Our last Editorial was very much focussed on the outrageous decision by the Irish Cancer Society to refuse any further donations from the Abbeyfeale Harriers Frestival. Slightly before that news broke, there was a television advert for Seat in the UK that included footage of a mounted pack with a caption “because they look back, we move forward” overlaid on it. Now, complaints were made about that advert, and it is interesting to note that it is no longer appearing on televisions in that form (though you can still find it online), but it is worth taking note of, and issue with, Seat’s response.
On 25th December Seat released a statement that they were starting a new campaign called “because them, us” which would contrast different standpoints to show “how the car brand is joining today’s progressive-minded consumers in defying yesterday’s conventions and moving forward.” When challenged about the advert by the Telegraph, in an article printed on 2nd February, that it was in breach of rules on political advertising, the response was that it was “all about the strength of the individual. Seat supports and encourages those who contribute to a more inclusive society … encouraging people to move forwards in life and make a positive contribution to society. … The idea behind the artwork is that we are all connected and helping each other.”
Really? Are Seat honestly expecting prospective purchasers to be gullible enough to fall for the idea that a campaign built entirely around a cultural viewpoint of “them and us” actually promotes inclusivity and helping each other? Or that fostering a divisive attitude is going to encourage making a positive contribution to society?
Putting that rather naïve outlook aside, let’s return to the original question from the first part of this article, but ask it in a slightly different way – what positive contributions have hunting people made to society, and similarly what positive contributions have hunting’s opponents made? What strides towards inclusiveness have also come from either side?
From the hunting community a few examples are outlined below, but there are many more for those who want to take the time to research them:
From opponents to hunting … erm, no, still struggling with that one after half an hour. It’s very hard to think of a single positive contribution that they have made. It’s all about being AGAINST someone they have decided to take exception to, often egged on by politicians with little understanding and less interest in the realities of hunting but a desire to “punish” a section of the community that they have assumed are unlikely to vote for them anyway; and getting other people to pay for them to pursue their latest vendetta.
So the question to organisations that seek to promote “inclusivity and making a positive contribution” to society, has to be – “If you really believe what you’re saying, shouldn’t you be supporting hunting people rather than attacking them?’