Monday, June 25, 2012

Losing sight of the plot

Today, June 25th 2012, saw the beginning of the Badger Trust's challenge in the High Court; they are objecting to a couple of pilot badger culls. And the chattering classes are out in force, all with a view on something which affects very few.

Damian Carrington from the Guardian leads the pack with his report, which has attracted 130 comments so far. Very few show any awareness of the reason why tuberculosis in any species needs to be tackled and the risk to themselves and their pets, even in inner cities, is conveniently airbrushed. Leaving aside the grammatical niceties within its title, one sentence in the Guardian report has generated not a little hot air in itself, and it's nothing to do with a badger cull.
Cull opponents are also attacking the "undue influence" of the National Farmers' Union (NFU) in the decision to go ahead with the shooting of badgers across England. In a February letter to the Badger Trust, seen by the Guardian, officials at the environment department (Defra) argued that "advice from the NFU was so integral to the development of the cull policy" that it considered the NFU to be a part of the government in this instance, and would therefore not release its "internal" communications with the lobby group.
The incestuous relationship between Defra and the 'Guardian' newspaper which is also mentioned in the piece, is obviously seen as a different sort of 'relationship' by Guardian readers, as it escapes their comment. But the NFU part of government? We call it a revolving door. Government says jump, NFU replies 'on whom?' Why else is the moratorium on Section 10 of the Protection of Badgers Act still in place, a full 6 years after the end the RBCT? Why else have cattle farmers born the brunt of endless futile cattle measures in exchange for.... what? Deals which never materialise, promises never kept.

 So what have we really got here for barristers to squabble over? An untried policy to take pot shots at badgers, cobbled together from snippets of a political prevarication   ' trial ' which from its outset was designed to fail , with permissive licenses overseen by a quango which has made no secret of its discomfort over culling any badger, let alone one with tuberculosis. Some appear surprised to see Rosie Woodroffe (ex ISG) perching amongst the Badger Trust supporters, having given them a statement.
We are not surprised; it is a position she has always held.

When badger tuberculosis is eventually sorted out, and it will be, all these people will need another cause to support them in the manner to which they have become accustomed. The wider this polemic gets, the more hangers-on it attracts. And the excuses for doing nothing, become quite remarkable.

No comments: