer wrote his normal contemptuous piece about how the EU is being perfectly reasonable and has no choice but to insist the U.K. becomes a virtual economic colony (using other words). Sir Malcolm Rifkind, a prominent remainer, has replied saying that on the contrary what the EU is demanding is unprecedented – dynamic alignment with future laws and regs. Sir Malcom points out that for better or worse the U.K. has left the EU, and no sovereign democracy can simply accept that it adopts the laws and regulations of another state or superstate.

    It must be a small minority now who want Boris to cave into the EUs preposterous demands. The govt should focus on getting some other trade deals over the line so we have a new precedent as to how it can work.

  28. Leslie Singleton
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:15 am | Permalink

    Dear Sir John–First I have learnt that supermarkets won’t sell British fish. Does this apply to all the supermarkerts? Please tell of any exceptions to this indeed ridiculous situation so we can move to them. Fish caught and eaten as freshly as possible is healthy and non fattening. And when one considers the out of work fishermen the mind simply boggles. We need sequencing: tell Brussels that unless they immediately state that they accept that we and we alone control our fish then talks cease.

  29. a-tracy
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:16 am | Permalink

    Supermarkets will just wait for fishmonger vans and small entrepreneurs to open up the fish market, start making up frozen easy to cook fish products instead of chicken products all the time and then they’ll steal the market back by offering the same but cheaper with their reduced rates and other overheads.

  30. Everhopeful
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

    Yes..I have very much resented the disappearances of local wet fish shops.
    Supermarkets did have fish counters for a while but really you need an expert to sell fish and supermarkets are a very poor substitute for someone who knows their trade.

    We should after all be eating fish…it is our duty to save the NHS from an outbreak of goitre!

    I’ve never really understood why, in the face of having our sea fish pinched, we didn’t go back to breeding and eating fresh water fish.
    No doubt salmon farms etc were scotched by the EU regs?

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      Dear Ever–Never mind Salmon–which are too much of a good thing–I for one never got close to understanding why the Fish Ponds that every Monastery, Abbey etc once had full of Carp, Pike and Perch you never see these days. Perch is just like Trout to eat. Wouldn’t surprise me if were illegal today under some ridiculous Wild Life Preservation Act or whatever.

      • Everhopeful
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

        Yes..actually I was thinking of Parson Woodforde and his problems with a large she otter.
        Interestingly he drained his pond every year ..presumably to get the fish?
        Where I grew up pike etc were common fare but my mother claimed they tasted “muddy”so we didn’t often partake.
        I think you can catch a certain number per day or some such.Govt rules for protecting stocks. Oh my! Why didn’t they protect our seas??

  31. Kevin
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    “I trust the government rejects any idea of giving much of our fish away” (emphasis added)

    How much is “much”?

  32. Alan Jutson
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:28 am | Permalink

    The fish Counters were being closed way before we had even heard of Coronavirus John, but I certainly agree fresh fish should be on offer, far, far better than any frozen packaged product.
    Unfortunately many of the great British Public are almost clueless about what to do with fresh produce, so they need to be educated by someone, be it the supermarkets, the fish industry itself, or by celebrity chefs.
    Supermarkets will only stock and sell products in demand.

    I see that a few of the fishing boats have now got together and started nationwide home deliveries of late, perhaps this may take off big time if demand gets stronger, I certainly miss the fresh fish counters, and the wet fish shops old with knowledgeable staff and owners.

    • Fred H
      Posted June 3, 2020 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

      When we came out to nr Wokingham over 50 years ago, we were fascinated to discover the ‘ Smelly Alley’ (Union st) in Reading, just along from Heelas (John Lewis). Fresh fish often on a Saturday treat. Ah! memories.

  33. Everhopeful
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    Off topic
    I just read a terrible story about a new born baby who nearly died because ASSUMING that all negative symptoms are attributable to Covid, the doctors nearly missed a life threatening heart condition.
    Assume all illness is Covid? And then say that every death is caused by it.
    We have surely returned to a non reasoning world?
    Let’s all clap and then breathe in loads of barbecue smoke ( but only with a cousin six times removed) YAY! Alice, Alice…where are you??

    • Bat
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

      Yeah. If anyone dies of traditional “old age” the medical profession will be confused. I A fancy title is required. Instead of he died “but he had a good innings.”
      Don’t anyone say that about me when I’m dead. I haven’t really been into bat yet.

    • Zorro
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:53 pm | Permalink

      A suitable metaphor for these crazy times…..


  34. Tabulazero
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    Could John Redwood have realised that the UK exports 70% of its catch to the Single-Market and if an agreement on fishing is not found then as Xavier Bertrand, the President of the Upper France council succinctly summarized then “not a kilo of British fish will be allowed to land anywhere in Europe” ?

    It is not as if fishing communities are not politically important in the Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, Belgium, Spain or France.

