brian's soapbox
APRIL 2011




As always, the opinions expressed in these pages are purely and personally those of myself, Brian; they are not the official views of Queen, or of any other organisation or individual.

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Please DON'T reproduce stuff from these pages without permission. And if you do, please give us credit (!! and a LIVE link. Cheers ! Bri

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**Fri 15 Apr 11**

Oh my God! Another obvious put-up job!! The comment at the end is the give-away!! It's all about trying to make it OK to hunt with dogs. These people are shameless. Can you imagine this making the papers if it were one of the thousands of cases of cats and dogs biting people every year in the UK?

This is more drivel ... propaganda for the bad guys ... who NEED to bring back cruelty. Sad. Telegraph people? Be very ashamed! This scurrilous piece is much more suited to the Daily Mail.

The best bit is this ... (maybe this is an April Fool joke?!!!)

"The insurance centre worker, who is six foot tall and weighs 13 stone, believes the fox mistook him for a small creature like a water vole or a rabbit." !!!!

Yep, an easy mistake to make !! ha ha ha ha !


(See Copyright Note

**Thu 14 Apr 11**


Anthems Tour poster
Click image for larger

We are getting close .. I have NEVER been so hands-on in every aspect of a tour. For me it will be amazing and very new! and it's a great team we have assembled .... ready to .... hit the ground running!!!

Come see !

All profits from the Albert Hall gigs will go to Leukaemia and Lymphoma research. The rest? I can't imagine we will make any profits from the rest of the tour - we are spending too much on production ... no holds barred!! But the point is to get out there ... I'm getting very ... Jazzed. All the best things are very scary!!!



Lotus Cars
Sponsored by Lotus Cars

(See Copyright Note

**Mon 11 Apr 11**

I did an interview with Melissa Thompson from the Daily Mirror last Sunny Sunday.

It seems we more or less missed the deadline for the paper, though. Which is a shame.

However Melissa kindly agreed to write the conversation up for me - for this website.

Here it is.

Thanks Melissa !

I'm happy that the Mirror is making some noise about this sadly outdated abuse of magnificent creatures.




10 April 2011

“I like racing, I think it's exciting. Racing of all kinds – people running, in motorcars, on horses – but unfortunately the horses don't get asked if they want to do it or not.

“I think it's plain that once you've got the deaths of animals in something which is done for fun and excitement there's something wrong.

“I can't imagine anyone involved in the Grand National would've been pleased with the sight of two horses dying, and even the winning horse in a bad state at the end of the race.

“To me it's all part of something which must change, and that's our overall attitude to animals. There's absolutely no justification for risking the death of animals for something that is supposed to be fun.

“The jockeys are also at risk - one of them is badly injured - which is pretty much unacceptable as well. Apart from, of course, the jockey is able to make the choice, as does a racing driver.

“There's a great similarity with the play War Horse. These animals are pressed into the service of men and they don't have any choice. We have a huge obligation to look after their welfare so to me I know there are Grand National people already saying they've cleaned things up and they're trying to make things easier but if this is the best they can do then I think the Grand National has to end.

“I would love to see them clean up their act and run a race that is still fun but doesn't need to lead to the death of the horses. But if they can't do that, then really they should move on.

“To me this is just another example of 'tradition' being used for bad behaviour. Tradition is used to justify all sorts of beastly goings-on until people realise it's not justifiable any more as society hopefully becomes more civilised.

“It's like fox-hunting - there's not justification for chasing after mammals with half-starved dogs. I spend a lot of my life campaigning against this kind of stuff.

“(Pro-Grand National people argue the horses are well-looked after and lead a happy life.) Well they don't look very happy when they're being whipped to within an inch of their lives. The guy on the winning horse was still whipping his horse right to the end. I understand he's been banned for five days. In my opinion he and all the people involved should be banned with handling those animals for a very long time.

“Of course the horses are looked after – they look after them because they can make money from them, let's be honest.

“You look for altruism in all kinds of people who deal with animals and unfortunately you don't find it. You find people somehow get inured to the feelings of the animals and perhaps they think they're doing something nice but it's quite clear to me no matter how well those horses are treated off-stage as it were, the thing that they're trained for is extremely cruel.

“I didn't watch it this year. I've never approved ever since the days my mother used to watch it and say “why doesn't anybody realise it's cruel?”

At least people are talking about it now. And at least they showed the vets arriving to try to do something – in the old days that would've been covered up, but at least the world saw what was happening.

“So I think there is a wind of change but it's a slow process of gradually opening people's eyes I think.

“And that's what I'm very much involved with and I think I will be until the day I die.”

Melissa Thompson

(See Copyright Note

**Sun 10 Apr 11**

We need to smile !! I defy you not to smile at this !! hee hee ... nice one, boys !!


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**Sat 09 Apr 11**

I'd like to pay tribute to this amazing man, whose courage and humanity shines out like a beacon, proving that the countryside does not have to be cruel.

