BAC in the days when I was a researcher, international meetings in Europe would o en witness different research groups intellectually knocking six bells out o each other, with no quarter asked or or given. Every acet o the research reports would be erociously challenged, rom the experimental designs, to the quality o the data, to the statistical analysis, to the final interpretation o the findings.
That was the British way o doing science, to the bemusement o our continental colleagues, who would always establish their agreed national scientific position well be ore coming to the meeting.
The British ding-dongs became almost legendary. But there were times when they were quickly curtailed. All it needed was or one o our continental counterparts to eel they could engage in the process. The Brits would then become tribal, close ranks and display a remarkable mutual solidarity.
I have re ected on this o en over the past month, as Brexit discussions and disagreements have dominated the news day a er day. I voted remain because I thought it would be easier to achieve major E re orms rom within rather than rom outside.
However, when the Brexit vote was leave and more so as Brussels negotiations have progressed - I have come to the view that the will have to be outside the E to find its own salvation.
Central in this is a desperate need to re-establish some grown up politics in Westminster and in the regional seats o government in Scotland, Wales and orthern Ireland, and to restore public confidence in our political parties and political institutions.
This is not a time or party or regional politicking. The uture prosperity o communities throughout the demands politicians align orces, close ranks and get behind the position that democracy has determined.
There are currently many examples where that is not happening, rom the wholly irresponsible demands that the government publishes its impact analysis papers prior to the Brussels negotiations, to the attempts o remain supporters, rom all parties and governments, to undermine the s position by undertaking their own lobbying in Brussels.
This may appear like business as usual to the politicians, but it eeds into the volatile and ractious politics o the , and erodes any sense o national purpose.
Politicians should have no doubt that the voting public will have long memories and will not orgive those who they believe are currently le ng them down.
Meanwhile, in the day to day world, where working people are ge ng on with their lives, salmon arming in Scotland is going through a year when sea water temperatures have been exceptionally high.
There has been a very unusual, local incidence o Pasteurella skyensis in Loch Erisort, and gill and parasite challenges have been encountered in several other arming locations.
However, alongside this, ctober has also provided significant new developments and quite a lot o good news.
At the start o the month, Marine Harvest began recruiting or the ormer sea bass and sea bream hatchery at Penmon in Anglesey that it has acquired or wrasse production. This will substantially increase the industry s cleaner fish capabilities- and that is a very positive development.
Additionally, industry wide innovation and on- arm testing o new engineering solutions in sea lice management are now making significant progress, and knowledge and experience is being shared between companies to help deal with the problems arising rom climate change.
Linked with this, on ctober 30, at the Convention o the Highlands and Islands, Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing gave the green light to the development o Scotland s first aquaculture innovation sites, which will be a very welcome and significant addition to the industry s R D capabilities.
And, in mid- ctober, ofima announced a breakthrough in the breeding o sterile salmon. This will remove the possibility o escaped fish breeding with the wild population and make ASC s (the orth Atlantic Salmon Conservation rganisation) preoccupations with genetic introgression a thing o the past.
Finally, this month I am making an inaugural Fake ews o the Month award. This goes to Julia Horan o the Sunday Times ( ctober 22) or her story, headlined Fish arms under fire or seal death toll , saying that seal shootings by Sco sh fisheries and fish arms in the first hal o 2017 were almost 50 per cent higher than in 2016, and that most seals were shot by fish arms .
However, what Julia ailed to point out was that fish arm shootings had increased by less than nine per cent, while fisheries shootings had increased by 200 per cent, revealing a rather different story. Congratulations to Julia and well done to the Sunday Times
I am making an inaugural Fake ews o the Month award and this goes to the Sunday Times”