BY NIGEL BEAN & PAUL READ
Sad and worrying stats were released by the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC) recently. Research shows 64% of Scottish gamekeepers receive abuse from members of the public at least once a year. And another 79% are concerned about their future.
Put into context, that’s 64% of Scottish gamekeepers getting grief for going about their lawful business putting much needed finances into the rural economy – grouse shooting has been found to substantially benefit the ailing Scottish economy. And how many members of the Scottish Parliament have publicly announced their disgust and outrage at this abuse? What if 64% of Glaswegian bus drivers were subject to unacceptable abuse – would the SNP act then?
Of course the truth is that Scottish politicians can’t call out the problem because they are the problem. They are the ones responsible for promoting and fanning this abuse. The SNP is guilty as hell via its MSPs’ tweets and statements relating to the cruelty of grouse shooting. Tragically the opposition parties tend to be complicit by their silence, save a few honourable exceptions.
Westminster fares little better dealing with animal rights lawbreakers…
Take this example below from the circuses in the nineties. (For the record Angela Smith is now Baroness Angela Smith, Leader of the Labour Party in the House of Lords, and was Vice President of the League Against Cruel Sports until last year).
A complaint was lodged over this letter with the Lords’ standards commissioner but dismissed because the incident happened when Smith was a member of the House of Commons. You’ve guessed it, no point in complaining to the House of Commons standards committee because Baroness Smith is now in the Lords. See how the duplicitous roll?
It wouldn’t be half as bad if the anti-hunt and anti-grouse-shooting class warriors of the SNP and Labour used actual evidence. Alas, they short cut and use rentagob professors like Stephen Harris and LACS-linked faked videos and entrapments to make their points.
The SNP can very well argue that they have held reviews on grouse moor management and hunting with dogs while research has been commissioned on the economic benefits of grouse moors. That’s two publicly funded reviews and some in-depth research providing not one reason to ban either hunting or grouse shooting. Well done. That cost a lot of taxpayer money. So why are the SNP government still so anti? Where is their support and protection for gamekeepers for a start? The truth is that the SNP is built on violent and thuggish hordes – on troll armies and abusers – so why should this nasty party change now?
The tragedy is that politicians up and down the UK have most often been hoodwinked by the likes of LACS and others, rather than exploiting the opportunities presented by them. Only by lighting up the antis’ networks like a Christmas tree will the politicians realise just how close the antis are to terrorists and extremists who care little for God’s creatures but live for chaos and dream of revolution.
Politicians, you have been warned. It is not too late to avoid the coming reckoning. As the antis’ network gets published do you really want to see your name linked with a Sven Van Hasselt, David Graham or Terry Hill? This is a scandal you will be best advised to swerve and avoid.
Where political activism breaches peaceful protest and dives head-first into criminal conduct, we can, should and will use every mechanism available to prosecute the individuals responsible. In recent years, some radical activist groups have gone well beyond what any reasonably-minded person would consider legitimate protest. Their tactics include vandalising, credit card fraud, threatening employees of businesses and research companies, terrorising children of employees, and posting death threats against employees, as well as employees’ names, addresses and phone numbers, on the Internet. These extremists target researchers, farmers, circuses and other lawful, productive and beneficial organisations.
Meanwhile, if there are any journalists left in Scotland they should be asking these questions: are the Scots police being pressured into trumping up charges to show illegal acts? How many Scottish gamekeepers have contemplated either leaving their employment or even considered suicide?
Now the SNP and Sturgeon are creaking, the party’s links to animal rights extremists should hardly be ignored by political opponents and those keen on exposing what is a sinister and dark political alliance built on cash and favours – a public conned into crowd funders which do not do what they claim to seek to achieve.