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Sheep numbers could halve after Brexit


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That is the headline I've just read!

I think you'll find sheep numbers are set to plummet anyway,and not because of Brexit. The main reason is the catastrophic

mess caused by the SNP government and their multi million pound computer system. The funds that should have gone to the

farmers and crofters since 2015 is still outstanding in many cases. Loans have been hastily put in place as a temporary remedy? Many farmers now find themselves at the mercy of the banks .

I have just been reading an article by a young hill farmer from mainland Scotland who tells of her father sitting up at 2 in the morning trying to balance the books. Not knowing how to meet feed costs, etc. with no money coming in. Also describing how neighbouring farmers are now determined not to pass the farm to their children, because they don't want them facing this kind of stress.

So the SNP cockup seems to be pushing people out of farming altogether. Don't worry about Brexit, worry about this Scottish government.

Incidentally, am I being a little simplistic here in thinking that a large room full of young computer wizards equipped with laptops, could have coped a whole lot better than this 180+ million pound computer system ?

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I could write a book just listing the cock up after cock up with their computer, but I'll cut to the chase and just say that nothing, NOT EVEN ONE THING involving it has gone to plan. The first thing they touched was to send out a letter with the fundamental error of fogetting to tell the computer to print out more than the first page of the letter if a second page was necessary to contain all the information unique to each claimant, and it took them 8 months to rectify that and send out the missing page(s) from folk's letters. Folk still have outstanding issues from the information in those letters they disagreed with, the outcome of which directly affects their payments, but hey ho, its only been two years and eight months of waiting and not knowing the main basic of whether each quota unit you hold is going to pay out £5 or £20, pus then there's a whole raft of other potential knock on lesser losses/gains as a result of which way that goes, on which there's no information from them available that might allow you to at least perform some damage limitation.

 

I'm not fan of the Labour party, but you have to wonder how in hell the first Scot's Govt managed to establish themselves in all their facets, from nothing, and from new acquired offices/premises, some temporary, and seemed to go 'live' relatively seamlessly, and it only took under two years from start to finish. Yet this lot seem wholly incapable of just introducing a fit for purpose system in one department in over three years of allegedly trying.....

Edited by Ghostrider
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I presume we'll be lumping huge tariffs on what they wish to import to us then. The EU isn't exactly

the promised land as far as our farmers are concerned.

In 1995 apparently we had about 36,000 milk producers in the UK. In 2015 this was down to 10,000. We

imported 128,000 tonnes of milk/cream from the Irish republic and 77,000 tonnes from the rest of the

EU.

Exactly what great benefits has the EU brought to our dairy industry. It hasn't brought the Shetland

dairy farmers a great deal.

And Hey! maybe, just maybe, we'll be able to sell them fish instead of giving it away!

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Just read the story, it's about the EU protecting their own food supply by lumping huge tariffs on our food exports, the end of EU Common Agricultural Payments when we leave and cheap food imports from other countries.

The people who've done the impact assessment said every Brexit scenario will be damaging to farmers.

 

Its an exercise in pessimism, which will unfortinately come true if Westminster continues to neither piss or get off the pot, and stop dithering.

 

The EU could levy high import duty on EU food products, but they'd be damn fools to do so if they really need that food, and in any case, there's nothing to say they will at this stage, as nothing has been signed yet. There's a great deal of huffing and puffing and posturing like peacocks going on on both sides of the Channel/North Sea at present, lets see whats left once the hot air disperses and the dust starts to settle.

 

EU agricultural subsidy payments only became necessary after the EU started interfering in UK agriculture, so its arguable whether agricultural profits fell due to a global market decline, or EU mismanagement, which resulted in the need for agriculture to be more heavily subsidised to remain viable.

 

In any case, if Westminster has the wit to terminate all payments to the EU ASAP, the money they will have at hand could continue to pay the EU subsidies countless times over, if they chose to use some of it that way.

 

UK agriculture needs to change and adapt, since the mid-70's we've produced what it was most profitable to produce within the constraints of a Europe wide EU 'one size fits all policy', the same one that created the much pubicised butter mountain, beef mountain and wine lake of the early 80's, and hasn't improved much since, rather than what the domestic or global markets needed or wanted. The EU is a relatively small insular market, globally speaking, which we've been forced to deal with primarily for the last four decades. Instead wasting time trying to keep in with something thats never worked very well, Westminster should for this last year have been opening up to the whole big wide world marketplace, letting UK agriculture plan its way ahead as a global player, not as a second fiddle to a collection of difficult also rans on the Continent.

