Subsidising blood sports while people starve


A letter a day to number 10. No 1,522

Sunday 14 August 2016.

Dear Mrs May,

It’s a curious thing, why do the privileged like to kill living creatures for fun? I know it is not the sole province of the privileged, but the privileged seem to have a particular avidity for killing and luxury, making it more of a blood feast than a sport or pastime. I confess I have no understanding of killing for sport although I acknowledge that I would attempt to hunt for food if circumstances provided no other means of feeding myself. I cannot imagine ever taking pleasure from blasting innocent creatures of nature out of the sky for sport.

The 12th of August is known as the ‘Glorious 12th’ (what’s in a name eh?), the date when the grouse shooting season opens and there have been calls to ban grouse shooting and a government petition calling for the ban has reached over 100,000 signatures.

To be honest, this is not a matter that I would normally consider writing about, what prompts me to write is that grouse shooting is heavily subsidised by the public in two ways. The price of a firearms license has been capped, or frozen, at £50 since 2001 and given the cost of police background checks, the public lose out on £17 million a year.

The second subsidy goes to those who own grouse shooting land. A freedom of information request revealed that in 2012/13 this amounted to £17,308,297 and a year or so later your government, under David Cameron, increased the subsidy from £30 to £56 a hectare thus nearly doubling the amount the public pays in land subsidies to the extremely wealthy, or the 1% of the 1%.

I wrote yesterday that in 2015 there were 746 hospital admissions and 391 deaths from malnutrition, so we can afford to subsidise the extremely wealthy in the pursuit of killing animals and yet we cannot afford to feed the poor.

The preservation of privilege takes precedence over the needs of the people, we are seeing that right now in the Labour party, but the times are changing and the privileged don’t like it. They squeal like the spoiled children they are. It is time they learned their place instead of presuming to lord it over their fellow human beings who have equal rights to be here and to life. A great many ordinary people are very tired of paying for the privilege of the few to our great cost.

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