Fishy Propaganda by Euphemism

BBC Scotland has been tip-toeing around the crisis in seafood exports for the last few days, either ignoring it, inserting very short reports of only seconds length and late in the broadcast or, as above, minimising it and using innocuous words or expressions in place of ones that may be found offensive or suggest something unpleasant – euphemism.

The Times, which to be fair, is one of the few places still featuring anything you could call investigative and which seems prepared to go all the way in criticising the Johnson regime, had this:

Scotland’s fishing industry faces a damaging and permanent loss of overseas customers within days because of post-Brexit paperwork chaos. Many seafood exporters fear they will collapse as a result of the delays. Hundreds of thousands of pounds of fresh seafood sales to the EU were cancelled last week after bureaucracy added days to delivery times. The introduction of health certificates, customs declarations and other paperwork led to bottlenecks on both sides of the Channel. Michael Gove, the Cabinet Office minister, warned businesses on Friday to brace for disruption as France told its ports to crack down on lorries from Britain with incorrect paperwork. Fishermen’s leaders and wholesalers warn that EU customers will take their business, worth more than £1 billion a year to Scottish firms…..

More on propaganda by euphemism:

Euphemisms are sneaky.

When propagandists use glittering generalities and name-calling symbols, they hope to arouse their audience with vivid, emotionally suggestive words. At other times, the propagandist seeks to pacify the audience by making an unpleasant reality more palatable. They do this by using bland and inoffensive words known as “euphemisms.”

Since war is particularly unpleasant, military discourse is full of euphemisms. In the 1940s, America changed the name of the War Department to the Department of Defense. In the 1980s, the Reagan Administration renamed the MX Missile “The Peacekeeper.” During wartime, civilian casualties are referred to as “collateral damage,” assassination is called “liquidation,” and physical torture is called “enhanced interrogation.” In the 1990, diplomats and politicians used the bland phrase “ethnic cleansing” to describe the mass murder of more than 100,000 people in the former Yugoslavia and more than 800,000 people in Rwanda.

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32 thoughts on “Fishy Propaganda by Euphemism

  1. It is going to be impossible for the Scots Tories to ever be able to sell brexit to the Scottish fishing Industry
    Because one of the top legal experts on political and trade treaties has had his team digging deep into the EU withdrawal trade deal
    And even though it is early days to make definitive conclusions with a very large legal
    Document and all its attendant references etc
    His preliminary report on the agreement pertaining to fishing makes very poor reading for the fishing Industry as the EU has effectively ensured it has access to and control of UK waters in perpetuity
    This was achieved by the inclusion of clear cut
    Clauses that come into force if and when the UK ever attempts to flout the fisheries agreement
    In short if EU conclude fairly that The UK is not abiding in key areas then immediately
    The whole agreement and not just fishing is null & void
    Then the UK no longer has a trade agreement in any form and consequently forced to trade on WTO terms
    We are more less locked in for ever
    Do you honestly believe that France,Spain,Belgium,Portugal and Denmark
    Would ever ever have signed a agreement that led to their own fisheries being denied considerable access to the vast UK fishing resources in the future
    And that is exactly why the EU agreement basically guarantees them considerable access
    into the foreseeable future as the punishment is so severe and onerous that awaits the UK should it ever attempt to flout or wriggle out
    The Fishing industry has been sold a old clapped out banger
    But their revenge will very soon be enacted
    Not a squeak from Dross and his merry band of pirates on these matters and no wonder why because they are more or less aware of what i speak and for them to speak upon these matters is akin to the pulling the pin out of the grenade that fishing has thrown under their table

    The Indy movement have been handed a home run here and The SNP should engage appropriate experts to study and report
    On the actual ramifications of this trade deal
    Pertaining to fisheries
    It most certainly appears to be a home run for us and if deployed properly irrerepairable political damage can be swiftly inflicted in Tory heartlands in Scotland
    We have the ball at our feet as we gaze upon a open goalmouth now


      1. I would give the Japanese gov. very little credit. They have up until now, encouraged travel for holidays (!) eating out, etc, and not locked down, which is something in fact their laws cannot enforce anyway, apparently.
        They are not locking down now, just asking people to alter their ‘behaviour’ until Feb 7th. They are apparently threatening to name and shame those who don’t follow rules, and deport those who are not citizens if they don’t follow the rules. They are still planning for the Olympics. It’s all about economics and I suspect they are struggling at least in part due to the legacy of Fukishima nuclear power plant disaster clean up costing an absolute fortune. It’s shame, and the people of Japan are generally very compliant re laws and regulations etc, so hopefully they can reduce infection rates.

