Sunday, 3 December 2017

Why I left he Civil Service in 1973

I had a good job in the Civil Service. Heath wanted into the EEC at any price. Sound familiar? Well it was just like the Big Business Remoaner arguments today. The last straw for me was when the EEC pulled a last minute fast one declaring our fishing waters were a common resource open to all EEC fishermen. This destroyed much of our fishing industry and laid waste to many of our coastal fishing communities. The FCO had no idea the EEC was cooking up this trick and frankly did not care. They only wanted to please their political master Heath. I resigned from the Civil Service and took up a position at Liverpool University. The port of Liverpool trade was also devastated as the trade routes switched to the South East ports.

Its a case of deja vu as it sis now reported T May is happy to sell out our fisher men's  birthright to save her wrinkled political skin. |This is a red line for me.

My other red line is that we must rid ourselves of the ECJ and take back control of our laws. Freedom is absolute and permanent , trade is transient and impermanent. I|DS has written a good piece to this effect  in today's Telegraph

The Telegraph as always seeking to please their Tory readership  choose as their front page headline

I am glad to see some of the legal establishment are now supporting the Rees Mogg view that if we don't get out of every bit of ECJ jurisdiction we have not left  the EU. I have no doubt the EU will try and pull another fast one like the fishing ground swindle during May's implementaion period when the ECJ will still be in charge of us


Stephen Harness said...

Sadly the deep sea ports like Grimsby (worlds premier fishing port), Hull and Fleetwood still had a belief that they would always be going to Iceland etc. and took their eye off reality.
Oh how I would love to think the glory days will come back, they may well do to Whitby etc and Scottish ports. There will be one hell of a fight to expel foreign trawlers from our waters if we enact the 1976 Fisheries Act to establish a 200 mile ownership. I see no party with the courage to take that on. Fishing will be sacrificed once again and Grimsby will service wind turbines at sea.

Eric Edmond said...

Very defeatist Mr Harness. Our fishing industry existed for 1000 years before the EW when the Hanseatic league was the EU of its day but that was run by merchants not political ideologues.

Edward Spalton said...

I was in the animal feed industry when we joined the EEC . It was a complete change in the way our business had to work. I have written the experience up in four episodes under the title " The Miller's Tale" on .

We were actually very well advised by the government about the new system and had a year to get equipped and fully informed. So we
were able to get on with making our living from 1 January 1973. Then, the government knew exactly what it was doing. Now ( it seems to me) they are pretty well clueless.

The chief advisor to the Minister of Agriculture was the late Sir Emrys Jones, a remarkable civil servant from a
Welsh farming background with a strong practical rather than bureaucratic flair.

We did not know until afterwards - and then only quietly - that he was deeply opposed to the Common Agricultural Policy.
Having set the thing up to run as smoothly as possible, he resigned in early 1973 and became Principal of the Royal
Agricultural College, Cirencester. It was only then that I got to know him personally at various trade and social functions.

We didn't appreciate at the time how lucky we were that he had been in charge.

L fairfax said...

"The last straw for me was when the EEC pulled a last minute fast one declaring our fishing waters were a common resource open to all EEC fishermen. "
Very few people know that the CFP was only introduced after we negotiated to join - it should have been a signal to say no.

Eric Edmond said...

Exactly as you say Mr Fairfax. All kept very quiet at the time by the FCO

L fairfax said...

You do wonder why the BBC still have not reported it.

Stephen Harness said...

Not defeatist at all Dr. My family have a lot to be grateful for to the fishing industry. Dad was a trawler skipper, could navigate in the old fashioned way and taught my uncles to pass their mates tickets. One brother who went to sea and a cousin as well. Dad came to Grimsby from Lowestoft to follow the big money.
As you allude to, Heath gave away our fishing industry and heritage for his place in history and I would love to see trawlers sailing down the Humber once again.
We are an island nation that no longer build our own ships, large or small. You would struggle to find a port with the skills to repair an engine.
Grimsby has a tiny fleet, mostly rig protection and wind turbine servicing work.
I know what Grimsby has lost. Not just the fishermen but skilled workers. In fact a self sustaining industry. All gone.
It is fanciable to imagine Grimsby rebuilding the industry once again.
Distant grounds are no longer available but we should have protected our waters. We did not and failed to even secure a majority of quota in our home waters. Foreign fleets will now demand required rights and I fully support any government that will fight to regain our rightful control of our waters.
Assuming this happens, the next step is to find young men to once again venture into one of the worlds most dangerous occupations. I know how tough fishing is and how dangerous.
Fish is now a global industry. Fish is caught and frozen at sea and sold globally.
I can see the smaller ports increasing their fleets, they have retained a semblance of their former glories. Even Whitby is a down to a couple of trawlers thanks to the CFP and the stupidity of UK governments who actually implemented the CFP thinking the foreign fleets were doing so. Days at sea and discards. You could not make this up.
Defeatist no, but bitter that Westminster cared so little for the salt of the earth hard fishing fishing families. Dad servewd in the navy in WW2 and was swindled out of ownership of a trawler at the end. Being cheated is a recurring theme for working people. I doubt if leaving the EU will change that sad fact of life. There was a glimmer of hope with the rise of UKIP but that turned out to be a false dawn.

Mike Bridgeman said...

I rejoined Ukip today. Enjoy your blog Eric. We must meet up some time. Mike

Eric Edmond said...


Look forward to your next letter in the Daily Telegraph.

Regards to Doggy Wood. Woof woof


John Ashworth said...

I started work in Grimsby putting gear on board trawlers in 1963. Those where the days, when trawlers were stem on the North wall, and older men told me, you are okay lad, you have a job for life, 10 yeasrs later is was in rapid decline.

Since the 1990's Austin Mitchell MP got me involved with Save Britain's Fish campaign, and now Fishing for Leave.

We are not giving up until we win this battle, and the UK becomes a world leader in Marine resources