Tag Archives: ivory

Tories u-turn on ivory trade – now they want to ban it again

Apologies if the image shocks, but the Tories have spent seven years dithering about whether to ban ivory trading, while the UK remains the world’s main exporter of ivory.

The Tories promised to ban ivory sales in their 2010 and 2015 manifestos, and did absolutely nothing about it.

In 2017, they dropped all pretence – possibly at the urging of a certain third party – and didn’t bother mentioning it in their manifesto.

Meanwhile, in its own 2017 manifesto, Labour introduced a promise to ban ivory sales.

So the Tories had to u-turn, didn’t they?

Environment Secretary (God help us) Michael Gove has launched a 12-week consultation, ending on December 29. It suggests a series of exemptions, detailed below.

But This Writer isn’t sure anybody needs to be worried about that.

Who reckons the Tories will kick it into the long grass again, before quietly u-turning one more time when nobody’s looking?

The UK will impose a ban on ivory sales to help bring an end to the poaching of elephants, under plans announced by Environment Secretary Michael Gove.

The proposals will protect elephants and help combat poaching by removing opportunities for criminals to trade illegally-poached ivory. Today’s plans will be subject to a 12 week consultation and cover items of all ages, not only those created after a certain date.

In line with the approach taken by other countries, the government is proposing certain narrowly-defined and carefully-targeted exemptions for items which do not contribute to the poaching of elephants and where a ban would be unwarranted.

The consultation proposes four categories of exemptions:

  • Musical instruments;
  • Items containing only a small proportion of ivory, a de minimis exemption;
  • Items of significant historic, artistic or cultural value;
  • And sales to and between museums

The government will work with conservationists, the arts and antiques sectors and other interested parties through the consultation period on exactly how these exemptions can be defined, implemented and enforced so as to ensure there is no room for loopholes which continue to fuel the poaching of elephants.

Source: Government sets out plans for ivory ban – GOV.UK


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NHS-hater Paul Nuttall elected to lead UKIP. How long will this one last?

Paul Nuttall outside the Emmanuel Centre in London moments before he was announced as the new Ukip leader [Image: Stefan Rousseau/PA].

Paul Nuttall outside the Emmanuel Centre in London moments before he was announced as the new Ukip leader [Image: Stefan Rousseau/PA].

The only piece of information you really need about Paul Nuttall is that he wants to privatise the NHS completely.

He published this information on his website a few years ago, then took it down when he realised it was unpopular with the general public.

Fortunately, some of us made screen grabs so it could be kept for posterity.

161128-paul-nuttall-ukip-nhs

The campaigning group HOPE Not Hate has published 10 reasons to oppose Mr Nuttall. His opposition to the NHS comes in at number five, and here are the others:

1. Has strongly supported Farage’s “Breaking Point” billboard [which showed a snaking line of – allegedly – immigrants on their way into the UK].
2. He believes there is a secret coordinated Muslim plot to become a majority in Europe.
3. In a speech in the European Parliament Nuttall labelled the response of the EU to the refugee crisis as “freedom of movement of Jihad”.
4. He wants to ban the burqa [an act that would prohibit people from coming to the UK on religious grounds].
6. He wants a 31% flat rate of tax, meaning the rich pay far less.
7. He wants prison conditions to be made deliberately worse and the 1967 Criminal Justice Act to be abolished.
8. Nuttall believes climate change is a “hair-brained theory”.
9. Was one of only 14 MEPs to vote against a crackdown on the illegal ivory trade.
10. Opposes same-sex marriages.

The Guardian‘s claim (below) that Mr Nuttall’s election marks the end of UKIP’s troubles seems premature.

The previous leader, Diane James, lasted just 18 days in the job before leaving due to a lack of support.

Mr Nuttall seems to be trying to prevent a repetition of this kind of PR disaster by creating one that is unique to himself: He told members that, if they did not support him, they would be booted out of the party.

What a charming man.

Paul Nuttall has been elected by Ukip members to replace Nigel Farage as leader, ending a turbulent period for the party after the referendum to leave the European Union.

Nuttall, the former deputy leader, was elected with 62.6% of the 15,405 votes cast. His presumed nearest challenger, Suzanne Evans, won just 19.3% of the votes, only 200 more than the rank outsider, John Rees-Evans, who won 18.1%.

The MEP for north-west England takes over from Farage, who had returned briefly as interim leader in October when his chosen replacement, Diane James, stepped down after just 18 days in the job, citing a lack of internal party support.

Speaking at a party event in London after being announced as leader, Nuttall called for unity following tumultuous months for the party. He told members that if they did not wish to unite “your time in Ukip is coming to an end”.

Source: Paul Nuttall elected as Ukip leader | Politics | The Guardian

Postscript: I understand the BBC broadcast live coverage of the election result. Some commentators have questioned this but I think it was the right decision. UKIP may have only one MP, but it had 12.7 per cent of the vote in the 2015 general election – more than one-third as many as the Conservatives, who won. That is a significant amount and should be respected.

Besides, if we show people what UKIP really is, they might stop voting for this far-right pressure group.

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