        One thing that we in Scotland should be doing is naming and shaming the Brexiters, the rich ones, in the fishing industry and elsewhere, who are now crying foul,(because they are losing lots of money) and who do not even blame the EngGov, but who attempt to lay at least some blame on the ScotGov! How bloody dare they.
        Those Brexiters do not give one hoot about anyone else, name and shame them.


  2. It’s euphemistically called BBC balance…
    There are no winners in the normal world from Brexit, fishing is but the the first of multiple businesses coming to terms with having been scammed.
    I heard Buchan blame the disaster partly on SG, and Turdo bob and weave similarly, so fully expect this to be official PQ angle shortly.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “so fully expect this to be official PQ angle shortly.”

      Yes, Bob. Today’s blog by Mr North says this though.

      “Such is the crisis that has developed that the Guardian is now reporting that fresh seafood exports from Scotland to the EU are to be halted until 18 January – now extended a further five days.

      Yet, it is unlikely that such a short hiatus – even when extended – will have much effect. Export firms point to delays regarding health certificates, issues with the IT system interface between exporters and local authorities, and incorrect or missing customs documentation from customers.

      So fundamental are these problems that a break of a few days won’t do much to help and there are fears that, unless the issues are resolved, the trade – which is said to be worth more than £1 billion to Scottish businesses – will collapse.

      All this has been brought about by the hard line adopted by the UK government in the trade negotiations, with the doctrinaire insistence on taking over fishing quota that the industry was not capable of exploiting, while failing to broker a deal which would safeguard the interests of businesses reliant on exporting.”


    2. BBC Radio Scotland broadcasts the Truth

      boss of Loch Fyne Langoustines Ltd. at about 7.40am explaining how his business is being destroyed by Brexit, asked what he had to say to David Duguid mp Tory Scottish Office Minister, . . . .”I’d like him to stop lying . . he’s lied to us for 4 years. . . . . . ”

      Garry Robertson : Are you a Liar

      Duguid. Blah Blah. Blah . . . . . Can I just blame it all on the SNP


    3. As I have said in a comment further up the thread, we need to name and shame the Brexiters, the rich ones especially, who are crying foul now, and especially those who are trying to blame the ScotGov for their businesses going under, how bloody dare they!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Clydebuilt
        They have also sent this message to the SNP saying ‘get it sorted!’ Far as I have read this company were Brexiters and are majorly anti SNP.
        The SNP have been completely locked out of ANY talks on Brexit, and told to get tf by the EngGov, then you have Brexiters in Scotland blaming the ScotGov and telling them to ‘get it sorted’! Get lost.
        Name and shame these Brexiters, hell mend ’em! I am raging about this I really am, how dare they even mention the SNP in their rage about losing money due to Brexit, how bloody dare they.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I knew about the impact of sanitary/phytosanitary conditions on third countries and therefore on UK business from reading the blog in 2017/onwards.

    The representatives of Scottish fishermen and the Tories have let down badly the interests of their members by failing to understand or wilfully ignore the impact ofleaving the SM and CU.

    Whatever the BBC is doing now, Chris Mason, who headed up reporting the impact of Brexit on business, was/is certainly telling viewers of the impact of leaving the SM and CU.

    The Scottish gov has a website devoted to helping business plan for Brexit. Given the Tory approach to negotiating a deal there were limitations to its effect.

    “The Cabinet Secretary set out some of the new import/export procedures likely to be required following the end of the transition period and what the SG is doing to mitigate the effects of the end of transition:

