Sunday, 8 November 2015

In dire straits!


In dire straits!

Photo 01 - The best of what was an inhospitable day!

We have now been attending the meetings of the Tweed Trout and Grayling Initiative for a few years now and the meetings were until recently good fun with a small amount of relevant research thrown in. On speaking to another delegate we agreed that progress was very slow. Cognisant of the fact that some research does indeed take an inordinate amount of time, but that inadequate funding made it even more so!
Yes much of the TTGI meetings are concerning irrelevancies, packing so to speak, the actual meat concerning anglers ignored until funding can be secured and this is the crunch. This is the theme of the meetings is that initiatives are repeatedly being put on the back burner and on every occasion Trout fishing interests being subservient to those of Salmon. We have stuck it out in an effort to see things improve but this has not occurred.

We resigned our membership at the end of the meeting on Tuesday as did Hawick Angling Club one of the largest in the area and with Jedburgh already out this leaves the meeting with only scant representation of Trout angling clubs as some did not even bother to attend in the first instance. To continue membership would have given credibility to the current arrangements and quite frankly if anyone from an angling club is happy with these then they need a rapid and hefty reality check! We have been told often that we in the Tweed catchment are the lucky ones as many areas do not have any separate Trout research wing.

Trout anglers do need a research arm there can be no doubt about it, but it needs to be one that is fully funded with scope for timely progress. Since the abolition of stocking Trout, fishing on the rivers has been in steady decline and there are no signs that this will improve. I am constantly asked how things are improving and I do not know what to say! Certainly any lack of progress is not down to the TTGI biologist Kenny Galt. Let’s be clear about this for he is a most diligent and obliging fellow and I feel sorry for him, for he also must at times feel impotent as we did! The problem lies in the organisational level and with the last two Salmon seasons being desperately poor you can be sure any additional resources will be heading in that direction!

I am deeply torn regarding our decision but as an old stager at the meeting said to me, progress is glacial! Thankfully the meeting has not descended to the depths of the Border Federation of Fishing Guides where nonsense is the order of the day! We cannot continue to attend the meetings whilst they are held under the title of the Tweed Trout and Grayling Initiative!  If the meeting was formulated in a fashion more akin to a speakeasy with slots for the odd piece of relevant research thrown in then this would be more honest. One further resignation from the committee is on the cards and we will just have to wait and see if the Scottish Government will facilitate a much greater investment in Trout fishing! If it does not then Trout fishing will indeed be in dire straits!
Photo 02 - Is it really the end for the Tibbie?

History disappearing!

Many of the locals will have seen the media reports regarding the closure of the Tibbie Shiels Inn a hostelry that has stood at the top of St Mary’s Loch for over 300 years. We have known about this since our AGM when Alastair told us of his intentions! The reason is simple and it is one that has plagued us over the years the wandering Neds who ply their trade at every beauty spot in the country!

The Cafe Green has always been a point of contention for the local community and yet if it was properly managed it would be a huge asset! When trouble does arise it takes the police forever to respond! Yet we cannot simply place the blame at the door of the police! This Tory government has cut and wants to cut yet more from the policing budget, we should then expect the level of service to drop like a ton weight and that is exactly what has happened!

There can be no doubting there are problems, but surely these can be surmounted if heads are put together! The Tibbie Shiels Inn is too important to be brought to its knees by a few Neds, and a police force crippled by Lord Snooty! St Mary’s Loch and the Tibbie Shiels Inn go hand in hand with each other it cannot be any other way! The Tibbie, council, police, the estate who own the land, the local community and any other interested group need to sit down and stop this move or St Mary'r Loch will never again be the same!

The wider world in my view!

Lest we forget.

Those who went before!

Today is remembrance Sunday when ceremonies take place all over the country and if you are like me then you will be awash with differing emotions! Anger for the aggressor, sorrow for those who paid the ultimate price and anguish for those who survived but only did so carrying the weight of mental torture and physical disability! The two minutes silence this morning was so important to allow all of us to remember with pride and grateful thanks the sacrifices made on our behalf! We owe them much! At the going down of the sun and in the morning we will remember them!

Nothing has changed!

Yes the Tories now emerge from the cloud of dust created by their unexpected and frankly unwelcome victory in the recent general election. Of course the usual bungling is there in fact it is all consuming but there are some slight hints of policy albeit inappropriate appearing here and there. The first thing to note is that just months into government there are already two votes of no confidence on the cards.
Since 2004 government rules state that if more than 100,000 names are appended to a petition then the subject of that petition must be debated by parliament! The first debate was a vote of no confidence in master bungler super rich Jeremy Hunt for his maladministration of the NHS in England. This fellow who masquerades as health secretary had to suffer the indignity of having a vote of no confidence in his ability as the said government minister. Of course Lord Snooty had whipped his minions to be present to defeat the motion and that is how it ended up!

The second petition which has not yet been debated is one of no confidence in Lord Snooty! The motion was initiated over Lord Snooty’s massive bungle on the issue of cutting tax credits. The debate will unfortunately not result in the dethroning of Lord Snooty the numbers will see to that! It is however quite revealing that only months into their term of office and already we have two calls from the public calling for heads!
On terrorism Lord Snooty remains committed to hurling us into war with Syria! Now Lord Snooty was in his younger days an air cadet but this is hardly the level of competence we would expect from someone who has the authority to plunge us into all out war! Syria is now a stage for the serious players with the USA and Russia eclipsing all others there is no room for minnows such as the UK!

The farce that was their flagship policy of getting rid of tax credits to save 4 billion pounds rebounded into their faces. Yes the public voiced their discontent which resulted in the exalted House of Lords throwing out the policy!  Of interest here is that the public accounts committee revealed that Diddy Duncan-Smiths department lost £3 billion in wrongly paid benefits and other bungling. There is such a thing as good housekeeping that seems to have eluded Duncan-Smith!

Minister without a clue Gideon Osborne architect of the Omnishambles budget is excelling himself losing us £ billions over the giveaway of RBS shares at a rock bottom price. Couple that with his shambles of a policy on tax credits it is clear that he is now out of the running to take over Lord Snooty’s position at the end of the term thanks to eye watering incompetence!

Lord Snooty remains upbeat over the renegotiation of the terms of our EU membership yet strangely no other delegate can concur with this outlook! Yes the other EU delegates do not have a clue as to what Lord Snooty actually wants. does he know himself what he wants as he is pulled from pillar to post by his own minions! So the talks are going well then albeit in a Walter Mitty type fashion!

And the story could go on and on its one farce after another! What is clear is that these goons have about as much idea as a single cell organism as to how to run the country! People (admittedly misguided) criticise the Scottish Government and indeed they are nowhere near to being perfect. Compared to the jokers above however they are heavenly guided bodies! We had hoped that when the dust settles there would be some coherence, thought and strategic policy, the reality however is just the same old nonsense! The Tory party, a one trick pony whose only policy is to impoverish working people and give the proceeds to their well heeled pals! Nothing has changed!

Butcher Thatcher’s Clothes!


I read this week with some incredulity that the V&A museum had passed up accepting many of the clothes worn by the industry wrecker Butcher Thatcher! Granted acquiring these would not be on everyone’s list but surely they could have opened an exhibition in a dark area of the museum with other macabre figures! Surely this would have been a huge crowd puller! I know of many miners who would have given large amounts of money to purchase these clothes, dress up an effigy and gleefully burn it at the stake!

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