Why the Countryside Alliance have to fiddle polls

The Countryside Alliance have admitted that they ran a campaign to change the results of a Radio Four poll. The poll, which was supposed to be an open poll asking people which piece of legislation they would like to see overturned, was hijacked, when the Countryside Alliance used its website and e-mail lists to lobby its pro hunting supporters to vote.

The fact is that if the Hunting with dogs act was so unpopular, they would not have needed to fiddle the poll results.

The Countryside Alliance constantly claim to speak on behalf of the countryside. However, I've never in all my years of canvassing in country areas, living in country areas, having a council ward that takes in a large chunk of countryside around the North of Fakenham, ever had anyone say to me that supporting hinting is important. That's not to say that some people enjoy hunting animals. But for the Countryside Alliance to constantly claim they are speaking on behalf of the countryside is utter rubbish.

They speak, in the main, on behalf of the rich, the privileged and landowners,not on behalf of people, like me, who have lived most of their lives in the countryside.

The full report is HERE.


Tristan said...

And your final sentence shows whats so wrong with the bill.

It was not due to animal cruelty, it was to stick one to the toffs.

This is a typical example of Mill's fear of 'tyrrany of the majority' and is profoundly illiberal.
The majority (if it really is a majority, most people probably don't care) coerces a minority, uses force against a group of people because they don't like what they do or like them.

Norfolk Blogger said...

I'm against them because they claim, without any logical reason, to speak on my behalf. They don't, they never will, so should not make out that they do.

Duncan Borrowman said...


"It was not due to animal cruelty, it was to stick one to the toffs." Is total bollocks.

I have campaigned against hunting for many years, and not for one second was it a class issue. It was always a cruelty issue.

But in Nich's position I agree with his observation about the arrogance of the Countryside Alliance in their claim that they represent the countryside.

The New Constitution said...

"This is a typical example of Mill's fear of 'tyrrany of the majority' and is profoundly illiberal."

I find it hard to accept that banning the torture of a living thing for fun is illiberal. It is anti-anarchic, not illiberal. People should not be allowed to do as they please if it involves the cruel and degrading treatment of an innocent animal simply for entertainment.

dizzy said...

Nich, how is getting your supporters to vote for something "fiddling a poll"? Isn't that what we all do when we canvass and knock up on polling day?

To suggest it was "hijacked" is intellectually dishonest. Unless of coruse you're going to tell me you won't be knocking up in May and will just let people vote if they want to.

Norfolk Blogger said...

Dizzy, just see my more recent "posting" to see hat the "real" result was when the CA were not able to "knock up".

And before you ask, I didn't even know this vote was oging on so I did not even get to vote in it/

James Cleverly said...


I don't think that the EDP result proves your point at all. A very significant proportion of the respondents wanted to repeal the law, without the CA "knocking up".

You spectacularly failed to answer Dizzy's question about you "distorting" election results by knocking up your supporters. Getting your vote out is a legitimate activity and there was nothing at all to stop the anti hunting lobby to do the same.

Norfolk Blogger said...

You have your point of view James, I have mine.

If it is a free and open poll, free from interference, I think you would find that the result would have been different.