brian's soapbox
     
SEPTEMBER 2013

EXPERT OPINION - LETTERS

 

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.

Reference:
- Lame Claims
- Stereo and

Notes

 

 

Welcome to
BRI'S SOAPBOX

COPYRIGHT NOTE:
Please DON'T reproduce stuff from these pages without permission. And if you do, please give us credit (brianmay.com)!! and a LIVE link. Cheers ! Bri
- ALSO APPLIES TO FOREIGN SITES AND TWITTER


1 | 2 | 3

**Tue 10 Sep 13**
HARD WORK PERFORMING MIRACLES
Direct link

Phew ! It's hard work performing miracles. Thanks to all the Spamalot family for taking care of me.

Your God this week is Brian May

Brian is God cake

Thanks Mrs & Mr Gibbon/Hanson for a wonderful .... Cake !

Bri

(PLEASE OBSERVE COPYRIGHT)
© brianmay.com


**Sun 08 Sep 13**
A MONUMENT - "STOP THE BADGER CULL" PETITION
Direct link

This'll stand as a monument for long time. You'll still see it by hitting "Closed Petitions" any time.

THANKS ALL

Bri

Stop The Badger Cull ePetition

(PLEASE OBSERVE COPYRIGHT)
© brianmay.com


**Sun 08 Sep 13**
AN INSIGHT INTO A THREE LINE WHIP - SOMETHING RATHER SHAMEFUL ?
Direct link

News clipping

Click image for larger

Thanks, Tracy, for sending me this clipping. It's very significant, really. Because MPs don't usually talk about these things in public. And this is proof, if proof were needed, that the Government only defeated a motion to stop the badger cull because Cameron used a very un-democratic 'cheat' known as a THREE LINE WHIP. For those who are not familiar with this term, let me explain. It's another of those 'traditional' shady practices which still is allowed to corrupt the democratic process.

Most votes in the House of Commons, following a debate, are 'free votes'. This means every MP votes according to his or conscience, and according to what he perceives his constituents would like him to do. That what happened when we had the first debate on the badger cull, based on 100,000 signatures on the petition. The result of this free vote was a resounding defeat for the Government. But they paid no attention to it whatsoever, and never made any further reference to it.

The second time the issue was debated, it was just as the licenses for the killing were about to be granted. Cameron was not going to be beaten again. To make sure he avoided humiliation, he called in the Party Whips. What these guys do is go around the MPs, and, behind closed doors, use any kind of coercion they see fit, to make sure that all the rank and file MPs vote according to their leader's wishes - not according to their conscience, not according to the wishes of the people that elected them, but simply part of a block, to save the Prime Minister's face. There are various degrees of pressure that can be brought. The terminology of 'lines' comes from the fact that the pressure used to be applied by sending notes, delivered to the MPs with instructions underlined. If there was just line under the instruction (eg "We need you to vote with the PM on this issue" - the instruction was more or less just a request … advice, if you like. But if the issue was regarded as serious, then the instruction would be underlined twice, and for a VERY serious issue, three times. Hence, the term "Three Line Whip".

In practice what this means is that carrots can be offered, but also threats made - for instance: "If you don't turn up and vote, we will withdraw those concessions that enable you to spend time with your family". Or - "You might stand a chance of a cabinet job next Spring, but of course, if you vote against the PM in this instance, you'll lose that opportunity". There are plenty of threats that can be made, but you get the idea. Mostly MPs just silently cave in, but in this case, this chap has been open enough to discuss it in the media. We know the result … the Government won by a small majority, and then Owen Paterson went out and claimed he had a mandate from the people to kill badgers, because it had been sanctioned by 'democratic process'. He actually went so far as to claim they had won TWO votes ! Perhaps his retention is failing, or maybe he just doesn't let such things as 'truth' get in the way of his ruthless drive to get his way.

Firstly, it seems obvious to me that this 'Whipping' is undemocratic, and reform is needed in the Commons.

