BY NIGEL BEAN & PAUL READ
Recently the Countryside Alliance ran a survey to find out the extent of the abuse its members received online. They received 500 responses – 310 had received either death threats, photos of their children placed online alongside photos of their houses making the statement ‘we know where you live’. And the usual accusations of sadist, psychopath, bloodthirsty snob, child abuser and paedophile etc. This information was reported in the Daily Telegraph.
Then two weeks ago a rather unusual court case occurred. Giles Bradshaw a Devon farmer and non-hunting man, but an outspoken critic of the hunting ban, was jailed when he was found guilty of breaking an injunction put in place after he launched a four-year trolling campaign surrounding child abuse. The BBC covered the case here.
The anti-hunt extremists had a field day!
As if by magic their decades of harassment, insidious accusations, inferences and lies casting the hunting fraternity as child abusers could be justified thanks to this one incident. Many could be found in the Countryside Alliance’s Twitter timeline demanding explanations. Tinfoil hats were ubiquitous.
Why would these anti hunt nuts describe the hunting community as paedophiles? Why are they that desperate?
I refer you to the Countryside Alliance 2nd Stage submission, opening summary to the government hunting inquiry (2000), they complain of leading anti-hunting groups not stopping at allegations of animal cruelty and they give an example from Richard Ryder RSPCA.
“The evidence put forward by some leading anti-hunting groups has not stopped at allegations of animal cruelty. It has been permeated by a disturbing level of prejudice and even bigotry against hunting people themselves or against those who defend their right to hunt. What are responsible, law-abiding people who hunt, or who support their right to do so, to make of the astonishing statement to the Inquiry by the former chairman of the RSPCA, Dr. Richard Ryder, that when considering the need for legislation against “cruel country sports”, an analogy can be drawn between child abuse and animal abuse. This offensive and wholly unsubstantiated suggestion is the latest example of the insidious and systematic demonisation of hunting people which has been perpetrated consistently by certain anti-hunting groups over a very long period. This propaganda has given rise amongst many rural communities to a sense of quiet outrage at the vilification to which they are subject as a result. But they are becoming less quiet about it. They recognise that no group should be subjected to deliberate institutionalised discrimination based on nothing more substantial than prejudice and ignorance.”
Douglas Batchelor ex-CEO of the League Against Cruel Sports was mentioned in a Parliamentary debate and thus recorded in Hansard for all time using the same smear:
“In much the same way as while paedophiles may feel that they enjoy abusing children and are therefore justified, a civilised society condemns their pleasures and regards them as socially unacceptable”.
Here is Douglas Batchelor speaking again around 2011:
“In my blog post last week I referred to the grooming of children to kill for fun. It evoked a storm of protest from the hunters and shooters. They really did not like being labelled with the language more commonly used for other perversions”
The whole point of this illegal smear is to dehumanise the hunting fraternity. That way the smear can only be exacerbated when a hunter puts a foot wrong. So when a young girl gets kicked in the head at a hunt meet, rather than the incident be met with grief and shock, it’s met with sheer delight from the dehumanisers.
One of the perpetrators of the smear is a man of the cloth, the Reverend Professor Andrew Linzey from Oxford University – Director of the Centre for Animal Ethics. Here is Linzey’s letter to Bishops around 2002 comparing hunting to child abuse and rape:
There are others engaged in the same game of smearing: