Festive Malicious Communications

BY NIGEL BEAN & PAUL READ

Peace and goodwill to all men or so the Christmas saying goes. And in keeping with this tradition of warmth and compassion, this Christmas This is Hunting UK put out on their Facebook page a glad tiding reminding their followers to think of hunt staff and unpaid helpers at this time of year:

“In recognition of all those who do so much to support our Hunting through these most difficult times, we would like to bring you this Christmas morning a selection of great photos from across the World in our gratitude. The range of people who give so freely of their time is far too great to mention in just a few sentences. However this of all mornings it should be our Hunt Staff who we believe should be highlighted. Be they in Kennels Stables or out in the field it is they who keep the show on the road for us. Lastly but by no means least, thank you to all who have given such great support to TiHUK over the last twelve months, this too is hugely recognised by us all. A Very Happy Christmas to each and every one of you and a Very Happy and Prosperous New Year.”

What followed came as a shock. Antis from across the country were directed to a pile-on and between them generated three thousand negative/vile/abusive comments while the innocent This is Hunting UK post was shared almost two thousand times. Hardly festive, is it?

If you don’t like bad language, please look away now. Here are a small selection of the comments that followed:

Amongst the antis who piled on was a Doctor Simon Peter Braybrook – a Rasputinesque GP from Butetown, which is a district and community in the south of the city of Cardiff. Dr Braybrook is a partner in Butetown Medical Practice and is Chair of the South East Wales Faculty of the Royal College of General Practitioners. Braybrook has links with Cardiff University and a gender clinic. He was even nominated as a “Welsh icon” in 2015. So what on earth is someone of such supposed standing in his community – a father of two, no less, and supporter of the scouts – getting embroiled in a social media pile-on?

Drunk?

Too many mince pies?

Although less vile than his trolling comrades, Braybrook’s views were there – plastered online for all to see. One hunt supporter challenged him over his decision-affecting bigotry, but Doctor Braybrook carried on ranting, unabated:

One feels somewhat sorry for Braybrook’s colleagues, considering the way he talks about them behind their backs:

The pile-on became so unpleasant and abusive that even an opponent of hunting became so appalled, he felt obliged to make his feelings known:  

“I just wanted to say I am shocked and sorry for the abuse that has been sent to your organisation. Although we have opposing views it is unacceptable to bombard either side or organisation at that with levels of abuse mentioned in your post. I know we didn’t have the discussions that I wished to have which I regret and apologise for, but I know your group is trying to improve the image of hunting and stand up to and against violence and intimidation which is not recognised by the majority of anti-hunt people. There are a lot of anti-hunt people who are appalled at the abuse that goes on and who distance themselves from those who think it’s fun to do so.”

More of the latter.

Less Doctor Braybrooks, please.  

Doctor Braybrook did delete his comments later. Too late. Some other parts of the exchange can be found below. Copies are on the way to the noble institutions to which Braybrook is affiliated. You can’t suckle on the public teat and expect to get away with those kind of standards. Better that Doctor Braybrook explains to a conduct panel why he behaves in such irresponsible ways, and so publicly.

Note: If you have been turned down for a shotgun licence by Dr Braybrook or his surgery then please do get in touch.