French fishermen are blockading all major french ferry ports, ruining 1000’s of people’s bank holiday plans as part of a strategically timed appeal for state aid. The extra money they want is in order to cope with rising fuel prices.
I support direct action, but France is part of the European economy, as is Britain which leads to some issues here.
Fuel price rises are due to many factors, and it is not just the french that are affected, we have been hard hit as well. UK businesses that rely on fuel to deliver services to clients are having to apply extra charges for these services, UK producers have little state help, in fact many are being pushed out of business every year by harsh government budgeting.
Before the 2nd world war, around 65% of all Britain’s consumables, mainly food was imported. The 1st strategic move by the Nazi’s was to blockade these trade routes with u-boats, forcing the UK to be self sufficient.
Emergency measures had to be put in place, ration books issued, legislation put in place including one law which made it illegal to leave anything on your plate during a meal.
My point is, a sudden problem with food imports put this country in a state of emergency. I would bet that many households in the UK rely on near 100% imported consumables. If a pre-war 65% reliability bought us to our knees, then what on earth would happen now.
France is part of the European economy, but it is far from balanced. Producers are supported by the state, farmers can live a compatible life running their businesses at a terrible loss because of payment from the state. We see this and feel bitter, partly because of the huge amounts of cash we put into Europe, very little of which comes back.
I can see how UK producers would be livid, running a business in this country with the government apparently doing everything in its power to break them, watching the same products as they grow here, coming into the country by boat, plane and lorry at a retail price that they could not even grow for.
In being less reliant on imports, maybe the french government are having to pay farmers, business men would call it ridiculous, governments supporting loss making businesses, supporting a way of life for sentimental reasons, but think of the environmental impacts of being self sufficient.
Its plain ridiculous to bring something in to a country by means of expensive environmentally damaging transport when we can grow it here. And if we can’t sell it for the same price as the import without making a loss, there is a serious problem of this governments making which require direct and prompt resolution.
As part of a European economy, we cannot support imbalances for long, when the french fishermen get their government aid to offset high fuel costs, this will increase a dangerous imbalance unless UK businesses affected in the same way get the same support.
So while I support action as a responce to perceved injustice, I suggest that self sufficiency and economic balence between EU member states needs to be reevalutated urgently.
Where funds from the UK are flowing into another country, and their businesses are enjoying magor benifits that their UK counterparts are not, there is a serious, serious problem.
There you go, quite a balenced expression of my thoughts on this subject taking into account that my own bank holiday plans have been made pretty damn difficult because of this situation.