    • Lynn Atkinson
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

      😂😂German fishermen are apoplectic! Don’t you read anything? You think the Portuguese and Spanish will stop eating fish? – more likely to import it from China!

  35. Englander
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    “conciliatory” , Barnier “easing his demands regarding EU fishing rights”. No he’s not, he proceeds he has a right to nick our fish, candlesticks, and TV and, his “conciliatory is to cut our TV and candlesticks each in half and shove two of the four halves down our throats. He is no King Soloman. He reads things wrong.
    He can take his hook but not ours. Why aren’t our negotiators saying they are not prepared to debate our sovereignty with a foreign power?

  36. Richard1
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    Good to see the govt are facing a revolt against the ridiculous quarantine plan. I encourage Sir John to join the revolt. It is reported that Dominic Cummings is one of the key supporters of the quarantine idea. I did not think Mr Cummings should be forced from his job for isolating at his parents’ farm, it seemed to me he had done little or nothing wrong. But if he is to champion economy-destroying policies like these he should go on performance grounds.

    • Zorro
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

      Our even more dreaded Security Commissar Prit Pat El must surely reconsider to save our Dear Leader from further embarrassment!


    • Zorro
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      Ideas Commissar Dom Khuo Ming must also surely reconsider and retest his eyesight!


    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 3, 2020 at 6:36 am | Permalink

      Well, the Spain, Greece, and Cyprus have gone a bit further than quarantine for UK people.

      Their borders are close to them. The Czechs have imposed tight restrictions too.

      Others will no doubt follow until the UK deals properly with this menace.

      Where were you hoping to go?

      • Edward2
        Posted June 3, 2020 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

        You were against closing our borders.
        You are against sending illegal boat people back to France.

  37. John E
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:43 am | Permalink

    The fish counters are a trick. The fish isn’t fresh, it is frozen fish that is put out to defrost and sold at a premium price with a short use-by date. The customers are paying for retail theatre.

    It makes much more sense to buy frozen fish and defrost at home when you need to. It’s cheaper and reduces food waste.

    • There and back again
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      My family always said fish at the seaside is better because it’s fresh. It’s much fresher inland unless things have changed.

    • BeebTax
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:32 pm | Permalink

      Well said. The “fresh bread” is heated up from frozen,too.

  38. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 8:06 am | Permalink

    It is critical that Mr Frost pulls Boris strings if he crosses the Chanel – which is a very bad idea anyway! He should be encouraged to take his paternity leave, in fact ‘compelled to’ do so.
    Boris really must be controlled unless he wants to end up ‘dead in a ditch’.
    The British are losing patience! Tremble when they go quiet.

    • Zorro
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

      If the Dear Leader Kim Jong Son messes this up, he will be really finished….


  39. acorn
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    The UK fish producing industry is a cartel, courtesy of the UK government allowing UK quota to be traded as a commodity in itself; before the engines on the fishing boats ever get started. Just like OPEC tries to do, the cartel has limited landing of UK fish to keep the prices up. The virus has shut down wet fish markets all over Europe where the majority of UK caught fish get sold.

    The Supermarkets don’t pay cartel prices for limited supplies that can’t fill all their wet fish counters. UK fish eaters import the fish they eat and prefer it in portion sizes with no eyes staring back at them from the pan. Neither the virus or brexit is ever going to change the fish eating habits of English households.

  40. Roy Grainger
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    My local Tesco closed its fish counter months before the lockdown (as part of 90 such closures at the start of 2019) purely to cut costs – so nothing at all to do with hoarding which they possibly just used as an excuse to close some more. They replaced it with a sushi counter to capture the lunch trade – another of their failed attempts to move upmarket into the Waitrose market sector, they previously failed with an “artisan” bakery experiment . I doubt they’ll open them again.

  41. ukretired123
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 8:44 am | Permalink

    After 4 wasted years by the Useless EU showboating and now the CV19 pandemic it should be pretty obvious to Boris and Brussels that there is much lentil anger not only in Britain but in club med countries too.
    The fishing grounds are also strategic waters where Russian trawlers invaded protected nurseries recently. Boris has to be careful not to give Brussels the idea they are “our friends” in negotiations until we have actually left. Just like professional football or rugby.
    Until we leave first we will never get the EU to take us seriously.

  42. glen cullen
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 9:37 am | Permalink

    Sir John
    Could you please have a word with someone in parliament over the shenanigans of ‘voting’ in the house. It really is bringing shame to the reputation of our modern parliament when you can’t use a mobile app to ‘vote’….a task people seem able to do securely everyday with their banking, local govt, paying bills etc

    And yet 650 people can’t use a simple app with yes, no, don’t know options

  43. Javelin
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    The legality of the Government position is based entirely on the assumption that the Governmnent response to the pandemic was “reasonable”

    This assumption is utterly untrue because it was never true that this pandemic was a risk to healthy individuals, above everyday activities such as driving a car. Even at the time of lockdown there was lots of good evidence that only a small subset of the population was at risk.