    Taking back UK control appears to involve taking on significant bureaucracy and chaos at our borders.
    Third-country status will mean that full sanitary and phytosanitary — SPS — procedures must apply in exporting agricultural, plant and seafood goods to the EU. Along with other demands, businesses face export health or phytosanitary certification, pre-notification of arrival, presentation at border control points, documentary and identification checks, and risk-based physical checks and sampling. There will be fees for certifier time and a fee for clearance and checks at border control posts, including between Scotland and Northern Ireland.
    Efforts to plan and mitigate are hampered by ambiguities and confusion about the UK Government’s actions or lack of actions. SG is working with banks, through the banking and economy forum, to encourage cash-flow support to business. The multi-agency website, which is hosted by Scottish Enterprise, provides advice, access to sources of financial support and online self-assessment tools. During November, an additional 500 companies assessed as being vulnerable to Brexit impacts will be contacted and offered support. That number will grow to 1,200 ahead of 31 December…
    The Cabinet Secretary suggested that the SG relationship with the UKG continues to be poor when it comes to Brexit-related matters, Whilst there had been meetings, none of the devolved administrations believed that teir concerns, including the impact on devolution of the Internal Market Bill, were being listened to by UKG.
    The Fisheries Act determining how the UK will operate post-transition arrangements over fishing in British waters has now become law. While Scottish Fisheries Secretary Fergus Ewing acknowledged that the act will provide a necessary framework to manage fisheries from 1 January 2021, he maintained:

    “Nothing in this legislation can compensate for the loss of our biggest seafood markets in the E.U. and the wider damage that it will cause to our coastal communities…With just over five weeks until the end of the transition period, the U.K. government must urgently clarify how it will provide us with the multi-year funding which was available from the E.U. and support the new powers.”

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Some people never learn. Warned and warned they still voted for chaos. A catastrophe. The Tories will be voted out. Johnston will lose his seat. Scotland will be Independent. Support at 60%. Westminster total incompetence beyond belief.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. “Some people never learn.”

      From Euronews online dated 12 January we see this headline: One Scottish fish exporter’s story: ‘We will come through this — but it will take some time!’

      The article tells us about Graeme Tallis, CEO of Peterhead-based fish exporter GT Seafood: ‘He (Mr Tallis) has heard some “horrific stories” in the first week of January, with some exporters encountering long delays and fish being spoiled.”

      But the article ends with this from Mr Tallis: ‘He blames no-one for the current situation, saying “we are where we are”. “I’m sure we’ll come through this, but it will hit people in the pocket,” he concludes.’

      How on earth can his blame no-one line be justified?

      On 14 January The Guardian reported comments from Jimmy Buchan, chief executive of the Scottish Seafood Association. EVEN pro-Brexit Mr Buchan can’t avoid pointing a (limp?) finger of blame. He says: “We were thrown in at the deep end. We’ve had two years to prepare for this and government are standing back and saying: ‘This is what you wished for.’”

      (On reading that latter point, my wish to avoid unseemly schadenfreude was sorely tested!)

      Liked by 2 people

    2. Amongst the coverage of logistical problems facing Scottish fish exports (consequences of new non-tariff barriers), we should not lose sight of the sense of betrayal within the Scottish fishing industry over longer term Brexit deal consequences. Otherwise Westminster and its media apologists will try to keep our attention on short term ‘teething problems’ only.

      The UK Government issued a press statement dated 12 March 2020 following a visit by the Defra fisheries minister, Victoria Prentis to Peterhead. All seemed sweetness and light when she met with Elspeth Macdonald, CEO of the Scottish Fisherman’s Federation (SFF).

      The statement gave us this from Ms Macdonald: “Hearing the Minister reiterate the UK Government’s position about securing the Sea of Opportunity outside of the Common Fisheries Policy was very welcome.”

      But before the year was out, Ms MacDonald was saying this (29 December, 2020): “This deal falls very far short of the commitments and promises that were made to the fishing industry by those at the highest level of government. It does not restore sovereign UK control over fisheries, and does not permit us to determine who can catch what, where and when in our own waters.” ‘Sea of opportunity’?

      The SFF’s equivalent elsewhere in the UK is the National Federation of Fishermen’s Organisations (NFFO). It published a statement on 26 December. Perhaps unsurprisingly, its direct criticism of the Tory government was rather more robust than that from the SFF. Its headline was: “MINISCULE, MARGINAL, PALTRY, PATHETIC”.

      The NFFO stated: “Throughout the fishing industry there is a profound sense of disillusionment, betrayal, and fury that after all the rhetoric, promises and assurances, the Government caved-in on fish.

      “This was a decision taken at the highest political levels and it is important that responsibility is taken for the choices made. This is no time for spin.”

