Angling & the Countryside Alliance

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Alan Cooper

Guest
This question is posed in this week's Angling Times and I wonder what others think. I have no objection to "rough shooting" but I have always balked at fox hunting. And yet I am increasingly coming round to the view that we are all in this together and a policy of "joint support" is the better one. In effect, I think that angling, as a body, should join. Other views?
 
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Paul Williams

Guest
Alan, i to read the AT today and have put some thought into this, i'm not up to putting forward a balanced debate tonight but i will say that i too am beginning to think that yes we should add our support, after all we are all "fieldsports" together and we should begin to make it known we will all fight (vote!) to continue to enjoy our chosen sport.
 

GrahamM

Managing Editor
Can't say that I'm a fan of fox hunting but if joining the Countryside Alliance along with the fox hunters is what it takes to keep fishing safe then yes, we should join.

Fishing is, and has been for as long as I remember, one of the most important things in my life. I would indirectly support a great many things I don't agree with to save it.

But I respect the views of those who wouldn't.
 

DAVE COOPER

New member
Life is all about compromises. We are being dictated to by self rightous, ignorant, would be do gooders about country sports. We may not individually agree with some aspects of hunting, but we are all under the 'country sports' umbrella and are therefore all targets. United we stand, divided we fall. Join forces and have one voice.
 
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Carp Angler

Guest
I have real reservations about uniting with hunters.
Now we are just seen as slightly eccentric folk who don't speak a lot that are seen sitting quietly by the side of the canal with our flask and limp sarnie when people walk past with their dogs to get their Sunday paper, or are we seen as blood letting environmental criminals who kill and maim all creatures?

Extremes of the argument?

Yes.

How are we viewed, and how do we want to be viewed?

I agree that we need to join with as many like-minded people as possible to save our sport from pathetic hippies, but I have reservations about linking with the hunting lobby.

Mind you, when it comes to the crunch I'll do anything to help the cause.
 

GrahamM

Managing Editor
I don't think that joining forces with other countryside people will make Joe Public see us any differently. We won't all of a sudden become blood-letters in the public's eyes, although I dare say the link, at least in that respect, will not go in our favour.

It all comes down to the question of if holding hands with the followers of other country sports will be the saviour or the death of fishing.

And that's my problem at the moment, I don't know the answer to that one and I'm still listening to the arguments.

But what I don't want to hear is any bunny-hugging points. I want to hear opinion that will convince me, or not, that joining the Countryside Alliance will keep fishing safe.

I already know how myself and most people feel about fox hunting but continuing to tell me that isn't furthering the debate.

I have the same reservations as you, and I drift from one side of the argument to the other, but right now I think numbers and power will win the day.

On our own we don't have the numbers and as perceived limp sarnie eaters we certainly don't have the power.
 
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Ron Clay

Guest
In my opinion we should join up. Although I do not have the slightest interest in fox hunting, I have spent a great deal of my time, especially in Africa, behind a gun shooting game birds and antelope.
Without doubt, once they ban fox-hunting, they will set their sights (excuse the pun) on shooting... you know the rest.
I have just read a most thought provoking book. It's called "Animal Rights & Wrong" by a man called Roger Scrouton. Might I suggest that before anyone makes up his mind regarding this issue, he or she reads this book. The author has a Ph.D. in philosophy. He is worth listening to.
 
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Carp Angler

Guest
Ron, any main points that come out of the book?

Sedge, any reasons why?
 
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Mark Gregory

Guest
We should show our allegiance to this organisation, I have no afinity with fox hunting, I don't shoot or hunt, however what I do object to is well organised and often lawless individuals inflicting their beliefs upon the rest of us. The 'anti's' are not to be under estimated, if they suceed in banning fox hunting you can bet they will turn their attentions on other pastimes including angling. They are as passionate about causing mayhem and grief as we are about fishing!
 
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Ron Clay

Guest
Well said Mark. Some of the best news of today is that George W Bush is through to the White House. For those of you who might not know, George is a good right wing republican, loves shooting and fishing like his father and will give short shrift to tree hugging disneyfied senitimentalists as well as Blair, Prescott and their left wing minions
 
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Ady Brayshaw

Guest
I couldn't have put it better myself Ron. However, G.W.Bush is still a left wing, one world, new world order politician (that is why he gets the media owners support and publicity).
 
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Ron Clay

Guest
Carp Angler, you ask what are the main points I picked up out of the book.

1: The author is very pro-angling, and even implies that we stop the commercial sea fishing around our coast yet allow anging as it is the best form of husbandry.
2: He is pro-foxhunting saying that he believes that the way it is done in England is the noblest and purest form of hunting.
3. He is very much against the Disneyfication of the animal species of the world that in real terms is far more cruel than facing the facts that wils animals are wild and have no human forms of emotion at all.
4. Angling is of great value to the human race. Has been the fount of some of the finest literature in human history and is the prime reason why fish still live in our rivers.
5. He does believe that catching fish causes them stress and even pain, yet this is a small price that must be paid for enormous benefits that man recievs by persuing the sport.
There are many other aspects to this book that I could write about. I'll get the publishers name tomorrow so that you can get it from your local Smiths.
 
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Alan Cooper

Guest
Good points all. I share your deep doubts Rik re the hunting set. But, for all my personal doubt, the umbrella alliance seems to me essential. Goose recently wrote an excellent piece in the Earthing the Current thread about why we do it - many of those sentiments will, I have no doubt, be shared by other field sport people and it is that commonality of deep interest in aspects of the countryside that brings us closer. At the end of the day a wonderful sunset can make us feel good to be alive. By the way, Roger Scruton was Professor of Philosophy at Bedford College, London. he is a good thinker - provocative, but that is a hallmar.
 
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Stewart Bloor

Guest
I personally go for the 'United we stand, divided we fall' argument. I know that not every angler will feel comfortable with siding with the hunting / shooting fraternity.(I personally don't have a problem). Indeed some will try to distance themselves. But as far as the anti's are concerned (and this should be the important consideration), they don't see the difference between fox hunting and angling. To them, it's all blood sports.
I think we should also apply the same principle of being united to fishing itself. Trying to distance ourselves from issues such as livebaiting, keepnets or whatever, will not win us any favours with the anti's. It will just spur them on.
In my opinion, the only thing that should be banned is BLANKS...you would not believe how many I'm on at the moment. This afternoon I even pulled line out of the baitrunner just to remind myself what it sounds like when a fish is tearing away.
I'm the angling equivalent of Accrington Stanley...
 
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Alan Cooper

Guest
Oh yes I would believe it Sedge - more than 60 hours I've clocked up for a barbel and I've yet to get a half decent bite, let alone a fish. You are right about us and the anti's - divisions help them - not us.
 

Alan Roe

Member
Whilst I don't hunt and I no longer shoot now due to the sheer cost, we nurses can't afford it!!I have no problem siding with them. It is a basic intrinsic part of man's instinct to hunt and fish with whatever methods suit them.
Nowadays we have it beautifully codified mainly for the benefit and survival of our quarry, though codification is necssary if are going to continue our pastimes.
The choice of going hunting and fishing is a part of our bloodright as free born citizens of this country and as with all rights they have to be defended vigorously against those who would seek to deprive us of them.
In a prevous thread I drew a parallel between these so called anti's and Hitlers Nazis both groups wished to dominate others through force and fear and have no qualms about seeing people killed in there quest. Those who doubt this should remember the bombing campaign by the ALF of a few years ago.
The scum who did this are behind bars but are still hailed as heroes by the current crop of young thugs.
The hunting and shooting lobbies are very professional vastly more so than is angling which is ridden with intercercine squabbling between competing groups. The new NAA may go some way towards addressing this but it is too new an organisation to tell how effective it will be.
The two things angling has in its favour are numbers and a still fairly positive if jokie image with the general public.
We need the professional approach of the H&S lobby and they need our numbers like it or like it not chaps, we are a field sport and in that respect no different to the H&S set. Certainly the anti's though i feel that we should relabel them for what they are Nazi's see no difference and wish to destroy us just as much as they do the H&S set.
So I feel that despite our differences with the H&S brigade we should join them.
 
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john conway

Guest
Stewart, regarding pulling together under the banner of Field Sports is I think inevitable and necessary when negotiating at governmental level. However, when the banner is enlarged even further and becomes the Countryside Alliance then we must take great care, as this now becomes more of a political platform for bringing down the government. At all cost we must try and keep focused on the right to fish and hunt and not get side tracked into other problems associated with the countryside and the Country Landowner's Association. I would hate to think that we are only acceptable because of our large numbers and only then to be used as cannon fodder. The first step is to get all the angling bodies to pull together under one association.
By the way Stewart I'm probably one, if not the only one of this forum that as a lad went to watch Accrington Stanley, I'm now a Lancashire missionary in Yorkshire.
On another matter, I went to my local fishing club's AGM last night and our guest who presented the awards (an officer of the Northern Anglers and the guy who organises the Angling Times winter league, I can't remember his name) informed us that the government had withdrawn substantial funding from the Environmental Agency which would have a devastating effect on the management of our rivers. He also mentioned that British Waterways had been given substantial funding/grants for the restoration of our inland waterways. He informed us that British Waterways have not given any consideration to the angler. Could anyone elaborate?
 
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Mike Fidler

Guest
John, you will find more details on that in this weeks Anglers Mail. Only a proposal yet though.
 
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Ron Clay

Guest
I have sent my copy of Animal Rights & Wrongs to Graham for his comments.

By the way did you all know that Hitler was a great pet lover. In fact he banned fox hunting and shooting during his period of dictatorship. He thought however nothing about the systematic slaughter and torture of millions of jews!!
 
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