Calling all sanctimonious and hypocritical bigots!

This email may have started the spurt of support for the ridiculously-worded e-petition in favour of grouse shooting.

It was sent out, as you can see above, by a person whose anonymity I will preserve, at least for a while, as he or she (sounds like a bloke though doesn’t he or she?) has done nothing wrong. In seeking to get support for the e-petition in support of grouse shooting ‘N’ has simply emailed some of his or her mates and asked them to sign the e-petition. And they may or may not have done so, and have then passed it on to a range of their mates, and so the message spreads.

So, I do know who ‘N’ is and I’ve asked him or her (I give up – ‘N’ is a he) whether he would like to write a guest blog here to expand on his thoughts – he has a way with words as you can see.  I’ve not yet had a reply.

But as the wave of forwarded and reforwarded emails spread further and further it reached some people who were happy enough to forward it on to me too. And some of these forwarded emails have interesting lists of the rich and landed who have been asked to support the e-petition in favour of grouse shooting.

Those asked to sign the e-petition (who knows whether they did or not) include some prominent land agents and property consultants and that doesn’t come as any surprise, as a ban on driven grouse shooting would wipe millions off the value of some upland estates. Having had a bit of an insight into the recipients of this chain email, it comes as no surprise that it is strongly supported in the Cotswolds, Yorkshire and central London.

Let’s just look at the London constituencies:


First, ‘N’ and mates find it as difficult to gather a single signature in Barking (just as Gavin Gamble did, and me before him) – that’s something of a relief!   But over 1000 signatures come from those four constituencies in Chelsea, Fulham, Kensington, Battersea and Westminster. These are not ‘real country people’ these are really the people who own the country – and that’s rather different.

And I would imagine that ‘N’ and friends were behind the support for the previous pro-grouse shooting e-petition since the geographic distribution of signatures is extremely similar.

But I would like to doff my cap to ‘N’ and friends, they’ve accumulated a very decent number of signatures so far.

I’d like to thank the people who have sent me the emails that have enabled me to write this post and I believe I have handled the information with discretion. If anyone else would like to pass on any similar emails then I’m just fascinated to see them. I guess you were expected to send the email on to your friends, and I’ll be your friend if you send it to me.

I’ll be planning to emulate this success in the New Year for the Gavin Gamble e-petition and maybe later in the year for the Ed Hutching one too. Have a think about whether you have any friends!

But while you are thinking, then just keep sharing this e-petition in favour of banning driven grouse shooting on social media please – maybe particularly if you are not keen to be described as a hypocrite, sanctimonious or a bigot.






Website Pin Facebook Twitter Myspace Friendfeed Technorati Digg Google StumbleUpon Premium Responsive

Get email notifications of new blog posts

Registration confirmation will be emailed to you.

46 Replies to “Calling all sanctimonious and hypocritical bigots!”

  1. ‘Tyranny of the majority’. At least good old N has the self awareness to see that most people don’t support his or the Chelsea sets views. Can’t wait for his guest blog!

  2. 'The tyranny of the majority' - wow! 'N' sounds to me as someone of great privilege, with a strong sense of entitlement and with utter disrespect for democracy! Really look forward to finding out a bit more about him. Great expose Mark!

    1. I am not a student of Political Philosophy, and 'N' may not be either, but the term "Tyranny of the majority" actually comes from a distinguished 19th century philosopher. "Tyranny of the majority (or tyranny of the masses) refers to an inherent weakness of direct democracy and majority rule in which the majority of an electorate can place its own interests above, and at the expense of, those in the minority. This results in oppression of minority groups comparable to that of a tyrant or despot, argued John Stuart Mill in his famous 1859 book On Liberty.

      A current (Brexit) example of this is the oft used phrase "will of the people", which is sometimes used to legitimise ignoring the interests and wishes of 48% of those who voted in the referendum.

      I am sceptical that owners of driven grouse moors can legitimately be described as an oppressed minority group. Results from a web search for 'Tyranny of the minority' may be more relevant.

