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countryside alliance a good idea?

Guest euan pink

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Guest trent.barbeler

Dear All,


I have read these posts with a great deal of interest.


Am I right in assuming that the majority of anglers already aligned to the CA are mostly game anglers? If so, and given the fact that the NAA already have a powerful presence from game anglers who make up one in six of the NAA membership, forming any sort of alliance with the CA seems a little bit like taking coals to Newcastle. Politically, any alliance with the CA at this time in history for anglers seems pretty pointless to me. What exactly is this alliance designed to acheive? As for the CAA, are not their number of active members extremely small? Given the number of anglers in this country, why is this alliance with CA so important?


I happen to be quite passionate about "grass roots" anglers/fishermen. To me, ordinary or "grass roots" anglers are the very essence or lifes blood of what going fishing is all about. It matters not one jot to me what any of us choose to fish for, it is the act of actually going fishing that binds us all together.


Now, imagine for a moment all anglers/fishermen coming together under just ONE organisation. I am not talking about the NAA here, I am talking about just ONE organisation that individual anglers/fishermen belong to. Pleasure anglers, match anglers, specimen anglers, single species anglers, game anglers, sea anglers all paying a yearly subscription to be part of one major gigantic organisation that represents ALL anglers no matter how or what they fish for.


Then imagine, with EVERY angler being a member of such an organisation with the potential for massive funding coming via such a large membership. It could easily afford to employ professional's to work for the interests of its members. Ordinary fisherfolk just like you and me.


Of course, this is all laughably silly. I mean, imagine anglers actually being prepared to work together instead of against each other? Pigs will be landing at Heathrow before that ever happens surely?


Why is it, that in this great country of ours, angling just cannot see the wood for the tree's? What is so funimentally wrong with all anglers paying a pittance individually for the forging of a angling organisation that would protect angling in this country of ours for eternity? Because believe me, that is all it would take. Pure and simple, the bottom line is; We ALL pay into something that brings us ALL together.


For years now we have been going about our angling business in the same old way. Angling made up of various groups or organisations with the majority of anglers being members of nothing who are merely happy with the pure act of just going fishing. Ask yourselves, has this attitude advanced or indeed protected angling interests? Are we any stronger now as a sport made up of every angler in the country now than we were say ten years ago? I know that there has been a lot of talk about unity and so forth but exactly who is united? Are we talking about EVERY angler in the country or just a few that happen to belong to some group or another.


If you take the actual individual memberships of all those anglers who make up the NAA or indeed the CA, just how many in number are these individuals? And how do their numbers relate to the number of actual anglers there are in this country? So, in conclusion, is the NAA or the CA truely representative of angling? Or are they merely representative of their OWN members?


I have been around long enough to have seen some really passionate men and women representing various angling groups and organisations of all sizes. In their own rights, they each have commitment and vision. Imagine just what angling could achieve if these people joined together to represent one body of anglers on a national scale instead of just a minority of groups and organisations.


Angling or fishing does not have to align itself to anyone. What it DOES need to do is recognise that we have the power to look after ourselves. But of course, in order to become strong we have to be brave enough to start looking a lot further than we all are doing presently. Angling groups are fine in their own right but even so, the vast majority of anglers, angling's power house, belong to nothing at all.


As I say, I happen to believe passionately in "ordinary anglers". Guys and galls just like all of us who just want to go fishing.


I just hope that some day, someone, will come up with the miracle that brings us all together.





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Guest Nightwing

Well, it's not my country, but since I feel a brotherhood with fisherman everywhere, I just have to go and stick my nose in anyway.

Simply put, the reason the anti's are so far ahead in their agenda in your country, as opposed to mine(U.S.), is that here, fisherman and hunters act as one organizationaly. Our major groups, while seperate in name, are usualy entirly supportive of one another when the anti's try something. Beyond that, many hunters fish and fisherman hunt, and even those that do not, are almost always entirley supportive of their brothers of the field.

30 million hunters here, and 50 million fisherman, and we work as one when it is on the line.

Think about it.

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Guest Vagabond

Yes, good point Nightwing. However, not only are we hunters and fishers fewer in sheer numbers here, but the "proportional representations" differ.


Assuming the population of the States is somewhere around 250 million, your figures suggest about one in five of the population fishes - and what politician could risk upsetting 20% of the voters?


In a UK population of around 55 million, even the most optimistic guess of angler numbers would be well below 5 million - ie less than one in eleven fishes, and numbers are shrinking all the time.


