The Tory Party and the farming community of Scotland
I am at a loss when it comes to understanding the mentality of the bulk of Scottish farmers who continue to pledge their futures to Tory Party millionaire Gentlemen farmers and to the counsel of the Scottish Farmers Union which is the accepted mouthpiece of said farmers.
They are interested only in “feathering their own nest” ensuring any financial benefits, which might be forthcoming from government are channelled through complicated systems designed to ensure denial of aid and the consequent demise demise of many of the smaller Scottish farms.
Recent developments indicate that Scotland’s farmers, (not the rich ones) will be screwed by the Westminster government, (of any colour) after Brexit. I despair.
Check out the article below. A revealing look at the Halco-Johnston family of Orkney.
The Rich and powerful Halcro-Johnston Family of Orkney
Hew Halcrow, said to be directly descended from the King of Norway, was first recorded living in Orkney around the time Queen Margaret married King James 3rd. of Scotland and her father pledged the Orkney and Shetland Islands to Scotland as his daughters dowry.
The Johnston’s settled in Stromness, towards the end of the 16th century. They were experienced merchant traders, possibly originating from London, and very quickly cornered the market positioning the family as a powerful entity within the islands society.
Life on Orkney for its inhabitants, at that time was harsh, isolated and poverty stricken, conditions which allowed the Hudson Bay Company of Canada to recruit a largely Protestant workforce, untainted by Jacobite influences of the Scottish mainland who would be well suited to the cold, wet, inhospitable climate of the North of Canada.
Facilitating the growth of the company the sea traffic to Northern Canada from London was routed through Orkney contributing greatly to the growing wealth of the Town merchants and the islanders.
In 1749, Joshua Johnston, married Margaret Halcro, the eldest daughter of William Halcro, owner of the Coubister estate, on which was located a large farm at Gyre, in the parish of Orphir Joshua subsequently inherited the estate.
Over 300 years later Gyre is still owned and farmed by the family.
Gyre Farm – Orkney – Present Day – (Gentleman Farmer) Hugh Halcro-Johnston
Marlborough College:1957 – 1961 – BSc (Elec), Power Systems
Senior partner: J Halcro-Johnston and Sons, Farmers.
Underwriter member Lloyds of London, (principal activity of company, trading as a Lloyd’s corporate capital member).
Director, at some time of:
The Orkney Towage Company.
The Orkney Meat Ltd.
Orkney Windpower Ltd.
Weyland Farms Ltd.
Orkney Ferries PLC.
Environment and Resource Technology Ltd.
The Orkney Boat Museum.
The Peir Arts Centre.
Nameco (No. 1071) Ltd.
Convenor: Orkney Islands Council. Member (22 years+).
North of Scotland Electricity Consumers’ Committee.
Elder, Orphir Church.
JP (Ex Officio).
Member of Institute of Electrical Engineers.
Chairman: Liberal Democratic Party (Orkney).
Currently: Highland Committee Member Scottish Rural Property and Business Association.
Scottish Natural Heritage (Orkney Area Advisory Group).
Vice President COSLA.
Member of the European, Committee of the Regions.
CBE services to the community.
Common Agricultural Policy
(CAP) payments 2015: Halcro-Johnston & Sons: Orkney: £105,563.89 (The largest subsidy payment in Orkney & Shetland by a significant amount)
Hugh: is a major financial investor with Lloyd’s of London benefiting from excellent returns on investments in recent years.
In a recent statement the CEO of the investment company said:
“private investors providing underwriting capital to Lloyd’s insurance syndicates have boosted capacity by approximately £175 million over last year.
We are extremely happy with the increase in both investors and levels of investment in Lloyd’s.
Many private investors have begun to see that Lloyd’s is a unique alternative asset class that has been out-performing many hedge funds and private equity funds.
Lloyd’s is making a well-justified comeback in wealthy families’ portfolios.”
21 Apr 2014: Orkney and Shetland should dump Scotland – Hugh Halcro-Johnston
The idea was floated by Hugh Halcro-Johnston, a prominent Orkney isolationist, who previously held political control as convenor of the Orkney Islands Council until losing his position in local elections in 2003.