But secondly, isn't it remarkable that Cameron actually invoked the Three-Liner to ensure he could kill the badgers ? He didn't whip the vote on intervention in Syria ! What does that tell you about his priorities ? And people didn't believe us when we were telling them before the election that Cameron's priorities were skewed. That he was all about Privilege and fox hunting, etc.

I grow weary of recounting all the devious behaviours of this Government.

We are all in the grip of a meticulously pre-planned ruthless scheme, aimed at reinforcing and restoring the power of a few rich people to do whatever they want, irrespective of what the rest of us want, or think, or need. This, I believe, is the core of David Cameron's so-called 'Big Society'. It's a strong accusation, I know. But I am far from alone in coming to this conclusion.

Of course, most of the population of Britain don't see it. And that's the tragedy. Right now it all seems to be going their way, doesn't it. All the worst elements of our society have been given free rein to indulge themselves - in what they love best - KILLING.

You can believe me, and spread the word. Or you can certainly just dismiss me as a silly old rock star who ought to have stuck to his guitar playing.

But me ? I feel physically sick some of the time, looking at what we are up against, and seeing the suffering that is being inflicted on both people and animals under this administration. I teeter on the edge of despair. But I am not giving up. Once upon a time we burned witches at the stake. Once upon a time we thought it was OK to keep black slaves in chains. Once upon a time we thought Bear-Baiting was an acceptable sport. Once upon a time women were second class citizens, not allowed to vote.

We shall overcome.

Bri

(PLEASE OBSERVE COPYRIGHT)
© brianmay.com


**Sat 07 Sep 13**
AMAZING EXPRESSION OF HOW WE ALL FEEL
Direct link

Badger and trigger finger

Amazing expression of how we all feel. Where is this mural ? Bri

It's called the Village Underground Wall in London. Here's the link to the story of the mural: http://streetartlondon.co.uk/blog/2013/08/28/badgergate-martin-ron-paints-the-vu-wall-2/#more-4381

(PLEASE OBSERVE COPYRIGHT)
© brianmay.com


**Sat 07 Sep 13**
THE FLIGHT OF THE MONARCH BUTTERFLIES - IN 3-D
Direct link

Monarch Butterfly

Monarch Butterflies

From a grim impoverished violent landscape, to beauty, empathy, and wonder.

Anita and I loved seeing The Flight of the Butterflies in 3-D at a special Mexican reception in the IMAX theatre on South Bank this week.

I'd seen it once before, since Mike Slee, the director, is a dear pal of mine. Mike is a devotee of stereoscopy, which is why we initially got together a few years ago, but we also share a love of wildlife, and I've been following his progress on this film for a long time (he took some time off to film Kerry and me with Virginia McKenna in Shamwari, South Africa - for a forthcoming documentary). It was Mike's dream to capture on film in 3-D the incredible story of the Monarch Butterfly's migration over thousands of miles, and tell the story, intermingled with the story of the discovery of this phenomenon, in the last century, by a man who had been obsessed since childhood with the mystery of where the Monarchs disappeared to every year from North America.

You HAVE to see this film if you're interested in the marvels of the Natural World. It's breathtaking - literally breathtaking. You can actually hear sudden sharp intakes of breaths all around you, as people gasp at the first shots of the Monarch's wintering hideaway.

Mike is not someone who has just adopted 3-D because it's trendy - he's grown with it organically … and it shows in this film.

Beautiful. The perfect place to take your child on a rainy afternoon.

Bri

(PLEASE OBSERVE COPYRIGHT)
© brianmay.com


**Sat 07 Sep 13**
FROM THE CULL ZONE - SATURDAY
Direct link

03.33 I'm crashing now. For a 4-week ago knee replacement surgery survivor, I've probably walked far enough today. THANKS to all I spoke to today.. P.S. Pics tomorrow, hopefully, when I have good signal. Cheers all - thanks - I learned a lot today. Bri

01.22 Well, very hard to get Twitter signal when you're out trekking in Badger Massacre country. But I had an amazing evening with some great folk. The police were in attendance as we walked around some of the vulnerable badger setts and were very courteous and helpful, supportive, even met with a hundred or so peaceful protesters of all ages - just one group out of many. Some had come from afar - Liverpool, Hull, Lakes ....From the many stories I heard, not all police have behaved kindly. But when they've arrested protesters they 'un-arrested' them soon after.

