Mudcat Café message #3016009 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #133097   Message #3016009
Posted By: Stu
26-Oct-10 - 01:37 PM
Thread Name: BS: Englands Biggest Stag Shot on Exmoor
Subject: RE: BS: Englands Biggest Stag Shot on Exmoor
I posted this on the woodlands thread this morning, after having a post deleted last night:

(No posts were deleted from that thread:be sure to double-check after posting]

Exmoor Emperor Dead.

I'm re-posting this link because some kindly US mudelf seems to have deleted my original post (which, I admit was a bit of a rant but I certainly do not apologise). It was a rant because this story made me really angry and is relevant to this thread because it shows what we're up against, why where this animal was shot is important and the inherent class prejudice that underlies the Tories move to sell this land. Rich licensed hunters killing the largest single wild animal on the Island so he can stick it's head on his wall. The same people

Now, US mudelves listen up and try to understand: there is a profound difference in the wildlife biotas of our countries and the hunting that occurs in and of them. The huge majority of our country is cultivated land and that which isn't is generally upland which exists in National Parks (most often not wild ones like yours) and private land owned by rich people. The private land owned by rich people was taken, for the most part from our ancestors by the acts of enclosure or, if you're a highland Scot, forcibly in the clearances by rich Scottish nobles in collusion with the British government who wanted to break the Clans once and for all (the Jacobite rebellion was still in their minds). That and, of course, pure greed.

These acts of theft were both performed under the guise of 'economic reform', as the current act of selling of our forests and woodlands will be. Much of the vast area upland stolen from the people is now used for hunting; rich people paying for the privilege of blasting the shit out of animals for sport. Now, I don't object to hunting per se and as long as everyone eats what they kill and what they kill is not endangered then fine and dandy - I'll have a brace of pheasants for the pot myself, plus as in the US many normal people go out to bag a bird or rabbit for dinner and I would defend that right to the death. Many red deer (elk to our US brothers and sisters) are shot as part of managed culls - fine too. But much of the land is closed to ordinary people, and the rich landowners object to open access of our own countryside because it would affect the shooting for their rich customers, and the killing of the Exmoor Emperor signifies the contempt these tosspots (not a swearword - see Thomas Hardy etc) hold our common heritage in, and those of us not lucky enough to be stuffed to the gunnels with cash. They don't want the proles on their land, full stop.

In the UK we live with an increasing sense of distance from the land, which many of our ancestors have occupied for thousands of years - we have an innate sense we belong to the land and that the land is our common treasury which belongs to all who live on our Island. Whether people's families have lived here for one or a thousand years irrelevant in a sense; the feeling of belonging to a land is massively important to our wellbeing. We are losing that connection, and to many ordinary people (especially those in urban populations) any connection to the land they live on is an alien concept altogether. For every big stag killed like this, for every bit of woodland sold, that link gets even weaker and we become lesser people for it. We become more alienated, more angry and more spiritually bewildered and confused. We turn to more instant methods of gratifying this deep yearning to be part of the whole, and that gratification, in whatever form it takes, is ultimately hollow and transient and nothing more than a distraction.