Tuesday, 28 August 2007


Down in Newlyn last night for the tail end of the Fish Fair. Couple of pints in the Dolphin, enjoying the party atmosphere. But as today's http://www.guardian.co.uk/ relates, there's an air of despair settling on this great Cornish fishing port. There are not many places like Newlyn left now, it's still a working port and people live and work there. Most people were drunk last night, but there was no trouble, you can't start a fight in the pub that your Dad and Grandad drink in, and if you do, it's soon sorted.

But the Government is grinding on with legal action against some skippers who went over their quotas, and this could destroy the fragile economy of the town. They don't deny that they broke the law, but they want fair treatment and proportionate fines. This wouldn't happen in France or Spain. A couple of years ago LibDem MEP's campaigned to protect the name Cornish Pasties, so they could only be called Cornish if they were made here. The French Government held the whole thing up whilst they consulted the people of the Cornvoi region. Maybe they would one day in the future want to make pasties - their position must be protected! Can you imagine our Government taking such an interest?

Years ago when South Crofty, the last Cornish tin mine, closed some graffiti appeared on the wall. 'Mining scat, fishing scat, what's a Cornish boy to do?'. The answer seems to us to be that our Government doesn't care. Take away what a man does, and you take away what he is. May be this is part of the reason for the upsurge in Cornish Nationalism, that we've seen lately.

There's growing resentment down here. In the past the LibDems have done great work representing the people of Cornwall and we must make sure that we continue to speak up on behalf of Cornwall and it's people.


Arwen Folkes said...

Recently I visited some fishermen in Mevagissey. It was absolutely fascinating listening to them talk about how they wanted more say over their waters - because they could see that they needed to fish patches in rotation, using methods which would be more environmentally friendly and allow stocks to replenish better.

They were frustrated beyond belief by the fact that the EU fisheries people wouldn't even let them in on the conversation and therefore were imposing restrictions which didn't match the needs of the specific waters.

There is no wonder, resentment is rising - these are fishing families who have spent years fishing their waters, they want to protect their waters and were gagged.

And, then you begin to talk to them about not being able to afford a house in their village ....

Anonymous said...

I agree that times are hard for the fishermen and that it is tragic that the mining industry has closed down but where is your evidence of the upsurge in Cornish Nationalism??
You are scaremongering in an attempt to score points against the present government in the same way that you were accusing the future Tory candidate of trying to exaggerate crime figures.
Candy Atherton was a very effective Labour MP for the people in her constituency and it was a pity she wasn't allowed to continue.

Anonymous said...

Yet another example of subjective validation.
Also, I do so wish that amateur scribblers only deal with one issue at a time, it would make for far more interesting reading.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Rob, Arwen,

Yes, the EU's Common Fisheries Policy is, indeed, absolutely screwing our fishstocks.

So, tell me, what did your fishermen say when you pointed out that you were in favour of greater EU integration?