(PLEASE OBSERVE COPYRIGHT)
© brianmay.com


**Fri 06 Sep 13**
FROM THE CULL ZONE - FRIDAY
Direct link

21.16 Finally met some of the ''scary activists" ! What a great bunch of peaceful citizens. Bri

21.05 One thing emerges plain as day down here. It's no secret badgers have been being killed constantly the last few years. Result ? TB rife.

19.56 One thing emerges plain as day down here. It's no secret badgers have been being killed constantly the last few years. Result ? TB rife. So this badger cull is just doing the same ineffective thing. Again. And this is the great answer to "We have to do SOMETHING". Lunacy.

18.06 Putin ? Makes ya laugh. Or does it ? Bri

18.01 Farmer chap here had a reactor cow in his heard - massive stress. DEFRA forced him to slaughter it. Was found to be perfectly healthy. - BUT DEFRA still shut his farm down for 120 days. COWS get stressed by the skin test too. Stress makes animals vulnerable to TB. It's INSANE.

17.57 Meeting local folks in Newent and peaceful badgerists ! Learning much. People are happy to see us ... massive opposition to cull. It's hard to get signal here. But please check Bri's Soapbox at http://www.Brianmay.com for my commentary. We will be going out there tonite.

12.46 We're driving into Gloucestershire now. Such beautiful countryside, even in the mist and rain. But now all I see is evility and blood. .1

11.44 Hi folks. Can you hear me? I'm in the Badger Killing Fields today and will tweet all day when possible. Observing. Supporting the Peaceful.

Bri

(PLEASE OBSERVE COPYRIGHT)
© brianmay.com


**Fri 06 Sep 13**
NEWENT - A WHIFF OF A CULL
Direct link

Having a very interesting time in Newent ! We've met loads of local folks and peaceful demonstrators, wounded badger patrollers. The support we're feeling is huge. We've been trying to meet with local farmers, but it seems that the NFU have told them all they're not allowed to talk to me. I guess that says a lot - what are they trying to hide ?

Just had a long chat on film, though, with a great local farmer who ISN'T a member of the NFU, so he wasn't 'got at' ! Very nice guy, who is somewhat on the fence, but frustrated that the Government isn't prioritising vaccination for cattle. He's basically up for vaccination, because he doesn't trust this lot to know what they are doing, and hasn't seen any evidence that culling will work. Was shocked that they are not testing the carcasses. Why isn't he in the NFU ? Well, that's another story. But didn't you have the impression that the NFU was speaking for the WHOLE community of British farmers. Actually, only 18 per cent of farmers are in the NFU. Isn't that pretty shocking ? When you realise that the NFU are virtually running the country, through manipulation of the Government. Well, it would be more accurate, though less kind, to say they're in bed with the NFU, and the Countryside Alliance … the whole bunch of them straining at the bit, eager to get the moment when they can smash the Hunting Act, and bring back all the despicable blood sports they love so much. Badger culling is a lot different from Fox Hunting, right ? Or is it ? Isn't it the same bunch of bloodthirsty thugs that are currently careering around Gloucester, that a couple of months ago were out there doing the same thing, slaughtering foxes for fun (legally) or digging out badgers for sadistic games (illegally) ???

Well, perhaps we'll find out tonight.

We're certainly hearing lots of stories which already blow the Government's claims of 'humane' killing out of the water. Stories of badgers screaming after shots are fired, the sound of dogs finishing them off. Stories of wounded badgers escaping, along with bewildered cubs. Stories of badgers dying in front of people who were there to help, but weren't allowed to help, kept back by police. Who knows … but perhaps we'll see it a bit more first hand.