    As I have said from before the lockdown the vulnerable should have been protected more and the healthy should have been allowed their constitutional rights to freedom. The Government’s decision was born of panic and did not consider all the evidence at the time.

    The Government are now exposed to legal action on a scale never seen before. The problem the Government face in court is that it they need to show, based on the evidence available at the time, locking down the country produced a better outcome than locking down the vulnerable. It’s an almost impossible burden of proof because the evidence at the time said the healthy were safe.

    The first part of a legal prosecution of the Government would be to explain why it shifted from a Swedish type lockdown to a full lockdown. This was of course based on Prof Ferguson’s software prediction of 500,000 deaths. Prof Ferguson’s software has been widely ridiculed as poor code quality, but that does not mean it was wrong. The weakness in the Government position is the assumptions underlying Prof Ferguson’s prediction were clearly wrong. The Government will need to show they took reasonable steps to validate the software and valdate all the assumptions. They will need to show a paper trail that the assumptions were grounded in science.

    Importantly the Government will need to show that it was reasonable to lockdown EVERY group of individuals. For example they will need to show that it was reasonable to lockdown a young couple who had no risk of being hospitalised compared with a car accident or it was reasonable that young couple could pass it on to a vulnerable person who was being protected.

    Importantly the burden of proof will be on the Government to show it acted legally. You need reasons to take away liberty. Hiding behind SAGE secrecy will work against the Government. I imagine the reality was a half baked meeting of scruffy academics voting by hand rather than a well documented decision.

    The Government have avoided a single prosecution under the lockdown laws because they know the first prosecution will receive millions from gofundme and there is a very high risk they will lose. Even the legal discovery process would be a political disaster.

    But does this really matter when the unemployment rate rises to 20+%, GDP drops by 20+%, Government spending is cut back by 10%. A million healthy self employed have their life’s work destroyed, a million private sector workers are made redundant, a million Government contractors are made redundant and millions of Government workers are kept on fullpay.

    A day in court will be a day off from the political misery that is about to descend on the Government.

  44. BetterTimes
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    The lockdown forced many of us to rethink our shopping habits.

    As a vulnerable person (although not extremely at risk) and being just under 70, I had no intention of visiting the supermarkets.

    Having been long term online customers of 3 supermarkets, we were (thanks for nothing chaps) left high and dry by the them. No slots/a rugby scrum to get the few ones that were available.

    So, new ways of shopping had to be found, for deliveries.

    – Fruit and veg from local suppliers.

    – Meat and fish deliveries (overnight, and always perfectly chilled).
    One fish and meat supplier even has its own fleet of 6 fishing vessels.
    Another fish supplier, delivers to the public, from a group of fishing boats that have banded together. Always quickly sold out.

    I love getting fresh fish now.
    Don’t need the supermarket fish. Although, as Sir John says opening their fish counters will be good for others.

    I just hope that one day soon, the price of fish to the consumer, returns to being affordable.
    Fish is rich man’s fare, at the moment.

  45. Anna Morris
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    It is vital we restore fish stocks around the uk but how will we monitor these huge trawlers who are hoovering up everything in the North Sea including young fish.? I believe they come from the EU.

    • Will in Hampshire
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      Presumably this will be a task for the Royal Navy, although I’m not sure how many fishery protection vessels there are in service today.

      • Fred H
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

        we’ve got 2 x £4bn aircraft carriers that need a role!

        • Will in Hampshire
          Posted June 2, 2020 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

          I think the carriers will be the core of our nation’s contribution to the defence & security of allies. Contributing a carrier with a first-rate modern strike aircraft is a way to deliver something meaningful in a way that has enormous flexibility, in stark contrast to the model in the recent past which was to provide armoured units on the front line. We can safely run the Army down, saving a huge amount of money, while delivering enduring, flexible and capable air/sea support to allies who might need it.

  46. Ian @Barkham
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Reading the Guardian today. Fishing, the EU wants to continue the status quo. The figures quoted the EU wants their boats to have 88% of the catch in UK waters leaving the UK 12%.

    No logic to it, no proportionality, no reciprocal arrangements – just the EU wants to ‘take’ UK resources before they will discus equal trade in anything else.

    That doesn’t sound like a neighbor wishing to treat others with respect.

    • Tabulazero
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:12 pm | Permalink

      That’s how it works. It’s a dog-eat-dog world out there.

      You think the Chinese or the US with its trade deficit are going to treat the UK better ?

      … just you wait.