 

Yes, undoubtedly certain food products could be imported in to the UK from someplace else in the world cheaper than the UK can produce them, agriculture needs to know what they are and either look at whether they can compete or need to withdraw. Either way, shoppers should be delighted, as it will translate in lower prices for them on those products, which they'd do well to remember have only been as high as they are on account of EU import tariffs levied on them.

 

Global agriculture is a dynamic and constantly evolving beast, its inconceivable that there aren't food products the UK can produce competitively for it, but again agriculture needs to be able to identify them and adapt to produce them and put in place mechanisms to get them to the global customers who want to buy them.

 

Bickering with continentals over an alliance and system that never worked in the first place like Westminster seems hell bent to do, isn't going to help with either of those, only going out and engaging with the world marketplace on our own terms will, and we're no further ahead on that one than we were on the day of the referendum count. The longer that stays unchanged, the more of a 'disaster' Brexit will become for agriculture. Its not Brexit thats the problem though, its Westminster's total incompetence and ineptitude to drop the EU like it was burning them, and look outward and forward to what we can be globally, rather than something mediocre in an insular club of deluded idealists.

 

UK agriculture needs to change to thrive, for 40 years its been driven by political factors and decisions, not market forces, and its become stagnant and more subsidy needy. Running business and politics side by side on common goals is unsustainable in the longer term, global attempts at Communism has proven that over and over. Market forces on the other hand, when business people are allowed to respond to them unfettered by hidden agendas, does create sustainability.

 

The EU was supposed to create a level playing field for business, whether or not its been beneficial for other sectors there are people far more qualified than I to comment, but for agriculture it never has, otherwise we wouldn't right now have Irish beef coming in undercutting UK beef, Belgian milk coming in undercutting UK Dairies, and with 'friends' who burn your lamb exports the minute it lands on their soil, who needs enemies.

 

UK agriculture is best rid of the continentals, both as import suppliers and export customers, but regardless whether we do or don't have them as either, its Westminster right now who are ensuring Brexit sends UK agriculture down the tubes longer term, by simply not addessing the issue of the UK opening up to global agricultural markets ASAP.

Edited by Ghostrider
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[*** mod edit - quote removed - please don't quote the whole of the previous post ***]

 

Goodness, Ghosty. Sounds terribly like Westminster that you're talking about there.

 

I'm no great fan of Westminster either, but this one is all down to Brussels and Holyrood, no help was needed from Westminster, they've f**ked it up all on their own.

 

Brussels created the rules and regulations which they expected administering governments and claimants to comply with, and Holyrood chose a computer system/software supposedly to make that happen....It doesn't, and it never has.

 

Whether Brussels created rules that were so complex tat even a computer struggles to keep up, or whether Holyrood bought an inadequate system/software for the task in hand, but won't admit it, I have no idea, but it amounts to the same thing in the end. No-one claiming agricultural subsidies can realistically budget or plan ahead, as they cannot know how much they are eligible to receive, when they may receive it, whether they've received everything they're entitled to, or if they've received too much, and a letter is going to land on their doormat any day demanding the overpayment back in full, with interest.

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[*** mod edit - quote removed - please don't quote the whole of the previous post ***]

 

Goodness, Ghosty. Sounds terribly like Westminster that you're talking about there.

 

Can we have back the former 'Quote' functionality then, please. As it made it much easier to only quote a relevant sentence rather than a whole post.

 

The first part of the 'Quote' functionality is the same as its always been. You click 'Quote' and the whole post appears in the window, and you can delete as much or as little from it as appropriate. That's fine.

 

However, it used to be, that if you wished to comment on multiple points from within one long post, you could open Shetlink in a new tab, open the thread, and do 'Quote' again on it. Then you could copy and paste from that window on the new tab the entire post also in to your original window, and delete from it as appropriate to leave only the second sentence you wish to reply to. The end result post was small quotes, each attributed to the same author with the same timestamp in the heading, with an appropriate reply immediately underneath each one.

 

Quite some time ago (we're talking in to years) the ability to copy and paste the entirity of the quote bubble from a reply window vanished, it only allows you to copy and paste the text typed out by the previous poster, not the bubble itself, nor the author's details or timestamp.

