I did wonder if it was already April Fool’s Day, but no, it turns out to be yet another US absurdity. I am beginning to wonder if there is something in the air on the West Coast which causes paranoia and an obsession with persecution. According to US California University bosses, ‘field’ should be replaced with the ‘original’ Latin word ‘practicum’.
Last week it was reported that ‘Boris had a ‘field day’ when making an impromptu visit to the Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary in Oxfordshire.’ In US speak, Boris had a ‘practicum day’. Why would anyone consider replacing a word used for centuries, and who on earth can be offended by a field? You really cannot make this stuff up.
Do farmers, landowners, sports men and women, those working in the ‘field’ of medicine, physics, and other fields, need to start preparing for such nonsense arriving in the UK? Should we no longer refer to: sports fields, hay fields, field trials, the ‘field’ of race horses, and many other uses of this word?
Should towns and cities be re-named in case they cause offense? Perhaps Sheffield, Wakefield, Mirfield, Broomfield, and more locally, Heathfield, Petersfield or Uckfield, start thinking up new names?
But let us be positive and assume such stupidity will not cross ‘the pond’. California does appear to produce increasingly bizarre and troubled individuals and organisations. I have faith in the British when it comes to common sense, free speech, democracy, and decency. Perhaps we could export a little of that along with our beef.
There is more good news for British trawlers who will be able to catch a quarter more fish than when the UK was in the European Union. Fisheries minister Mark Spencer said they could net more than 140,000 tons – 30,000 tons up on Brussels quota – an increase worth £34million.
He said, “These negotiations are a crucial route for the UK to protect our fish stocks, safeguard the marine environment and, in turn, ensure that the fishing industry can profit and thrive.”
Under the post-Brexit trade treaty, 25 per cent of the EU’s fishing rights in UK waters are being progressively transferred back to British fleets between 2021 and 2026. More Cod and other species can be caught by UK trawlers in the North Sea, Irish Sea and off the coast of Scotland.
Mr Spencer told the Commons last week: “As an independent coastal state, we have taken back control of our waters, we have the freedom to negotiate on our terms and push for deals that will deliver for all parts of the UK fishing industry. These deals have secured more than £750 million-worth of fishing opportunities for the fleet in 2023.