Welcome to Britain Watch

All the signs are that the governance of Britain is spiralling out of control: record trade and budget deficits; a swollen bureaucracy; an inadequate but costly education system; a government incapable of providing for our future energy needs; record emigration of native Britons, unprecedented levels of immigration; a mind-set putting the non-citizen ahead of the British citizen.

Britain Watch has been set up to highlight key examples of these trends and to promote practical reforms to reverse the incompetence and loss of national self belief they engender. All readers are invited to participate.

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Short News

Tristram Hunt's "Gordon Brown" moment
On Wednesday 15th April, Tristram Hunt[1], the Labour Party’s “shadow” Education Secretary, made a widely reported visit to Howitt Primary School at Heavor in Derbyshire, a village in the heart of English England.  In his “man of the people” avuncular fashion, Hunt asked a six-year-old how he would vote.  The little boy replied that he would vote UKIP.  On being asked why by Hunt, the child said he “wanted to get all the foreigners out” to which Hunt (unlike Gordon Brown in 2010) wisely said nothing, at least in public. [more »]

Not taking sides: ISIL
One of Britain’s major avoidable handicaps is its principal Broadcaster’s news and current affairs managers.  These people, producers mainly, are right at the heart of the egalo-left tendency which sees Britain as just a part (a small part usually) of the world, not intrinsically more worthy in their eyes than say Mongolia or Argentina. Even confronted with manifest evil and danger to our (their) country, they find it next to impossible to take our side. [more »]

Ukraine, Russia and the EU
When at Yalta in February 1945, Stalin insisted on the “Curzon line” being the eastern boundary of Poland, with Poland’s western boundary with Germany being shifted west by 150 miles to the Oder-Neisse line, his objective was to keep European powers, particularly Germany, as far away from Moscow as possible.  The subsequent establishment of communist governments in Eastern Europe were seen by the Russians as an enormous safety band of countries protecting the Soviet Union from western invasions, the distance from the eastern edge of newly formed NATO (in 1949) to Moscow being about 1,100 miles. [more »]

Syrian Reality
As Vindex remarked before (Syria and the Arab Spring, January 20th 2014), President Bashar Al-Assad’s regime is the only functioning government in Syria, and sooner or later Western governments will have to treat with him if they seriously wish to tackle the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and Lebanon (ISIL), and relieve the terrible suffering of the Syrian people.  BBC’s Jeremy Bowen’s interview with President Assad, broadcast on February 10th, surely underlines this fact. [more »]

Expansion of UK Airport Capacity
Many British readers will have noticed the heavy advertising from rival groups trying to get the attention of the commission tasked with making a recommendation to government on the extension of airport capacity in the South-East of England.  This commission has been asked to make its recommendation after the forthcoming general election on May 7th.  Nonetheless leaks from the commission indicate that increasing capacity at Heathrow is the preferred option. [more »]

Top

Fishing and boat-building

Background

When the Common Market was set up, the UK tried twice to join in the 1960s and was told “Non”. So when Edward Heath became Prime Minister in 1970 he was determined at all costs to get us in and one of the main costs was the Common Fisheries Policy which he agreed to. This meant that our territorial fishing grounds all round the British Isles were to be shared among the other Common Market countries and we received quotas of fish we could cash and zones where we could catch them on an equal basis with these other countries. The result over the last 45 years has been that many of our traditional fishing communities have dwindled away, huge amounts of edible fish are routinely thrown back dead into the sea by our remaining fishermen to avoid fines for “over-fishing” and sea fishing is now often seen as a quaint historical activity, a bit like coal-mining, that we only learn about in museums and tourist attractions.
Georgie55

Georgie’s tale

I like fish. Am I still going to be able to eat them?
Garfield again2

Garfield’s reply

Attempts have been made to change the Common Fisheries Policy over the years, but our fishermen are still restricted about when and where and what they can catch and how much. Boats are still being laid up and young men from fishing families are trying to go into other trades, instead of following in the family business. If we stay in the EU the decline will continue and less and less of your fish will be caught by UK boats. Free of the EU restrictions we could impose our own protection areas to preserve fish stocks and export fish to the Continent. Our fishing communities would start to pick up and new boats would be built, revitalising the boat-building industry in the depressed areas round the UK coast.