    • henry
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      The EU is a neighbour alright but not a friendly neighbour- UK created all of this mess and then expects EU 27 are going to fall into line- well I don’t see it that way- real politics is not like that – we may as well go out into the world and try it on again with poor African countries using gunboat diplomacy- it might work – but alas not with Barnier or the EU. So then there’s the other consideration to raise ‘respect’- well all I can say is that Farage and others past behaviour in the EU Parliament and then Boris Gove JRM IDS pronouncements etc etc together with the gutter tabloid press have put a stop to that- so Ian am afraid there’s no respect either- all gone- all out the window

      • mancunius
        Posted June 3, 2020 at 12:47 am | Permalink

        You continually post the same old garbage under ever different IDs – I’ve counted twenty-three different pretended ‘posters’ you’ve impersonated over the past few days – and yet it’s always obviously just you sneering away at the same targets, and making the same childish errors in English spelling and punctuation, year in and year out. You can’t even be bothered to learn a wider vocabulary to help you sneer a little more effectively.
        By all means, do carry on, but it’s your own time you’re wasting.

    • steve
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:39 pm | Permalink


      Any yield to Macron / EU on this matter will see the conservatives kicked out of power.

      We won’t be ‘avin it, basically.

  47. Roars the Lion
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    He loves barley, boiled, too, odd, as he is not so partial to vegetables though that I know is grain.But he hasn’t read the label. I think he knows what is good. His nose…dogs noses can read the fine print..

    Oh and one can make cakes and biscuits from barley too. Why did we ever stop eating barley?

  48. NickC
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    JR, There are reports in the media (Times, Reuters) that the UK is about to go soft on the EU and capitulate to continuing (partial?) EU control of our fisheries (and EU control of the fake “level playing field”).

    Then, when fish is caught in our waters by both UK and EU fishing fleets, will the fish continue to be shipped to China for filleting and packing, as it is now? This is yet another mess, both for jobs and for the environment, but where the UK and the EU are equally to blame.

  49. Fish Man
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 11:18 am | Permalink

    You seem unaware that English fishermen sold off their quotas to EU companies years ago. We don’t control our waters because Brits preferred a fast buck ahead of sustainable fishing. As ever you try to blame the EU for a problem that is completely home-grown – and one which Brexit will do nothing to solve. It’s all coming a bit real now isn’t it, as all your Brexit fantasies unravel, you must be worried about the backlash once people wise up

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

      They sold their quotas because their allocation didn’t earn enough to fund the boats. The EU takes 88% and we get 12 percent. Not very equitable is it.

      • Lynn Atkinson
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

        And we bought them a new fleet – Kenneth Clarke said it was necessary ‘so that they could compete with us’! Our fishermen were sacrificed, in fact the whole of Britain was sacrificed.

        • glen cullen
          Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

          Agree Lynn, sacrificed, stabbed in the back and thrown away

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

      Whilst I do want out of the EU I agree that the leadership of the UK is obsessed with short-termism and this has been extremely bad for us all.

  50. Lifelogic
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    I love fish and seafood. But why do so many people always restrict themselves to floppy farmed salmon and a few imported prawns? So many more interesting things available squid, crabs, spider crabs, scallops, whelks, clams, angler fish, soles, pollock, hake, octopus, bream, plaice, eels, bass, mackerel, Cornish pilchards, herring ………….. it is surely our duty to eat more and have more variety.

    • Cod man
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

      I’ve never liked salmon. It’s a pity b/c posh people eat it.I should sound so grand.

    • steve
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:35 pm | Permalink


      Whelks and eels is popular with cockneys, cod is for everyone, and pilchards is what you give to your cat.

      You could stir up quite a debate on fish 🙂

      Personally I only eat crab and cod. Scallops and the like is a french favourite, so it never passes my lips.

    • mancunius
      Posted June 3, 2020 at 12:23 am | Permalink

      Pollock is ‘interesting’? The most flavourless fish on God’s earth. A fishmonger once told me his favourite recipe for it:
      “Salt and pepper pollock, rub in herbs, spices and butter, clamp with string between two small wooden boards, cook in slow oven for three hours, take out, throw way pollock, eat boards instead.”

  51. DennisA
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Tesco had already cut back their fish counter a couple of months before Corona virus.

  52. Lynn Atkinson
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    Reopening fish counters and being able to afford fish and chips again will save the U.K. billions, because it healthy eating and that means fewer obese people susceptible to things like CV19. We want our people health and vibrant leading full lives. And we want the NHS to consume very much less of our national treasure. Like Aneurin Bevan, we hope it withers away as the nations health improves.
    We want our fishing communities thriving and caring for our seas.
    3 birds with 1 stone.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:21 pm | Permalink

      I am not sure deep fried fish and chips is all that healthy. I always discard the all the batter myself.

      • Fred H
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

        correct! COD Chish and Fips are too often fried in lower temperature oil, and starting off wrong with a poor stodgy floury batter. A good beer based batter cooked hot and allowed to cool for a minute prior to slapping on a plate with well cooked fat chips (or takeaway wrapped) does wonders.
        Almost the one time I will add plenty of salt and vinegar.
        A feast – – — I’m getting hungry thinking about it.

