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The Mortons vs. Whalsay


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24 replies to this topic

#1 Davie P

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 08:25 PM

Tom and James seem to have annoyed the whole island! https://www.bbc.co.u...otland-45812270

 

I imagine the stushie won't have harmed sales of the book though



#2 MuckleJoannie

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 10:23 PM

I saw one of them somewhere online saying that Amazon sales had gone up since the fuss kicked off.



#3 Davie P

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Posted 11 October 2018 - 11:55 PM

James Morton apologised for causing offence on Radio Shetland a couple of nights ago

 

Here's the link https://www.mixcloud...0-october-2018/

 

The interview is about 8 mins 50 secs in, and it's on Clear da Air briefly again at 27 mins in

A thing of nothing, maybe?



#4 Colin

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 07:06 AM

There is no such thing as "bad" publicity. :ponders:



#5 Urabug

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 12:00 PM

Seems the Mortons have touched a raw nerve but the fact is black fish landings did happen and who knows probably still do.

 

Fish is food so no reason why this factual incident"s" should have been excluded from this book,all part of the story.

 

Could be said to be little different to the old smugglers stories of the past.

 

Truth is many of our deep freezes will also be full of "black" products not all fish.!?


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#6 Colin

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 01:15 PM

I think the whole point is why WAS it included unless it was to add a little "colour" (no pun intended) to what would otherwise (probably) be a pretty drab tome.

 

One was born and raised here whilst the other has been here more than 30 years yet, neither one has yet figured out that, around here, "the wheels grind slow but exceedingly fine".



#7 whalsa

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 05:21 PM

Where to start. 

The poem in particular riled a lot of people. Not so much the black fish stuff (although what is the point of reopening that decades old wound?). The "rape of the seas on which they sail", "24 hour shifts fueled by whats behind the hidden door" and "unscrupulous baby seal bludgeoners" was bound to ruffle a few feathers. 

Not only that, the implications that the "mega-rich" island of Whalsay is full of such people is just blatantly false. There are only a small number of the ~1100 residents employed by the pelagic fishing. We have a huge commuting population as well as plenty of low income families. Whalsay is in fact classed as a fragile area due to the challenges it faces. 

To constantly have this stereotyped bandied about, along with the rest of the negativity about the fishing industry, is damaging to the community and totally unnecessary in my view. 



#8 Urabug

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 07:51 PM

whalsa as we all know it is very difficult to hide "mishanters "from the past in a small community like Shetland .

 

Those for whom  it concerns in this book know who they are and thankfully  only a very few were involved in the "misdemeanors" as they were at the time.

 

Times have changed now and hopefully none of this happens now . :roll:  


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#9 Colin

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 08:16 PM

It was a "cheap shot" though


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#10 Davie P

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Posted 12 October 2018 - 10:43 PM

Fish is food so no reason why this factual incident"s" should have been excluded from this book,all part of the story.

 

Not only that, the implications that the "mega-rich" island of Whalsay is full of such people is just blatantly false. There are only a small number of the ~1100 residents employed by the pelagic fishing. We have a huge commuting population as well as plenty of low income families. Whalsay is in fact classed as a fragile area due to the challenges it faces. 

 

I'm sure there's plenty of folk who would rather the whole 'blackfish thing' was forgotten about, but as Urabug notes, it's now part of Shetland fishing's history.

But as whalsa points out, the section of the book I've seen has several factual errors and doesn't paint a realistic picture, which folk are bound to take exception to.

Mr Morton Senior is no stranger to controversy of his own making and I'm guessing he expected a reaction.

And here we are reacting!


Edited by Davie P, 12 October 2018 - 10:44 PM.


#11 JGHR

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 05:35 AM

I imagine the stushie won't have harmed sales of the book though


Yes Morton senior is a consummate professional and there is no doubt that he would have been aware of the potential hoo ha and what it was likely to do to the book sales. I haven't read it and I'm not likely to buy a cook book to do so, but if Tom Morton, or any other credible journalist, was inclined to publish an investigative expose on the underbelly of the fishing industry I would certainly be interested in that. The issues which Whalsa suggests the cook book alludes to, drug use and black fish, have previously been prevalent and may well still occur to some extent in the industry. Those subjects are certainly of public interest and worthy of discussion. They should not be ignored or forgotten simply because they are uncomfortable topics in a small community - lest we be doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past. The reference to seal slaughter I believe is about the one off actions of an individual and I find that in poor taste.
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#12 Colin

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 07:17 AM

"And here we are reacting!"

 

Yes, but are we going to buy the book. ?

 

In a local context, the Mortons seem to have done more to damage sales than to boost them.  After all, who would want to give them a percentage of their "hard earned" after this ?



#13 whalsa

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 08:10 AM

I was not saying the blackfish scandal should be forgotten but said offences were committed (and punished) a long time ago so I would question the need to bring them up in the context of a cook book. 

As for the implication that Whalsay fishermen take drugs to get through long shifts I think that is an utterly shocking and baseless accusation.

 

As JGHR already pointed out the seal clubbing reference was in poor taste presumably regarding one individual (also punished long ago). How is it fair to generalise all fishermen in this manner? In fact, his crime had no relevance to the industry other than it was his occupation at the time of the offence.