Just watching the Mock the Week thing. Kind of funny. Except it's not a laughing matter. Still, comedy is good. Mixed bag, really. A shame that you have some idiot accusing badgers of being the reason hedgehogs are in decline. This is a bogus piece of propaganda - lies, of course. Hedgehogs have coexisted with Badgers for millennia, of course. What they haven't coexisted with, of course, is slug pellets and pesticides and herbicides. Spin, spin spin. And it's OUR money they're using to hoodwink us.

Bri (holidaying in Gloucestershire !)

(PLEASE OBSERVE COPYRIGHT)
© brianmay.com


**Fri 06 Sep 13**
GLOUCESTERSHIRE - BLOOD IN THE FIELD
Direct link

Beginning my day in Gloucestershire, there is a grim undercurrent of violence in the air. We came very close to death just now when a white 4 by 4 came careering towards us on the wrong side of the road. He was overtaking at about 90 mph, and had no way back into his lane. If we hadn't braked hard, we and he would have instantaneously been mincemeat. Reminds you how delicate the life of a creature is. Reminds that for all our pretentions and arrogance, all the Human Race has managed to do is cover this planet with concrete and pollution, and wipe out 99 per cent of the other animals with which we used to share it.

It's hard to be optimistic. And now we have a Government completely in bed with all those elements of society who don't get it. Who think all that matters is money, and power, and takes pleasure in causing pain and death to any creature, on any pretext. With this insane badger cull now in progress, it's probably the bleakest outlook ever in the UK. As Bill Oddie remarked - under this Government, no wild animal is safe. Actually . .. no animal.

I'll be keeping my eyes open here today, and meeting many of the brave and very peace-loving people who are dedicating their time to saving innocent animals. Our visibility is everything, because it is the public that will eventually stop this hideous violence. So we have to inform the public. The newspapers are reluctantly coming around, it seems, but so much of what goes on out here is still being suppressed.

Britain is rotting at its core right now. Only awareness can cut out the rot.

I'll be tweeting and Soapboxing today whenever I can - from the grim and bloody killing fields of Gloucestershire.

Bri

(PLEASE OBSERVE COPYRIGHT)
© brianmay.com


**Fri 06 Sep 13**
SMASHED 300,000 !!!
Direct link

12.35 Incredible rush to sign Badger Cull Petition on its last day. Just smashed 300,000. Thanks for your great work out there spreading the word.

Bri

Brian and Badger - 300K signs\

PETITION 300,445

PETITION LINK HERE

(PLEASE OBSERVE COPYRIGHT)
© brianmay.com


**Fri 06 Sep 13**
PUP AID SATURDAY
Direct link

This might make you smile - and it's got a good message.


Crazy Pup Party - http://youtu.be/CvK-kV2e2FQ

MARC THE VET AND PUP AID THIS SATURDAY !!! see ya

Bri

(PLEASE OBSERVE COPYRIGHT)
© brianmay.com


**Fri 06 Sep 13**
ONLY ONE DAY LEFT (TO SIGN PETITION)
Direct link


Please help us reach 300K - SIGN THE PETITION

- only 1 day left

http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/38257

THANKS -

Bri


I'm joining wounded badger patrol tomorrow (Friday). You'll be hearing from me. I'll tweet from the War Zone if I'm able.

Bri

PRESS STATEMENT:

It [ePetition] remains a clear indication of the depth and continued growth of public outrage over DEFRA Secretary of State Owen Paterson’s plan to kill thousands of badgers in the UK. It's also now the most unpopular thing this Government has ever done, if their own petition website is any measure.

We may be too late to prevent this tragedy happening in west England. But we will continue to stand against this. The cull is an irreversible tragedy for our wildlife. Randomly slaughtering 70 per cent of badgers will destroy them forever, bringing about immense suffering for these highly intelligent mammals. But the cull is a tragedy for farmers and their cattle too. The NFU have managed to convince a large portion of the farming community that this scheme offers them relief from their troubles, but there will be no way to ascertain if culling has been effective. Indeed, Owen Paterson has stated that he expects to be culling badgers in 25 years' time, underlining the fact that culling cannot eradicate TB. Contrary to insistence of late, culling has NEVER eradicated TB in any other country in the world.