  53. John Waugh
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    “this island nation set in a sea of fish ”
    The post today made me think of some fish we had at home, bought from the local supermarket, not that long ago.
    The reason i remember it is because i looked at the label on the packaging and was surprised by what i read .
    The fish was called River Cobbler and it came from Vietnam !
    Only today i looked online for some info and there is plenty if you are interested .

    • Peter
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 4:42 pm | Permalink

      Unfortunately we are big consumers of cod and haddock supplied by Iceland etc. Much of the British caught fish is now exported. Farmed fish is outside the scope of this issue.

    • Oh fish
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink


  54. Javelin
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 11:49 am | Permalink

    The Lockdown judicial review in the High Court has forced the Government to publish the SAGE minutes.

    The minutes show that the Government was soley focused on a single strategy of locking down the country to keep the contagion rate down. They did NOT discuss other strategies of protecting the vunerable and protecting the liberty of the healthy.

    It appears the structure of the scientific software was unable to be reconfigured to protect the constitutional rights and economic well being of the country.

    So the Government made a blanket assumption that everybody was at risk. This shows the software and the Governmnet were being unreasonable.

    Here are the minutes from the SAGE meeting before total lockdown.

  55. forthurst
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    The nigh on half century of the theft of our fish has meant that most of the population are unaware of how important fish had been in the national diet: the fish was fresh, it had not been obtained by raiding the nurseries before the fish had matured and it was typically served in a sauce, not encased in a greasy coating of batter. Once fish stocks have recovered, the government should encourage the media to promote food programmes featuring fish dishes; by which time, white fish would have grown large and plentiful on a diet of mackerel and we would be able to enjoy the Englishman’s staple once again.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 4:50 pm | Permalink

      All fish caught in UK waters must landed at UK ports and harbours.

  56. Freeborn John
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

    I cannot understand why the U.K. is reportedly seeking to recreate the European Arrest Warrant in negotiations with the EU. The EU is using this as an excuse to lock the U.K. into the European Convention on Human Rights and also ECJ jurisdiction.

    The EU reportedly issues 10x as many EWA warrants to the U.K. as we do in the other direction. If the EU wants this scheme let them ask for it and we set the very costly
    for them.

    We should not be seeking a security relationship with the EU in these talks. By stealing our entire contributions to their Galileo GPS rival they already showed they are unreliable allies even in peacetime. The EU27 are not worth a drop of British blood.

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

      Apparently the East Europeans are the worst issuing warrants for motoring offences and some things that are not even a crime here.
      They are ruinously expensive to operate so we should go back to the old ways.

      • Have driven
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

        Oh no, the second was in Bulgaria. Well I’ve driven in lots of places.

    • henry
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

      That’s the spirit Freeborn John- the EU27 countries are all out of step- and then I see where we’re back to talking about British blood again- sounds to me a bit like “when the looting starts the shooting starts” etc. But don’t worry John the talks will be finished by Friday- they’ll all want to get away on their Hols

  57. margaret howard
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 12:31 pm | Permalink


    Here is your beloved USA going up in flames because of racism and injustice to a suppressed minority and all you want to talk about are fish counters.

    No doubt you would have chosen a totally different topic if that was happening in any of your hated EU countries.

    • Got T-shirt
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

      “USA going up in flames”
      “suppressed minority”‘
      You’ve not been to the USA have you.

      • Fred H
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

        Have you considered working for the BBC. You have a headline style of nonsense they would go for.
        Suppressed minority -factually correct but idiotic term.
        Going up in flames….numerous street protests we’ve had over and over and when did White America do anything about it?
        We’ve had street protests in the UK – whatever happened about them?
        We witness regular street protests in France – nothing ever results.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

      The BBC seem determined to stoke up flames in the UK.

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

        They do indeed World at One yesterday was appalling.

    • formula57
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

      @ margaret howard – Why are you seeking comment on the USA? We left in 1783 and, matching your present view on the EU, it is surely nothing to do with us.

    • Irene
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:51 pm | Permalink

      Remind me, margaret howard, who was said to be fiddling while Rome burned?

    • steve
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:23 pm | Permalink


      “No doubt you would have chosen a totally different topic if that was happening in any of your hated EU countries.”

      He has chosen a different topic, so I don’t see what your gripe is. It might not be the kind of topic you wish to discuss, but we don’t get got decide what he writes about on his own website.

      Evidently some people are impossible to please.

    • UK Qanon
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

      Margaret Howard – WAKE UP and take your head out of the sand, Turn off the TV, ignore the Fake News MSM and do some research on subjects before making coment.
      News is NOT just what happens it is what a fairly small group of people DECIDE is news. Look who owns the MSM and then you will understand the narrative.

