Forthcoming Westminster debate on grouse shooting postponed again

The forthcoming Westminster Hall debate on banning driven grouse shooting, triggered by Wild Justice’s successful 2019 petition and scheduled to take place at 6pm on 25 January 2021 has been postponed again, due to Covid, according to the Wild Justice blog.

This is completely understandable, of course. There doesn’t appear to be a system set up for MPs to participate online, and travelling to London to attend in person couldn’t possibly be described as ‘essential travel’.

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10 thoughts on “Forthcoming Westminster debate on grouse shooting postponed again”

  1. It leaves more time to organise for it; I was particularly interested in the point that the debate was time tabled adjacent to the “criminalisation of trespass” ; be interesting to see if any parallel contributions there.

  2. Im sure a few more hen harriers will disappear in the meantime, adding for fuel to the fire. Its only ever going to get worse for the grousers. Tick tock

  3. Sadly, no surprise but perhaps given the way they [Govt] handled it last time that the iron is still in the fire metaphorically speaking is no bad thing. It shows how serious they take public concerns that they’ve failed to facilitate a contingency option.

    Yorkshire Pudding is probably right about ongoing persecution, is that the grouse fraternity’s plan to totally eradicate species such as the Hen Harrier? In so doing it will bring more public realisation and reaction to their pastime, it will also bring Natural England’s activities (brood meddling) into the arena and raise the question of the organisation’s fitness of purpose?

    1. To be quite honest, I don’t think this Tory government gives a f*** about Natural England and would be quite happy for it to fall by the wayside. Perhaps that is part of the ‘Great Plan’, like the insiduous dismantling of the NHS we are witnessing.

  4. I thought these events were carried out remotely during lockdowns….or perhaps this one isn’t deemed sufficiently important.

  5. I think the opposition will have spent much of their very limited ammunition in the first round and it was really only because of a very poor showing, with a few exceptions, from the parties that are supposed to be anti elitism that they made any impact at all. It was pretty nauseating to have to listen to the likes of Rishi Sunak and Chris Davies get a pretty much free run in spouting propaganda and smears against Mark Avery. If we can get more MPs to support our position and make sure they’re better prepared then the tables can be turned. Can I suggest that if anybody gets in touch with their MP about ‘attending’ the debate please ask them to read these two posts that trounce the economic arguments for DGS and show that its proponents are knowingly telling porkie pies when they claim it’s vital for jobs and rural communities – it actually wrecks them https://markavery.info/2019/04/19/guest-blog-rebirding-and-grouse-moor-economics-by-ben-macdonald/#comments and https://markavery.info/2018/09/27/guest-blog-driven-grouse-shooting-your-bluffs-been-called-by-les-wallace/#comments Pull the rug from under the feet of the jobs myth and DGS is in very serious trouble indeed.

  6. Do people really believe a Conservative government, or in fact any government will ban DGS in the UK?

    Are we forgetting the influence that organisations like the BASC /Moorland Association, the Countryside Alliance have in influencing how politicians which represent rural areas will behave?
    First and foremost in most politicians minds is re-election and ensuring they maintain the support of the voters in the constituencies they represent.
    Are we seeing the vast majority of rural constituents demanding the end of DGS?
    Or is the call to ban DGS coming from the the environmental and conservation lobby? A lobby that many rural people think of as “outsiders” trying to impose environmental and conservation values on their way of life. Values that could be detrimental to “what they have always done”?
    People that for generations have always done a “bit of beating”, shot the crows that congregate in the trees near the lambing fields, or driven a tractor to lead in the hay at harvest time.

    I suspect that Mr Bothams nonsense in the Telegraph is what it’s readers want to hear. It mis educates readers that any attack on DGS is an attack on the rural population and their way of life. It very effectively obscures the scientific evidence. It plays right to peoples emotions that they are under attack by “left wing townies” who want to erode Britain’s rural traditional values.
    Why would a lowly paid agricultural worker vote “Tory” when economic analysis suggests he/she has more in common with those at the lower end of the wage spectrum in the industrial towns?

    Politicians are very aware of where their constituents sentiments lie, and throughout their political career will nurture this sentiment to ensure voter support.
    It is a very brave politician who is prepared to speak out on issues which will anger those who vote for them.

    Whilst the facts surrounding DGS may well indicate that it is bad for the environment, bad for wildlife, bad for conservation and bad for economic rural development. The myths that the pro shooting lobby are able to spin shroud these truth, cause confusion and most probably create a situation where for most politicians it is better to let the status quo remain than risk losing voter support.

    So the outcome of any debate in parliament on DGS is likely to be no more than hollow words about the horrors of raptor persecution. That this is a priority wildlife crime for the government, who are working with the police, partner agencies and stakeholders to stop these abhorrent crimes. That the grouse moor owners have embraced all necessary environment concerns, and are are working hard to improve the moors and bring about the changes which are vital for carbon capture. That there is even public funding to help them achieve this. At best we might see some recognition of the licensing scheme being introduced in Scotland.

    I doubt any debate will challenge the rights of a few wealthy people to own so much of the countryside, challenge the rights of a landowner to do as he likes on his land when such acts may be detrimental to the public good. Or whether it is acceptable to devastate so much of the Britain’s uplands and wildlife so a privileged few can enjoy a days shooting. Will there be a discussion on giving the police increased powers to tackle wildlife crimes?
    I can’t imagine any politician representing rural communities wanting to speak out in this manner. To do so could be political suicide.

    The status quo will remain.

    Only when the noise coming from rural communities is that they are no longer prepared to tolerate DGS, will we see real change. I am sure those with vested interests in DGS will do everything possible to make sure that noise is never generated or heard.

    Sadly a debate in parliament is not about understanding all that is wrong with DGS, it is about understanding politics and politicians.

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