Sunday, 15 December 2013

The meek shall inherit the earth!

Photo 01 - found a few weeks back on Megget burn.
The meek shall inherit the earth!

The year end is now in sight but the problems facing the club loom ever larger! The police were in touch this week after one of their race relations officers came upon our warning letter in a local shop, warning anglers to adhere to our club rules and refrain from stealing fish from our lochs. It seems our letter comes close to breaking racial equality legislation.

The content of the letter was a cut and paste from our news pages along with warnings in the various languages formulated by the Angling Trust. I don’t see anything in the letter that would be construed as being racially offensive and everything contained in the letter is true! It’s interesting that the letter did not stir any offended people to write and complain!

Of all the incidents over the last year around 80% involved people from other countries! It therefore follows that the direction of our remedial actions would be directed towards this group of “anglers”! Yes the taking of fish many times over the club imposed limits, the illegal fishing by not purchasing a permit, the illegal fishing by using fixed lines, the illegal fishing by using traps and the indiscriminate taking of industrial numbers of fish of any size under the cover of darkness. Is it any wonder we are paying special attention to this group of people!

I’ve said it often in the past we do not want to be seen as being racist because we are not, fairness and equity is and always has been our guiding principle! Make no mistake however if you are a marauding Ned we will weed you out whatever your nationality!

We have currently in membership two anglers from other countries and two more are joining in the next couple of weeks and we look forward to counting them amongst our number. The reason for that is simple they are good people with right thinking values that are prepared to fit in with our angling culture in this country! Our members from other countries are embarrassed by the actions of the offending anglers mentioned above as we are; even in other countries the actions above are largely illegal!

We are keen to meet with the police to see where we are coming close to falling foul of equality laws. It would be a poor situation indeed if we could not voice our concerns about people flagrantly breaking our laws and the laws of the land! Race bashing is not in our vocabulary however exposing the Muppets and fools who see fit to do as they like and ignore our rules and laws of the land most definitely is in our vocabulary! Quite frankly race does not enter the equation wrongdoing is punishable irrespective of the race of the person carrying it out!

I have never thought much about racial issues in the past it was always something that took place in inner cities. If the miscreants had been Scots then we would target them, we do not see race when pursuing wrongdoers, we see people doing wrong and apprehend them!

Looking at the national press there is much talk of education rather than punitive action which we would agree is a sensible policy, this is always our first course of action. There are some miscreants however who are completely resistant to such a process! I could list many examples gathered over the years but here is one – a man from another country was noted fishing and as we do with all anglers we approach and make conversation.

Whilst we were talking we noticed a wriggling bag, on asking him to open it therein was an Eel! We asked him to explain this and he said it was for his tea that evening. At that time we had a Polish loch keeper Piotr who many of you will remember and as well as me explaining the error of his ways that under club rules and now the law of the land all Eels are strictly protected! He agreed to return the Eel to the loch.

Piotr explained the above to him in Polish so there was no doubt of comprehension! The next again week we noted his car at the Glen Cafe and sneaked up and watched him through binoculars, after around 20 minutes he struck into a fish which was an Eel. He unhooked it and proceeded to look all around him and thinking the coast was clear promptly pulled out a green bucket from under a bush and dropped the Eel inside. At this point Piotr and I moved in and confronted him. When we pulled out the bucket there were 7 Eels wriggling around in a few inches of water!

 We asked why these Eels were in a bucket and he said they were for an end of session photo! We gave him the opportunity to photograph the Eels before we released them back into the loch but it turns out he did not have a camera! He said a friend of his in Moffat was on standby to come and take a photo, now this scenario whilst possible is highly improbable! There was another incident involving this fellow a month later, following this he was barred from fishing at the lochs, but even after this he returned once again and was sent packing! No amount of education was going to rid this fellow of his ways sanction was the only option!

We will see how it goes this week and if we find that our hands are tied regarding policing our lochs we will have to cast our nets further to enlist the services of a politician who can see the unfairness of the situation we may find ourselves in! We will comply with any reasonable request because that is what we do; we do not operate out with the law! Much muttering takes place in tackle shops, in clubs and on the banks about the way some migrants fish, in fear of rocking the boat the majority remain silent, it is now time for the voices of these people to be heard! Unlike the title of this treatise the meek shall never inherit the earth! The bottom line is we welcome all migrant anglers but if you break our rules and you can expect to be penalised in the same fashion as indigenous anglers, race does not enter into it at all!

Photo 02 - the type of rubbish we have to pick up.
Decision reached!

