BY NIGEL BEAN
I have already discussed in a previous article the pivotal role fake news played in securing the hunting ban in 2004 and gave the example of an article written by Anthony Bartlett, then public affairs editor for The Guardian. The article was mischievously entitled “Vets say hunted foxes die in agony” when in fact not one vet actually said that. The article was deliberately published to smother the truth surrounding an announcement by Jack Straw, then Home Secretary, that claims made by the opponents of hunting of having scientific evidence to prove the cruelties of hunting were indeed false.
It’s time to bring you up to date with the latest case of fake news used against hunting and give a latter-day example specific to legislation. The reason I have had to stipulate ‘specific to legislation’ is because fake news surrounding hunting has become an almost daily occurrence in local newspapers and is no longer targeted at a particular event. Now the public are drip-fed and brain-washed with left-wing animal rights ideology on a daily basis.
I draw your attention towards the fake news manipulating public opinion in Scotland for further legislation to restrict or ban hunting. I will start by saying I had naively hoped the ex-Solicitor Roseanna Cunningham, the rural and environment minister for Scotland, would woman up and take the pressure instead of forfeiting to intimidation, harassment, bullying and systematic abuse of Scotland’s country folk. I was wrong. That she would buck the trend and be the first minister in the devolved areas of Wales and Scotland to turn down the suggestion of a public consultation – after supporting evidence was exposed as mere opinion and lacking any credibility – was always a big ask.
Lacking any credibility? Read this:
Given that Cunningham capitulated in favour of activists, I will summarise her thought process. So what if indigenous country folk, whose grandparents fought and died so their forbears could be free from tyranny, get harassed and abused by activists as they go about their daily lives? If I vote for the antis then it’s all in a charitable cause even if it’s based on fake news, skewed opinion polls and irrelevant consultation analysis. To hell with the honest buck the natives are generating from country pursuits.
Nowadays with the Internet it’s easy to identify politicians wearing no clothes. It’s easy to spot a con. Animal rights charities fabricate a concern and fund unscrupulous academics willing to twist science to fit that concern. This is achieved by ignoring convincing conflicting evidence or twisting evidence and hoping nobody actually follows the references. The fabrication, or drummed up concern, can now claim scientific backing and receives news coverage disproportionate to its real significance by companies and charities created for the purpose of propagating left-wing ideology to the masses. In steps a politician expressing disquiet at the public discord generated by the fake news stories and acts upon the drummed-up concern with infallible scientific data and an opinion poll.
Opinion polls simply fool the public by giving an appearance of openness and fairness. Only when you delve into polling methods used do the problems become apparent. Listed are two very big disadvantages of using non-probability quota sampling:
- Sample selection is not random
- There is potential for selection bias, which can result in a sample that is unrepresentative of the population.
If we now throw in the words taken from the internet site of IPSOS Mori and remove the smokescreen, “Our aim is to design polls to fit clients’ objectives and budget”, I rest my case. In the words of Dr Ted Friend: ‘Politicians are only interested in our research when it supports what they have already made up their minds to do.’
So at no time has the politician evaluated any counter evidence, they have only ever presided over the evidence specially twisted to fit their agenda. When the counter evidence arrives for the review and exposes the infallible as complete poppycock and balderdash, disbelief sets in and they immediately fall back on public opinion driven by the false consensus effect. This self-esteem bolstering type of cognitive bias is relatively harmless but when employed to manipulate others the traits of a politician get laid bare. There are many spineless ones about these days, it seems.
First class evidence by experienced professional people gets ignored for pre-written answers. These are submitted by a button click on a campaign website. Of course, the organised anti responders are waiting to “mass respond” (one anti can click as many times as they want…down at McDonalds, at the library, at internet cafes and on different devices in different locations to get round IP issues. These consultations provide a link or mention in the story indicating you can take part in the consultation and let your feelings be known – step up the antis’ green ink brigade to fill in form after form.
Hooray folks, how wonderful, we have a majority in favour of our opinion we won the day, so let’s go ahead and force our tiny minority, activist-led world view on the whole populace.
In detail, here’s the Scottish fiasco as it happened …
Roseanna Cunningham announces a Public Consultation on the 6th Oct 2017. A week later I write the following to her:
“Well, congratulations Roseanne Cunningham MSP for the next few months you will have subjected innocent hunting folk to even more bullying, harassment and intimidation by animal rights fruit loops. They will go all out in some shambolic attempt to provoke a reaction and get hunts smeared in the left wing press and this in turn, it is hoped, will prompt a public reaction in favour of animal rights in the public consultation.”
Barely a week passes, and the first fake news story appears in the Scottish Sunday Herald by Peter Swindon:
Now it’s the turn of Craig Macdonald at the Daily Record with another fake story:
Before we go any further it’s worth remembering what Dr Ted friend said about the activist propaganda:
“…everyone just hears the propaganda and because they hear it from so many sources, it must be true.”
We all like to think that our vote counts, that politicians have the same values as we do, but the truth is a very different. When we vote, we allow our politicians to do as they see fit. The lobbyists and activists know this only too well and play it to their advantage with a combination of fake news, falsified data and faux-science – their lobbying operations are well-funded and organised. Our vote makes little difference when our politicians are led by the nose and smell the trough.
It’s not the will of the people that rules, it is the will of the wallet. Welcome to Britain’s cash and carry society. When will the pro-hunting campaign get its act together and fight this valid cause?
Edited by Paul Read