  58. Newmania
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    Sounds vaguely like something from Life of Brian ? The only fun part of all this “how lucky we are to forced to buy British things ” is the prospect of high profile politicians being obliged to purchase dreadful British cars again .

    Sir Redwood driving a TR7 or Marina with a fixed grin would cheer us all up

    Reply I have a UK built car and it is a good vehicle

    • Ian Wragg
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      My last 4 have and future ones will be.

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

      Fat lot of use insurance clerks in a pandemic.

      More production engineers would have done us the world of good.

    • steve
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:15 pm | Permalink


      “the prospect of high profile politicians being obliged to purchase dreadful British cars again .”

      Firstly they do use British Built cars, check the next news from Downing Street etc, you’ll see them leaving in Jaguars.

      Secondly said politicians very rarely buy these kind of cars, you pay for them via your taxes as they’re official government vehicles ( or maybe hired as needed )

      Thirdly there is nothing wrong with British cars, I have a Jaguar…best car there is in my opinion, provided you have one that was made in England.

      • Fedupsoutherner
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 10:47 pm | Permalink

        Steve I have a Land Rover and it’s difficult to choose between LR or Jaguar. Both brilliant cars.l

    • jerry
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:39 pm | Permalink

      @Newmania; Stop showing your total ignorance of motor cars, both the TR7 and Marina were dammed good cars (for the period), you obviously never had to drive or worse, work on a Fiat X1/9 or most of the French cars of the period – oh and don’t start talking about rust…

      • Fred H
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

        the Marina was bloody awful (boring or what!)- and the 1.8 returned better mpg than the 1.3 says it all.
        Some famous makes were rust buckets in a very few years, and never lean on the wings of several, can’t think of a decent French one.

        • jerry
          Posted June 3, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink

          @Fred H; “the [Marina] 1.8 returned better mpg than the 1.3 says it all.”

          Back in 1971 mpg didn’t worry most people…

          But I agree, it does “says it all” – how daft many companies rules were when it came to the allocation of fleet cars, those under a certain pay-grade could not have more than a 1300cc engine, the next pay-grade 1800cc etc.

          The fleet market was very important to BLMC,, just as it was to the competition from Ford, Roots and Vauxhall. And it is the Fleet market that you need to judge these cars against, had it not been for the Rally success of the Cortina & Escort both would have been as boring as watching paint dry!

          • Fred H
            Posted June 3, 2020 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

            The Cortina GT wasn’t boring – I had one!
            Couldn’t get my hands on a Lotus version though!

          • jerry
            Posted June 4, 2020 at 6:54 am | Permalink

            @Fred H; Over a million people bought or ran the BLMC Marina/Ital [1] here in the UK alone (and before you ask -no I wasn’t one of them), your point being what, considering your second sentence seems to be making my point for me.

            You need to judge the car -any car- on its intended market position, in that the Marina was more than a success, actually selling beyond expectation and its intended production life, the model was intended as a short term stop gap (replacing two older models, hence the two engine sizes), instead customer demand kept the model in production for over 12 years of the Marina and the face lift Ital.

            [1] and considering the breadth of the BLMC model range, often competing with each other, those are healthy sales figure.

    • margaret howard
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply

      Is it a UK car though or one just assembled here?

    • Fedupsoutherner
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

      We never buy anything except British built cars and none have let us down. You know what you can do with your BMW’s.

  59. New England
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 2:40 pm | Permalink

    Open the pubs
    This is just spite on the working classes

    • Ex bar worker
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:00 pm | Permalink

      Why “on the working classes” and who are they, especially?People wo go to work for a living? That’s about 99.5% or more .Most don’t go to pubs

    • steve
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      “Open the pubs”

      No, they’re too noisy. It’s been wonderful not having their racket during the last few months.

    • Martin in Cardiff
      Posted June 3, 2020 at 6:43 am | Permalink

      Who are you expecting to go?

      In most out-of-town places the big spenders in them were retired people. They won’t return until the risk of their getting a conceivably fatal disease is reduced to negligible, as it has been in e.g. Spain – which has now closed its borders to UK people, along with Greece, Cyprus and no doubt more before long.

      This country is lagging the responsible world very, very badly.

    • Fred H
      Posted June 3, 2020 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      The ‘working class’ are allowing pubs to close (prior to Covid) at an alarming rate. Why is that?
      Could it be that ‘Free’ pubs have too many costs, taxes?
      Managed pubs have to pay staff out of profits – difficult to make any!

      Trendy bars, clubs get away with extortionate prices where customers feel they get value for money!

  60. glen cullen
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    What an embarrassment watching our high & mighty MPs voting today

    An utter disgrace in design, implementation and delivery….and the whole world was watching, what an absolute shambles

    Solution – mobile phone voting app (like the rest of the educated world)

    • Deekens
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

      What’s wrong with going into work?

