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Blog: Witney Badger Demo

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Myself and The People On My March were up EARLY on Saturday morning, as we were heading down to WITNEY to take part in a demonstration in David Cameron's constituency against the Badger Cull. It's entirely WEIRD that the Badger Cull is even happening, as everything about it screams wrongness. All the scientific evidence says that culling Badgers won't work (and may even make Bovine TB worse), there's no moral argument for butchering a protected species of indigenous animals, and the way it's being done STINKS of corruption - for instance, they're "monitoring" the "humaneness" of SHOOTING BADGERS by asking the people who are shooting them to BRING IN a few dead badgers that THEY have chosen. To reiterate - they're checking that the badgers have been shot NICELY by getting the people who shot them to bring in examples of NICE KILLS that they themselves have chosen.

Professionally speaking, as someone who has WORKED on pilot project A LOT, I am enraged by the fact that even the way they're running the PILOT is an insult to trials. DEFRA claim that they're running a six week pilot to see if they can shoot badgers effectively. That's ALL it's meant to be - they're not even testing badgers to see if they ACTUALLY ARE infected with TB (possibly because it would show that only a very very tiny percentage of them are) - so surely, after six weeks, they should look at how that WENT and base a decision on it. However, what's happening is that they DIDN'T manage to shoot as many badgers as they want to ... and so, rather than saying "Aha! That is the result of the pilot: it doesn't work" they are planning to EXTEND THE PILOT to shoot more.

THAT IS NOT HOW PILOT STUDIES WORK! In a pilot study you TRY SOMETHING OUT to see if it works, then ASSESS it, not KEEP DOING something that isn't working until you've finished! AAAAARRGGHGGHH!!!!!

As I say, every single thing about this moronic action is ANNOYING and UPSETTING and makes you wonder if maybe you've got the wrong end of the stick - SURELY nobody can think this is a good idea? It almost feels as if the National Farmers' Union (who are pushing for this) just want to kill ALL wildlife that their members aren't making a profit out of. It's the only explanation that makes any kind of sense, however crazy it may sound.

If you're thinking "What on earth is Hibbett on about?" then I recommend reading this article which deals a lot more calmly than I can with FACTS. My summary: AAARRRGGGGHHHH!!!

So yes, we headed up to Witney where we met a PAL who moved to the area a few years ago then met up with a bunch of Concerned People and strode the short distance through the (very nice) town up to the village green. There was genteel chanting (call me old fashioned, but "Cameron Cameron Cameron - Out Out Out" doesn't really work that same way that the THATCHER one did - new material please guys!) and inner RAGE mixed with happiness that there were so many of us there. There were also not one but TWO sets of goalposts which moved along with us!

When we reached the green Dominic Dyer gave an AMAZING speech detailing calmly and unsentimentality a LITANY of how utterly utterly fcuking ridiculous, incompetent and corrupt the whole affair has been (NB he didn't put it like that, i am unable to think about any of it without the RED MIST descending!) and again it was wonderful to see so many people there. It was also great to have Sky News there covering it - there've been so many lies told about the cull, it was good to think that other people around the country would know they're not alone in being angry. Here's the speech in full, see if you can spot me agreeing with him!

It was an emotional afternoon's activity, which ended with a bunch of us standing outside the door to the local Conservative Association, slightly sheepishly shouting things politely, while laughing at the fact that the shop next door had a huge sign advertising a line of clothes by a company called "BADGERS"!

In order to recover we went for a well-earnt PINT in a lovely local pub, where the young barman proudly introduced us to his entire family, who owned and worked in it. We went to get a bus, which didn't come, and while we waited chatted to another marcher who we'd met coming down.

I know that just going on a march probably won't change anything, but hopefully lots of people going on lots of marches will make some kind of noise, if only to reassure everyone that they're not alone in being concerned. Living in a city means there's not a lot of call for ACTIVISM but there's alwasy CA$H if anybody wants to help - there's loads of local Hunt Sabs (who are BACK!) who are out every night monitoring and protecting badgers need cash help to do so, or there's this group, who are ACTUALLY TESTING BADGERS so as to demonstrate the truth (or otherwise) of the government's claims.

Apologies for this post veering into SHEER RAGE, it's impossible to think about ANY of this without getting angry. Tomorrow's post will feature ROCK again!

posted 14/10/2013 by MJ Hibbett

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