Covid politics - Measuring Politics - Salmon politics. They are all linked by one thing. Scientists fiddling around whilst Rome burns. Whilst at the same time, common sense goes out the window!
Meanwhile, our businesses are going down the pan!
The run up to this Christmas has been, well, to coin a phrase, “Another fine mess you’ve gotten me into”!
It is like we have gone from one crisis to the next. Lifting of restrictions to periods of semi normality, followed by new restrictions. But why? Well, the simple answer is fear! Fear of the unknown. Fear brought about by those very people charged with providing us with the answers. The fact of the matter is, none of those people provide answers, all they every do is scare us with “worst case scenarios”! Who are they? They are the so-called scientists who “advise” politicians. Or, put another way, they are the people politicians use as a buffer between them and the voting public. In the case of Covid the latest “worst case scenario” is the fear of Omicron overwhelming the NHS. After the first wave, criticism/anger vented at them, governments have no option but to listen or “follow the data,” which in the case of Omicron, looks much the same as any normal winter flu cycle. This is what the data looks like and would suggest. So why the draconian measures? Unfortunately, people will die. They always have and always will It's inevitable.
Now at this point, it must be said I am not tarring all scientists with this same brush; science has and continues to provide us with so much good in this world with its ever-expanding population. Nor am I talking about the first wave of Covid. No, what I am talking about here are “political scientists”! People with a bias or agenda, who’s job or remit it is to spread fear and uncertainty in the population, which, when mixed with weak or egotistic politicians, leads to this chaos. And guess what, more chaos means greater pressure from the public for answers, so round and round we go. Unlike in the past where we made a mistake, learned from it put our hands up and moved on. Today's society, particularly the press and online “influencers” demand answers, and although those answers are there, often staring us in the face, they may not suit the agenda/persuasion/politics etc, etc, which in this case is not to save the NHS, its cant be as all the data points to Omicron as being no worse than the flu. The question must be asked, who are the net winners? https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/1023838/Weekly_COVID-19_and_Influenza_Surveillance_Graphs_w40.pdf
As the saying goes, we cannot see the wood for the trees. Why, because we look too deeply into the forest!
The Politics of Measuring.
There was a time, when all of us were young, if we wanted to find out whether the “water was hot,” we’d run our finger under the tap. As children all of us got burnt doing this, but only once! The next time we’d look for the signs of hot water and steaming water meant no finger test, as we already knew the water was hot. We learned the water was hot, not because someone told us, through trial and error. Next time we’d just flick our finger below the running water.
But “how hot” is the water? Now that’s a different question. If boiling, science tells me it’s 100oC, does it not? However, this is not the original question. Whether it’s 90 degrees or 100, is irrelevant as the question was, “Is the water hot” as I want to wash my face…Trial and error provides me with the absolute answer I desire and leads to good decision making. Whether this is exact makes no difference whatsoever.
Our quest for the absolute answer leads to all sorts of confusion, Indecision breeds negativity, fear and in those days of Internet, difference of opinion!!! This is where the saying, “We’re too clever for our own good” comes from. We cannot see the woods for the trees.
If the question above was – How hot is boiling water? I could write a 50-page reply pointing out that, in fact, the answer to this is infinite, because the boiling point changes with altitude. At sea level and under normal atmospheric pressure the answer is 100oC. However, on the top of Everest at 8848m above sea level this is 69.94oC. Add a change of atmospheric pressure to this, a pressure cooker is a good example, and we have infinite possibilities. That said, for most of us, all we need to know is 100oC, this is close enough. As interesting as the other is, it really does not impact on of us as most of us will not ever want to boil and egg on the top of Everest! For us, the finger under the tap is good enough and rightly so. Why do we need to be exact anyway? What is the question? The one posed above was – Will the NHS be overrun by Omicron? The data more than suggests no but if we look closely enough, far past the trees into the wood, we “may” find something to increase fear and uncertainty.
The politics of Salmon Fishing is the same. What is the question? Salmon are in decline! Why?
Anyone working on the river or with a keen interest will be able to answer this with a high degree [95%] of certainty. Those of us who noted the decline of Juveniles in the river at the time of, due to protection, an increasing number fish-eating birds [FEB] found it easy to make this obvious connection.
At the same time, just like we have seen above, those standing to gain from indecision, focused instead on the 5%, or worse yet, they introduced a red herring to the mix [the main problems are at sea]. This has kept us going around in circles for the past 40 years. 100s of Millions has been spent and more jobs created, all at the expense of Wild Salmon and the jobs it supports.
Another reason will be Hydro, Water Abstraction, Forestry and Farming practices. No one will now argue that this affects natural Juvenile production of the river.
Increasing numbers of Seals, Dolphins are two of many more reasons. Man over fishing prey species at sea, the list of things we know, but choose to do nothing about [Until it suits] goes on..
All of those and more have impacted negatively on wild salmon, in all probability, combined, make up at least 90% of the problems faced by wild salmon. Is this not enough to warrant us taking to the political table and doing something about them? We are constantly told we need more Data. Why study the final 5% - 10% when we already know what is causing 90% of the problem? 40 years of “Knowing” what the real problems are and doing nothing about it. This is reality.
Failing to note when a population gets near critical. When we [Spey Ghillies] pointed this out in the late 1990s, we were told not to be silly and stop scaremongering; “We are still catching 10,000 each year”. Yes, but this is not now 10%, but 50% of the stock. The political Scientist [those with the agenda] would then ask, can you prove this? How do you measure this? I’m sorry, I can't accurately prove it was the reply but my experience of observing this every day tells me this is the case. Your observations are no more than anecdotes! However, 20 years later it has 100% proved to be the case.
The fact of the matter is, everyone and their Granny know what the problems are with wild salmon.
Just like the problems with covid above, it is as plain as the nose on our face, those of us genuinely looking for solutions will never get them because those looking for answers continue to delve deeper and deeper into the 5% and uncertainty has the politician living in a world of fear, thus unable to make what they all know is a difficult political decision. This is where real leadership comes to the fore. This is when we need a Churchill figure who is willing to stand up and be counted, not some buffoon, or arrogant, egotistic bag of wind with a personal agenda!
Its time we all began running our fingers under the water again and thinking for ourselves and focus on the main [90%] part of the problem.