The cull has no basis in science – which simply means it will not work.

Bri

(PLEASE OBSERVE COPYRIGHT)
© brianmay.com


**Thu 05 Sep 13**
FREDDIE
Direct link

Happy Birthday Freddie !

Freddie and Bri in Budapest

Freddie's Party

Freddie's party tonight in Mayfair. Thanks to all !

Bri

(PLEASE OBSERVE COPYRIGHT)
© brianmay.com


**Thu 05 Sep 13**
YES, THEY ASKED ME TO BE GOD. BUT ONLY FOR A WHILE.
Direct link

I was with the Spamalot team today (4 Sept), filming for my appearance - starting Monday - at the Playhouse Theatre, London, as …. yes, GOD.

Great fun, and a welcome relief from the grim thoughts that occupy much of my days right now … with that awful senseless bloodbath going on in the countryside … just what we always dreaded. More on that soon, because, tragic though it is, the bastards have miscalculated. The cull scheme has a built-in self-destruct. Don't ask me to explain yet. But look for the Silver Lining. They won't see it until it's too late.

I digress. Thanks for all your get-well messages. My replacement knee surgery has already proved a great success. I can do a lot of things I haven't been able to do for a year or more, and it's only been 4 weeks since the op. The last three days I've kicked pain killers, and this time I'm OK. It's really a mistake, like they say, to try to be a hero too early - you just end up in agony and unable to do the physio work. But also it's a mistake to get dependent on pain killers to keep the mood up. A slippery slope. But I'm good. And I expect to be tramping around the countryside again soon. Sooner than some might think.

But I digress again. GOD ! They filmed an interview with me for the Spamalot Facebook page … which I enjoyed, because it truly was a liberating experience playing God. I get off on comedy anyway … always did. And I've been fortunate enough to work with many of our great comic talents - Mel and Griff (Smith and Jones), Rick and Ade (Bottom guys in Bad News) and of course Nigel Planer who later created the Pop Role in WWRY, Hale and Pace (The Stonk was a number 1 record), The Pub Landlord … wow … great times - love em all. Well, these Spamalot guys were great today … gave me great direction, but gave me freedom too. I think it will be fun on the night. My GOD will last a week - so book now to avoid …erm … disappointment !

It was a Kodak moment … so here's a couple of pics.

On the throne …

GOD - on the throne

And in Stereo (see HERE for how to view in 3-D)

GOD in stereo - 1

GOD in stereo 2

As you can see, I am an angry God.

See ya there !

Bri

PS MOCK THE WEEK - BBC Two tonight at 10pm. Save The Badger Badger Badger gets an airing ? I think we're happy to be mocked !
Bri

- [SEE VIDEO CLIP HERE]

(PLEASE OBSERVE COPYRIGHT)
© brianmay.com


**Thu 05 Sep 13**
HAPPY BIRTHDAY FREDDIE !
Direct link

We will be celebrating at 1 Mayfair tonight. And making a ton of money to fight AIDS.

FREDDIE FOREVER !!!! Shall we all wish Mother Mercury's baby boy a Happy Birthday?

Bri

(PLEASE OBSERVE COPYRIGHT)
© brianmay.com


**Wed 04 Aug 13**
THEY MADE ME GOD
Direct link

Bri as GOD

It finally happened. They made me GOD. Be very afraid, ye transgressors. My retribution shall be terrible.

Indeed it is a lute.

Bri

PS It is absolutely true. No-one is allowed to examine the dead badgers for infection or to see if they died humanely. Disgusting.

Bri

(PLEASE OBSERVE COPYRIGHT)
© brianmay.com


**Tue 03 Sep 13**
SOMERSET POOR BADGERS
Direct link

Sharing some mail that came to me via The Badger Trust:

Bri

Received this morning at 6.00 a.m. ... forwarding it to you for information.

