So the Gretna meeting did get to hear about FMD handling in Dumfries and Galloway
The only problem is they did not say the things that suited the Brown/Murray (Local lab MP/MSP) line.
1 Why didn't the local MP/MSP advertise this (Gretna) meeting ? I bet they had it in
their diaries for long enough. That way the delegation could have heard from
more of us!
2 Why didn't they stand down as "experts" and allow their time for the
people who "were prevented from being heard"
If I remember correctly they got a 5/10 minute slot each and then were given
a slot at the end to sum up. They, being politicians and not true public
representatives, used their end slot to moan about the Cumbrians ....She (MSP Elaine Murray Lab. Dumfries.) was heckled by the Dumfries and Galloway lot who tried in vain to inform her that Gretna was the only meeting . She didn't hear because it didn't suit her (or perhaps she isn't a reader of your excellent site ) or she doesn't want to face up to what really happened in D and G.
Brown/Murray are certainly correct to assume that the Gretna meeting showed
that there were TWO points of view about how FMD was handled.
Could it be that Murray and Brown are worried that this delegation might listen and that the result will be unfavourable to the government? It seems that they are
too late to worry.
The truth will out.
True the meeting was not set up for public statements, not a microphone in
sight. It was soon obvious that those who wanted to speak should give their
name to the 'man with the gold rimmed specs'
Despite the odds it seems to me that the EU delegation perhaps picked up more
than the government may have wished from their Gretna meeting. This is
certainly the view of our local politicians MP Russell Brown Lab.
Dumfries(East part of D and G) and MSP Elaine Murray Lab. Dumfries.
Whilst reading my locals I came across these two articles .
The source was obviously a Labour Party press release - unless both reporters got the same interview somewhat unlikely around here!
Dumfries and Galloway Standard (South of Scotlands biggest newspaper)
"CRISIS VISIT SLATED
Politicians from across Dand G have attacked the latest fmd inquiry to visit
the region. Labour's Russell Brown and Elaine Murray(MSP) described it as "a dangerous waste of time" while Tory Peter Duncan(MP for Galloway) said it was
"farcical" The EU Temporary Committee on fmd held a public meeting in Gretna last
But three UK-wide inquiries into the outbreak are already underway-and
RussellBrown said he felt the EU inquiry was unnecessary and would take too
He added "I fear the evidence given by local farmers and other groups will be
used by MEPs in other countries as a stick to hit British Farming.
"The committee's visit to Gretna was really nothing more than a shambles with
few local people being made aware of the public meeting.
"The only benefit of a EUP committee inquiry would have been if it had
looked at the international policy eradication rather than vaccination is
correct- or whether a Europe-wide insurance scheme should be introduced.
"If , after the inquiry, the EU parliament recommends tougher restrictions on
British farming, those MEPs who backed the inquiry will have a lot to answer
Elaine Murray added "This was the only session to take place in Scotland but
it was hijacked by a small cabal from Cumbria who seemed to be running with a
virulently anti-National Farmers's Union anti-government agenda.
"Their domination of the meeting effectively prevented representatives from
agriculture,tourism and other affected businesses in Dand G from being heard.
"I fear the MEPs may have departed with a quite erroneous impression about
what happened here.
"It was a very badly run-exercise, poorly chaired, and any opportunity to
learn from Scotland's experiences of foot and mouth disease was lost"
Peter Duncan said the European investigation was no substitute for a fully
He said"The EU investigation has a very narrow remit and I do not believe the
lessons that need to be learned fromn the crisis will ever now be brought to
"That is a matter of regret to us all, but particularly the farmers and small
businesses who suffered appallingly as a result of government incompetence.
"The session was badly handled with much of the short time allowed taken by
MEPs 'own personal statements, thus reducing the time for public contribution
"This was a dreadful example of committee scrutiny from Europe"
cool response for Euro fmd probe team
I will only include the differnt point made in this article which was in many
ways identical to No 1.
A European inquiry into fmd , which heard evidence in Gretna has been branded
' a dangerous waste of time'.
Criticism is mounting across the political divide about the probe by MEPs
into the handling of last years crisis,......
...Elaine Murray hit out at a journalist ' ham acting' and trotting out
allegations against the effectiveness of the cull policy which did not apply
to this region.....
...Conduct of the committee compared badly to those inquiries at Holyrood
,claimed the MSP, who stressed it was useful to put the case forward for
further research into vaccination...
..German MEP W Kreisel-Dorfler will draft the final report and
recommendations from the committee after its year long research.
Tory Mp P.Duncan(Galloway) is awaiting their findings with interest, but
believes the session in Gretna was poorly handled.