      But will pro-Tory, pro-Brexit, pro-Union voters in the fishing communities in NE Scotland finally ‘learn’?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. stewartb
        Oh they will learn this time as they watch helplessly as the their bank balances go rapidly pear shaped
        The hardest of lessons in their case shall be the bettering of them for once and all with regards who to back politcally
        What has happened is unforgiveable now and for generations

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Forgive me if I consider it more simplistically. London always poisons the well on the eve of Independence for Nations. In the Middle East the evidence is clear. In “India” they created India and East/West Pakistan. In Ireland the divided the island. In Africa they created straight line neat boundaries through the middle of tribe, and on and on.

    Whitehall does not like success to emerge from Independence, and certainly not in the short term English electoral voter mindset. The message that “Those fools have left the glorious Empire.” Is easier if a few years of turmoil follow.

    I expect much more damage to be done to our Nation before Independence is gained. This is how Whitehall has worked for centuries. They consider it easier to have the upper hand in future negotiations. This maybe nonsense in a modern World but old habits die hard.

    If you think London is going to assist a Nation which is leaving their grasp then bitter disappointment awaits. We are already labelled ungrateful parasites so the messaging is already prepared.

    Remember how many time the “Shetland breakaway” has been touted over the last few years, history repeats itself. Why are the bigots in Scotland embraced so warmly by Unionists.

    A centuries old saying

    “It is better to be an enemy of England than a friend because they will always betray a friend to gain an advantage with an enemy”

    This refers not to the people England but to its Governments. To its elite.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. That’s excellent Julia. Absolutely spot on. We ain’t seen nothing yet from their Brexit, Scotland needs to put some barriers up somehow, to the damage and destruction, that is about to ensue from the EngGov.
      Divide and conquer and rule, and if they can’t manage that, slash and burn. Scotland is in great peril.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Aye. Bowie thought erection of a massive flagpole with the biggest Union flag they could find to flutter in front of the FM’s offices was important, that’s the level of intellect deployed by his Union.
      Whilst I agree they will try to drop a Turdo in the well, the world moved on and is watching intently while the Tories catch up, the United Queendom is again, mything in action,.


  6. Off the topic of fish and on to NI. The UK gov and the EU seem to have negotiated an unworkable scheme.

    “The way supermarket supply chains work is that stores send information back to the depots on a daily if not hourly basis saying ‘we are running out of these products.

    “Those lorries are generally moving well before the 24-hour period. They don’t know what needs to be in the lorry and yet they are expected to tell the authorities what is going to be on the lorry.

    “They also need an exhaustive process of certification and bureaucracy, including vets to sign off all the products going to the Republic of Ireland or the rest of the EU.

    “It’s pretty much an unworkable system for supermarkets.”….

    …..“The biggest problem was that the deal was agreed very, very late,” Mr Wright told the committee.

    “All members of the food supply chain have had very little time to get to grips with the provisions of the agreement and are still getting to grips with them.”

    He added: “The enforcers are as clueless about some of the provisions of parts of the deal as those operating under it.

    “Nobody has had the chance to work with this deal, to rehearse how to do checks.”

    He cited one multinational company that found customs checks and certifications on a mixed consignment of goods to the EU would previously have taken three hours to complete now takes five days.

    “Such is the nature of the impenetrability of the paperwork.”


      1. Re unification is inevitable now
        And both sides of the Border should be setting up joint forums to prepare properly for it
        Boris certainly has taken back control
        But in order to so the price is Loss of Scotland
        N.I.along with Wales bringing up the rear in the rush for the exit gate
        The Union is now like the dead parrot in the monty python sketch
        No use the pet shop owner arguing that the union is not dying, As now it is DEAD
        The undertakers carriage is on the way

        Liked by 4 people

  7. Fish processing to be hit?

    Alan Firth Flag of DenmarkFlag of United KingdomFlag of European Union
    · 4h
    Danish media reporting that Scottish fishing boats are now sailing to Denmark to sell their catch. By so doing they avoid Brexit restrictions. 30-40% (!!) of fish sold at auction in Hanstholm have been brought in by Scottish boats since start of 2021.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Sam
      And no doubt onerous extra fuel costs incurred along with higher costly equipment
      Maintenance and depreciation of capital value of the vessels
      Long term unsustainable
      A smart 10 yr old could have foreseen such consequences
      But not so for those in Westminster who have had hideously expensive private education
      That is now utterly unfit for purpose of the modern world

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes, Premier1uk.

        Perhaps I’m being too pessimistic. There will be additional costs for those not taking the fish directly to market, perhaps employing someone to do the customs work. But if additional non-tariff costs can be met ….

