Posts Tagged ‘elections’

PROJECT FEAR SUGGESTS FISH HAS HAD ITS CHIPS

PROJECT FEAR SUGGESTS FISH HAS HAD ITS CHIPS

Fishing for Leave lambasted recent research “Fishing for Answers II” from investment bank Rabobank regards fisheries tariffs post-Brexit as “absolute piffle”!

The Rabobank report cites that tariffs placed on imports of the UK’s most popular seafood would range between 7.5% to 18% in the event of a hard Brexit which “would likely see Britain’s fish and chip shops increase consumer prices to cover their own rising costs.”

Fishing for Leave say there are two major flaws which make the report nothing more than remain minded academics trying to manipulate facts to fit a remain theory rather than building a theory of the future on facts.

FFL say:
1. Why in the Lord’s name would the UK impose tariffs on necessary cod imports from Norway, Iceland and Faroe if we are free to control our own trade policy which is a crucial part of leaving the EU? Effectively a cod and chips tax.
2. Leaving the CFP will give an increase in UK catches to supply our own markets as the UK takes back control of fair share of our resources based on the predominance of fish in UK waters!

Alan Hastings of Fishing for Leave explained:

“As part of the EU the UK receives only 9% of English channel cod catch limits when based on most catches being in British waters it should be around 70%”.

“Leaving the CFP would see Britain free to reclaim 3,683 tons of cod – equivalent to some 11 million fish suppers – worth approx. £8million as catches and around £32million when processed and in the shops – based on catch distribution and 2018 resource limits and prices”.

Recent science now shows cod stocks are healthy and certified sustainable. Fishing for Leave say this has been achieved through British fishermen’s own conservation measures, despite the EU’s ineptitude and failed quota system.

“The quota system forces fishermen to discard half their catches whilst trying to find what they are allowed to keep and a lack of data causes poor science meaning quotas are now far out of line with stock abundance”.

“Studies show that discarding happens at a rate of approximately 40% (approx. 14,000tons of cod) due to what fishermen say is the shamefully inept quota system”.

Alan outlined what this means for consumers:

“Not only does Brexit mean repatriating resources to supply more of our own fish but Britain will be free to implement her own more sustainable discard free policy allowing much of the discarded fish to be landed”.

“Repatriating our resources and fit-for-purpose management could comfortably see British cod catches double to around 35,000 tons – around 100million portions of fish – worth approximately £72million as catches and £300m processed”.

The national federation of fish fryers estimate Britons consume some 167 million portions of fish and chips from their shops annually. Even if this were all cod, Brexit could see the British industry able to supply 60%, instead of 30% currently – and this is before we account for haddock, whiting and hake that we have in abundance.

“Sadly, the Transition deal not only kicks this prize into the long grass but the incoming 2019 EU discard ban only addresses the discard symptom not the quota cause”.

“The EU could demand full enforcement of this ban during the transition and the requirement that vessels cease fishing on exhausting their lowest quota could bankrupt over half of what is left of Britain’s fleet”.

Fishing for Leave say the huge demand for cod and chips was built when Britain could access the hugely rich and abundant Northern cod fisheries before the Nordic nations “took back control” with 200 mile Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) being established in the 1970s, whilst Britain forfeited and sacrificed these rights to the EU.

Alan concluded; “Domestic demand for our cod as part of our national dish has, and always will surpass, our comparatively small stocks around the British isles but taking back control can substantially boost domestic supply”.

“The idea that any British government would freely punish consumers’ enjoyment of our national dish by applying an 18% tariff on supplementary imports of cod from our cod-rich Nordic neighbours is nonsense”.

“Project fear miserably failed before and it doesn’t look like it is doing itself or its proponents’ credibility many more favours now!”

The post PROJECT FEAR SUGGESTS FISH HAS HAD ITS CHIPS appeared first on UKIP Daily | UKIP News | UKIP Debate.

The importance of geography, demographics, and identity in analysing the 2018 local elections

John Denham highlights some of the underlying shifts in political behaviour and geography as revealed in the recent local election results. He concludes by offering some thoughts on the challenges facing the political parties in framing their response.

