Deutsche Fotothek‎ [CC BY-SA 3.0 de (], via Wikimedia Commons
Deutsche Fotothek‎ [CC BY-SA 3.0 de (], via Wikimedia Commons
I have it on good authority (though not absolutely cast-iron I would admit) that Defra minister(s) have asked, through the Defra Press Office, that the Natural England Press Office don’t bother to include any links to this blog in media summaries they send to Defra, as ministers won’t read them.

Rory Stewart
Rory Stewart

That’s not remarkable – but it is very encouraging. And it’s very depressing at the same time. Can you imagine say, Rory Stewart, sticking his fingers in his ears and going ‘La-la-la-la-la!’ so as not to hear anything that he can’t quite cope with?

But this next bit is remarkable. I am told that the same instruction applies to RSPB news items too. The RSPB is seen to be almost as irritating and subversive as this blog by Defra ministers – or so it seems. That is remarkable from where I’m standing.

And it will come as a blow to the RSPB who treasure their ‘traction’ with Defra ministers.

Rory Stewart, perhaps to be consistent with the above, still does not follow the RSPB on Twitter, nor the Wildlife Trusts, nor Natural England, nor other conservation organisations, but he continues to follow Countryside Alliance accounts.  I admire the minister for not hiding the fact that he has his fingers in his ears as far as the natural world is concerned.

For an alternative perspective, just take a look at the Shadow Secretary for the Environment, Kerry McCarthy’s (@KerryMP) Twitter follows. It actually looks as though she is interested in nature (and I know she is!).




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11 Replies to “Remarkable”

  1. Something we probably knew instinctively, yet still shocking that minsters only listen to those they will agree with.
    Who exactly is it they are supposed to represent?
    I'm still waiting for answers to a series of questions about the HH non plan from Rory Stewart than I know my MP ( another Tory) forwarded to him on my behalf.
    Frankly a bloody poor show minister, Oh sorry you don't read this blog.
    From somebody who has never and will never vote for the anti conservation ( note the irony of their name) pro establishment and screw the rest of us Tories.

  2. At the every least you would think he would want to know his enemy. Mrs T made the mistake of never listening to the opposition as well, and that did not end well for her.

  3. Since it is vital to get more Tory MPs on the side of conservation, is anyone in touch with/live in the constituencies of the MPs in this group:

    For those who don't know the group, as well as the Blue Fox section, they have Blue Badger and Blue Hare ones too.

    Surely some would be in support of our campaigning. Maybe they've already promoted the petition, not had time to check that yet.

  4. On a brighter note, I'm super cuffed that Penistone and Stocksbridge has just joined the 100 Club. Along with High Peak (and a wee bit of Hallam) it's been the epicentre of Peak District raptor persecution for a long time;

    1. Jim - well spotted! You are very sharp-eyed. Although I am paying attention too, you often beat me to it. Do you spot lots of birds too?

      1. One or two Mark! Makes me wonder if we can get a full Sheffield set of 5.5 constituencies (Penistone and Stocksbridge are split Penistone/Barnsley, Stocksbridge/Sheffield). Heeley will certainly do it, Hillsborough & Brightside are now only a bit behind the national average (66.8) at 61. South-east Sheffield will be tricky, traditionally it's not been strong on environmental issues but we will see. Slightly gutted Central has dropped to 12th nationally but I'll certainly make at effort to improve that!

        1. I assume, Jim, that you are downloading and analysing the petition data in a similar way to me. But in case others would like to play, there is a link to the data at the bottom of the petition web page. You can then copy and paste that into a converter such as this:

          When you click to download you can select to open the csv data in an Excel file and then sort on column AG to see the signature order quickly and easily. As well, of course, as do anything else you like with the data.

          1. Nope Alan, I'm still in the Late Stone Age; periodically hovering the cursor over the relevant bit of the map! However your Guide to Successful Modern Living is gratefully acknowledged, I'll endeavour to use it in future!

  5. I see this as good news really. As the RSPB news feed does not go to ministers, the RSPB could put appeals from the police such as the one on the 15th June after yet another red kite was shot in North Yorkshire, without offending ministers.
    I see this as a possible reason the RSPB does not repeat these appeals to their members, who are the most likely to be able to help, but they can rest easy, as ministers would not be offended. If the membership was aroused by these appeals, that could only be a good thing, couldn't it?

  6. As the shadow environment secretary is anyone aware if Kerry McCarthy is challenging what appears to be a rather skewed view of the environment by HM Government?


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