Richard Power

I love looking at this man's face, in the picture, and wish so much I had met him. You look into his eyes, as I have looked into the eyes of so many farmers now, and country people, and you wonder how his mind works. He could be just another man who was content to carry in just as his forbears did, and his neighbours, and turn a blind eye to things that 'didn't seem quite right'. But he listened to his own feelings about what is right, and what isn't, and had the courage to speak up against what he knew was cruel and unacceptable behaviour. I hope the Farming newspapers publish an article like this (please click on link below to the Irish Times) on Richard Power - if only to alert the good farmers out there to the fact that they CAN have the courage to stand up against tradition. But also to give credit due to this great human being. Long may his voice be heard.

RIP Richard Power


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**Sat 09 Apr 11**

I was saddened to hear today of the sad loss of lives in the Grand National. Surely the days must be numbered when this kind of unnecessary suffering in these magnificent animals can be allowed to continue, in a country which prides itself on being a Nation of Animal-Lovers? This is yet another example of Tradition being used as an excuse for continued barbaric behaviour. Just because this abuse of horses was deemed permissible in the past, it does not mean it's permissible now.

It's time to call an end to ALL abuses of animals in the name of sport. If the Grand National is to continue, the health and safety requirements for the animals involved must be radically revised, to protect them against unnecessary injury and death. If this cannot be done, the race must join bear-baiting and cock-fighting in the annals of history.

Brian May

(founder of the Save-Me campaign).

(See Copyright Note

**Fri 08 Apr 11**

Brian and David Cameron (Fox)
Photo © Anne Brummer

Yes, it's true. We have named this gorgeous little chap after our current Prime Minister. He and his brothers and sisters all have names honouring well-known animal-lovers.

His whole small family was resident undera lady's garden shed, until one day, the cubs' mother did not come home. The kind lady noticed immediately the vixen was absent, and went to check on the babies. They were still, and very cold. Amazingly, she scooped them up and brought them immediately to the Harper Asprey Wildlife Rescue. Our angel of animals, Anne Brummer, put them in blankets with hot water bottles, and soon they all recovered and began sniffing around. They were so young that their eyes were not even open yet.

The mother was found later, sadly killed on the road.

This picture was taken today ... just a few days later ... Davey is about 20 days old. These little orphaned cherubs will all have a second chance out there in the wild where they belong.

More soon !


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**Fri 08 Apr 11**

[Posted on SAVE ME]

I'm sure most of you understand my strategy in sporadically posting on the old Facebook page
... but - just so you don't miss these bits ... here is what I am writing this evening.   I am ploughing into new areas with Save ... on the foxes, and on the badgers ... and you guys are doing a great job on this [Save-Me Forum] forum.  I'm conscious that you do not always need me spouting here ... you are reaching out to each other and to new members ... and keeping the crusade very much alive and dangerous. 
I will be back with some ideas soon, for things we can interact on .. but for the moment, if I am following up all the leads I get, I just can't write as well.  Well, not without abandoning all hope of playing the guitar again!
I'm working very hard on the upcoming tour of ANTHEMS with Kerry Ellis.  I think it will be spectacular ... and I hope to see some of you out there ... I will be using the travel opportunities to follow up some animal-friendly contacts on the way. 
All the very best for now 
P.S. Notice there is another NOTE below this one ... don't miss it - it's good news.

Hi Save-Me Warriors ...
It seems a long time ago that we were on here every hour of the day, when Save-Me was young.

Things have changed, but the campaign is still just as active, and stronger than ever.
Of course an ever-increasing number of you good people out there are members of the forum - so we are in touch. But I know that many of you keep up with the facebook page, which is actually always poised to be relaunched at full strength, if and when we feel the time is right.
Meanwhile - Thanks for the GREAT responses to what I wrote about the poisonous propaganda that is being drip-fed to the public by organs such as the Daily Mail. It's odd ... the very next day after I wrote that, I found myself speaking to a writer for the DM - but in the Entertainment section of the supplement ... and of course there is no connection. He seemed quite upset to realise what was going on in the darker parts of the paper.
I am writing this partly to make sure that you hear me ...

SO ! On this beautiful Friday evening, as the Sun goes down ... HELLO !!!
If you're there ... receiving this .. please do me a favour ... just press the 'like' button
[at] or whatever it is, to give me an idea of who is still on this journey with us .. the journey to change the world ... and secure decent treatment for all animals.
All the very best .

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**Fri 08 Apr 11**

And from the Daily Torygraph!!

