Sunday, 23 November 2008

Selective statistics

Funny how when people cite stats from theyworkforyou in their comments, they never cite these ones:

Has spoken in 43 debates in the last year — well above average amongst MPs.

Has received answers to 64 written questions in the last year — above average amongst MPs.

Has voted in 88% of votes in parliament — well above average amongst MPs.

The above average for written questions is probably about right. The well above averages are usually opposition frontbenchers, whose researchers spend all their time trying to dig up info on the Government, or are bordering on the obsessive. Norman Baker is on 784 written questions as we go to press... that's a lot of public money, some validly spent, some not so.

This question
, about Martin Salter and his (disappointing) support for shooting, yields a slightly bizarre response. (Try clicking on 'the charter'. I think we will all be relieved to hear that it's not an official government document.)


Chris Gale said...

You are being extremely disingenuous in trying to spin that Labour does not actively support the shooting industry Kerry.By simply saying the charter is not an 'official' government document you imply to your readers that none of what it contains is sanctioned NOW by the government.Nothing could be further from the truth. Why do you seek to protect the shooting lobby in the Labour party??

Not only does it have a Parliamentary Spokesman for shooting, the odious Martin Salter MP, a position endorsed by the Prime Minister and the party machine,but it actively supports the game shooting industry from the highest levels of government.

Each Labour party conference the killing for kicks brigade known as the British Association for Shooting & Conservation (BASC) holds a reception at which Salter speaks along with Ministers.

Here are some quotes from this years event:

Gerry Sutcliffe sports Minister:
“I’d like to pay tribute to BASC, and all those involved in angling for the good work they do, particularly with young people. Shooting gives opportunities for young people to get more involved in the countryside. We need to work closely with governing bodies to encourage good practice. Sport changes people’s lives. It helps them be the best that they can be.”

Vernon Coaker MP, Home Office minister responsible for firearms legislation, said: “There is a fundamental distinction between legal shooting and the illegal use of guns and I constantly have to put this point across. I commend BASC for its hard work in promoting legal, safe shooting and for promoting that responsible attitude towards guns.”

Martin Salter MP, backbench spokesman on shooting and fishing, said: “We are building an all party consensus on the benefits of shooting. I support one hundred percent shooting and angling. We have manifesto commitments which we will stick to. These are not just warm words.”

The then Animal Welfare Minister Ben Bradshaw wrote in the 2005 Charter for shooting: ‘We will liberalise the outdated game shooting and licensing laws to boost the important contribution shooting makes to the rural economy.’
That promise was kept, no matter if the charter was 'official' or not.

Every year in Britain, more than 40 million pheasants and partridges are mass produced inside hatcheries and rearing sheds. From the sheds, they are moved to fattening pens before being released to serve as feathered targets for shooters.

The ‘game’ bird industry is where factory farming meets a live shooting gallery. The suffering experienced by these birds while they are being fattened for the kill, and as they repeatedly run the gauntlet of the guns, cannot plausibly be justified.

Thousands of animals, wild and domestic are snared or poisoned to protect the game bird industry, an industry that your government and my party (shamefully) supports to the hilt.
That all you can do is try to spin and deceive your readers that Labour is not wholly and actively supportive of this barbarism is deeply shameful and shows that you put your career in the Labour party above your so called principles.

If you were true to your often stated principles you would be actively campaigning against this government policy and speaking out at every opportunity about it, not trying to cover it up and suggest it is not happening.

The Penguin said...

Spot on, Chris.

The Penguin

Kerry said...

Chris, wasn't trying to spin anything. Perhaps if you acquired a sense of humour you might find more people willing to listen to you? Or didn't you even click on the link?

DaveA said...

Kerry at the risk of shameless brown nosing, I get the impression you are a very dedicated MP and I admire the way that you soldier on with your blog despite much hostlity.

I have thought about why I contribute here. It comes down to two reasons. One is to make my views known to the Labour Party and there is also the nose thumbing, that told her/them aspect.

With regards to Chris Gale and Old Holborn's post, openingly disagreeing with colleagues and party policy is political suicide and possibly very bad manners.

I must say I am surprised that Labour are so tolerant of shooting bearing in mind the hunting ban.

I hope you have a good weekend.

DaveA said...

Sorry I meant Penguin. It could not of been OH as there were no expletives.

Kerry said...

I am pretty sure the majority of my Labour colleagues don't support shooting. It's the Tories who spend the weekends taking part on shooting parties on country estates. (See Cameron for example. And that classic pic of Osbourne).

I suspect it's just not an issue that really registers with many Labour MPs. They got hundreds of letters on fox-hunting. I can't recall any constituent ever contacting me about shooting.

