Sunday, 28 March 2010

Minister for Maggots and Bloodworms in the Department for Angling

Richard Benyon, Tory MP for Newbury, clearly either hasn't been told about his party's Localist policy, or fancies a job as Minister for Maggots and Bloodworms in a new Department for Angling.

In what I'm sure he saw as a useful move to 'engage the Angling community' he arranged a publicity stunt including a pledge to set up an 'angling think tank' and no doubt took pleasure in the Angling Times headline 'Tories pledge to shape the future of fishing'.

Richard, m'dear. Listen to me. Angling needs neither a minister nor a new quango. 'Shaping the future' of angling isn't amongst the key duties of government. No doubt civil servants, preparing for the next government and eager to impress, sensitive to press announcements such as this, are already drafting the key clauses of a new Angling Bill, setting up a new National Angling Authority that would regulate bait freshness and shinyness standards for lures, advised by a new Angling Advisory Board with at least a dozen highly-paid part time posts for good Tory placemen. Not what you meant?

If it wasn't what you meant, what you should have said was "A Conservative government will leave the regulation of Angling to the various local authorities with jurisdiction over our rivers and inland waters. Our aim is to get big government off Anglers' backs and stop making fatuous and unnecessary interventions in what are local matters and a popular hobby."

See? Not hard, is it?


manwiddicombe said...

Our aim is to get government [to] stop making fatuous and unnecessary interventions in what are local matters

The day I hear a politician actually commit to a policy of that nature I will probably faint.....

idle said...

This is the excitable naif who said last year: "Global warming is my generation's Dunkirk".

Enuff said.

Weekend Yachtsman said...

"Our aim is to get government [to] stop making fatuous and unnecessary interventions"

No, that isn't their aim, and never has been.

The aim of the political class is quite the opposite.

Why, if they back off from regulating angling, it might call all sorts of things into question. Someone could, for instance, wonder about the need for the Lemon Meringe Pie authority*, to name just one example, and then where would all those good hardworking people find themselves?

Sorry, but you can't start re-opening questions like that, Mr. R. Wherever would it end?

* H/T The late great Michael Wharton, prophetic in this as in so many things.

Elby the Beserk said...

Well, I'm no angler - the only time I caught a fish, it fell off the line - but if the government have found something that they have not already interfered with, then they are duty bound to interfere with it - usually by comprehensively fucking it up.

Indeed, the rare occasions when they DO have a good idea, they invariably fuck it up.

rvi said...

What he meant to say was that Davey boy will rename the Min of Health as the Min of Maggots and Bloodworms. No change there then.

Elby the Beserk said...


They're bored with Angling. It's football this week. Twunts.