All those months after reaching 100,000 signatures in just 20 days in favour of banning driven grouse shooting we get a result from the Petitions Committee. Instead of a Westminster Hall debate (I’m not sure they are happening these days, and it is almost the parliamentary summer holidays), Chris Packham was interviewed by Kerry McCarthy MP (at the time a member of the Petitions Committee, now a Shadow minister).
You can read the transcript of the discussion, watch the video or read some highlights by clicking here.
After delays caused by a general election and COVID-19 I guess the Committee was keen to get its backlog of petitions sorted and this did seem like an opportunity to us. It’s almost like a 40 minute advert for our cause and wipes the slate clean after a bunch of public school boys spoke movingly about how important driven grouse shooting was to us all in October 2016.
Chris was keen that Ruth and I were part of the interview but that would just have complicated things and Chris is the one who is most accustomed and comfortable in front of a camera (and behind one actually).
Chris did, unsurprisingly, very well, and he must have done well as many are moaning like hell about it. Chief moaners are the new yobs on the block, the Campaign for Protection of Moorland Communities. Their first go at me was to say that I live in a swanky house – this was greeted by roars of laughter by friends of our children who were meeting in our garden to do a socially-distanced quiz (we came last) and eat pizza at the weekend. Then they all looked slightly embarrassed about laughing so much at ‘swanky’. Then there was this about me which has the famous images from that ‘riddled with errors‘ blog of the NGO with the Rook taking Pheasant eggs from the ‘Lapwing’ nest that keeps on giving.
The C4PMC don’t recognise a Pheasant egg when they see one either, it seems.
And more lately they seem to think I am married to a Labour councillor whereas Rosemary is not and never has been a member of any political party and is not and never has been a councillor but I did admit that she was once a Young Farmer and we think she was the Playgroup Chair at one stage. The jibes at me were packaged in a very unfair piece targetting a young RSPB member of staff and moaning about Chris talking to an MP representing the House of Commons Petitions Committee about why driven grouse shooting should be banned.
The attack on Adam Barnett is unconvincing but unpleasant. As far as I know, but I don’t know everything, Adam is doing his job in promoting the licensing of driven grouse shooting which is (the rather feeble) RSPB policy on the subject and also pressing for a ban on burning of peatlands which is also RSPB policy and has been promised by DEFRA minister Zac Goldsmith too. Hardly a firebrand!
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they attack you, then they attack you in a very personal and unpleasant way, and then you win. It really can’t be that far away now.