– WESTMINSTER HALL 29 Jan 2013 SIMON HART MP [http://bit.ly/WoWk9T ]
9.30am – 11am
Role of the RSPCA as a prosecutor – Simon Hart
This Tuesday there will be Sabre-Rattling by the Countryside Alliance in Parliament.
The best you could say about it would be that it’s a time-wasting exercise. But it has more sinister undertones. And ‘sinister’ is not an exaggerated epithet, because this is nothing less than an attempt to castrate one of Britain’s finest institutions – the RSPCA. I will have a lot more to say about this, but for now let me leave you with a very well-written context piece by David Peterson, who is an expert on the subject.
This something every British voter needs to know.
Simon Hart MP, reports RSPCA to the Charity Commission for being suspected of breaching a “duty of prudence” that governs their actions.
I find it a bit rich that Simon Hart is reporting that RSPCA for breaching a “duty of prudence” when it spent its money bringing a private prosecution against members of the Heythrop Hunt. He also urged the commission’s chairman ‘to investigate’. Not so long ago this same Simon Hart, when chief executive of the Countryside Alliance and connected to the Countryside Alliance Foundation (charity number 1121034), a body set up to promote the cruel sport of hunting wild animals, spent enormous sums of money trying, unsuccessfully, to challenge the government’s Hunting Act 2004 through various courts. Firstly he went to The High Court who found him in the wrong, so then he went to the Court of Appeal who refused him, he then went to the House of Lords who unanimously dismissed both his appeals, so then he went to the European Court of Human Rights and they, too, turned him down. Prior to the Hunting Act being made law the campaign to filibuster the Act lasted 700 hours and cost in the region of £30 million. So then, supported financially by the pro-hunting lobby, he went into politics to try and change the law.
All these legal fees, paid out for an unsuccessful campaign, I suspect add up to a considerable amount far greater than that of the RSPCA’s successful prosecution of David Cameron’s favourite hunt. The RSPCA receive donations from people who wish to see these cruel acts stopped and for it to get convictions.
Senior Conservatives appear to have dashed any hopes of a free vote to repeal the law against hunting with dogs any time soon and ‘The Blue Foxes’, a group of conservative MPs, who support the Hunting Act, is growing steadily.
A poll by Ipsos Mori, for the RSPCA, League Against Cruel Sports and International Fund for Animal Welfare, suggested most of the public (76 per cent) wanted the ban kept. Most people accepted there was no place for animal cruelty in a civilised society.
It seems that Simon Hart is caught between a rock and a hard place as his financial backers including a very dodgy former mercenary, hedge fund bankers, hunt-masters and Lord Ashcroft, now want some results for their money and he is unable to deliver. During a recent speech in Parliament he even attempted to malign the RSPCA and was promptly reprimanded by one of his own party who reminded him of its founder, William Wilberforce. ‘Grasping at straws’ springs to mind