In the case of shooters (= USA hunters) the proportions will be even lower in the UK, and of course hunting (ie foxes, hares, etc) is very much a minority field sport, which is why the Labour Party feels safe in attacking it.


We have just seen a bill passed banning hunting in Scotland (and legal experts are claiming it is such a shoddy piece of legislation, that the inevitable test cases resulting will provide lawyers with income for a very long time)


One more of our basic freedoms lost - does anyone care about THAT aspect ?


It will be interesting to see who is targetted next in Scotland by the anti field sport industry - these people will not rest until we are all vegan !




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Guest Peter Waller

The silly thing is that we did once have one body to represent the coarse angler, been around a long time. It's called the NFA. Then along came the splinter groups and so thus we are now in the disjointed mess that we now see around us.

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Guest Peter Waller

As has been reported, one of the major carp groups has joined the CA. Why should it have done this? Why should a, presumably, main player in the SAA decide it needs to join the CA? Unity within U.K. angling seems further away than ever. As the man said, the ugly head of politics rears its ugly head.

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Let me qualify my use of the word toff. I was not trying to imply that all fox hunters are toff's, just this particular one. And indeed was not trying to imply that the average coarse angler is indeed coarse. But everytime a debate in the media is opened one of these, definate toffs, are wheeled out to tell us all of the huamanity of fox-hunting. It serves the media well to do this as it is obviously more emotive and stirs up the class envy than someone mentioned previously.

What it also does is to trivialise many of the core issues that the Country-side Alliance had before these parasites hijacked the whole agenda.

Lee mentioned a body to support grass roots anglers. I am such an angler. So if that body would care to step forward and identify itself it would have my total support.




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Guest Ziptrev

We have to stand together on this issue, and we cannot really defend even catching a tiny Roach BECAUSE we are invading a wild creatures domain, hunting it by injuring it , however slight , with a sharp instrument, barbed or not, and hauling it by the mouth, hopefully not deep hooked,into air which causes it discomfort.

The only justification is the pleasure we receive from our actions.

Foxes will be shot at with inadequete weapons, trapped, poisoned and otherwise maltreated IF they get the PROTECTION of a hunting ban, because they are VERMIN.

I have never hunted or been hunting, I am not landed Gentry, Rich or a Keen Hunt following ordinary man.

But if they get the pleasure in soaring over fences with a galloping horse and the excitement of the wind rushing past at speed, as I can only imagine. This pleasure must be as acute to them as the pleasure I get from catching a fish.

What right have I ,or any other person to deny a fellow human being their own paticular pleasure.

Isn't it obvious that the spin doctors are working here.

Blair is under criticism ovet Foot & Mouth and loss of Tourist Trade in the L.District.

I'snt this just THE VERY WRONG TIME to introduce a livebait ban in the area and further reduce tourism?

Or is it just the right time to split Anglers.

He promised in 97 to ban fox hunting. Time didnt allow it to be pursued in Parliament was the excuse.BUT Scotland have managed to find time and are being challenged by the Alliance in the European Court Of Human Rights Convention.

Whichever way that goes will determine Englands next move.I wonder what the Scots trade off is?

It's all happening at once and the splits in our ranks makes it easy for him.

Live baiting is an Option its not COMPULSORY.

The Catch for food only Policy in Germany is the LAW it is COMPULSORY.

Do you want it here?

Its lead to the fact that as the fish is going to be disposed of anyway, the handling of it becomes less important and as a knife is recommended for disposal,as against our Priest, then it is common to see hooks ripped out instead of removed and fish gutted on the bankside for all to see, including kids,because as always familiarity breeds contempt.

4 million Anglers, yeah, but there arent 4 who would agree totally on every aspect of Country Sports and in making a stand against one, you will lose your own.

And the trade off when Blair goes to the European Union aned says 'Cracked it,banned this, Banned that all forced to stop'

Probably economic, military, or any wonder coup that can be blown up to keep POWER.

The only thing they care about, Pleasure,Quality of life, freedom , forget it.

Stand together or fall together and choose, but do not believe your pleasure will survive your actions in denying someone else theirs.Because many of them, betrayed by people who should be closer to understanding will join the antis who get pleasure in stopping others enjoy themselves and want conformity not freedom.

What goes around, Comes around!






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Guest Vagabond

Many years ago, I remember attending the inaugaral meeting of the National Anglers' Council, at Fishmongers' Hall.


I remember an impassioned speech by the late Dick Walker, putting forward much the same ideas as Waterman and others are doing now - ie that an attack on one section of angling is an attack on us all.


