The bully-boys – and their possible grave-digging pals – of the Badger Trust have been faced down by Elin Jones and the Assembly government.
The trust has since wound themselves up into a fury because Ms Jones has refused to give the names (and the addresses?) of the TB Technical Advisory Group and Programme Board working on the partial badger cull (following by restocking !) that Wales is planning.
Ms Jones has “slammed the door on open government”, says the trust’s press release.
Well, let’s have a bit of open government from the Badger Trust as well. Does Badger Trust Cymru really exist as an independent organisation? Or is it just a convenient made-up name for branches of a “national” (meaning predominantly-English) organization which are sited within our 22 counties.
We all know why the government won’t give names. It’s not only the grave-diggers – who dug up the recently-buried remains of a relative of a person involved in a totally-legal operation; but they are now serving time – but also their equally-extreme friends, to whom the ends justify any means.
Extreme animal-lovers are unfortunately sometimes extreme human-haters.
Badger Trust staff press officer Trevor Lawson (he’s from the English Midlands) himself went a bit extreme in his press release attacking the Assembly’s refusal to list names. These groups are “apparently packed with pro-cull farmers ad the vets who work for them”.
Well, not for the first time, Mr Lawson has proved so much out of touch with what happens in Wales that he counts as a “colonist”. I have known for some time that among the members of these “secretive bodies ” is the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
Perhaps Mr Lawson and his bosses in the outer-London suburb of East Grinstead should be told that the RSPCA has some slight concerns about the tone of the propaganda the BT is pumping out. Propaganda is the correct word – salient facts are omitted; the issues are simplified, sometimes beyond reason.
Mr Lawson hurls out complaints about “secret” groups. He talks about the Assembly as being a “Kremlin”. Well, I have a word to you. Your tactics – say something often and loudly enough, and people might believe you – perhaps bear the markings of Unter den Linden.
That’s where Josef Goebbels worked.
As to the Welshness of Badger Trust Cymru…
There’s no website, apart from the East Grinstead one. BT Cymru do apparently meet occasionally; their most recent meeting was in Knighton – no jokes, please, about the town that’s nearest to England, which is where the station is.
Steve Clark does exist (he’s listed as being able to speak “from Cardiff” but on a mobile, and mobiles can exist anywhere). In fact, he lives in Chepstow.
The rather extreme words – “Kremlin”, demanding an “apology” from the minister, and “how low Elin Jones is prepared to sink” – look very much as if they were not penned by Mr Clark who works in Cardiff – but by Mr Lawson. No doubt, throwing insults is just part of life in the deeply divided societies of both the Midlands and London’s outer suburbs.
The spokesman’s job used to be done by Mike Sharratt, of Whitland – but he had a minor stroke, although he’s back now answering calls.
The badger cull is the most inflammatory issue currently being dealt with by this government. England is a rather different country to Wales; as long as the BT continue throwing out English-style propaganda and there is no interest in searching for any kind of compromise or accommodation, we can expect the nastiness to continue.
Fortunately the Welsh police forces are pretty good.
I am told Ms Jones is willing to meet Badger Trust “Cymru” again. What a pity the Chief Vet doesn’t speak Welsh; otherwise the govt side of the table could hold their primary discussion in that language, and help put the other side in their place !