The pair obviously harbour some bitterness towards Whalsay or at least the isles fishing industry. Now they have used this to boost sales of their book, pathetic in my view. 

If they wanted to learn more about the facts and current practices of the industry why did they not ask to go off for a trip? I am sure one of the boats would easily have taken them, they do so for various people quite frequently. 


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#14 Guest_PJS1979_*

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 09:02 AM

Looking from the outside regarding wealth, its a shame some of the profits from the pelagic boats couldnt he invested into the Island to boost jobs and business growth improving the lives of the less fortunate members of the island and benefit the whole community.
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#15 Davie P

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 09:51 AM

I expect the reality of the finances behind the Whalsay fleet is different from most people's perception. It's a high-risk game but many people won't have any understanding of the level of investment in time, effort and money the shareholders have made. 

 

Two new boats in as many months, with the Research costing £34 million and the Serene costing £28m, would indicate there's plenty of profit to be made and a high confidence in the sector though.


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#16 Guest_PJS1979_*

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 12:29 PM

But will the fisheries still be here for future generations ?

It would be foolish to think itll go on in its current concept for evermore, creating other industries and jobs in Whalsay other than fishing is the key to the success of the Island for future generations.

#17 whalsa

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Posted 13 October 2018 - 04:52 PM

Exactly right Davie P. It is a business, the business reinvests profit in order to grow.

 

Although, it would be unfair to say it doesn't benefit the community, the Serene I believe for example bought the first Tranquility and took her to the isle which provided jobs at the whitefish. Another pelagic skipper created a salmon workboat company which employs a fair few local boys. Then there is the obvious benefit of the supply chain, spending money in local shops, landing at the Catch, harbour fees etc not to mention all the tax that is paid (although that is all siphoned off to central Government). Oh, and they also frequently sponsor local sports teams and clubs etc.

Also, why on earth would the fishery not be here for future generations? It is Shetland's greatest resource and is totally renewable if managed correctly. Unless as a planet we poison the oceans/warm them up too much in which case we are all pretty much sh*t out of luck anyway! 

I do agree that there is a lack of other employment on the island though, largely down to our poor transport connection. 


Edited by whalsa, 13 October 2018 - 04:52 PM.


#18 JGHR

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 12:55 AM

Exactly right Davie P. It is a business, the business reinvests profit in order to grow.

Although, it would be unfair to say it doesn't benefit the community, the Serene I believe for example bought the first Tranquility and took her to the isle which provided jobs at the whitefish. Another pelagic skipper created a salmon workboat company which employs a fair few local boys. Then there is the obvious benefit of the supply chain, spending money in local shops, landing at the Catch, harbour fees etc not to mention all the tax that is paid (although that is all siphoned off to central Government).


I don't think that anybody could dispute that the fishing benefits the community (although if you want to see the indisputable being disputed shetlink sure is the place to see it!), and the Whalsay community in particular. I didn't realise there were 1100 odd folk in Whalsay, that in itself is testament to the community benefit of the fishing I suggest.

At the risk of side tracking this thread (moderator please move to a more appropriate spot as you wish) your remark about tax and central government does raise an interesting question. In a hypothetical independent Shetland is it healthy for a significant lump of government revenue to be derived from a single source and a small group of individual businesses within that single source? In a situation where a dozen or so individuals are responsible for a noticeable percentage of the tax take, those individuals then wield considerable power and with it an ability to influence the hypothetical government. If those individuals are not particularly well motivated to serve the general public, it doesn't take long for things to go South (pun intended) from there.

For the record I am not against the idea of an independent Shetland, but I don't think it is a realistic possibility at the present time and it isn't likely to be a realistic possibility within the next two or three generations. After that, who knows?

#19 Guest_PJS1979_*

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 08:42 AM

Exactly right Davie P. It is a business, the business reinvests profit in order to grow.
 
Although, it would be unfair to say it doesn't benefit the community, the Serene I believe for example bought the first Tranquility and took her to the isle which provided jobs at the whitefish. Another pelagic skipper created a salmon workboat company which employs a fair few local boys. Then there is the obvious benefit of the supply chain, spending money in local shops, landing at the Catch, harbour fees etc not to mention all the tax that is paid (although that is all siphoned off to central Government). Oh, and they also frequently sponsor local sports teams and clubs etc.
Also, why on earth would the fishery not be here for future generations? It is Shetland's greatest resource and is totally renewable if managed correctly. Unless as a planet we poison the oceans/warm them up too much in which case we are all pretty much sh*t out of luck anyway! 
I do agree that there is a lack of other employment on the island though, largely down to our poor transport connection.


Your missing the point Whalsa, there needs to be a focus on something other than fishing, my suggestion would be for all the Pelagic companies get together and put in place a funding system for business start ups or funding to improve and increase business growth of small business on the Isle, it would be a tiny percentage of thier earnings but would be a huge benefit to someone starting out.

There are huge opportunities with the internet to sell products and services and also to promote your Island as a tourism destination.

#20 Davie P

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Posted 14 October 2018 - 03:58 PM

The one-star reviews on Amazon are entertaining! 

 

https://www.amazon.c...iews-filter-bar