So we were right, all along.  I'm so happy that other people will now know this.  Let's hope, for once, that people believe the Telegraph.
The truth about urban foxes and a deadly disease


**Thu 07 Apr 11**

[The League Against Cruel Sports wants raise public awareness of how dangerous the Grand National Race is for the horses. Since 1996, 14 horses have died during or after the race. LACS has sent an Open Letter to The Times newspaper calling for the course to be made safer - not seeking to ban but suggesting changes such length of the course and reducing height of fences. Along with others, Brian added his endorsement to the letter as follows:]

In horse racing, as in all traditional practices, there has to be a constant reappraisal of what is acceptable, in the light of current knowledge and moral standards. It is clear that the number of horses mortally injured in the Grand National is unacceptably high - achieving no purpose to man or beast. If the race is to continue, it is time to insist that proper health and safety measures are now introduced, ensuring the safety of the animals, human and non-human, who take part in this event. It's not rocket science ... the jumps need to be made less dangerous. We have no right to force horses to face death in the name of entertainment.

Brian May
Founder of the Save-Me campaign ( )

(See Copyright Note

**Wed 06 Apr 11**

This awful piece of character assassination must not be allowed to stick.

I smelled a rat immediately. But something much more unpleasant than an innocent rodent. Firstly the article is written by someone called "DAILY MAIL REPORTER" - obviously someone who wants to hide their identity and/or their affiliations. Shabby from the start.

Then the story is so full of 'shock horror revelations', about 'deadly urban fox disease' ... it absolutely reeks of the worst kind of attempt at manipulating people into hating our beautiful wild animals - the foxes. I checked the facts. This story is RUBBISH. I am reliably informed by people who have worked with wild animals all their lives that this alleged connection between foxes and a disease - which is in any case quite curable - is a travesty. Apparently this lung-worm disease is absolutely NOT transmitted by foxes - this is a complete fabrication ... and Save-Me challenges the Daily Mail to publish evidence to support these ridiculous claims.

Anne Brummer tells me lung-worm is very frequently found in hedgehogs - because they eat infected snails, etc ... and occasionally cats contract it the same way - but she has never known a fox to carry the disease.

THIS STORY IS NOT JUST RUBBISH - it is certainly a conscious effort on someone's part to foster hatred and distrust of foxes ... country or urban it does not matter which. Who benefits from such a campaign of distortion of the truth? Go figure. Pull back the curtain and we will doubtless see the twisted hand of the Countryside Alliance ... trying to manipulate public opinion into allowing them to bring back legal hunting with dogs ... the vile 'sport' of fox-hunting ... which must be stamped upon ever harder ... as must all cruel and inhuman behaviours.

PLEASE SPREAD THE WORD .. Tweet, or whatever ... the DAILY MAIL is trying to manipulate us into seeing foxes as villains. IT IS NOT TRUE.

Stand up for our wild animals - against the forces of those who need cruelty in their sad lives. We MUST fight this insidious propaganda.

Support SAVE-ME ! Tell your friends ! Challenge evil ancient traditions. Bring the British Isles into a better future. Let us pass on a world for our grandchildren where all creatures are respected.


Vilified again ... the long-suffering British Fox
VILIFIED AGAIN ... the long-suffering British Fox.

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**Sun 03 Apr 11**

Great News. If this story is to be believed, we are nearing a long-overdue change in the way wild animals are treated. Caroline Spelman and Jim Paice have both now indicated that they are close to banning the use of wild animals in Circuses. We applaud them. It's time.

And congratulations to all those good people who have been campaigning for this change for along time.

I can only hope that this will pave the way towards the general understanding that ALL wild animals deserve our protection - including those on our doorsteps, whether we live in the country or the towns. Foxes, Badgers, Deer, Rabbits, Hares, Squirrels, Hedgehogs, and - yes - Voles, Mice, and Rats, all are worthy of decent treatment in the future of a decent society. It's time.


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**Sun 03 Apr 11**

[Brian received some lovely photos of Moon Rings from Richard Youden... see LETTERS]

Yes ... this phenomenon is, as you say, nothing to do with how far away from the Earth the Moon happens to be. All that stuff was greatly over-hyped, by the way, of course ... the moon was not significantly differently placed from where it's been for the last 10,000 years!

These beautiful circles are ICE-BOWS. They are caused by something much closer to home - the Earth's atmosphere, through which we are always observing the sky, when we stand on the Earth's surface. In this case we are seeing refraction by ice crystals suspended in the air above us - usually at about the same height as those 'paint-brushed' Cirrus clouds we often see when the sky isn't covered with the lower-level rain clouds. It's the same kind of thing as a Rainbow .. in that we only see a refracted beam of light if the angles are exactly right - and that happens anywhere in a particular circle around the Moon, and nowhere else - hence the well-defined bright ring. The funny thing is ... these rings must surround every celestial light source .. not just the moon - so if our eyes were much more sensitive, we would see rings around every star! Like ripples in a pool ...

Well, it would be interesting to try to detect them!



Ice Bow

By the way ... Richard's two pictures, with a little colour and intensity adjustment, make a very pleasant stereo image ! The clouds and Moon moved just the right amount in the right direction.

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