        Barnier says the glitches can be ironed out….


        1. Sam
          I wish to state a shinning Little diamond of Buddhist wisdom
          And something none with their elite expensive education will far less be aware but
          Most certainly consider it as balderdash once aware of
          So here it is
          Sometimes the smallest of pebbles cast upon the most still of waters
          May cause the largest of ripples and splashes

          But they will no doubt be made aware of it

          As the result splahes from the polling booths are counted and they find themselves being soaked ( shocked to the core )
          Hell mend them


  8. Can you rely on a ‘pledge’ by a Scottish Tory MP?

    On 28 November, 2018 David Duguid MP, Tory member from Banff and Buchan made much of signing, along with his Scottish Tory colleagues, a ‘pledge’.

    He wrote: “Today, I signed the pledge, presented to all Scottish MPs, by the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation, confirming my position AGAINST:
    – a future fisheries arrangement that would extend our membership of the CFP beyond Dec 2020
    – any arrangement that would take us back into the CFP after that date
    – any arrangement that prevents the UK from taking its rightful place as an independent coastal state, exercising complete control and sovereignty over its own waters.

    “All 13 Scottish Conservative MPs have signed this pledge. Haven’t yet heard of any other Scottish MPs who have signed it.”

    A few points are notable: (i) the origin of the ‘pledge’ is the Scottish Fishermen’s Federation (SFF); (ii) all Scottish Conservative MPs at the time made the commitment; and (iii) these MPs gave among other things a clear commitment to the SFF on “exercising complete control and sovereignty over (the UK’s) own waters.”

    On control and sovereignty, this is the judgement now of the SFF – the originator of the ‘pledge’ – on the value of the Scottish Tories’ pledge. On 29 December 2020 the SFF stated: “This deal falls very far short of the commitments and promises that were made to the fishing industry by those at the highest level of government. It DOES NOT RESTORE SOVEREIGN UK CONTROL over fisheries, and does not permit us to determine who can catch what, where and when in our own waters.” (my emphasis)

    Who would have guessed? It seems a ‘pledge’ carries no more weight with a Scottish Tory MP than a ‘vow’!

    It is now, once again, clear that Tory politicians’ have little regard for the interests of Scotland’s fishing industry. Therefore, is it any wonder that during all their years in government in Westminster that the Tories did not use the UK’s leverage to improve the basic terms of the EU’s Common Fisheries Policy in favour of Scotland’s fishing industry?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think when a Tory or red Tory makes a ‘pledge’ they are thinking of the polish in a can. ‘Pledge’ shiney shiney, wiping away the lies and the CON, or so they hope. Biggest scammers of the century these Tories/red Tories. Anyone who believes one single word that they utter needs their head examined.

      Liked by 2 people

    2. I hope the YES campaign is making a list of these… now what’s a polite phrase?… lapses in memory suffered by Better Together/WM/TP (that’s tory party, not toilet paper. Mind you…) concerning promises previously made and yet to be acted upon.

      Personally, I recall them, but many may not.


  9. For Scottish fishing vessels to land their fish in Denmark or anywhere else for that matter they need permission from the EU and from the government in the country where the fish is landed and from the U.K. government.
    Licenses and health inspections will be compulsory

    Perhaps these Scottish boats are now registering their vessels in other countries .
    No doubt the effect of all this will be for England’s Westminster to say that Scotland’s exports have reduced and its tax contribution has reduced
    How will it be presented in their GERS figures

    We know that there are Scottish fish trawler owners fighting on England’s behalf from within Scotland they voted and campaigned for brexit they voted and campaigned against Scottish independence 2014 and they will continue to be redcoats .

    How we respond to them once Scotland is independent will be discussed one day .
    Their traitorous actions should be repaid .


    1. Terrance Callachan
      For the avoidance of doubt
      Please amend
      Their traitrorous actions SHOULD be repaid
      To read
      WILL be repaid


  10. How quickly can we get feries or container ships sailing to Europe from Rosyth or Grangemouth?
    Or even Eyemouth where the local fish and shellfish retailer and wholesaler is complaining their business is going down the pan? I was there briefly in August and learned that Eyemouth was developed asa port after Berwick became part of England. We needto do something equally drastic to save our fishing industry, particularly for those working round the coast,usually small operators.

    Liked by 2 people

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