Yes, we need unity - if (for example) a town council proposes to close its pier to sea anglers, we want it bombarded with angry letters from Welsh fly fishers, Hertfordshire carp fishers, Scottish salmon fishers, Sheffield match-fishers and even Trent barbellers ( wink.gif)


Then, as now, everyone agreed with those sentiments, and we went away from the meeting convinced a New Era had opened for anglers.


Unfortunately, the NAC gradually fell apart - human nature being what it is, the egos of people wishing to be a medium sized fish in a small pond, rather than a shoal member in a large one, resulted in fractionation (divided we fall)


I am now too long in the tooth to have the zeal to promote angling interest at national level - there are plenty of able young people out there who can do that.


What I can do is encourage them, hopefully by this medium, and by sending the appropriate organisation my subscription. That is why I immediately supported the amalgamation of NASA and SACG (and their committment to NAA) - although I belonged to neither group, off went my sub to SAA immediately


The League of Nations failed, but its successor, The United Nations is (admittedly arguably) doing something useful in the world.


By analogy, the National Anglers' Council failed, lets hope the National Anglers' Alliance will succeed. It will if petty divisions in our ranks can be seen for what they are - PETTY. The same arguments apply to links with the CA


Thought for the day - "Me against my brother, My brother and I against our cousin, My brother, cousin and I against our neighbors - ALL of us against the enemy"


Perhaps PETA will be doing us a favour if its threats can unite all anglers, and indeed all country sportsmen, to stand together.




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Guest waterman1013

Nicely put Vagabond.


Lee (Trent Barbeler) correctly points out that angling would be stronger now if ALL anglers paid their dues. Unfortunately the NFA did not succeed in attracting that level of support, although SAA are now full members of NFA and as such have added our specialist members to their numbers.


NAA has the potential to become the "one" angling body representing all anglers, but all anglers must realise that any united body will not always represent their personal views. There are times in politics when one has to sup with the devil for the greater good of the long term picture. We, as individuals, may wish that that situation was different, but that is the reality of modern life.


I would be interested to know how many of those commenting against the memorandum of understanding, which is all it is; not an agreement to join forces, not an agreement to merge, not an agreement to support hunting with dogs, are members of one of the constituent bodies which make up NAA. I have said it before and I am sorry to have to repeat it, but if you are not a member of one of the bodies concerned then they do not represent you. They represent the interests of their members, those who subscribe and support. If you wish the angling bodies to reflect your view of the world then you have to join one of them and persuade them of your opinion.


The reality is that if you don't pay you don't have a voice which will be heard.


That is life!


When I prepared the SAA response to the Common Fisheries Policy many coarse anglers wanted to know why I had been "wasting" my time on the topic when they considered that there were many issues in coarse angling which needed attention. Yes, there were and still are, but the state of our seas, exploiting a common resource for commercial reasons with taxpayers subsidy and the uncontrolled destruction of sea bed habitat and breeding grounds by commercial operations are things which should concern ALL anglers.


We should all be writing to Elliot Morley protesting this ongoing problem, as I have spent this morning doing, but the reality is that very few of us do, so we express our own opinion and spend our own time doing what we think is best and right.


If you don't think the same as me or the NFA, NFSA or S&TA then join them, become active within them and get change from within but please do us all a favour don't come here bleating about this and that if bleating is the extent of your actions. Do something positive!


Other anglers have been trying for generations to pull all of angling together and the moaning minnies have always pulled in the other direction. We had it with the original legislation introducing the closed season for coarse fish with London fighting Sheffield, we had it with the death of NAC, with small minded people pulling in different directions, and apparently the destroyers are hell bent on damaging NAA, even before it has had two years in existence.


NAA is what angling has. It is the best option the sport has available at the moment and because anglers let emotion get in the way of understanding we may yet see its demise, but not if we all pull together and support it through thick and thin. Christ, I am pleased some of you are not in my platoon, questioning every decision and order.


If this offends - tough. It is the way I see the world. Simple and pretty straightforward.


Too many politicians want to tell you what you want to hear instead of giving leadership. I did not get involved in angling politics to please or satisfy other anglers, or even because I believed that angling was democratic, I got involved because there are issues out there that I think I can make a difference to.

I think that is important in life.

I think that is worth upsetting a few people for.

I think that is why we were put on this world. To make a difference, so join me, and others, who feel the fight is worthwhile, who don't always agree with each other but accept we have different views on some topics but get on with the job of promoting and defending angling.



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