Land of Woke and Tory

BY JOHN NASH

Dear CSM Reader,

There was a brief flurry of snowflakes earlier in January, when Adam Hart appeared on BBC Countrybile, the Beeb’s fluffy programme for neurodivergent urban armchair-farmers. Apparently, Mr Hart did a relevant piece about a very real problem – the rising tide of wild deer in the UK.  As erudite and intelligent readers of CSM understand perfectly well, deer are horny beasts in every sense of the word, and because of covid, we have not been eating enough of them, with the result that there are now squillions of the furry ruminants, thundering across the farms of the UK like herds of wildebeests in the Serengeti, eating and flattening the crops.    

Now, unlike the Serengeti, there have not been many lions in East Anglia since we bumped them all off 10,000 years ago because they had the rather annoying habit of eating our children and womenfolk. It follows that man (or woman/both/neither or variable) has to step in and take the place of lions in order to manage deer numbers.  However, unlike lions, we are not particularly strong, nor fleet of foot nor do we have huge teeth or claws, so running after deer and biting them to death like a lion is asking a bit much of your average farmer or land manager, handicapped as they are by wax jackets, tweeds and wellies. 

All very understandable. But then, shock horror. The Beeb allowed reality to enter the fray. Without so much as a single viewer discretion notice, an experienced and practical interviewee appeared on the programme, a Mr Robinson, who actually manages 35,000 acres of real land, and said that the most humane method of management is shooting deer, by a trained marksman (or markswoman/marks-both/marks-neither or marks-gender-variable, Oh Lord give me strength before I shoot myself). He only said it. He didn’t actually do it. But that did it, Dear Reader.  

It triggered a severe attack of the fainty collapsing eco-horrors in many of the snowflakes watching the programme. One can imagine them, slumped unconscious from distress, in their armchairs, covered in biscuit crumbs and bits of crisps, poor souls. When they recovered enough to put pen and purple ink into their quivering keyboards, their comments in the Express suggest, rather sadly yet again, that care in the community has been an abject and tragic failure.  

Now, being a normal and inquisitive human, you probably wonder why these sadly afflicted people haven’t the mental faculty to follow simple human reasoning based on reality.  The answer to that question is simple. They don’t reside in reality – they are elsewhere, in La-la-land. Filled with the idea that the UK farm and countryside is a huge theme park at their personal disposal (not that they get out much, mind you) they cannot comprehend that deer numbers have to be managed so that both deer and farmers thrive and make a living, enabling deer to be horny and farmers to ensure an endless supply of cheap biscuits and crisps.

It is right about then that the penny (0.4667p) drops – this example of snowflake melting distress syndrome is really all about them and their feelings, and nothing to do with real farming or deer.  They don’t hate real farmers and field managers – they just hate farmers and field managers for rudely disrupting their cosy mental fantasy world, a reality that impacts upon their mental marshmallow outlook, like a grown-up taking their biscuits away.  It upsets them. Their reaction is rank ego-centrism, a form of narcissism or spoilt brat syndrome, a Munchausen’s-eco-outrage-by-proxy.

Their Disneyesque mental tranquility is the only thing of any importance to them – to hell with real farming or deer – they couldn’t care less about such smelly things. But deer lives matter. Farmers’ lives matter. If farmers, field managers, gamekeepers and pest controllers were a race, this kind of attitude and the foul hate-speech and threats it engenders would be, without any doubt, classed as racism.

And the presence of this kind of baseless hate-speech in our society has bigger and more ominous examples. Here, shown below, is a glittering collection of well-known people in a photo montage as they appeared recently on the campaign website of Eduardo Goncalves’ deceptive Campaign to Ban Trophy Hunting.  Wonderful people all, apparently intent on helping wild animals, a sentiment we all surely share.

But there are two very serious problems here. The first is that a ban on trophy hunting won’t help any wild animals in Africa any more than a ban on hunting them will help deer in the UK – in fact it will harm animals in Africa. Badly. Millions of them. Why? Because “sustainable utilisation” (sales of live wild stock, trophy hunting, subsistence hunting and meat harvesting) is a land use presently protecting wildlife on more than a million square miles of land in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Namibia, Tanzania and Mozambique, as well as the large expanse of private land conserved for utilising wildlife in South Africa – another forty million acres of wild habitat full of wild animals, growing in numbers.  

