Parliamentary sketch – Light in Darkness

Posted on: 20th June 2013

Reasons to be cheerful…

In a sea of gloom, austerity and economic hardship, it is often hard to notice the good news.

I don’t want to diminish the difficulties and challenges many people face but, nevertheless, it helps to celebrate nuggets of good news and glimmers of optimistic light at the end of dark tunnels.

So here are a few:

  • For years I have campaigned to give fishermen and scientists more say in the management of our seas and to end the unacceptable waste of dead fish through the rules which require discard of over quota catch. So I’m pleased this week that the reformed Common Fisheries Policy will give more power to fishermen and other stakeholders to better manage a sustainable fishing industry closer to home.
  • Politicians have at last woken up to the £billions that large multi-national corporations hide through dodgy tax evasion. Whilst some MPs want Britain to engage in a race to the bottom to attract non-dom foreign oligarchs awash with dodgy money, the majority now want to clamp down on the multi-national tax evaders and the super rich who have managed to pay less tax than their cleaners.
  • Closer to home, I am pleased to see that peace and harmony has almost broken out in Penzance. We lost the chance of a major investment in the Isles of Scilly ferry because name calling, acrimony and claims that the only alternative was a ‘ferry from Falmouth’ replaced calm and rational judgement. Salvaging a £multi-million offer two years ago, I called for a “Coalition of the Willing” to come together. Whilst some disappointingly preferred to continue name calling than constructive engagement, it seems that time and common sense has healed, harmony is breaking out and something approximating (almost) agreement may see the first phase of important investment in improvements at both St Mary’s and Penzance Harbours going forward in the coming months.
  • Good news too that plans that Professor Rosie Woodroffe of the Zoological Society of London and I have put together for a ground breaking (though ambitious) badger vaccination programme across the whole of Penwith have now been lodged with Government with encouraging noises coming from Defra Ministers. We hope this will bring good news for hard pressed farmers who have lost thousands of cattle to the devastating disease of Bovine TB; and that it will see farmers and wildlife enthusiasts working together for the good of both cattle and badgers in our area.


Andrew George MP


18th June 2013