Submission to Lord Walney

BY NIGEL BEAN

Below follows Nigel Bean’s submission to Lord Walney’s independent review into political violence and disruption:

“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to provide information and views into the rise of extremism. The independent review appears to be heavily biased towards far left and right wing extremism, both of which are largely unwanted side effects of our political system and sensible politicians will seek to distance themselves from groups promoting the extremes of their respective political persuasion.

This is opposite to animal rights extremism, which is promoted by politicians and indirectly they are responsible for the intimidation, abuse, harassment and violence experienced by members of the public. Not forgetting the businesses that have been destroyed or are under constant attack from extremists, for example butcher shops, farms etc.

Animal rights groups have honed their gamesmanship over decades. They know politicians need to appear popular and will jump onto short-cut bandwagons. So they try to make the loudest noise, knowing this will attract opportunist politicians’ support. Once snared, the busy politician succumbs to confirmation bias. It doesn’t matter if the animal rights group has a small number of supporters or the cause has been invented, these groups have cultivated good media connections and politicians will attach themselves to their campaigns for the media exposure.

This has led to a whole industry being created to promote bogus animal-related causes into the political arena.

Campaigning can be very profitable with very little outlay or investment, especially if you are promoting claimed misery and suffering to animals caused by others. Providing someone to blame works as a crowdfunder. We have seen a rise in charities and groups taking advantage of public outrage based on misconceptions fed by a constant supply of fake news and heavily edited videos. This has been greatly helped by the rise in social media and has led to an influx of self-appointed vigilante style groups all claiming to do their bit for animal protection. They always come with a highly visible GoFundMe link on their Facebook page.

These groups, along with bogus charities like the League Against Cruel Sports or HOWL, seek to change the law by promoting claimed wrongdoing by others. This promotion is carried in newspaper reports or television broadcasts by media outlets sympathetic to their cause. Hence, during the Trail Hunting season, we get a deluge of biased news on claimed illegal fox hunting. However, when it goes to court, hardly ever is anything proven. The narrative must be kept rolling for future news reports so very poor excuses are found to hide valuable information from the public as can be shown recently in correspondence between a huntsman found not guilty and ITV News:

This problem is exacerbated for people adhering to the law, treating their animals well or playing to the rules, as it leads to foul play, trespass, abuse, intimidation and extreme provocation in attempts to show wrongdoing. This is particularly pertinent to those in the countryside suffering from weekly visits from urban hunt saboteurs. 

https://www.leicestermercury.co.uk/news/leicester-news/hunt-saboteur-sentenced-giving-police-4526498

The roots of this problem started in the late nineties when Animal Defenders International managed to obtain footage inside Mary Chipperfield’s farm of claimed animal abuse. The footage shown on BBC News reports caused outrage, but more importantly huge amounts of money were donated to Animal Defenders International. This provided a motivation for others to copy the Animal Defenders model.

The consequences for the circus industry and their animals was catastrophic. Mary Chipperfield received thousands of poison pen letters, some containing razor blades or excreta. Her brother was sent a letter bomb and her dying mother a jar of jam laced with arsenic. The circus industry was destroyed, and the politicians continued to promote an anti-circus agenda based on Animal Defenders International evidence.

Only in 2018 did we discover it was all a setup. Signed witness statements had been sent to the Home Office under a Labour Government but were ignored proving the Government of the time knew the real story but kept it hidden so as not to damage their media image after a dicey election in 2017 when the return of foxhunting had been promoted as a policy.

The cameraman who shot the footage had used the bogus name of “Spike Stocker” to hide his identity in case of later scrutiny and the footage shown in court to obtain Mary Chipperfield’s conviction had been highly edited.

Boris Johnson’s Conservative Government are equally at fault, the narrative having been built to such proportions that when they are informed it was all a setup they too ignored the evidence for political expedience. Thus politicians from both sides of the house have supported the extremists, their letter bombs, poisonous letters, jars of arsenic and their twenty-year campaign of hate against the circus industry.

Key to the success of the animal rights extremists is their pretence they are acting normally. They obtain positions of authority and respect from where their behaviour is beyond reproof. This can be achieved by working for a charity or obtaining charity status for a group or organisation.  Thus the League Against Cruel Sports obtained charity status regardless of losing eight high ranking officials all claiming they had come to realise through experience in the field, a hunting ban would increase animal suffering, the exact opposite of the charity’s stance. And the International Fund for Animal Welfare achieved charity status after donating one million pounds to Labour for them to enact legislation to ban hunting and then later getting a charity commission warning for political campaigning.

Let’s take the activist Dominic Dyer as another example. Here is Dominic Dyer recently promoting harassment and intimidation against groundsmen of a golf club because the club legally wanted to remove pest foxes off their course. Promoting graphics with an image emblazoned with ‘fox killers’ and made by hunt saboteurs who have a history of violence, intimidation and provocation apparently is not harassment. According to Dominic this is perfectly normal, and how many of his close friends in Government questioned his behaviour?

And what of ‘Spike Stocker’ from circus fame, aka Terry Hill? He was contracted to capture evidence of illegal hunting in Scotland by the League Against Cruel Sports. This despite the Scottish police and the (COPFS) Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service knowing of his past fakery. This again proves how well ingrained animal rights extremism has become in Government and within some authorities.

To overcome this very serious problem, the charity commission needs to be given authority to remove charity status from animal rights promoting charities, especially if they have campaigning as their only selling point. And Government and its authorities should review their very unhealthy relationship with individuals/groups and charities that so openly encourage intimidation and harassment. Until that happens animal rights extremists will continue to believe they and their actions are the new normal and will keep turning the countryside – tax free and unchecked – into a hate-filled pit replete with divisions. This simply wastes police time when they could be getting on with something more important.”