Packham and Avery’s petition against DGS littered with foreign signatories
Mark Avery gets very excited about petitions. They bring him out in a frenzied state of uncontrollable excitement like an overgrown child in a sweetshop.
[Kerry McCarthy MP being used in an advert for Luke Steele's grouse shooting campaign]
He has so far launched four of them in his and Luke Steele’s crusade to get grouse shooting banned, the latest of which met the required threshold for consideration for debate. He has also supported many others, some less silly than others.
Then a new government was formed and all petitions expired. Nevertheless, through a seemingly utterly perverse backchannel via Kerry McCarthy MP – a former vice-president of the League Against Cruel Sports – and her former Parliamentary Assistant, Adam Barnett, Chris Packham was last week given an unprecedented private audience to present a one-way spiel on grouse shooting.
We understand the incident has now been reported to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards multiple times.
Given McCarthy's previous position within the League of Cruel Sports, it does make you wonder how Avery's love of horse racing impacts their relationship. It's curious how many MPs and leaders of organisations can be so selective in what they choose to support and oppose, depending on how they fall along political lines.
Anyway, we digress. Back to the petition.
Strangely there is limited mention by Avery on the detail of the make-up of the petition's signatories themselves – but he has never been one for detail when the details don’t favour his agenda (like the rapidly increasing numbers of Hen Harriers thriving on grouse moors now).
For example, it is true that the most number of signatories came from: ‘Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey’ followed shortly by ‘Calder Valley’. However, guess where came next? France.
Either the French have taken against grouse shooting, or perhaps it is Chris Packham and the rest of his rich celebrity mates signing the petition from their second homes in the South of France.
[Packham holding what we believe to be one of his favourite paintings]
Packham is reported to own a formidable art collection down there, paid for, we imagine, by the tens of thousands he charges for after dinner speaking.
Followed shortly behind France on the list of signatories is Ireland, then Spain and then Australia.
In fact, the total number of signatories who came from overseas is not far off the number of that didn't. How’s that for British democracy?
I wonder if Kerry McCarthy MP and her friend Adam Barnett would have been so keen to bypass all normal convention by providing Chris Packham with a private audience, then published in the House of Commons, if she had been briefed that the petition in question was so heavily populated by signatories from foreign countries?
At least it wasn’t Russia, I suppose eh, Mark?