      • Fred H
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

        well you have to ask yourself ‘why do we need 650 to make usually very straightforward decisions’ . Me and a few selected patrons of this site would do nicely, just a bit of advice from Sir John might help sometimes.

      • glen cullen
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:43 pm | Permalink

        they should be at work but the new mechanism for voting was just pathetic to watch

    • jerry
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      @glen cullen: “and the whole world was watching, what an absolute shambles [..//..] Solution – mobile phone voting app”

      MP’s had a secure website, accessible via both smart-phone and website, that enabled them to vote electronically, the Leader of the house decided to abandon it – why….

      As a democrat I smell something fishy – phew, back on-topic, just!

      • glen cullen
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        fishy indeed

    • Caterpillar
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

      I think MPs should vote in person, as I think the electorate should during elections. Democracy is important, it should be seen to take place and should not be trivialised by apps or online voting. That said, it certainly demonstrated much about the 2m distancing rule. I hope it helps the Govt realise the ridiculousness of expecting the economy to recover and save future lives under such a restriction.

      • glen cullen
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

        I’ve calculated that between 10-15% of parliamentary time is wasted in the HoC by the current voting method…..that system needs reform, and a simple app is the answer

      • jerry
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 8:30 pm | Permalink

        @Caterpillar; But secure electronic voting is ‘in person’, unless someone has been careless with their PW etc!

        “it should be seen to take place”

        Except we, the plebs, have never been allowed to see MPs voting in a division before, certainly not during live proceedings of the House.

        As for the 2m rule, that wasn’t the problem, it was the sight of MPs having to file one by one past a teller – the only thing the 2m rule did was exaggerate the absurdity.

        • glen cullen
          Posted June 2, 2020 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

          reminded me of tom brown school days, can we please enter the 21st century

      • Will in Hampshire
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

        I disagree. Digital voting is fine, and preferable to having to turn up to some random sports hall at the end of the day. Would probably increase participation, so better for democracy in fact.

    • rose
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:13 pm | Permalink

      Two of the Opposition were in shorts and sports shirts and one in studiedly shabby jeans.

      Perhaps Sir John will explain to us why he voted with them twice. I couldn’t work it out.

      Reply Because I think the system of voting is a complete waste of time. I want electronic votes until the summer recess then the resumption of normal votes as soon as possible.

      • rose
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

        Thank you. That makes sense. So long as it isn’t giving an inch which will turn into a yard. It was a great pity the proxy votes were granted. MPs should at least pretend to hear the debates they are voting in.

        • jerry
          Posted June 3, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

          @rose; “MPs should at least pretend to hear the debates they are voting in.”

          If MPs have to be in the chamber to hear the debate, as a prerequisite for voting, that would either stop most of the govts Minsters from voting or stop Whitehall…

          Electronic voting could still be used even when social distancing and shielding are no longer necessary.

          Perhaps our host might, one day – perhaps during the summer recess, explain why so many believe the lobby voting system is better? With it being some what secretive to outsiders, I believe only once shown in a documentary, it is hard for us plebs to get a better understanding of the advantages.

  61. Fred H
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 3:25 pm | Permalink

    UK should abandon dumping of fish back in the sea, where the catch size, type, market demands support it. The often dead fish is a scandal, food for the gulls and crabs at the ocean floor – much we could eat at much more affordable pricing.
    Who decides this nonsense? – 3 letters E U K, make a protectionist organisation out of 2.

    • The Prangwizard
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

      All fish caught in UK waters must landed at UK ports and harbours.

      • Fred H
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

        yep…..but we can sell to export to our ‘friends’ across the channel unless ‘3rd countries’ would like it all?

    • Anonymous
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

      Darwinism is seeing mature fish becoming smaller.

    • Lifelogic
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

      It is indeed a scandal and has been one for many years thanks to the EU. Government as usual making a pigs ear of things. Just as they have done to the motor/energy/banking/education/housing/healthcare/employment and many other industries. Tax, fine, licence, rig the markets and regulate to death – their favourite activities to generate endless parasitic jobs all over the place.

  62. glen cullen
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Today our MPs voted to remain the 18th century

  63. Anonymous
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 5:23 pm | Permalink

    The biggest factor in being a victim of COVID 19 is being male.

    The PHE report doesn’t mention this at all. Nor does the BBC.

    Wrong victim group, I suppose.

  64. steve
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    Agree with your sentiments Mr Redwood.

    I’d like to see every fish & chip shop have cod on the menu. Too often I go to one in my area and he has no cod, so I just walk away.

    • glen cullen
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

      Remember the mantra about ‘fish on fridays’

      • Lifelogic
        Posted June 2, 2020 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

        Why just Fridays? That is surely a Catholic thing and even they now allow another penance. Not that eating good fish is a penance!