 

Without the ability to copy and paste the entire quote bubble with everything in it, folk have three options, either only quote once, leave in the entire previous post, then reply to all the points in one long reply immediately below it, which makes it difficult sometimes to follow where they are with what they're saying, and clutters up posts unnecessarily. Or, just post the relevant sentence copy and paste allows you to take - However, if just done directly, its indistinguishable to a reader what is the quote and what is the reply as they're all the same text on screen when posted, or if posted in a quote bubble from the header menu, it is of course unattributed and undated, and difficult/impossible to find to check its original context/accuracy. Or, quote once, delete as appropriate, type reply, and post, then quote again, delete as appropriate for the second point, reply and post to that one, ad infinitum for however many points any one post contains. Which, obviously makes for smaller neater posts, but results in more work for the poster, and multiple posts from one poster immediately after each other, where it used to be you could do just one post with several small quotes and their replies immediately below them.

 

Okay, this probably is about as clear as mud......

Edited by Ghostrider
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[*** mod edit - quote removed - please don't quote the whole of the previous post ***]

 

Goodness, Ghosty. Sounds terribly like Westminster that you're talking about there.

 

I'm no great fan of Westminster either, but this one is all down to Brussels and Holyrood, no help was needed from Westminster, they've f**ked it up all on their own.

 

Brussels created the rules and regulations which they expected administering governments and claimants to comply with, and Holyrood chose a computer system/software supposedly to make that happen....It doesn't, and it never has.

 

Whether Brussels created rules that were so complex tat even a computer struggles to keep up, or whether Holyrood bought an inadequate system/software for the task in hand, but won't admit it, I have no idea, but it amounts to the same thing in the end. No-one claiming agricultural subsidies can realistically budget or plan ahead, as they cannot know how much they are eligible to receive, when they may receive it, whether they've received everything they're entitled to, or if they've received too much, and a letter is going to land on their doormat any day demanding the overpayment back in full, with interest.

 

 

Yes, Ghosty, Brussel has been hugely to fault - but Holyrood didn't have the ability to mess it all up, Westminster did, and they proved it - time after time after........

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Dear me George, none of the many cockups are ever the blame of the SNP. Thank God independence never happened.

Just think who on earth could the tartan tossers blame then?

 

Dear me, Brochbuilder. None of the many cockup are ever the blame of Westminster. They and their royalty will tell you that.

 

Repeadedly, regardless of whether it's any truth or......

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Ghostrider, can you just post a relevant sentence, or adequate resume from your last post, I felt ill after reading that.

 

Yes, it needs pictures.

 

I had intended posting screengrabs, but what I'm referring to is now several years back, and it was going to take all night to find an example.

 

In shortest form possible. It used to be you could copy and paste the whole quote bubble (as it is at the top of this post) multiple times in a reply, so that you could delete everything else from it but the one sentence you were replying to at that time. Then repeat as often as necessary in one post for replying to different sentences. Which kept the amount of quoted material to a minimum, and the number of posts to a minimum.

 

That's not been possible now for some time, you can only copy and paste the text from the quote bubble, not the poster's nick or the timestamp. So you end up either having to post unattributed and undated quoted material, which IMHO rather defeats the point of quoting at all, or post the whole original post in its entirity to preseve the attribution and date, and include everything you're replyng to - which da Mods don't seem to be happy with.

 

P.S. I appreciate discussing it here though is in danger of derailing this thread, for which I apologise. I only posted it here as it was the most recent one the Mods had brought up quoting isues on, in the hope there might be a better chance of them seeing it. Will take it elsewhere if the discussion continues.

Edited by Ghostrider
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Why is the Shetland times so fervently pro EU ? Every week they carry anti Brexit articles . Do they receive funding from that organisation or what ? In the past they took a very a strong pro union stance yet describe the UK wide EU referendum result as anti democratic for Scotland . Its clear the tide is going out for the EU . President Macron even admitted that the French would now vote to leave given the opportunity . 

Edited by redrobbie
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Westminster are to blame for plenty George but not for this disastrous computer system we're discussing

here. Or for the 60+ million pound Police Scotland computer cockup either.

Not a fan of Westminster, the royals, or clan chiefs come to that.

Sometimes you have to put the blame where it lies George rather than use Westminster as a scapegoat.

Take a deep breath George and accept it.

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