I've had another day musing! This is not fitting at all well with my usual birding activities and I suspect the bubble will burst very shortly and lobbying activities will be relegated for a day or more. At the same time I confess the problem and relevance of raptor persecution still trundles on, indeed it has a much longer history than the Eurozone crisis!! Such a history is much , much longer than should be acceptable, indeed the whole scenario is a joke and should be treated with a much greater significance than simply being the killing of birds of prey.
This is a major political problem! Given our natural, emotional reserve in the UK, such "departures" are too often tolerated and, along with too many other aspects, are accepted as being a part of a necessary norm. Why I ask? Look, folks, I am not preaching radical political change, I'm 70 for God's sake, I'm well past being a "Red under the Bed" or whatever the expression was, but there is need for this hypocrisy and arrogance to end. There is a need for the fulcrum of this argument to alter, and radically at that!
Currently the respectable and justified argument against raptor persecution is surrounded by references to the laws of the land ( Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981, as amended ), the unwarranted activities of some and the disgraceful continuation of such activities in this , the 21st Millenium. We, after all, are held up as a nation which defends and upholds democracy, civilised behaviour, equality and a whole panoply of behaviour that sets a standard for others to follow. Well, I'm sure all societies face its detractors, but when it comes to wildlife conservation we appear to have a well defined minority who are intent on ignoring, ARROGANTLY, the requirements of UK law and the responsibility which this demands from us all.
So, what is needed? The conservation bodies need to exhibit much more steel and fire in their respective bellies. This is not a debate within a student's forum, it's real , it has a necessary aim of enshrining regulation and discipline within our Society which ensures our wildlife heritage is protected and maintained and not subjected to the negative influences of those who deliberately ignore the obligations. And it therefore demands the exercise of political action as varied as might be the potential obstacles placed in the way of its progress.
Now this is the radical bit , folks! I don't believe we are dealing with a conservation problem any more , but a social one. This is ,sadly, too redolent of the class war than is comfortable to contemplate. In summary, the wealthy, land owning class are repeatedly ignoring the law of the land to pursue an agenda of its own desires! An agenda that subscribes to the pursuance of commercial gain when it come to the operation of grouse moors and the eradication of any component that lends itself to the reduction of that enterprise. Commercial criminality in any other respect! But condemned by those who both frame and uphold the legislation of the land? You must be joking! When have any meaningful words of action and condemnation on this subject emerged from the Government? Send me the evidence if you're convinced by the hypocrisy.
What is needed? The battle needs to be taken on to a different field of examination than is normally the case. The conservation organisations need to appraise the situation anew , although I'm not sure how far they can pursue some elements due to the constraints of the law governing charitable institutions. All revolves around the willingness to change direction and consider the problem from the aspect of social behaviour. This is a situation wherein a wealthy, but insignificant numerical proportion of our population, pays scant heed to the wishes of the real majority, sets themselves above the law and, basically, dictate that their aberrant behaviour should be accepted without recrimination or even question. And such is being supported by their political associates within the Tory Party with the demands of the majority being conveniently ignored. Supporting their own and ignoring the electorate!
That is wrong, very wrong and one doesn't need to be an anarchist to recognise and endorse the fact!! But this is where the confrontation now needs to concentrate, as debating the moralistic and legal integrity of our existing laws is a wasted exercise. Sufficient evidence exists already, based on the various successful prosecutions, to show that the restrictions and requirements of the law are being held in contempt. So what to do? The situation flies in the face of the Government's Big Society proposals as this over confident, arrogant minority of their supporters appear hell bent intent on ignoring such requirements, exercising intolerance , offering any co-operative contribution and, basically, being decent members of our Society. This is where the battle now needs to be directed. Retribution will have been earned in a couple of years time unless some real effort to effect change is evident. Mr Cameron and colleagues, future actions will show whether you, yourselves, really care!