Saturday, 12 February 2011


‘Team Davies’ has been on our annual Awayday; two of them in fact. Staff from my Stockport and Brussels offices got together at a Tudor mansion in the Peak District National Park to talk about just about every aspect of our work. We combined the work (and occasional heated dispute) with some hearty breakfasts, substantial evening meals, and an afternoon walk in Dovedale.

I have always thought these occasions useful, but perhaps this was the best. Maybe the fact that there was no signal for mobile phones helped concentrate the minds; it certainly made it difficult to follow developments in Egypt.

Grudgingly I now accept, as someone who long regarded a simple word processor as the most advanced aid to communication that I ever wanted to master, that times are changing even faster than I had appreciated. Perhaps one day I shall even read a ‘tweet’.

Most important, we agreed my campaign priorities for the year ahead. They are, in order:

Reform of the Common Fisheries Policy and introduction of sustainable practices while we still have fish left in our seas to save;

Better implementation of EU environment laws in every Member State, and securing the adoption of correlation tables in new legislation;

Advancing measures to curb climate change, especially development of carbon capture and storage technology;

Identifying measures to protect biodiversity, particularly to arrest the decline in insect numbers;

Championing the case for legislation to permit medically assisted dying.

By the way, the Tudor mansion was Hartington Hall. It’s a Youth Hostel, and great value.

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