Please do your utmost to publicise the peaceful protest organised by those in Somerset, which as you already know is to take place from 11.00 a.m. to 3.00 p.m. on Saturday 7th September. It is advertised on Facebook and brief details are on the Badger Trust website www.badgertrust.org.uk Details of the actual starting point will follow in a couple of days.

 

THIS IS WHAT OUR SOURCE SAID

 

Hello Folks, Well its been a hectic week in the cull zone in Somerset! Things they assured you would not happen have happened. Here's a part of my own personal account.

They said

Police would be neutral - WRONG.

Badgers would be killed outright - WRONG.

Protestors intimidating farmers - WRONG; from where I am, it's the other way around.

Dogs would only be used, when on a lead, and only to track, not attack - WRONG. I heard a badger being shot, not killed outright. Seconds later, 2 dogs finished the poor old badger off. How do I know, if I didn't see? Answer: Screams and cries of the badger.

Pro-cull farmers have a raw deal - WRONG. I was in the car that was deliberately rammed by pro cull. Very, very unpleasant, but consistent with the sort of impression we have already of fox hunting fraternity.

There will be no Perturbation - they will do a proper job - WRONG! Bore witness to healthy looking adult and 2 cubs fleeing, and it broke my heart, they did not know what was happening. Disorientated and frightened.

This is a true account of my experience last week in the cull zone.

You will soon lose any fear you may have, if this is your first time. Why? You will see the many injustices being carried out and you will be angry! Channel it! Be useful, proactive, bring video, recording devices etc and have them ready, so all you have to do is press one button.

You realise, your safe view of our world is not at all right!

You will be haunted.

Badgers are quiet when hurt - fallacy! A bit like the TB myth! They bloody well SCREAM - gut wrenching!

HELP THEM! Just get there and help the badgers, please. Just turn up, print off your map of the cull zone, and be in it during the night. Anytime between 8pm and 5.00am, shoots all the way through. You will soon see where things are happening and if you can't get close, go somewhere else, its happening all over and people need to know. Alert people, united page etc once discovered, so more people can get there!

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Vaccinating-our-Badgers-Cornwall/467347523328569

(PLEASE OBSERVE COPYRIGHT)
© brianmay.com


**Mon 02 Sep 13**
THE GOVERNMENT'S NEW BILL TO GAG US.
APPALLING. PLEASE HELP DEFEAT IT,

Direct link

I think this issue is very important.

If you can get a message to your MP tonight, it may make a difference to this vote tomorrow.

It's another outrageous attempt to curb our rights of free speech and association. Almost unbelievable that Cameron and his cronies think they can get away with it. But they just might, having snuck this appalling piece of legislation into the back end of a bill which looked like something different.

Please WRITE if you can. This is a 38 degrees campaign, and we might have reservations about what they did and didn't do for the badgers, but I believe this is a highly important issue.

https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/gagging-bill-MPs

Cheers !

Bri

Beauty of a sunset - from my roof tonight. Nature and Man seem in harmony. But our Govt is murdering Nature.

View from Roof

(PLEASE OBSERVE COPYRIGHT)
© brianmay.com


**Mon 02 Sep 13**
COUNTRYFILE - BBC COMPLAINTS
Direct link

Many of you have watched the most recent 'Countryfile' episode about badgers and TB the cull - on our own Video channel here: http://goo.gl/nxxyn3

It's so obvious, looking at it, that the case against culling was not fairly represented in putting this programme together, reinforcing opinions that have been widely expressed that the BBC has a strong bias towards supporting the NFU's very shaky case for this killing spree. If you feel outraged, as we did, please do write to the BBC to complain that their standards of impartiality have seriously dropped. There was a certain amount of dishonesty too, including the assertion that levels of Bovine TB in cattle are out of control, on the increase, whereas DEFRA's own figures show an actual DROP in the most recent reports.

Please do write. It all makes a difference. Here's a link: BBC Complaints | also Points of View

Cheers - and thanks. We will get there in the end. The truth will out.

