BY NIGEL BEAN (& PAUL READ)
The police forces of the United Kingdom should read this article before dealing with the upsurge of complaints against fox hunts. The information covered explains why cases of illegal hunting brought against registered fox hunts are continually failing. This information has been around for centuries and was documented in the first-ever Government hunting inquiry in 1951 and surrounds ‘preconceived ideas’.
“One outstanding example, however, which received considerable publicity at the time, and which we therefore think it fair to mention, occurred in 1948 and resulted in an action for libel brought by a Master of Foxhounds against a clergyman of the Church of England. This gentleman wrote a letter to the local newspaper alleging that he had seen a live fox thrown to the hounds after it had been dug out, and that “four times one of the huntsmen pulled out the fox from the pack”, and although it was still alive and screaming, he deliberately shook it teasingly at the hounds. When the case was heard the evidence showed that a fox had been marked to ground in a drain, and that a local farmer had asked for it to be killed. A terrier (which, it was subsequently found, succeeded in killing the fox) was put into the drain and when it emerged, it was tied to an adjacent gatepost while the fox’s dead body was dug out and given to the hounds in the usual way. While this was going on the terrier yelped continuously, and its cries were apparently interpreted by the defendant for screams from the fox. The gentleman in question no doubt had strong feelings on the issue of cruelty to animals and we are quite sure that he also genuinely believed that he saw what he claimed to have seen. The jury found against him, however, and awarded £1,500 damages to the plaintiff. We think this case illustrates clearly that in field sports people who hold strong views one other or the other can generally find something which they think bears out their preconceived ideas……” – Scott Henderson report 1951
A simple explanation to what has happened – The gentleman in question has personality traits that lead to confirmation bias. He has only ever sought information that confirms what he has already made up his mind to believe. Conflicting evidence to counter his belief is ignored. Thus a picture of what he thinks is happening is built up in his imagination. This becomes his preconceived idea and that overrides reality, he now only sees what he wants to see. Currently, this is providing the police with a major problem because people like our gentleman from 1948 are increasingly prevalent and influential in today’s society. Unfortunately their traits and behaviour are well recognised by others willing to use them for personal/financial gain. Those seeking the aforementioned gains usually obtain positions in charities from where they are practically untouchable, they can then feed a daily stream of lies and fake news through the press and social media to keep the preconceived ideas in the imagination of their targeted victims. It really doesn’t matter how ridiculous, how trivial, how unsubstantiated the claims – the victims will believe and contact the police or their member of parliament in protest.
Click on one local hunting story in your local area, the next day three more appear from other areas across the country. Charities like the League Against Cruel Sports thrive with fake news. Here below are two – can you believe a hunt crossing a dimly lit road is now news?
The ‘claim’ story from Gloucestershire contravenes Charity Commission rules and guidelines but the rules are there in writing only to placate an unsuspecting public. The Charity Commission is toothless when prosecuting rogue charities. I wrote in a complaint the League Against Cruel Sports were using corrupt monitors to insinuate illegality by hunts in Scotland. I even provided them with a video – no response. So I wondered how many others had similar concerns to my own …
“Can you please tell me how many times the League Against Cruel Sports (1095234) were complained against, the nature of the complaint and what action was taken on each complaint. Can you also tell me please how many outstanding cases they have against them?”
“The information is withheld under S31(1)(g) of the Freedom of Information Act 2000. S31(1) (g) provides that the information is exempt if its disclosure would, or would be likely to, prejudice the exercise by any public authority of its functions for any of the purposes specified in S31(2)(f). Such purposes include: The purpose of protecting charities against misconduct or mismanagement (whether by trustees or other persons) in their administration.”
So all bases covered to allow the liars to keep on lying and dividing the countryside and the nation.
The Charity Commission’s failure to act then has a knock-on effect and further exacerbates problems for the police. The recipients of the fake news – turned into hotheads by it – claim they are acting on newspaper reports over law-breaking from a UK charity, so why should they take matters into their own hands as the police are not doing their job? Why not act as vigilantes? So they set forth as vigilantes with their preconceived ideas believing that from the outset fox hunters are acting illegally and are criminals before they have even sat on a horse and set off for the day.
When these new-born activists do get evidence of a ‘claimed’ illegal activity surrounding hunting and this does go to court it is found they are only willing to produce the evidence that fits their preconceived idea. The fact they are likely withholding video evidence of them provoking, threatening or starting fights is not in their preconceived idea. In their minds such evidence can be omitted because they are absolutely right. The end justifies the means in their minds. Of course no judge is going to accept that and the case collapses to the astonishment of the hunt saboteurs who then post their version fitting their preconceived ideas online and recruit more hotheads from their very biased version of events.
Here are a few more examples of fake news that have happened in the last few days:
One newspaper report last week was lifted straight off a hunt saboteur’s website and reported an outbreak of trouble at a meet between hunt saboteurs and hunt officials. Only strangely missing was a comment from the local police, as one journalist lamented:
“Truly appalling reporting. Cutting & pasting almost verbatim from a vigilante social media page – do you even know who they are? – does not make a ‘story’. Not even a comment from the police about their claims”
Another fake news story in the Ferret of Scotland reported a fox had been killed – only it had been shot first as dictated by the law which the anti-hunt groups helped write. The dead fox was then thrown to the hounds as a reward. The League Against Cruel Sports deliberately objected to that purely to generate fake news. So we end up with the situation where an article is hitting the headlines because a hunt has adhered to the letter of the law. And yet some recipients of the fake news still reported it to the police – see below:
All of the above news articles indicate members of the public are being fed lies and fake news to trigger them into reporting a crime that has not been committed. Now we have a situation where preconceived ideas prevent a cancer charity from receiving donations and this takes it to a whole new level:
We hope the police take on board this article and stop being so apologetic when the evidence does not secure a conviction. Perhaps tell the public the truth “the case collapsed because those with preconceived ideas were attempting to implicate innocent people in a non-existent crime”. See how quickly the false allegations stop then.