As for Martin's views, I don't agree with him at all, but I don't need to communicate that to him through this blog (in the unlikely event that he is even aware of its existence); I can talk to him in person whenever I want, and I do.

Chris Gale said...

"openingly disagreeing with colleagues and party policy is political suicide and possibly very bad manners. "

I disagree, its called democracy and standing up for the values the Labour party is SUPPOSED to represent.Many others do that and I am not alone.To say that we all have to turn off our brains and agree with party policy goes against everything the party is supposed to stand for.
Im not in the Labour party for a career or to worry about being off message!
Kerry thinks Martin Salter and the party in government ACTIVELY supporting shooting is merely 'disappointing'. That is an understatement.It seems she is reluctant to do anything about it because in the Labour party if you want to get anywhere you don't question the support for shooting which goes to the very top of the party establishment.
The shooting of sentient beings for fun and all the associated snaring etc is being supported by the government she tells us is so wonderful.
My question is, when will she take a public stand within the party against this?
She mentions she has been behind moves to end the Canadian seal cull (which is very welcome) but why does she not make the same public effort to end this affront to civilised values?

Chris Gale said...

"I am pretty sure the majority of my Labour colleagues don't support shooting. It's the Tories who spend the weekends taking part on shooting parties on country estates. (See Cameron for example. And that classic pic of Osbourne)."

Everyone knows the Tory policy and what they do, the question here is not about the Tories, why do you try and deflect the truth?

The fact is that the government and Ministers ACTIVELY promote and support the shooting industry and it is well and truly lapped up by the shooting organisations.

Where are all these MPs who are speaking out against it and how can they (and you for that matter) trumpet animal welfare credentials when it is GOVERNMENT POLICY to support killing sentient creatures for fun?

Chris Gale said...

What the Labour government shamefull supports and promotes (minus Kerry's spin)

Northern Lights said...

Chris - where does it state on the membership card that Labour should be against shooting? I've checked and it isn't on there.

Kerry said...

Chris - I specifically included the Norman Baker link to give you an opportunity to air your views on this matter, as you have been demanding in recent emails. I've made clear I don't approve of, or support the policy. As I've told you many times before, you're going the wrong way about trying to achieve your (worthwhile) objectives. You're just alienating people whose support you need.

Chris Gale said...

"I don't approve of, or support the policy."

Thats fine, so what are you going to do about it?
Other than continue to DO NOTHING but spout how great the government that supports all this is...

As for Northern Lights, if I have to explain why the Labour party should be against killing sentient creatures for sport then there is not much hope...

Chris Gale said...

just how many people are the Labour party 'alienating' by actively supporting shooting Kerry?
A great many.
I sent you the evidence but you put your career before your principles.
Its safe to campaign against the Canadian seal cull etc as that doesn't mean taking on the party establishment and Ministers who SUPPORT shooting.
Your New Labour career would be down the tubes if you came out and fought the shooting lobby which is why you will not do anything.

fuchsia groan said...

Kerry, you said:
I am pretty sure the majority of my Labour colleagues don't support shooting.

I wonder what proportion of your colleagues supported the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I am ashamed to be British knowing that children are dying, every day, in my name.

Kerry said...

So you're the guardian of the Labour Party's conscience are you Chris? Remind me when it was you left the Lib Dems?

I think on the scale of moral reprehensibility, clubbing seals beats shooting grouse. And it was also a campaign with a specific, achieveable outcome, to get an EU ban on the trade in seal products.

I don't see a huge difference actually between shooting game and killing animals for food in abattoirs. (Obviously I don't endorse either). And I am therefore entitled to choose to devote my limited time to campaigns I feel more strongly about - not just cute seals, but things like battery farming, zero grazing, farrowing crates, animal testing, live exports... I'm doing my bit.

Chris Gale said...

Oh Kerry has been trawling the net or something and found out I was very very briefly a town cllr for the Liberals years back in one of the most Tory ares of the country. Big deal. New Labour has Quentin Davies and Kate Hoey, dont see you making a fuss about those two bloodsports fanatics on the same benches you sit on...

"And it was also a campaign with a specific, achievable outcome, to get an EU ban on the trade in seal products. "

It was also a campaign where you didn't have to go against the party establishment and party policy so not risking your career prospects.

As for moral conscience, can New Labour talk about that following the Iraq war????

What also of a party that 'boasts' Kate Hoey??

Dont give me the nonsense that the establishment line you follow Kerry has any kind of moral conscience..

The mass rearing of game birds (its not just a few 'grouse' as you seem to imply) and the thousands of animals snared and poisoned will get nothing from careerists politicians.

There is an easy, specific outcome, Labour should stop supporting bloodsports.