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

Monday, January 19, 2009

Livestock by car

The BBC seem to find some humour in the transportation of a cow by car in Beruit. Just how patronising can they be about the real world beyond Islington.

In Electric Crofter's humble opinion, there are parts of these islands where the passenger seat of the car is more often occupied by a dog or a sheep than by 'the wife'.

Indeed, who can forget the ban by CalMac on the transportation of sheep in cars:
For the crofters of the Hebridean Islands it was the perfect way to fleece a few pounds from Caledonian MacBrayne (CalMac). It had been a difficult year, 1998, after all. Sheep prices had plummeted and profits were down. They needed something to take their minds off their agricultural woes. A holiday was the perfect answer. But what with the £17.30p per person fare to the mainland, and £61 for a car on top of that, a holiday was beyond the budget of the cash-starved crofters.

Then CalMac stepped in with a scheme designed to help the struggling crofters. Since the start of the summer CalMac has allowed island crofters to take sheep to markets on the mainland for just £2.35p per head - the vehicle and the driver go free. So it didn't take long for some islanders to work out that the cheapest way to take a holiday was to take an ovine friend with them. "There has been some abuse," said a spokesman for CalMac. "Certain drivers have been taking one or two sheep in their cars so that they can benefit from what is a very generous discount scheme."

The crofters have been taking sheep to Oban on the mainland. When they get there the sheep are left with friends. Then the crofters return with the sheep in the car and say that the price was too low and they did not sell. They've actually just had a holiday and so has the sheep!

"This was a short-term arrangement for a limited number of islands for a limited period," the CalMac spokesman said. "We are looking at alternatives for next year!"

Mind you, the difference between a scraggy ram and the mother-in-law is smaller than my LFA cheque.


Anonymous said...

There are parts of Harris where the sheep IS the wife.

Anonymous said...

I believe that sheep can now apply for driving licences in Barra, to ensure that the drunks get home from the pub.

Anonymous said...

Hello Angus, and all you perfectly gorgeous people in the outer Hebrides.
I am on the London tube at the moment on my way home to Knightsbridge, and I follow your blogs with a positive passion through my Blackberry device.

I see that there is a much broader outlook on mans relationship with barnyard animals in your Hebrides, and, as mentioned by 4:44, in Harris in particular.

Could you be so good as to forward directions on how I get there, and how I could possibly acquire one of your crofts in order to go deliciously native.

Will I perhaps be fortunate enough as to have to go via Barra.......?

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:39 you are Angus MacNeil MP and have spent too much time in London. You have gone native.

Remember your first love - a roll a
in the hay, and no need to worry about recognising her in the flock the next day.....

Anonymous said...

6:39 here again, and pay attention 8:10 when a member of the ruling class makes a notable utterance. Your loutish comment completely spoiled my supper of coragan eisg completely. (note to secretary: thank Sabhal Mor for the translation).

You see, I have devised another cunning plan in conjunction with Ayatollah Manford, Taffy and the gangster, and his supreme highness James The Hunter. It calls for crofters in nether regions such as Luskentyre and Bernaray to form strategic alliances with their mainland counterparts in Ullapool and Uig to allow the free flow of young sheepies as non paying, duty free passengers.
Anyone wanting cheap travel through the Randy Ewe Tourist scheme can apply to my satellite office in Castlebay. The agricultural board will do the allocations so as to match up passengers with a suitably woolly companion - much the same as dateline, or the pairing of MP's.

Tell me this now, in order to save the taxpayer any further expense through another submission of my travel expenses. How are Herring By Products in Northbay doing, did they ever mange to catch Hercules, and do you think that Hereema will last in Arnish?

Roll on breakfast, and a fine bowl of cleiteagan arabhar

Anonymous said...

See Jamie Oliver's recipe for lamb stuffed with herbs, pancetta and olives. This is by far the most sensible and hygienic thing to do with sheep.

6.39 really needs to log on to that Gaelic dictionary site...

Anonymous said...

I think being able to persuade a cow to get into a car is a pretty amazing talent.

Anonymous said...

I think being able to persuade a cow to get into a car is a pretty amazing talent.

At the Ness Social Club the guys just talk about a party and all the cows stagger out and pile into any car.....

Anonymous said...

To Baaaarack O'lamba

Are you my long lost relative from Lewis?????????? After the shindig last night I was sitting in the west wing of the new house reading in the Stornoway Gazette that I had long lost rellies in wellies in Lewis. Any chance of sending over some Maaaarack O'Baaarlie to your offspring?