He said: ” If Scotland should vote ‘yes’ then everything changes. I think that scenario would provide an opportunity for the islands to seek special status – particularly in relation to defence in view of the islands’ strategic importance and any deal should also establish who controls oil reserves located offshore from the Islands.”
The current political leaders of the islands refused to endorse the proposal, but stressed they wished to ensure islanders continue to benefit from agreements in place for many years.
Convenor of Shetland Islands Council Gary Robinson said: “We seek to benefit from the exploitation of the resources surrounding our islands by way of community benefit and more control over what happens around us,”
He stressed that the islands would not split from Scotland if Scots back independence in September’s referendum. “I haven’t detected any overwhelming desire for outright independence for the islands or crown dependency status,” he added.
Robert Leslie, who runs the pro-independence “yes” campaign in Orkney, said that the proposals to annex the Northern Isles was: “not surprising coming from a movement that is determined to defend the privileges currently enjoyed by the political and business elite in the UK.”
Oil and Orkney
The wealth the Flotta terminal, in Orkney has generated is difficult to calculate.
The sums involve the wages paid to staff and contractors over the years, the service industries that benefit from oil-related work and the dues Orkney’s Harbours Department charges the tankers that take oil and gas away from Flotta.
Orkney Islands Council, which has generated huge cash reserves in oil linked income, estimates that Flotta has contributed £ billions to the local economy.
Hugh Halcro-Johnston, the council’s convener, said:
“Orkney was lucky that major oil developments took place first in Shetland. It learnt a lot of lessons from their experience. It meant that we got many of the benefits of oil developments without many of the less acceptable aspects. One of the big advantages here was the creation of the terminal on Flotta, a small island well away from the main centres of population. This meant that the massive disruption during the construction phase was far less damaging to the Orkney community.”
The Flotta Terminal was built to handle oil from the number of North Sea fields. After processing at the plant, oil and gasses more valuable than those that light the night sky are shipped by tanker to destinations throughout Britain and Europe.
During negotiations with the original owners of the terminal, special arrangements were drawn up to ensure Orkney benefited from becoming a major oil port. Essentially, a range of payments is made to the islands council, which invests the money for the greater good of the community as a whole. They have funded many economic and social projects and continue to do so.
There will always be some people who will think we could have done better, said Councillor Halcro-Johnston. But I think the deal was fair. It was within what the industry could afford and it has brought huge benefits to Orkney.
There has also been considerable recent speculation among industry analysts that oil companies developing new Atlantic Frontier fields will choose to land the crude at Flotta using the shuttle tanker system developed for Foinaven. Again, this will be important business for the terminal.
The islanders gained significant financial benefits from Oil and Gas. Which is more than the rest of Scotland did.
Jamie Halcro Johnston – (Gentleman Farmer) and Tory MSP (Excuse me Jamie your daddy was a Lib/Dem)
b1975, in Oxford. Relocated with his family to Orkney in 1979. The back to England, boarding school, then University
Radley College, Oxford then Exeter University
Worked for the Financial Times in London then returned to Orkney to assist with management of family business.
Joined the Conservative Party when studying at Exeter University. Elected (1999) NUS Conference Delegate for the Guild of Students at Exeter.
A Member of Orkney Conservative and Unionist Association, Jamie promoted the Tory party in the 2003 Scottish Parliament election.
Press Officer (SPad) in the Scottish Parliament for a number of Tory MSP’s.
Unsuccessful Tory Candidate for Moray. 2005 UK General Election.
Unsuccessful Tory Candidate for 2007: Inverness, Nairn and Lochaber.
Unsuccessful Tory Candidate for Orkney. 2011 Scottish Parliamentary Election.
Unsuccessful Tory Candidate 2016 Scottish Parliamentary Election.
Unsuccessful Tory Candidate 2017 Orkney & Shetland, UK General Election.
June 2017: Selected from the Tory party list (fourth choice) to represent electors in the Highlands and Islands. Filling vacancy.
What a loser.!!