Bri

(PLEASE OBSERVE COPYRIGHT)
© brianmay.com


**Mon 02 Sep 13**
OBSERVER Q & A
Direct link

Recent written Q&A for the Observer - IN FULL: (Observer ran in part in article BRIAN MAY HITS OUT AT 'PROPAGANDA' WAR ON EVE OF BADGER CULL 24 August 2013)

Q&A - 23 August 2013


(OBSERVER) 1. You, alongside other eminent figures and organisations, have called for a boycott of milk and land in areas where the cull is due to take place. Are there any other new tactics that opponents can utilise?

BM: I have never called for a boycott of milk - that was incorrectly reported. That doesn't mean I don't sympathise with those who do - but I would much rather try to find common ground between farmers and animal advocates, so the needs of all can be met. And that's been Save-Me's policy all along. It's not helpful when elements of the other side try to portray us as extremists. None of us want this war, but we won't shy away from it either. I believe the badger cull is ethically entirely unacceptable, scientifically unsound, and so against the will of the British people that it will be a disaster for the farming community. It's also increasingly obvious, to put it in simplest terms, that it won't work. Farmers will see no benefits. Tactics ? Well, our guidelines are honesty, transparency, and, as I've written many times before, decency towards the farmers. You can't logically fight for decency using indecent methods. We want to see our wildlife protected and treasured, but we also want to see healthy cattle and happy farmers. You can't call it a tactic, really, but the solution is vaccination, for badgers and for cows. How do we fight, then ? Well, peacefully and decently, even if the other side is behaving despicably. The court decision on the injunction today took out those elements of the NFU application that would have proscribe peaceful protest. The only elements left in relate to harassment, and that is as it should be. So peaceful demonstration WILL be possible - and many people have written to us saying they will be walking their dogs nearby on Monday night and afterwards. We will continue to lobby MP's, and the evidence is that many Tory MPs are finding it increasingly hard to keep supporting the party line on the cull when their constituents are urging them not to. The record number of signatures on our Petition on the Government's website mean a lot. Writing to your MP means a lot. Democracy, decency and common sense must win in the end.


2. Defra has accused animal rights campaigners of “threatening farmers” - do you agree this is hypocritical when Defra appears to be threatening opponents of the cull and adopting a particularly aggressive position?

I've made it very clear many times that we do not support any kind of intimidation to farmers. Nevertheless it's apparent that there have actually been threats made on both sides. We do need the NFU to acknowledge that there has been huge aggression from their side towards those who, peacefully, oppose the cull … many of the victims are actually farmers who want nothing of it, but find dead badgers nailed to their doors, and so become afraid to speak up. Of course most of the media report only one side of the problem - painting a false picture of irresponsibility of those who oppose this deeply violent act.


3. Is it too late to reach a compromise deal? If possible, what would you accept?

What we are offering is to help solve the problem by procuring public support for vaccination projects. We are already working with the Welsh Government to do just this. But the first prerequisite is - stop culling. Contrary to what David Heath's spin would have you believe, vaccination and culling do not mix. BCG Vaccination works very well in building up herd immunity (it worked on Humans), but, as Lord Krebs will tell you, it works only on a stable population. All this pretence that culling is 'just one of the tools in the box' is nonsense. It is the one tool which will not work, and will stop all the others working. One of the first acts of this Coalition Government was to cancel five of the six vaccine trials operational when they came to power. The EFRA Select Committee's recent report on bTB said this was a sadly missed opportunity. We need proper research, not a farmer appeasing ineffective 'quick fix' (although Paterson has let it slip that he still sees culling being necessary in 25 years time!) Krebs has asked for research to be carried out to find out why 40% of farms in the hotspot areas have NEVER had TB in their cattle. The implication is, of course, that badgers can't be to blame, since presumably they're not picky about who owns the land they live on ! All these things have been brushed under the carpet in the emotional rush to declare war on a scapegoat - the badger.