        The Catholic Church defined meat as the flesh of warm-blooded animals, so eating fish is permitted on Fridays. The practice of abstaining from meat on Fridays is centuries-old, but in 1985 the Catholic Church in England and Wales allowed Catholics to substitute another form of penance in its place.

      • mancunius
        Posted June 3, 2020 at 1:05 am | Permalink

        It was an excellent practice (not just a British but a pan-European tradition), as the fishermen knew when to catch the main haul of fish in order time it for certain purchase by retailers (and could then take the weekend off on land), the fish-shops and market-stalls could put out a large display in the confidence it would find customers, the restaurants could put it prominently on the menu, and the customers knew it would be fresh.
        These days, except for eye-wateringly expensive fish restaurants, fish languishes on the a menu as an alibi item, negligently prepared, poorly garnished and rarely ordered.
        Again, the British shopper will happily pay a princely sum for Japanese seaweed, but dulse, kelp, Welsh laverbread and other superb mineral-supplement sea veg proliferating on our coastal shores is ignored.

  65. rose
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:17 pm | Permalink

    My hope is that we get the fish back completely, conserve it properly, and the trade revives. Goodness knows, our coastal communities could do with the living and we could do with the healthier food.

  66. mancunius
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    “some retailers were closing fresh fish and meat counters anyway” – yes, Sir John, but you do not say why: it is the result of profit-chasing looking for ever-lower costs and overheads.
    The British consumer can lament the loss of fresh fish counters till they’re blue in the face, but if the supermarket virtual cartell of monopolists decide the retail staff specialised enough to keep and sell it are ‘too expensive’, and they can offload packs on shelves or just sell meat instead, that’s what they’ll do – until they are legally obliged to alter their ways to help the nutrition deficit and poor eating habits that have made the country so conspicuously prone to corona deaths.

    In any case, fresh fish outlets are better off outside the supermarkets, so roll back some of the pernickety red tape and let them open. The consumers have been starved of really fresh fish for decades: nobody now opens a fish stall to become a millionaire, and it may need support to get it going. The nation’s health is at stake, and politicians should be acting urgently to introduce the appropriate legislation.

    But then I’m afraid some of your colleagues appear to really detest the idea of actually legislating to improve the country.

    • Will in Hampshire
      Posted June 2, 2020 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

      Crikey, so you’d legislate to force shops to sell fish. What next, are you going to legislate to make me buy fish? Or eat it? Perhaps you’d like to look up the word “liberty” in the dictionary. And while you’re at it, look up “red tape” as well.

      • mancunius
        Posted June 3, 2020 at 3:18 pm | Permalink

        Legislation is needed to remove or at least ease the stringent, corporatist EU regulations that have hamstrung SME fishmongers for decades and allowed the corporate supermarkets to restrict what customers are allowed to buy so as to maximise their profits.
        The easing of regulation liberates trade.
        The rest of your fanciful ‘interpretation’ is… just that.:-)

  67. na
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 9:36 pm | Permalink

    The supermarkets are working closely with govt so John was on the ball spotting this

  68. Iain Gill
    Posted June 2, 2020 at 10:08 pm | Permalink

    I see Germany is proposing a Europe wide state subsidy on all new car purchases.

    Really bad idea for lots of reasons.

    If people want to print more money to stimulate the economy just give it to individuals to spend as they choose, and let individuals voting with their wallet pick the winners not blomming politicians allocating it to one industry or type of car etc.

    • Fred H
      Posted June 3, 2020 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      Germany doing the proposing:- well they would, wouldn’t they?

      Passenger car production 2018:
      Germany 4.6m
      Spain 2.2m
      France 1.7m
      Czech 1.4m
      UK 1.3m
      Slovakia 1.1m
      Italy 0.5m
      Hungary 0.5m
      Romania 0.5m
      Poland 0.4m
      Portugal 0.3m
      Sweden 0.3m

  69. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted June 3, 2020 at 12:51 am | Permalink

    Have we devised a method of controlling the proportion of the fish in our waters caught by EU fishermen, mainly Dutch, French and Spanish? It will involve a bureaucratic system of licensing nominated boats and sufficient patrol boats / warships to keep others out. I think, Sir John, that you need to ask for a defence review because we will need to boost our navy.

    As we move into the second half of the year, we need to plan enforcement methods on a number of trading issues. And Barnier needs to be told that if he delays UK exports to the EU, the cost of those delays will be deducted from our exit bung.

  70. David Brown
    Posted June 3, 2020 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    I would like to see more wet fish stalls at local markets. We have some very good farmers markets but the range of wet fish stalls seems to have diminished. The big supermarkets are only in the big conurbation areas.

  71. anon
    Posted June 3, 2020 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Zero rate fish & chip takeaways. Then watch demand increase.
    +4 years later we are still bound by EU laws.

  • 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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