Our St Crispins Day


It feels a bit like the eve of a mighty victory.

At the battle of Agincourt, the English and Welsh plebeian archers (plebs – the common people, not a perjorative term) gave a metaphorical and actual two fingers to the toffs (a mildly derogatory term for the landed gentry but actually merely a term for the ‘upper’ class) of the French nobility.

In Shakespeare’s version of the eve of the battle, Westmoreland (Tim Farron’s seat, 324 signatures) wishes they had one ten thousand of those that sleep abed in England but the young King Henry V has another take on it and would not want to share the glory of the upcoming victory, or defeat, with any others; ‘the fewer men, the greater share of honour‘. That was St Crispin’s Day and I try not to let it go by without reading that speech.

The Inglorious 12th is our Crispin’s Day because each year it comes around, we happy band of brothers (and sisters of course)(and some who are not our best friends or admirers) will remember this as the day before we reached 100,000 signatures on a petition to ban driven grouse shooting. We own the Inglorious 12th for ever.

I am pretty cautious about these things, but I am so confident we will reach 100,000 signatures over night, or more likely some time tomorrow, that this blog will wait in silence for that 100,000th signature.  If it never comes, this blog is ended.

But our happy band of brothers and sisters should be happy. We started as a few folk and tomorrow we should be an army of 100,000.  So, be happy brothers and sisters!

Right, I need some sleep. I hope to be back soon.

Please sign the e-petition to ban driven grouse shooting – we have 96,009 signatures as I write this and head for bed.


PS  By the way, our side didn’t win the 100 years war of which Agincourt was a part – we’d better fix that this time.


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44 Replies to “Our St Crispins Day”

  1. I think we’ll probably get there, so it is time to start taking bets on the excuse the petitions committee will use to decline to put it forward to debate. I’ll wager a fiver on “Parliament is currently liaising with the Scottish and Welsh devolved governments on cross border measures and land reforms, therefore it would inappropriate at this time to debate this matter until final measures are announced by the devolved institutions”. Cynic, me?

    This is of course a reminder than when, and I do believe it is when, the 100,000 sig is added then it is incumbent upon all of us who signed (or at least who read this blog and badgered friends and family to sign) to contact our Members of Parliament no matter how much of a dirty stinking Tory, Labour Splitter, or Lib Dem ghost, they are and demand that it gets a debate. Write on paper if possible, as even in this electronic age paper still carries more weight, but email if you need to, and let them know that it isn’t going to go away.

    1. Sweet dream Mark, you and the team deserve them – I sense you see it hitting the threshold at some point late this evening or early morning, the 12th is indeed ‘ours’! You’ve been a fantastic lead (the others sink with such weight of evidence and self generated toxicity against them).

      MPs know the feelings of local constituents and parliament should also sense that the westminster palace is no longer held in the high esteem it might once have been. Politicians need to listen to the ‘phlebs’, who after all pay their salaries and expenses etc. This is not a party issue, this is about land management costing twice over, first by subsidising the ‘sport’ (£56 per hectare) and then having to fund the repairs; water quality, CO2, flood clear up etc.

      BBC Look North earlier this evening: AA of the Moorland Association had the temerity to infer that they were involved in all the work being undertaken on upland moors which was trying to sort flood related issues.

      Yet again the BBC failed to raise the issue of illegal raptor killings etc. Well done to Ban the Burn spokesman, did the Hebden Bridge community proud. Again, shame on the BBC for failing to push spin merchant for a response to their members burning and damaging the peat!

      Rather like M&S the BBC is not doing itself any favours in their selective handling, but enough grousing – we celebrate; the glorious ‘Inglorious’ 12th when ‘phlebs’ stood together and stood resolute. Here’s to the next chapter as Phil reminded us all:0

      22:50 – 97,209

  2. You are right. Your side did not win the Hundred Year’s War. Our’s did though. The Scots fought with distinction alongside the French throughout that war, against a genocidal English regime, which was far from the common man stuff described here.
    Our history is not England’s and conflating them doesn’t do, especially in celebrating a common achievement in this petition.
    However, roll on 150,00. We may then begin to get rid of a landed culture which descends directly from Plantagenet England.

  3. Mark, you deserve a knighthood for this – not that you’d take it of course. Couldn’t have you rubbing shoulders with SIR Ian Botham could we now. Maybe an MBE. If you can’t beat ’em, oh wait!

  4. Who the hell is St Crispin? We were on the French side.
    A few too many tonight maybe, Mark?!

  5. Not Agincourt but we’ve just returmed from an evening in the middle of Otmoor watching for the Perseid shower. Still handing out HH flyers!!!

  6. Flying out of the UK at 7am would be so thrilled to see the petition reach 100k before then. It’s feels so good to be a part of this!

