Tag Archives: Pressure Goups

Af(fur)ming the minutae

When minutes of a meeting are taken they should: typically describe the events of the meeting and may include a list of attendees, a statement of the issues considered by the participants, and related responses or decisions for the issues (Wikipedia).

When someone, or some ‘body’ publishes minutes it can be held that they are asserting, or affirming, that said minutes are a true reporting of that which transpired.

In February a meeting of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Animal Welfare (APGAW) was held which specifically concentrated on the ‘fur trade’; of which the minutes can be viewed here (click on meetings and events – downloads as pdf).

Within the minutes Peter Egan is quoted, yet he is not listed among the attendees; which begs the question how can said minutes be a true record of who attended and what was said; coupled with the point that it has been brought to my attention that the aforesaid minutes are not a true record of proceedings, nor are they a true record of ‘related responses’.

It is also noticeable that only an hour was allocated for a subject that required far longer in order that a subjective exchange of views could be heard

The foregoing begs the question: wherefore democracy? Where a ‘recognised’ committee’ is concerned, their proceedings are recorded by Hansard and there is a record of proceedings on Parliament tv. Where ‘unofficial’ All Party Parliamentary Groups – in effect ‘pressure groups’ are concerned; and thus are not ‘recognised’ –  then the public is reliant on any minutes they produce.

When such ‘minutes’ are published in the public domain – and which are ‘not correct’ – but which will no doubt be used and quoted by activists; then it can be held that such is of no more value than propaganda. By which, no matter on what subject you care to select, be that Brexit or whatever, so are the public then misinformed.

At this late stage it should be made plan that I have no views for, or agin, the fur trade, other than stating that providing ‘care’ of those animals that source fur is maintained (see this), where is the problem? The same argument can be made where, for example, the ‘euthanasia’ of cattle/ sheep/pigs/chickens are concerned – and do not the majority of us eat the foregoing?

If we, the people, are to have freedoms; then one of those must be to choose that which we wear, regardless of what others may think – obviously bearing in mind any ecological ‘impacts’, such as ‘hunting to extinction’ of any particular species. Another freedom must be the right to have public servants doing their job properly; and at the same time producing a correct record of any meetings they have.

The foregoing may seem ‘nitpicking’, however there is a principle involved; and that is that if democracy can be subverted by what may be termed a ‘select group’  in order to further their own agenda, then democracy per se cannot exist.