  3. First we were called by Philip Merricks I believe Zealots and now sanctimonious and hypercritical bigots. I must say I prefer zealot. however Im being called a hypocrite by somebody who quite clearly is not a fan of the democratic principles yet is relying in a sense on those very same ideals to get large numbers of the ecologically illiterate to sign this badly worded petition in support of the the calumny that is driven grouse shooting! What does that make "N" a HYPOCRITE!
    I see the "country folk" of central London have flocked to the cause, I use a rather different word to describe them.

  4. Two responses to look forward to then, Govt response to the shooters epetition - now that will be interesting and 'N's' Guest blog .... or, is he now lost for words?

  5. I suppose if he wanted to, then Mr Corbyn could hold this up as an example of how the toffs treat the plebs with complete disregard and contempt.
    Still, I won't hold my breath.

  6. Very nicely exposed Mark. What does not come through in any of this is: To what extent does the pro-grouse shooting, pro-lead in cartridges lobby, have influence on EN? I note that wildlife conservationists seem to be in a distinct minority on the board of NE. Interestingly, when I applied a few years ago, I was turned down because I didn't know enough about conservation in the UK, is my recollection. Shame because I would like to be in a position to resign!

    1. Ed - you're suggesting that this email was never sent? Really?

      As for Jane Griggs, she sounds as believable as did whatever the name was of the invisible proposer of the previous petition in favour of grouse shooting who was never seen in daylight. You shooters seem to use the same tactics each time.

      1. No Mark, I'm suggesting the whole thing is complete tosh! Fully aware spurious emails have been sent!
        You may recall Liam Stokes mentioned the source of the previous petition in the debate last year! For me the whole petition & email trail seems rather dubious.
        The wording of the petition is juvenile at best, and I think it odd you have to click "more info" to view the full text! How many have signed without reading?
        No shooter, gamekeeper etc worth his salt would sign that. CA etc are asking people not to sign it!

        1. ed - as I say - you shooters have previous.

          I guess it's a load of birders signing it then? A bit like the amusing suggestion that Hen Harriers aren't rare because they are killed by shooting interests but because they are disturbed by birdwatchers?

          I have little doubt that the email is genuine - I have a smidgeon, but very little doubt. Given what I have seen and the email addresses to which it has been sent (many of which I am able to check) it is extremely plausible. Slightly more plausible than that the CA etc (who are the 'etc'?) are bringing it to people's notice in order to ask them not to sign it.

          You're obviously already embarked on a merry Christmas. Do have a good one. Boxing Day shoot?

          1. "ed - as I say - you shooters have previous."

            Really? Well, after attending one of the Hen Harrier days earlier this year and being subjected to a stream of BS, together with lies, spouted by a stream of speakers, I would suggest you get your own house in order before criticising others.

          2. Ed - well that's not something I normally do, but I've just spent a few minutes there (and even RT'd something) but haven't come across it. You could be a bit more specific perhaps?

  7. I was disappointed to find no mention of the petition in this week's "Shooting Times", the wording does nothing to advance it's supposed aims, and if, as Mr Coles suggests, people are being advised not to sign, this would have been a good organ to spread the message wider.
    As I have stated elsewhere, this could be a spectacular own goal for the driven shooting community, especially if, as Mr Coles suggests, it may be a bit iffy, and people have still signed it , possibly out of despair at the lack of more credible leadership on the matter.

    1. That's the whole point! Create a little petition race, people rush to sign without reading the info, bingo! Win win!....

        1. Well actually,Mark. I blame whomever set up the petition, and decided to write "protect grouse shooting" then clearly push the enter bar half a dozen times so the main wording isn't shown! And I can see why from the laughable wording!
          No other petition does that.

  8. Wanting to keep things secret generally means the people involved know what they are doing is indefensible.

        1. James - no it doesn't. As you must know, I wasn't there, so I don't feel very able to comment at all. Had you said you were at Sheffield or Boat of Garten then we could perhaps have had a discussion about it.

