Lossie historian highlights the fisheries lessons of the past

A MORAY HISTORIAN has produced a new video production that will be of particular interest – or on some cases dismay – for those campaigning to represent the region at Westminster.

Lossiemouth’s Don Stewart has published a number of highly regarded books and videos on subjects of interest to the town’s past and present residents.

His latest release looks at the facts behind the fishing industry in Moray – how it was lost in the terms of the original entry of the UK into the then ‘Common Market’.

Mr Stewart is forthright in reminding people that the current debate on the future of what remains of Scotland’s fishing industry is following very familiar arguments. He looked in particular at the role played by Moray’s then MP in the drive to join the European market.

Mr Stewart said: “Fishing was never going to get much of a shout in negotiations, because it produced less than 1% of Britain’s gross domestic product. It had even less chance after the Secretary of State for Scotland, Moray’s MP Gordon Campbell, sent [PM] Heath a memo telling him that fishing was weak and inefficient – and the industry was expendable.

The historian concluded: “Our new negotiations will be starting soon – they will, of course, be secret, right up to the point where we sign the deal. The PM tells us that we will not be able to debate the terms of the agreement – it will be take it, or take it. Does it all sound familiar?”