Inglorious Debate by Gill Lewis

Gill Lewis is an author (see here and here) and spoke at yesterday’s Hen Harrier Day event (and see here).

The Glorious Twelfth is the best day of the year.

It just simply isn’t true to say 

Driven grouse shooting is underpinned by wildlife crime

And that the intensive burning of the moors is damaging and that

Hen harriers are shot on a regular basis.

The plain facts are that 

Driven grouse shooting is essential to the rural economy. 

For goodness sake, it’s ridiculous to think that

Wildlife crime is endemic in our uplands. 

It makes me so angry to hear 

Driven grouse shooting should be banned and

It’s obvious that 

The Defra Hen Harrier plan will work. 

Only a numpty could agree that 

It’s time to change our ways. 

I believe 

The importance of tradition


Sound science and reason. 

The re-wilders are people who believe

The moorland is a man-made landscape at the expense of the wild 

When really 

Moorland is rarer than rainforest

It’s laughable to say

This has become a political issue and

It’s true that 

Grouse moor owners want to see hen harriers in the skies.

You can’t convince me that

Hen harriers are persecuted to near extinction and 

Fred the golden eagle was shot. 

No one in their right mind believes this nonsense. No one. 

It’s the absolute truth to say

The Glorious Twelfth is the best day of the year.

(Now read backwards)

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8 Replies to “Inglorious Debate by Gill Lewis”

  1. Hmmm - possibly a bit too clever? I fear that the apologists for the crimes associated with grouse shooting will conveniently omit to read that 'now read backwards' at the end.

  2. I like it the dark side fail to read it the other way so be it.
    Great day yesterday hardly noticed the "smiling face of persecution" ( AA described by one of the policemen present) was there but at least she will have got the message.

  3. Excellent writing, writer and person.
    Glad to have met her at HH day 2019.
    Even more pleased to say I discovered her books in primary schools as set reading for whole classes.

  4. I think one of the single most effective ways to get this matter in the public eye would be for there to be a TV dramatisation of one of Gill Lewis' books about raptor persecution, or for someone else to write a dramatisation along these lines. There is huge scope here for a popular dramatisation, with all the ingredients, intrigue in high places, illegal activity, skulduggery and those trying to combat it.

    IMHO this would be the single most effective way to get this issue in the public eye, because if well made and well written, and there is huge scope for powerful drama here. People would be drawn in, who otherwise wouldn't watch a documentary on this topic.

    In addition, a dramatisation of this matter, would allow what is going on behind the scenes to be explored. Currently we know almost zero about how this illegal raptor persecution operates. The shooting world absurdly peddles the fiction of it just being a few bad apple gamekeepers who take it onto themselves to do this, without anyone else being aware of it. This seems very unlikely in the extreme, as I'm sure if landowners and land agents made it crystal clear to their employees, that they'd be dismissed if they were even suspected of raptor persecution - that it simply wouldn't happen.

    This is what there is great scope for in a dramatisation, for portraying how senior members of the establishment collaborate to both facilitate illegal raptor persecution, and to ensure those engaged in it evade the law. Of course there would be great difficulty in making such a drama, because immediately lots of powerful people would start lobbying against it.

    The big question is why has it not being done? Midsomer Murders presents all sorts of unlikely crimes being committed in the countryside. Here we have real organized crime taking part everyday in the countryside, involving senior members of the establishment, and yet it is never visited in any of these dramatisations of the countryside, once. Why? Why is this topic suppressed?

  5. Clever approach but, like many, I wonder if the key perpetrators will read it backwards. The suggestion of a dramatisation of one of Gill's books is a good one. We saw how spellbound people were at the HH event when the children read their stories. Dramatisation of 'Skydancer' would be excellent. I've read the story several times and it hits me every time.


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