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The truths they don't want you to read....

Monday, December 15, 2008

'Salmon summit'

A press release comes from the Men of Inaction (c) announcing that they had done something about salmon. But only after the Lighthouse Caledonia factory has closed and the jobs have gone, and the ability to have some leverage over the company has disappeared.

Never mind, it keeps the quota of pointless press releases up....
Angus MacNeil said: “At the meeting I suggested to Mr Mather that a “Salmon Summit” involving all those with an interest or influence over Salmon production and processing in the islands should be brought together to brainstorm on the way forward for the industry.
Does the chocolate teapot not think that a better time to discuss this would have been BEFORE production at Marybank ceased? Has he discussed this with the Comhairle? (Answer: No. Not even with the Vice-Chair of Development, SNP Cllr Annie, which says a lot).
Alasdair Allan said: “The situation with Lighthouse Caledonia indicates the urgency of reviewing the Salmon sector in the islands. We have to keep processing jobs here and not have them exported from the Western Isles. The salmon sector in the islands is too important and now is time for government and industry to come together to achieve a more secure future.”
Having returned from a freebie in Canada when he should have been meeting the workers, Tintin senses the urgency of the situation ie. that he is going to lose his seat, and decides to make vague and frighteningly modest calls for action.

Why no meeting with the Minister BEFORE we lost the jobs? Just where did this meeting take place, when and how long did it last? Fifteen minutes on Monday morning is my guess.

Now of course, they could have offered to do something, anything, or tried to arrange the summit and go to the meeting to persuade the Minister to bring the Government to the table, but instead of which the only hint of action occurs after the event, and they both seek to get others to do the hard work for them.

And their responsibility is to represent the islands! Actually, there are a lot of people here who are prepared to work hard to create and secure jobs; who know who to speak to and how to negotiate with the industries; and who are prepared to do all this promptly, not after it is too late. These two have alienated and ignored almost everyone in those categories, with the consequence that the economy is in a tailspin and unemployment is going through the roof.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ummm - if Annie is now the 'minister' for development we may as well all hit the ferry. She is worse than a chocolate teapot - the islands need Annie like a fish needs a bicycle!

(BTW this is based on experience - Annie gets a good press from people who successfully manipulate her - which is not hard if cash, ego stroking and a good feed is concerned).

Anonymous said...

It's depressing that the MP and MSP seem incapable of picking the ball up and running with it. Instead, they always appear to be at least one step behind the action.

Today's latest news: 'We have to keep processing jobs here and not have them exported from the Western Isles,' says Alasdar Allan, carefully closing the stable door about six weeks after the horse has bolted.

A 'Salmon Summit'? What a pathetic outcome from a Ministerial meeting! You have the ear of the Enterprise Minister for 15 minutes and...em...you let him know you're going to arrange another meeting.

'At my urging the Enterprise Minister promised that any recommendations arising would have consideration and urgency from Government,' trumpets the MP. I mean, did the Minister really have to be 'urged' to agree to that? Was it the persuavive genius of the MP that eventually had the Minister on the ropes, pleading for mercy and promising to give 'consideration' to any Salmon Summit suggestions?

There's a stench of self-preservation about the whole thing, as if the elected representatives believe the electorate will be fooled by 'summits' and 'consultations'.

I'm not saying that the previous incumbents were any better, but the MP and MSP were elected on a Time for Change ticket. Timid and Shortchanged is what we have now.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:12 makes some very good points that deserve wider circulation and discussion.

Why are our MP and MSP always behind the game?

Why did the Minister need urging?

Why is the Minister apparently so unaware of what is going on here?

Has any lobbying been done by our MP and MSP? And if so, why has it been so useless?

If salmon processing is so important, then why did Absent Allan prefer to go on a freebie to Canada, rather than meet with the Lighthouse Caledonia staff?

Anonymous said...

The trouble is that our elected are people who have never had to experience the realities of life.

What business skills and experience do either of them have? ABM has never left school and AA only left to go and work for the church.

Put them in a business where they have to employ staff, keep customers and suppliers happy, make the books balance and do it all yesterday, they would sink.
They both believe that a "meeting" to "talk" about things will impress people.

We need action and we need it now. Surely I am not the only person to see how quiet the town is for this time of year.

Anonymous said...

I recognise that there is a lot of anger and bitterness out there over this latest incomer to the islands and going bust, leaving a lot of locals high and dry when they finally jump on the ferry and disappear.
However, MP AND MSP would have been receiving briefings on the real situation behind the scenes with this company, and it would have been difficult for them to comment at an earlier point without jeopordising the company - if they told it how it was - or being accused of telling porkies when it inevitiably sank.

The Lighthouse / Panfish / Marine Harvest stable is one mish mash of interrelating companies and shareholders and has no long term alliegance to the islands.

Eventually the penny will drop (I hope) that local businesses are the ones to support, whether they are engineering, fish farmers, crofters, or builders. If everything goes wrong for a local they will almost always stick it out and, if possible, get going again. The - usually massivly grant aided - incoming business will jump on the ferry and leave local suppliers in the crap when it all comes to an end.

The list is only a short one and the figures are only roughly from memory:
Herring By Product in Barra £8m
Breaseclete Fishmeal £7M
Monach Seafood £5m
Scalpay Factory £6M
Arnish £14m (only the last round mind)

Point being, just scratching the surface there has been £40m apparantly casually dispensed to outfits that wander in with a van load of sleek accountants and lawyers.

Just try and get a wee grant for something that would actually help you in developing a local business.
20 local small business are worth 1 glossy multinational that only ends up sliding off under the cover of darkness.

Anonymous said...

However, MP AND MSP would have been receiving briefings on the real situation behind the scenes with this company, and it would have been difficult for them to comment at an earlier point without jeopordising the company - if they told it how it was - or being accused of telling porkies when it inevitiably sank.


But none of that explains why the MP and MSP waited until after the last minute to try to do anything.

If they had received such briefings then they should have been working behind the scenes for many months.

A double failure on their part.

Anonymous said...

7:26 answer no.1 'cause they're idiots!