4. There seems to be large public support for the cull. What is the current level of support against the cull?

Every time there is a poll, it's clear that Brits don't want this pointless bloodshed. Even in Paterson's own constituency, an overwhelming majority in the local newspaper voted that "Brian May was right to oppose the cull". We have a number of enlightened farmers on our side, but many of them are afraid to go public. 265,000 people signed our petition on the Government's own website, and made it the largest ever. There have been two debates on the badger cull in Westminster. In the first one, the free vote went overwhelmingly against the cull. After the second debate, the Government prevailed narrowly, but only by threatening their own MP's that if they didn't follow the party line they would suffer. It's called a 'Whip' - a traditional but largely undemocratic practice, easily abused, as in this case. This country does NOT want badger culling.


5. Elements of the (right-wing) media appear to have adopted a fierce position against opponents of the cull. Do you believe there is a concerted media campaign to discredit animal welfare organisations and charities?

Yes, undoubtedly. It's not rocket science - it's all about money and power, vested interests, undercover deals, and votes. Under this Government full use has been made of, for instance, the Telegraph, as a vehicle of propaganda. The current campaign against the RSPCA is scandalous, completely manufactured by those who condone blood sports) and cannot abide with the RSPCA (and ALL other animal charities) bringing fox hunters to justice. When we read our newspapers, we have to be conscious that unbiased truth is a hard commodity to find these days, especially when this Government is spending huge sums of money on propaganda to try to persuade us that their highly suspect policies are justified.


6. Do you also think DEFRA have gone too far in attacking animal welfare organisations that oppose its position ?

Yes, I think it smacks of desperation. And, sadly it's clear that many of the honest DEFRA workers are embarrassed by it.

7. Do you support direct action against those backing the cull? What other means can avtivists use to disrupt he cull?

We support only legal, peaceful protest. I wouldn't rule out some of my own. We live in a democracy - don't we?


8. What was your inspiration re animal rights? Is there a particular moment that you can trace that has made you one of Britain's most prominent and lauded animal welfare figureheads?

I have always had a strong conviction that the human race treats animals despicably. This country, priding itself as a nation of animal lovers, is as guilty as Hell of abusing the weak, and those beings who do not have a voice. I got to a point in my life where I had to act on my convictions. I have no motives of money, fame, or power - why would I ? I've had all those. I just want to see justice. Just as justice had to be fought for in the case of the abolition of slavery, the emancipation of women, and the outlawing of all kind of despicable practices justified by tradition and ignorance, the right of ALL sentient creatures to decent treatment has to be fought for. And in the foreseeable future, we will win that right. We will be their voice. You can only justify destroying thousands of families of mostly healthy badgers if you rate the value of wild mammal as zero. That is what Cameron is doing. I didn't set out to be a figurehead, and I'm not the leader of this movement. I just happen to be conspicuous. But as anyone in Team Badger will tell you … I'm not a celebrity … I'm a worker. I'm proud to be a voice for animals. There will be more and more of us as time goes on.

Bri

(PLEASE OBSERVE COPYRIGHT)
© brianmay.com


**Mon 02 Sep 13**
Direct link



FROST

So sad to hear of David Frost's passing.
He was a great friend of our manager, and I once
was fortunate enough to share a long plane journey with him.

He was a delightful man and a fierce intellect.

Sincere condolences to his family

RIP Sir David

Bri


(PLEASE OBSERVE COPYRIGHT)
© brianmay.com


**Mon 02 Sep 13**
COUNTRYFILE BAD MISTAKE? - AND BIOPIC
Direct link

Countryfile makes a bad mistake?

bTB, according to DEFRA figures, is down, in the last counts. They say it's up. See VIDEO

 

@UltraJules wrote" "Biopic writer P. Morgan told BBC Mercury film probably not to happen now S. B. Cohen out"

BBCEntsTeam Tweet..

He reckons ?!!

Bri

(PLEASE OBSERVE COPYRIGHT)
© brianmay.com


Next | Previous
www.banguniverse.com
www.londonagainstthcul.org.uk Twitter: @protestthecull Facebook: ProtestTheCull