The snap judgements on popular opinion often leave a lasting impression. It is still easy to find people who believe that most Leave voters were working class, former Labour-voting northerners than relatively well-off, middle-class southern Tories. At the same time, media coverage and commentary tends towards the political surprise, rather than the measured reality. Right after the 2016 referendum, Labour’s difficulties with part of its former base were seen as more interesting than the much more widespread rejection of the Conservative PM’s call for a Remain vote.

The headlines from 2018’s local elections have a similar feel. Labour is seen as having failed in London, despite having done rather well. The correspondence between Leave areas and swings to the Conservatives have led many to claim a link, despite the lack of any evidence that this was actually a strong factor in how people decided to vote. So, in this case, the political surprise came in Labour’s failure to deliver its own hype, and the insistence of many commentators to force everything through a Brexit prism.

Rather than offer a profound new analysis of the locals, I instead want to highlight some of the underlying shifts in political behaviour and geography. In each area, our understanding is incomplete and, as far as I know, no one has yet drawn the threads together.

Geography matters

Will Jennings has plotted the relationship between the swings and population density. Labour’s strong performance in London and other major cities was offset by swings to the Conservatives in many towns and smaller cities in the rest of England. Labour certainly had disappointing results in key northern towns. As always, there are exceptions, qualifications, and regional variations. Labour gained seats in Worthing, for example, and within Southampton the pattern of Labour gaining in more middle class and diverse areas and slipping back in working class areas, established in the 2015 and 2017 general elections, was repeated.

Demographics matter

The changing demographic make-up of each locality is significant here. We are not always looking at people switching their vote: communities are not necessarily the same as they were ten years ago. As the Centre for Towns has mapped, many smaller towns have been losing their young people as many more are now able to go university or seek graduate jobs elsewhere. These trends will intensify the electoral impact of older, more working class, less mobile voters. Ian Warren points out that these young people are drawn to London, but not necessarily for ever. Young families are able to often move out into neighbouring regions. These down-from-London individuals may not always be appreciated for their impact on house prices, but they may also bring their (Labour leaning) London voting habits with them when they leave the capital.

Identity also matters

To geography and demographics, we need to add identity. In a previous blog I showed that, while ‘equally English and British’ is the most widely-held national identity, the ‘more English’ outnumbered the ‘more British’ in all but the larger cities, and most strongly in the smallest communities. While few ‘weaponise’ their national identity (‘I’m voting x because I’m English/British’) there is evidence from successive Future of England surveys that the most clearly-held national identities seem to reflect different worldviews, with the English being more critical of the EU, the consequences of devolution, and the lack of devolved government for England. Intriguingly, while the 2017 Future of England survey showed Labour slightly ahead of the Conservatives amongst voters of all identities as ‘best to stand up for the interests of England’, 19% thought that no party stands up for the interests of England. Nearly half of all English voters thought that Brexit was worth jeopardising the peace process in Northern Ireland.

The challenges facing Labour and the Conservatives

It’s a reasonable speculation that these pro-England, union-sceptic and anti-EU voters will be strong English identifiers. At the margins –voters who are very strongly either English’ or ‘British’ – national identities may signify much more than national allegiance; becoming communities of peoples holding quite different assumptions about what sort of country this is or should be. The movements of people to and from the cities and towns are concentrating and mixing these distinct communities in new ways.

The strategic question for the main political parties is whether they can win England without making an effective appeal across these national identities. The recent local elections suggest that they have to, but that both face difficulties. In part, these come from their own members. Tory activists share many of the same instincts as English identifiers, being sceptical of the EU and even of the value of the union itself. The influential Paul Mason recently rejected suggestions that Labour should appeal to the more socially conservative parts of the electorate, saying ‘the actual membership of Labour, and its core vote, is drawn from the educated, salaried, cosmopolitan and pro-global modern workforce of big conurbations’.

Both major parties need to broaden their appeal beyond the instincts of their core members. It’s not clear that they can do so without engaging directly with both the national identities at play in England.

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About the Author

John Denham is Professor at the Centre for English Identity and Politics, University of Winchester.

 

 

 

All articles posted on this blog give the views of the author(s), and not the position of LSE British Politics and Policy, nor of the London School of Economics and Political Science. Featured image credit: Pixabay (Public Domain).

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