Posts Tagged ‘Lady Lydia Thompson’

Old Timmy and his cronies at the so called Countryside Alliance may think they have the bragging rights over the recent National Trust vote on trail hunting because they think they won. The truth is, they lost.

It’s emerging that many members didn’t receive their voting forms and the whole legality of the voting system is being called into question but even if you ignore these anomalies the simple fact is without the discretionary votes of the pro-hunt NT board the outcome would have been very different indeed. The margin was close, 299 votes from a total of over 60,000. The NT may think they have dealt with the situation for now but it’s certainly not going away and have probably made a rod for their own back.

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They will now have to show they are serious about the new rules regarding trail hunting, no animal based scents, no terrier men and publishing dates and locations of all hunt meets on NT land. Of course now the hunts and CA are asking for those conditions to be changed but, if they truly believe they are going to be legally trail hunting what would they have to hide? We all know the real reasons and make no bones about it, the NT will be held to account over the licensing and conditions. They will be scrutinised very closely indeed and as it stands no hunt has made any application for licenses to hunt on NT land. We’ll see what happens next.

Moving on from that an interesting situation arose yesterday after a sab colleague of mine reminded me of the poster from the Oakley Hunt summer show.

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We decided to do a little digging on the main sponsor – Green Energy UK (plc). This lead to some interesting findings which we thought the public should be aware of and in turn published the statement this statement on the Beds & Bucks Hunt Sabs Facebook page (see here). We also published links on Twitter for maximum exposure. Needless to say your average consumer doesn’t like being lied to regarding claims of being ethical but also supporting fox hunting. Lots of bad reviews were left on the company’s Facebook page and tweets were rolling in thick and fast. Finally Green Energy issued a statement and the B&B responded accordingly (see here). At this time Green Energy were actively removing the all the bad reviews in an attempt to save face. Their statement was clearly 2 fingers up to the consumers, they weren’t going to budge on their position and their support of the Oakley no matter how they tried to spin it however they severely underestimated the indignation of the people and aligning themselves with a blood sports lobbying group (the so called CA) was a huge mistake.

This only fanned the flames and people power took hold. They were flooded with more complaints and bad reviews until they were finally backed into a corner and once again had to issue another statement to which B&B responded once more (see here). We’re in no doubt that the ethos of the people in charge (including the husband of Oakley Hunt master Lady Lydia Thompson, Sir Peter Thompson) will not have changed and they are no doubt still pro hunt, however we have shown that the general public won’t stand for lies and that hunting is pretty much universally hated by everyone except the wildlife killers themselves.

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Doug Stewart – Green Energy UK CEO

It will also show other companies that supporting blood sports is bad for business and they risk losing customers. Just like Theresa May found out in the general election, blood sports are political and financial poison. Those that support them are finding themselves increasingly isolated. There’s more than one way to skin the proverbial cat. We’ll sab them in the fields and we’ll hit these organisations financially as well. We’ll pursue every possible avenue and make life as difficult as possible until the inevitable outcome is reached.

First off apologies for the lack of recent updates. As much as I’d to say I’d been sunning myself somewhere exotic the reality is I’ve been in bed with flu. Not the man flu type but the proper “kill me now” one. Between the bouts of coughing and splitting headache I had to endure the awful daytime TV, anyway enough about me . . .

It was noted by someone on Facebook recently that the amount of anti-hunt stories and videos making it into the mainstream media this year was incredible and they’re absolutely right. I’ve never known so many stories and videos being published. Of course sabs and montiors are no mugs when it comes to wielding a video camera and utilising social media but I think what makes this year stand out is both the quality and quantity with even the traditionally pro-hunt papers unable to resist the news which the public clearly crave and feel so strongly about.

In light of this you would think that the hunts would be doing their best to avoid any adverse publicity but it seems the opposite is true. There have been a significant number of hunt kills this season and many have been captured in all their gruesome detail. This in turn has to some extent forced the police to act, largely due to the will of public opinion and while these acts of barbarism continue to take place in our countryside support for a complete ban will certainly grow. Even though it was a manifesto promise by the tories it seems any kind of a vote on a repeal would be a long way off right now and even the most staunch hunting supporter would have to admit that it is extremely unlikely that any such vote could be won. As more and more bad PR comes in it only fuels the fire of those against this archaic bloodsport and pushes those either ignorant or undecided firmly into the anti camp.

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The victims windscreen.

This was highlighted perfectly by an incident which was reported to us by a member of the public asking for advice.

It appears our local hunt (the Oakley) were hunting in the vicinity of Meppershall, Bedfordshire. The light was fading and going about their business this person happened upon the hunt while driving the lanes. With hounds and quad bikes all over the road it was lucky a more serious incident didn’t take place however it would seem that Jack Harris (or Calamity Jack as we call him) took exception to someone else having the temerity to use the public highway by smashing the windscreen of this persons car with his riding whip.

Fortunately this person also had a dash cam running and recorded the whole incident. This has of course been passed on to the police and a complaint been made. The sheer arrogance show by the huntsman and the hunt in general is astounding. What right do they have to behave in this manner and the belief that they own the road? Hopefully Jack will be prosecuted for Criminal Damage and the Masters have the decency to offer a public apology and pay for the damage caused. Old Lady Lydia Thompson (Oakley Master) is worth a few bob so paying for a new windscreen would be a drop in the ocean for someone of her means but she looks tighter than a camels arse in a sandstorm┬áso I won’t hold my breath.

Next up was an incident which happened near Allerton, North Yorkshire on the 28th January. Hounds from the York & Ainsty North Hunt ran on to the busy A1 bringing both carriages to a standstill. Unfortunately, but hardly surprisingly a hound was struck by a car and killed. The lady who was driving the car was obviously clearly distressed by the incident however the outcome could have been significantly worse. This kind of reckless behaviour by a hunt is nothing new but once again it only reinforces the fact that they were openly hunting as no trail would be laid in such a dangerous place. Not only that but the current trend by huntsman to let the hounds go off by some distance so they can claim an accidental kill should it happen increases the likelihood of these kind of incidents occurring. Hounds under control of the huntsman would be in no danger of crossing busy main roads and putting themselves and the general public at risk.

Hounds however are just dispensable tools of this grisly trade and hunts would rather lose a few hounds than face prosecution for illegal hunting. Of course this pays little consideration to other countryside and road users as hounds run riot where they please be it private gardens or busy roads.

Lastly there was the kill by the Cheshire Foxhounds caught on video by Cheshire Hunt Sabs. In their report on the incident they suspect the fox was bagged prior to the hunt and released in front of the hounds. Full report can be found on their Facebook page. This story like so many other recently made the national media with even the Daily Mail reporting on it.

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Cheshire police issued the fairly standard statement regarding the incident however this type of response doesn’t fill you with a lot of hope regarding any sort of robust investigation and follow up. But the bigger picture shows once again that the hunts are being caught in the act and regardless of the police the will of the general public against hunting will only be strengthened as these barbaric practices committed by a tiny minority are brought to the attention of everyone.

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Standard response.

In the day and age of social media and instant news where everyone is carrying a recording device of some sort you’d think the hunts would be on their best behaviour and try to maintain the image of fine upstanding members of the rural communities the Countryside Alliance paint them out to be however with these constant slip ups in the PR war they’re not just shooting themselves in the foot, they’re laying the foundations for a more solid and reasonable law with which to defend our wildlife and bringing more sabs and monitors into the fields. However I get the feeling that they already well aware of this, know their nasty activity is on borrowed time and are just arrogantly making hay while they can.