  7. It wasn’t an actual speech Mark, it was a piece of artistic licence. Nice idea but, as they say, history is written by the victors. Hence, the history of groyse shooting will probably represent it as a populist movement rather than a lot of very hard work by a determined few. Being absolutely right maybe makes the effort easier. I

  8. Aye, it won’t be long now until the magic number is reached, so well done to Mark, Chris, RPS/RPUK, Raptor Politics, LACS, BAWC, et al, and all individuals.

    The tide is turning.

  9. Regular readers may know I described yesterday as ‘a touch special’. May I venture today was ‘very’ special?

    The day ended on: 97,895

    Today’s signatures: 11,689

    Peak signing rate: 879/hour, 14.7/minute

    6th – 1924
    7th – 2598
    8th – 1958
    9th – 2040
    10th – 1535
    11th – 3891
    12th – 11,689

    This week’s total = 25,635
    This week’s daily average = a bit skewed!

    In the interests of completion…we now only need to average 54 signatures per day for the last 39 days. Might just do it.

    The average figure per constituency is now 150.6

    1. Can we persuade Beefy to appear on R4’s Today programme every morning? He was so effective in increasing support for the petition.

      1. We really should extend a hearty thanks to Botham and the truly incompetent PR company who set him up, they have made a magnificent contribution to the signing rate.

  10. Bother, I stayed up too late, all that stuff about the hapless Botham is rather addictive. Let’s hope the shadowy people backing him don’t start to question their judgement.

    Now on 98,170; please could someone do a petition screenshot at, what, 8.30am?

      1. Couldn’t stay in bed. Still, great to have back-up, it’s quite hard to hit a number when it’s going so fast!

  11. This weekend will be a very memorable and historic landmark for raptors, we may have won the battle but now the war begins, we have gained the high ground and now with the RSPB taking a much stronger stand we will win the war as well.

  12. 99,004 at 8:25am. Well done getting such a massive response to a government petition that isn’t mostly for human benefit. As you say, lets win the war now, especially getting the National Trust to get DGS out of the High Peak. Imagine, a whole moorland area free of raptor persecution! The whole place would be a graphic contrast to the rest of our moorlands, and a slap in the face to the persecution-deniers. Well done Mark and everyone else.

  13. Less than 1,000 to go!! Well done Mark, Chris, and everyone else who has been involved in the promotion of this vital petition. Thank you all very much.

  14. 08:40hr… less than 1000 men needed for the next stage of battle to commence.

    have just facebooked it again……….

    off to a symposium to speak, busy all day. I trust there will be no battlefield casualties on our side by the time I return.

  15. It is going to be unlucky 13th for the shooters. Well done Mark,Chris,LACS and everyone who has done their bit, A great achievement and gives us all real hope that we can make a difference. Time to celebrate-then to carry on the fight!

  16. Luckily it looks like Mark’s petition hasn’t been hacked.
    Anyone else suspicious that the petitions to Invoke Article 50 (3000+ at 1am) and the one on a space elevator (3000+ at 8.50; the demographics are too uniform and bizarre) were hacked last night?

    1. Noted Anand – and so, it would appear, did the petition people; a lot of signatures were removed from the Invoke Article 50 petition yesterday.

  17. The signatures are starting to come in at a ferocious rate right now so hitting the big 100,000 should be very. very close.

  18. Goodness. I had no idea those leaflets I delivered on the 11th would have such an impact!……… 😉

    Good job everyone.

  19. It’s very important to do as a contributor suggested – make sure we write to our MPs, letting them know how important this is to us.

    We want them all there at the debate speaking up for the raptors (and the grouse, the mountain hares, the degraded environment).

  20. >100,000. Congratulations to everyone who helped promote Mark’s petition. And the next stage begins…..

  21. Many congratulations. This sport has always reminder me of “The Somme”; birds driven in their thousands before waiting guns. It is a tradition that belongs to the 19th Century and any study of the wildlife record of that century is a study of a massacre of wild birds of prey and other predators that might compete with this controlled vision of nature as a servant and killing as “a sport”. This form of collective barbarism culminated in the extinctions or near extinctions of native species; the Red Kite, the Goshawk, the Sea Eagle, the Polecat and Pine Marten. A history of “countryside management” that has to include the theft of ownership of the land and our rivers, for all these great estates were once substantially commons and their proprietary ownership moved from common to private land in the 18th and 19th Centuries. The same families own them still. Thus our salmon were once a key source of winter protein for all upland people; it is now a species that is the preserve of the rich titled “gentry” that define their exclusivity by ownership and define its preserve for “sport”. It is important to understand that their ancestors stole these estates by driving commoners off land; all of or country was once nearly all commons; and this was taken from the people through the Acts of Enclosures. There is no John Clare to record this pitiless class history of our uplands; it includes genocide in The Glens and mass emigration from Wales and of course Ireland. This sport is on land that was once common.

  22. In all his time Sir David Attenborough never went anywhere near subjects like this or in particular our public “CAP” subsidies and the 1%; maybe the Wildlife Trusts and RSPB will be embolden by Chris Packham’s lead. I really salute him; he can forget a Knighthood ! Total Respect.

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