When I say to you, ‘this is your chance to have your say, to protect what you are passionate about and make sure your voice is heard loud and clear’, you might think you have heard it all before.
We were told the same in the 2015 General Election, the 2016 Referendum, the 2017 election, the 2019 EU and local elections and now we are being told that this year’s election is a game changer?
Well yes, that is what I am saying; that is what I am imploring you to do.
Dig deep one more time and understand that for shooting and conservation this election is crucial.
If you are reading this, you will already understand the huge benefits that shooting brings to the environment, economy and well-being of so many in this country. Consequently, you might be interested to hear that all the major parties have made varying degrees of commitment to shooting on the understanding that it plays a significant role in our countryside.
Nevertheless, there is a battle brewing from all political directions and the strain is clearly outlined by our South West political officer, Richard Sharman who says,
“We have recently seen the attack on the General Licences and the Offensive Weapons Act, which both threaten elements of shooting sports. Those opposed to shooting have demonstrated that they are well organised, vociferous campaigners.
“This election gives the shooting community an opportunity to lobby their candidates and inform them of how important shooting is to us. In many areas of the South West, shooting is an integral part of the social fabric of rural communities. It provides jobs, much needed winter revenue for many areas and, most importantly, a reason to conserve, maintain and manage our woodlands and covers.
“The habitats provided by shooting are hugely beneficial to our wildlife, not just quarry species, and it is vital that this continues.”
We are a non-party political organisation and I, along with the BASC political officers, have been out on the campaign trail across the UK meeting parliamentary candidates and rallying the troops to lobby on our behalf.
It is of paramount importance that our members, friends of members and anyone interested in shooting and conservation use our website to engage with their local candidates and find out where they stand on sustainable shooting.
I can’t tell you how this election is going to end, who will be in power or by what margin and if anyone does, I suggest following the advice of Andrew Marr, ‘cock an eyebrow, smile politely and turn your back’.
However, I can implore you to make sure the voice of our community is heard by those about to take up the reins of power and forge the future legislation of shooting and conservation.
How to lobby your candidate
Please take one minute to lobby your candidates in the run up to the general election. Just follow these five simple steps:
1) Go to the How to lobby your candidate page here.
2) Enter your constituency, (if you don’t know it you simply enter your postcode).
3) Fill out your name, email and postcode.
4) The letter is automatically generated for you, so just hit send. (You can edit it if you wish).
5) Keep an eye out for any responses and inform BASC as to the outcome.