I went into Sky News this morning with some notes on the subject of the nefarious “SI”. O
f course in the event, I didn’t want to be reading anything … so I didn’t end up saying all of this. In particular, once I saw Owen Paterson’s face on the TV monitor, I somehow didn’t want to lay into him personally – it just didn’t seem appropriate. So I hope I was civil to him, even though I’m convinced he’s the mouthpiece for a very indecent scam.
So, for what they are worth, here’s what I might have said, and it’s a fairly good summing up of how we all feel about the so-called ‘technical amendment’ that the Government is tabling on Wednesday.
Owen Paterson ? Is that the best you could do ? Couldn’t you get a minister ? Where ‘s Liz Truss ? She’s the Minister of the Environment, but then of course, it’s very telling that she’s not here. Why ? The Government is pretending this is a farming issue, in which case DEFRA would be consulted and involved – we’d be hearing from Liz Truss for sure.
But that’s a pretence … a complete sham. This is an issue of fox hunting. Of torturing wild animals to death for fun. And Owen Paterson is one of those old-fashioned Tory MPs who is all about fox hunting.
You kinda wanna be merciful to this man.
But he’s really NOT the sharpest tool in the box.
This is the man Cameron sacked last year after he’d made a series of memorable blunders … the flooding precautions, etc … but most memorable he’s the chap who will be immortalised in the words “The badgers moved the goalposts”. This is a man who three times in the past (and he apparently tried to do it this time, too, but was foiled by Sky !) – has refused to debate head to head with me. Now that’s, as I read it, a cowardly man. And being cowardly is what fox hunting is about. A bunch of grown men gang up to murder a healthy sentient, thinking, feeling mammal, almost indistinguishable from a dog – to set a pack of vicious hounds on it and torture it to death. It makes them feel powerful … potent, especially if they have small penises ?
That’s what this disgraceful SI of the Government’s actually is about.
Do you really think a bunch of farmers went to Mr Cameron last week and said … “Oh – we’re having trouble digging out foxes to shoot them – because we can only use two dogs. Please rush something through for us ? We need to use a whole pack“ ? You really think that’s what happened ? No. I’ve now been doing this campaigning stuff for about 6 years and I’ve met a lot of farmers along the way, and I have to tell you most of them are bloody decent blokes. And they’re busy. They really don’t spend their Sundays diggin’ out foxes from their Earths to shoot them ! (Owen, on the programme, tried to tell us that the upland farmers issue a call-out if foxes are terrorising them (!) and out goes the Hunt, like Rentokil, to save the day !!!)
No ! It’s about Hunting for sport. It’s about a small group of traditionalist bullies, insisting on their right to ride rough-shod over everybody and everything that gets in their way – symbolized by their ‘Traditional’ right to kill animals in a vile, cruel fashion, just because in the past they’ve got away with it for years. Even after the Hunting Act of 2004 they continued their despicable behaviour, but under the lie of Trail Hunting. Someone lays a trail, BUT IT’S of FOX URINE … the hounds are trained to react to the scent of a fox, so … if a fox happens to be out that day, well, whoopee .. “
Look ! …those hounds just followed a fox by accident ! We couldn’t stop them, could we?” Look at it … This Government is always telling us how much it worries about the Economy, Europe, etc ? But it’s obsessed with … what priority ? Bringing back blood sports. It’s almost unbelievable.
The Prime Minister is known to have ridden with his local hunt … the Heythrop Hunt … one of the notoriously cruel hunts in the country. So have many of his ministers. And it’s hard to slide a cigarette paper between the Countryside Alliance and Cameron’s clique.
So here ‘s what REALLY happened over the last few weeks. The Countryside Alliance, in which you have to include MP Simon Hart, (and others !) have been pressuring Mr Cameron for 6 YEARS to have a FREE VOTE on fox hunting. All through the last session they didn’t get it, because they thought they would lose the vote, not having a majority in the HOC. They wanted to bring in the “under the table modification” – the SI like we see now, but Clegg wouldn’t go with it.
So 2015 … Whoopee ! Mr Cameron gets a majority. So can they bring in the free vote ? Ah … bummer … lots of the new very decent Tory MPs – as well as almost everyone else … make it known they won’t vote for repeal. So suddenly the Countryside Alliance put out a statement saying “Well, we were never all-out set on a vote for repeal ?” Really ? !!! So then we all knew the underhanded procedure was coming. The “Repeal by the Back Door” scheme. So – suddenly – rushed through at an indecent speed, announced on Budget day so it wouldn’t get much attention – SNEAKY – we get the Statutory Instrument announcement – to modify the Hunting Act so that a whole pack of hounds can be used to “flush out a fox to shoot it” – instead of just two, as specified in the Act.
An SI, as detailed on the Government’s own website, is designed for adding small detail to a bill, that was too complicated to include in the Act. Obviously this is not at all what THIS SI is. Effectively it will disable the Hunting Act, and bring back Fox Hunting as it was before 20014 … because who will be able to tell what that pack of hounds is doing out there ? It’s deception. It’s an evil Machiavellian plot.
Now we’ve seen that the claim that this SI is “to help Farmers” is bogus.
So what other false claims are being made to justify this very dodgy and unworthy use of an SI ?
1.“It’s bringing the English Hunting Act into line with the Scottish one.” This is another lie. The 2004 Act was inspired by the 2002 Scottish Wild Mammals Act which is drafted in a very different way. The penalties for breaking the law are much heavier for a start. Nobody has mentioned that in Scotland you can put in prison for 6 months for breaking this law. In England, it’s just a fine even if the case can be proved against you. And there is specific provision to insist that suffering of animals is minimised – which is not in the English Act, and there are important differences in O & E – Observation and Experiment, which make the comparison dishonest. And in fact the Scots have found that allowing more hounds to flush out for the supposed ‘shooting for pest control’ HAS made it easier for hunts to flout the law, so it would actually make sense to amend the Scottish law rather than the English one. I AM HALF SCOTTISH ! The foxes really don’t care if they are Scottish or English. Cruelty is an issue of world importance, never mind National and Cross-Border impact.
2. “It’s about Pest Control”. This is the biggest lie of all. The Hunts have NEVER been about control of numbers of foxes. Since the beginning, by their own words, Hunters have documented themselves preserving numbers so they have enough for their sport. The Isle of Wight foxes are completely imported – in the 30s. Recently it’s been confirmed that on a huge scale, fox cubs are being BRED for hunting. Barbaric, almost unbelievable. But it’s not much different from breeding millions of pheasants purely to be shot for fun by blundering shooters.
3. Lobby your MP !!! E-mail him today. Tell him you don’t want him to be a part of a return to barbarity. Scots ! Write to your SNP MP !!!! We need the SNP guys to vote with us. We know they are with us in spirit.
Lamb Predation and the Welsh Farmers. In 2002 a paper was published by DEFRA, the results of a 5 year study which concluded that only a tiny 0.8 of 1 per cent of Lamb mortality is due to Foxes. They said foxes had a negligible effect on Lamb mortality, and efforts to save lambs would be better served by other means than killing foxes. The “Welsh Farmers” paper was an attempt to sabotage that report … sponsored by – guess who ? – the Countryside Alliance !!! You have to laugh. The paper was not peer reviewed, and not in any sense impartial, so basically it’s not believable. They said farmers need a pack of hounds to dig out and shoot foxes rather than just two !!
Fox hunting is a criminal activity. Why are we listening to the Countryside Alliance ? Would we be listening to the Drunk Drivers Association on relaxing the law on drunk driving ? Would we be listening to a paedophile organisation on ‘relaxing’ a law protecting children from abuse ? No – I don’t think so.
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