That government response – what you thought

Yesterday, as I was talking to the East Berks RSPB local group, our e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting passed 19,000 signatures.  Last year it took over five months to reach this level – this year we got there in under two months.  Momentum is building and we are gaining support all the time. Thank you to all who have signed – now find a friend to sign too, please!

Earlier in the day, after six weeks of thought, the Westminster government published its response to our e-petition, as it was required to do because the e-petition had amassed over 10,000 signatures. I’ll blog this evening on what I make of the government response, but many of you have already had your say here and on social media. Here are a few examples:

@blythestorm Read response. Government should read Inglorious. Big load of bullshit and we are looking after our friends.

@_robsheldon The Establishment responds. #henharrier will be disappointed.
@vegthemuso Gov response, Same old drivel loaded on side of money. “Lawful activities” and “encourage best practice” sounds like cop out
Anand Prasad: That is political bullshit if ever I saw it, a mouthpiece for the shooting lobby. But that is what is written on the tin.
Lyn Ebbs: “When carried out in accordance with the law…” as it falls at the first hurdle, let’s just ban it now.
Ashley Watts: Did anyone expect different? The economic stuff underlines the fact that it’s all about the money. The point can not have been missed, so it’s a smokescreen. Next stage is debate, hopefully not as farcical as the Badger Cull debate. Keep on keeping on!
Peter Shearer: Pretty predictable and a measure of the job in front of us. I had a reply from the Scottish Government which has many of the same passages. So the Tories and SNP not that different! We just have to see it as part of the journey-these people are not going to give up easily. But there are reasons to be positive as the backlash against CA and their Mr Packham mistake shows.
Circus maxima: There are a lot of embarrassed people in the DEFRA office today. The shame of this guff ridden CA press release is that right thinking professional people have been made to swallow their pride and issue this drivel.

@SimonGCTowers @DefraGovUK trots out platitudes, avoids the serious questions.A response apparently drafted by the usual suspects.

@jgordon5 Usual money driven response. We need more signatures.

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  1. JBNTS says:

    From my perspective the response fell apart at the end of its very first line. Defra is working with key stakeholders to ensure the sustainable management of uplands, balancing environmental and economic benefits, which includes the role of sustainable grouse shooting.

    The most commonly practised form of grouse shooting in the English uplands is the industrial scale driven grouse shooting which impacts so heavily on other wildlife and ecological systems. In this context "sustainable grouse shooting" is a three-word oxymoron. Having read that there seemed little point in going on any further (though I did).

    The response is depressing though exactly as expected. Nothing will change until we have an Environment Secretary who is not labouring under the illusion that (s)he is employed by an agri-business consortium which is run by "country sports" enthusiasts.

  2. Phil Aisthorpe says:

    The government response has all the attributes of a reasoned policy. A visiting martian would wonder what all the fuss was about. Everything appears to be under control. Unfortunately however, since the government does not actively seek to implement its own declared policy and prefers instead to turn a blind eye to the criminality of powerful vested interests it is in fact so much horse shit. Keep complacent and carry on.


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