Another new article, another new audience.
This time it’s an article published yesterday on Mancunian Matters, an online news website covering the Greater Manchester region.
Journalist Deniz Kose focuses attention on the work of local group Moorland Monitors, who describe themselves as a ‘grassroots community network working to protect persecuted wild species and wild spaces on driven grouse shooting estates’.
The article is worth a read (here) – it includes commentary from volunteer Bob Berzins about South Yorkshire Police’s ‘failure to act’ after the discovery of several illegally-set spring traps on a grouse moor in January 2019, which again serves to highlight the stark contrast between police forces – some are excellent and always right on top of their game, others, well, not so much, not all of the time.
It’s been that way for years, with enforcement in some forces seemingly based on an individual officer’s personality and/or links to the shooting industry rather than on upholding statutory regulation. It’s an issue that Chief Inspector Kevin Kelly, the new head of the National Wildlife Crime Unit, needs to get to grips with.
The Mancunian Matters article is likely to rile up the grouse shooting industry, not just because of its provocative headline but because it’s based on the testimony of the Moorland Monitors – a group that is utterly despised by the shooting industry. So much so that the Countryside Alliance, notorious for its unpleasantness, launched an e-lobby campaign in early February urging members to sign a petition asking Patagonia’s CEO to ‘immediately end both its promotion of, and working relationship with, Moorland Monitors’ after they found out that Patagonia had given a grant to the Moorland Monitors to help fund their work. Interestingly, the petition now seems to have vanished and Patagonia is still promoting the Moorland Monitors on the Patagonia website (here).
Still, I’ll bet that the hysteria generated by the Mancunian Matters article will be nothing in comparison to that generated yesterday by me posting the video of The Lounge Society, a teenage punk band from Yorkshire expressing their creative views on grouse shooting (see here).
In the video, the teenagers depict grouse shooters as rich, greedy, alcohol-swigging, blue-blooded, tweed-wearing toffs (that’s their interpretation, not mine) and the red grouse are symbolised by four lads (the band) wearing red/orange jumpsuits (the red grouse, geddit?). The grouse shooters use fake guns and pretend to chase, shoot and kill the lads in the red/orange jumpsuits (the grouse). But when the grouse shooters are sitting enjoying their lunch, the lads in red/orange jumpsuits (the grouse) come back to life and use fake guns to shoot the grouse shooters before walking off in to the sunset.
By sharing this video on this blog (and that’s all I did – share a video that’s been online for months – I didn’t produce or direct it!) according to some grouse shooting industry trolls it’s an indication that I’m ‘inciting violence against gamekeepers‘ and that I should be reported to the police, Government Ministers and probably MI5. Honestly, that is what has been written! These guys need to get a grip. It is interesting, though, to see them go in to meltdown over a music video showing some lads, representing zombie red grouse, using fake guns to pretend to shoot at some fake grouse shooters, but when real threats are made to real people, in real life, by people with access to real guns, (e.g. see here and here) not a word is spoken.
I think that puts the faux outrage in to perspective, don’t you? Especially when those real threats have come from some of the very same people now crying over a music video.
For those who missed it, here’s the video again. Take a look and make up your own mind: