Hooray Henries in his sights

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How nice to read in The Star that conservation groups have joined forces, hoping to modestly increase numbers of rare birds of prey on our local moors. But what a task they have set themselves and why are these birds rare anyway?

How nice to read in The Star that conservation groups have joined forces, hoping to modestly increase numbers of rare birds of prey on our local moors. But what a task they have set themselves and why are these birds rare anyway?

Only a few weeks ago a gamekeeper was found guilty of killing birds of prey in the Peak District. Angela Smith, MP, referred to this in Parliament, suggesting a law of vicarious liability (meaning that landowners and estate managers should be held responsible). This law already applies in Scotland.

In response Richard Benyon, the Tory Under Secretary of State for DEFRA, declared that the existing laws were adequate, and then added: “However, this is also a good opportunity to applaud gamekeepers for the wonderful work they do in providing excellent biodiversity across our countryside.”

What cloud is he living on? How is biodiversity enhanced by the slaughter of foxes, badgers, birds of prey, crows, rooks, weasels, stoats and, ultimately, grouse, partridge and pheasants?

And all to give a few Hooray Henries their macho moment.

Graham

Flying the flags

Walking up West Street I was surprised and pleased to see the English and Union Flags flown subtly by the front entrance to the Job Centre Plus Department in Steel City House. Very well positioned and in no way intrusive to this imposing building. This is presumably a result of Eric Pickles’ stance on our national flags. Can we expect the same at the Home Office in Millsands and other goverment buildings?

Name and address supplied

Any nore fares?

Are Supertram conductors equipped with an eagle eye? Nothing seems to deter them or get past them. They can spot a fare dodger from 100 yards. Their motto: we’ll look after you, but first it’s any more fares please.

EB Warris, Raeburn Place, S14

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