David Cameron’s talk of a Big Society always was strictly for the gull-ible. Now he wants a Big Conversation on the seagull menace. It’s the silly season, alright. Barely-evolved feathered dinosaurs are terrorising towns, pulverising pets, swooping down and snatching the bread from people’s mouths ... not to mention guano-bombing (ie ‘seagulling’ them).
Although not as bright as crows and parrots, gulls are capable of learning. They have learned that humans equal food. What’s more, every time a human cowers away from a squawking marauder, instead of swiping it off, they also learn that humans are a soft target.
The baying predators surrounding Mr Cameron have learned a similar lesson. As long as their victims cower, or run, like flushed-out foxes, they can continue preying on them; snatching the bread from their mouths and ‘seagulling’ them from their lofty perches.
Although it seems to have escaped the attention of the mass media, the Tolpuddle Martyrs rally was held on July 19 – 181 years ago, a group of victims in Dorset learned the flip side of the lesson above; that, instead of cowering before a predator, you band together and fight back. They faced the full force of the law as it was in 1834, but their sacrifice paved the right to form trade unions, a right that is now under direct attack from Cameron’s government.
Nearly 200 years on, we can hear the baying of the hounds, the blaring of the hunting horns and the cracking of the whips as Cameron seeks to strip away those hard-won rights.
David Ellis, Martin Hillman
Hawks Road, Hailsham
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