The article mentioned a few weeks back whereby the owner of a black Audi was found to be fishing without a permit and was guilty of leaving rubbish behind was this week barred from fishing for a period of one calendar year. If I want to fish a new venue I make the appropriate enquiries and if granted permission follow exactly what has been relayed to me! The chap mentioned did not do this and was barred from fishing for his actions and has nothing to do with his ethnic origin!

The fellow quite rightly made enquiries prior to the date he wanted to fish and he was told to report to the boathouse and pick up his permits and copy of the club rules. For reasons unknown he proceeded directly to Bowerhope fished without the required permission and left rubbish behind! It’s quite simple you flout our rules you can expect to be penalised! We needed to show the tenants at Bowerhope that we mean business we as well as them deplore this desecration of our countryside and this was an important factor in reaching our decision!
Membership renewals
Existing members should send a cheque for £35.00 payable to St Mary's Angling Club to our membership secretary Robert Simpson 105 Halliburton Place Galashiels. New members should send a cheque for £55.00 to the above address.

The wider world in my view!

What kind of a society we are!

It’s a personal hobby horse of mine, a barometer of society, the usage of foodbanks! Yes harking back to the days of alms handouts we seem prepared to accept this Dickensian practice once again. The Trussel trust a foodbank charity has seen the biggest ever rise in usage a staggering 170% up on last year having seen over 350,000 individuals so far on the figures returned and thats only one charity there are loads more.

Yes as we prepare for the excesses of Christmas spare a thought for those less fortunate. Oh yes the stereotypical view is that the users are benefit seekers who have spent their allowances on fags and beer and no doubt there are some of that type there. However recent research has shown people like your neighbour are increasingly having to apply for these handouts!

People like the young couple with a wee one down the road trying to buy their first house both employed in dead end part time jobs at the only large employer in town the local supermarket. Yes they do not earn enough to eke out a basic living! Or the old bloke down the road who has paid into the system all his life and in poor health in fuel poverty is forced to go cap in hand to stop the pain of an empty stomach!

It doesn’t really say a lot for the society we currently live in! The greed culture initiated by Butcher Thatcher has returned under the Con-Dems. The “ignore the plight of others” culture is back with a vengeance! How else could a bunch of pompous posh boys preside over mass poverty! They don’t care and are probably too far removed from working class problems to realise the defective society they are creating! Decent hardworking people plunged into poverty by the Con-Dems, it must surely make everyone of us think just what a poor society we have become!

More disasters!

Yes it’s been a week like every other one for the last 3 years characterised by bungling, wasting taxpayers’ money and claims that border on untruths! Ian Duncan Smith now elevated to the status of super bungler as the “universal credit” system now sees its completion date further deferred until 2020 a further 2 years beyond the last prediction and there have been many! A further 40 million pounds lost this week strangely not heralded on News at Ten but hushed up and filed in the huge Con – Dem out tray marked bungled projects!

Michal Gove’s pet project of free schools whereby parents may form a school out with the control of the local authority seems to be falling apart at the seams! Yet another school closed because the inspecting body Ofsted felt that children leaving this school after seven years would not be able to read or write to the expected standard! The latest Ofsted report stated that there was chaos in the school and that the training needs would be impossible to be attained with regards to teachers in the school. Of the whole free school programme Ofsted said the scheme was rolled out with speed as the main aim quality of teaching was further down the list!

These schools who are free to employ unqualified teachers which has got to be the most ridiculous idea ever! I said it in our series on fishing guides and it applies to all walks of life unregulated occupations lead only to chicanery and Wild West scenarios! When will these Con – Dems learn!

Well played Lord Snooty!

It’s a little disheartening to hear of increasing numbers of commentators now coming to the view that this perceived recovery is one that is as fragile as an ice sculpture! Yes they increasingly see that the recovery such as it is has been constructed on consumer spending and the housing market is one which will not last. There is no discernible growth in industry which is usually the basis for a sound recovery!

Snooty has played a masterstroke the current “recovery” has been predicted to last until mid 2015 whereupon it will likely collapse in a catastrophic fashion! His thinking is of course, minute growth up until then will say to the electorate that the Con – Dems have turned the country around for “hardworking families”! The reverse is true we the general public own nothing Snooty has privatised all that we did own and the economy is doing much worse than the Tory press would have us believe! More and more are pushed towards Wonga and other loan sharks, towards the humiliation of having to go cap in hand to the ever expanding number of food banks! We are here dealing with clueless out of touch hobby politicians with excellent spin doctors capable of twisting reality! So when the time comes to place your vote do a bit of research and don’t be fooled by the Con – Dem publicity machine!

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