Yesterday evening, in response to this blog post, a new commenter, neil p, posted the following comment:
‘You’ve had relative success with your petition in upland rural constituencies because that is where you and your supporters have carried out biased leaflet drops through front doors. That way you can paint the picture, as you are doing with your maps, that your proposed ban is supported by rural folk in grouse shooting areas, and is not a urban vs. rural issue. Cunning but duplicitous.’
This was Mr p’s first comment here and the first thing to notice is that he comes straight in with abuse – that’s very common for pro-shooters, particularly on Twitter.
The second thing to notice is that Mr p assumes that he knows where leaflets have been delivered during this campaign – he cannot possibly do so because I don’t know where they all went as thousands and thousands were distributed at Rainham Hen Harrier Day and at the Bird Fair to people I never met and who live in places I don’t know. So, despite his complete certainty of view – he must be on dodgy ground – but that hasn’t made him pause from his rude emphatic comment.
I suspect that Mr p might live in the Forsest of Bowland area or perhaps the Yorkshire Dales and has extrapolated from seeing leaflets delivered there to the general case. That would be typical of the shooters’ line of argument – here’s an anecdote, let’s pretend it’s the general case. By the way, if Mr p lived in Birmingham, Leamington Spa, Brighton, Harrogate, Covent Garden, Bath Spa or Sheffield he would also have seen leaflets being delivered. What would he have made of that?
The third thing to notice is that Mr p hasn’t really thought about it very much – I’m afraid that is a common attribute of those espousing the shooting case too. Our second e-petition involved no leaflet drops but has an incredibly similar distribution of signatures to this one including the same strong showing in rural areas with plenty of grouse shooting.
To prove that, here is a map of the previous e-petition signatures (November 2015)
Wouldn’t you say they are a rather strikingly similar? The first with no leaflets and the second with c50,000 leaflets delivered in both rural and urban areas.
Just to rub this in, because I feel like it, the rural support for our e-petition (actually the second one, not the most recent one, so without leaflets) has been reported in the national press but I don’t blame Mr p for missing this piece in the Guardian, although he should be blamed for shooting from the hip, rudely, and without having even a leg to stand on as far as evidence is concerned.
Mr neil p – you aren’t cunning and I’m not duplicitous. I look forward to your next comment here.
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