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Archives for December 2010

On the buses in Brum with David Jamieson

Martyn Oates | 13:10 UK time, Friday, 17 December 2010

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David Jamieson

David Jamieson

An MP's afterlife can, we know, embrace everything from company directorships to the slow foxtrot.

(Though wise politicians like Vince Cable - poised to delight the nation in the Christmas edition of Strictly Come Dancing - know the latter is much too fine a thing to be delayed until retirement).

Having occupied the green benches in the Mother of Parliaments, though, few ex-MPs decide to embark on a career in local government. But former Plymouth Devonport MP and Transport Minister David Jamieson tells me he's that his latest career move. (I'm afraid my rather lax monitoring of local government developments in the West Midlands hadn't picked this up earlier).

Cllr Jamieson now represents the Kingshurst and Fordbridge ward on Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, run since May by a rather counter-cultural Labour/Lib-Dem coalition.

He's also been landed with the transport portfolio.

"There's no fool like an old fool," he chuckled as he got to grips with the quintessential busman's holiday.

Fishing and farming face the future

Martyn Oates | 17:19 UK time, Friday, 10 December 2010

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Fish catch in Cornwall

Hammering out next year's fishing quotas is a routine part of the pre-Christmas political diary.

Fishermen calling for quota cuts would, of course, be like the proverbial turkeys pulling Santa hats over their wattles.

But the predictable calls for quota increases come with a new twist this year. Cornish fishermen who wouldn't normally dream of targeting cod claim the fish are suddenly jumping into their nets as if from nowhere.

I headed for the Helford River to find out more about this alleged biblical plague of codfish.

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Major reform of the Common Fisheries Policy could soon consign the annual horse-trading to history.

Meanwhile, the Common Agricultural Policy is also at a pivotal point in its history.

We won't know what the future holds for it beyond 2013 until the usual lengthy and tortuous negotiations have been concluded. But the European Commission has come up with a few ideas to get the ball rolling.

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