          1. This is all very jolly, the old pals act batting banter back and forward but to be honest its all a bit tedious . Shooting is a disgusting, inane activity to any right thinking person and will come to an end in 5- 10- 50 years -I don't know but one day it will become as socially unacceptable as drink driving ,racism ( to most people) or having to eat a meal without fag reek up your nose.
            The fact is that raptors are still being illegally killed every day (see latest RPUK) means the time for polite respectful discussion with these people is long gone ,they have been openly, knowingly breaking the law since 1954 and they have laughed in our faces ever since.
            Don't waste your time talking to them just act.

          2. Call my bluff why don't you , I don't know , get yourself arrested , chain yourself naked to the downing street railings.Some direct action to get you or Monbiot or Packham up against these fools in a open discussion( I'd pay money to watch that one). Mass trespass on grouse moors or Sandringham or Balmoral on the twelve.
            This ones probably impossible but stop electing racist, fascists to power in your country.
            Seriously I don't see the point of entering into witty banter with this mob , not sure that giving them a platform achieves anything.

          3. Point taken Mark I'm one of the hypocrites, just a very frustrated one,still I've got a spare chain if you ever need it.

  9. tyranny of the majority, ?? isn't that how democracy works?
    otherwise we would have the tyranny of the overly empowered minority

    1. I don't think that is what the term means exactly. In a democracy of course the will of the majority determines the law and rightly so but this can sometimes lead to the individual rights and freedoms of minorities being unfairly curtailed. An example might be homosexuality - fifty or sixty years ago and more it was was probably the opinion of the majority of people that this was a sinful and morally objectionable thing and this was reflected in the law (and still is in may countries). This resulted in gay people being unfairly oppressed, as we now recognize and the law here and elsewhere has been changed to protect the rights of minority sexualities.
      The writer of the e-mail is making an appeal that the rights of grouse shooters fall into a similar position: a minority of people shoot and their right to do so is being threatened by a majority who have moral objections to grouse shooting. It is a specious argument however. Whilst it is an important aspect of a free and fair society that people should be entitled to live in ways that diverge from whatever is perceived as 'normal' this right is not and should not be without limits. The law exists to set limits to personal freedoms at the point at which exercising those freedoms causes harm to other citizens or to society as a whole. You are free to drink and get drunk but you are not entitled to then drive a car, for example. Grouse shooting as it is practiced causes demonstrable harm through the illegal killing of birds of prey, the excessive (if legal) killing of other predator and pests (mountain hares), damage to peatland and upland hydrology and so on. The campaigns to ban grouse shooting are based on this harm to society as a whole and if they are successful could not legitimately be described as the tyranny of the majority - particularly give the many years that the grouse shooting community has been given to put its house in order without ever showing the ability to do so.

  10. your blog seems to be most put out by the forwarding/reforwarding of emails calling for support for... well, whatever it is this time. "pot" and "kettle" spring to mind, and that's just one of the issues with this whole ludicrous petition 'thing'. i'd put referendums in the same bucket of tripe, and actually social media.

  11. It's the Sloane Ranger brigade, with their 2.4 children and 1.5 dogs ( or is it 1.5 children and 2.4 dogs), who are jumping to the command. If many of them fully understood what is involved in driven grouse shooting they would hang their heads in shame.

  12. i sometimes think that I'd like Mark Avery's job sitting about trawling the internet, blogging, social media-ing, occasional talks, and it often seems making up stuff to suit his cause - actually i wouldn't. Aside from the merits or otherwise of government petitions however, I did have a moment to look in a little detail at the maps published together with the petitions, and the support for a Don't Ban is not quite what the blogger suggests, and is not concentrated in central London as his map and analysis might lead us to believe. Not surprisingly, the Don't Ban petition gets a lot of support in grouse shooting areas, and actually pretty well across all constituencies. To make the impression otherwise is not true. Just saying...


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.