Unlike La-la land, this is actual land use, the sustainable, regulated farming and/or harvesting of wild animals in their natural habitat. From the African’s point of view, it is better to conserve, grow and sustainably harvest wild animals in their own natural habitat than to kill everything and clear the land in order to grow cereals destined to be biscuits and crisps for foreign armchair lard-brains. If you stop the sustainable consumption of African wildlife, cereals and cattle suddenly become a better use for the land in farmers’ eyes. Bye, bye wildlife, hello biscuits. Use the wildlife or lose it.

It could not be clearer – a ban on trophy hunting will harm this vast area, the habitat, the hundreds of thousands of people and the millions of wild animals and plants that live in it – a simple, indisputable fact, proven by Kenya that banned hunting and has since lost a lot of its wildlife. Like the armchair-farmers criticising UK deer management, Goncalves’ glitterati are simply wrong. All of them. And they are wrong for the same self-centred, narcissistic reasons. Whether they mean well or not is irrelevant – they campaign about their own fantasies or ignorance. It’s all about them and their feelings, not the animals, nor the Africans. And that in turn triggers an even nastier question.

In the glittering photo montage, count all the African people who, like UK farmers and field managers, actually live with, compete with and yet conserve wild animals in their everyday lives. There aren’t any. These famous  slebs want to impose a trophy hunting ban on Africans that will hurt both the Africans and their wildlife, without even asking even a single one of them for their opinion. There is a name for this.

Neo-colonialism – “the use of economic, political, cultural, or other pressures to control or influence other countries, especially former dependencies. (Oxford languages). 

It gets even worse.  How many black people do you see in the photo montage?  Neo-colonialism has a pair of sewer-rat step-siblings – unconscious racism and neo-apartheid.

From rural Africans’ point of view, foreign white people, even famous foreign white people, who, merely for their own piety and comfort, try to impose their oppressive ideas on voiceless Africans are, in effect, no different from many of the racists of apartheid – after all, most of apartheid’s supporters did precisely the same thing, for the same reason – they didn’t actually hate black people, but they looked after and enforced their own comfort without any regard for the consequences. From a rural African’s perspective, there is no difference, and if it walks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck even if it pretends to be a love-bird, ostentatiously taking the knee every time a TV camera appears. 

It is also apparent that Eduardo Goncalves, the nimblepick leader of this array of extrinsically neo-racist glitterati, maintains power (and donations) by pandering to their entirely self-absorbed and delusional fantasies by hawking his Victorian fiction. Like a true neo-colonialist, he cleverly manages to exploit Africa by using Twitter, Facebook et al rather than with legions of redcoats and cannons.

His secretive, one-man company (whose Article of Association 50 prohibits anyone viewing his company financials) collects unknown quantities of donations but apparently doesn’t help any animals, a habit it shares with the disgraceful HSUSThey hurt rural Africans.  It follows that when Goncalves and HSUS (or its UK glove-puppet, HSI) appeared on a UK government press release with George Eustice MP, Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, it is a sign that the UK government, and in turn all of us, in many vulnerable foreign eyes, are, at best, just more biscuit-crumb ignoramuses and at worst racists, unconscious or otherwise.  Someone needs to remind the wildlife chuckle brothers, Eduardo, George and Zac, that although there’s no money or votes in remote rural Africans,

#BlackLivesMatter. 

The sad truth is that, like many do-gooders before them, they all talk of “helping Africa” while urinating copiously on Africa. Frighteningly, there is a suspicion that they view Britain in the same way because 80% of the UK is urban snowflake.  

So, if you are a farmer or field manager in Britain, you should watch this arrogant political pandering to modern ego-centric urban ignorance with alarm, because if the shabby eco-clique that is festering at the heart of this government makes it through the next election, you’re going to need waterproof clothes, too.

John Nash grew up in West Cornwall and was a £10 pom to Johannesburg in the early 1960’s. He started well in construction project management, mainly high rise buildings but it wasn’t really Africa, so he went bush, prospecting and trading around the murkier bits of the bottom half of the continent. Now retired back in Cornwall among all the other evil old pirates. His interests are still sustainable resources, wildlife management and the utilitarian needs of rural Africa.