I am not a malingerer, a scrounger, or a layabout, Mr Liddell-Grainger
Dear Mr Liddell-Grainger,
We haven't met, which is rather surprising as you have chosen to make libellous comments about me in your local newspaper.
You have called me a malingerer, a scrounger, a layabout and say I am part of a mob that "has resorted to killing animals".
Furthermore, you associate me with people who "lie in bed until the pubs open" or "wait until the postman arrives with the benefit cheque".
Well Mr Liddell-Grainger, I'm not much of a pub goer and, in my case, the benefit cheque is a War Pension which I earned at the same time as I was "Mentioned in Despatches for Gallantry".
You see, like you, I am ex-military and your equivalent in rank, although as I was a regular, I claim seniority.
Mr Liddell-Grainger, the people I have been privileged to work with whilst opposing the badger cull can speak for themselves, but suffice it to say I have walked the footpaths of Exmoor with a vet, a gardener, a receptionist, a chartered accountant and many others, all of whom are fully employed except, perhaps, for one retired lady, but then she works as a volunteer in a charity shop.
I do understand that finding a dead badger on your doorstep is distressing but it is, therefore, a time for a cool head. Killing badgers without a licence is a criminal offence and instead of burying the evidence you should have reported the incident to the authorities.
Furthermore, a cool head would have realised that a poisoned badger is very unlikely to be bludgeoned, and a bludgeoned badger is very unlikely to be poisoned.
Do you think your badger might possibly have been a road kill? I imagine being hit by several hundredweight of fast-moving motor car would appear to be a bludgeoning.
Mr Liddell-Grainger, your words and your actions are stupid and, as Forrest Gump's mother used to say, "stupid is as stupid does".
I await your full apology.
Ian Mortimer Sqn Ldr RAF; Lt Cdr RNR Capt British Airways
"Well said Ian. I am also retired and never been unemployed. It just proves how out of touch Liddell-Grainger is with what is going on in his own constituency. I also agree that he should have reported the dead badger. It was a very strange thing to do to bury it in his garden, but then he does appear a rather strange man. I fully support all your efforts to stop this abominable cull in our countryside. I cannot be with you in person but have been sending funds to the various groups who are against the cull."
"With the greatest of respect to the gentleman, people who are unemployed or unable to work due to sickness or disability are not scroungers of malingerers either. There has been a sustained propaganda attack on the most vulnerable in society since the coalition arrived in government, which is designed to harden attitudes against people in need of support. This language is extremely offensive to all groups, and I'm shocked by the MP's attitude towards the people he is supposed to represent and that retired and employed feel compelled to disassociate themselves with sick and unemployed people because of his comments. I am housebound and unable to help with the badger patrols, but I am so disgusted and outraged by the culling of our badgers, that I have supported the groups out on the front line with some of the little cash I have. Decent people are horrified that badgers are being decimated, regardless of their current status in society."
This from truthbeckons:
"Fabulous response. Everyone I have walked on Exmoor with at night had a job to get up for in the morning or were retired. Anyway I would happily pay people to walk on my behalf if I could afford to, as sadly I can only manage one or two nights a week; I have a child to get to school and a crust to earn. Liddell Grainger is out of touch and out of order... but then, he is a Tory. Hello? There is a revolution in the countryside, and your party has started it! What a damn mess and tragic for the poor scapegoated badgers."
But Charlespk did not agree:
"Squadron Leader Mortimer retd., you are in serious need of an education about tuberculosis sir, as are many in this country. And you do the RAF no service with your outburst. In fact IMO you just demean yourself.
There are highly qualified people who avoid this sort of exposure specifically because it attracts so much riff-raff, and the police have got enough to do.
I believe it's an apology to Ian Liddell-Grainger that is now required for your outburst. He certainly didn't libel you, he would have been referring to others. 'But if the cap fits' is the appropriate expression, I believe.
Most were brought up to be told they would always be judged by the company they kept. Animal rights activists have committed many horrendous deeds. You must surely be aware of that.
"Well done and thank you Mr Mortimer, your efforts continue to be heroic. As for Mr Liddell-Grainger, I trust his apology to yourself, and every other wonderful person involved right now in saving our badgers, will be immediate and sincere."