LEO MCKINSTRY: Soft policing and lenient judges only encourage extremists… The plot to destroy the Grand National is a graphic indication of the arrogance of the animal rights fanatics
The conspiracy to Grand National is a graphic indication of the arrogance and extremism of the animal rights fanatics.
Fixated by the virtue of their causes, intoxicated by public attention, these vegan hardliners show contempt for the law, for Britain’s economic interests, the public’s entertainment and Britain’s sporting heritage.
Had Animal Rebellion succeeded, it would have been a national humiliation as this special race is watched by a global audience of over 600 million.
In addition, the protesters are said to have endangered the lives of animals and people through their planned roadblock – something of a paradox for alleged animal welfare activists.
It is reassuring that Merseyside Police insist they will be ‘robust’ against the troublemakers whose details were handed to them by The Mail on Sunday following the investigation. That is essential to deter future protests of this nature.
(File photo) If Animal Rebellion had succeeded it would have been a national humiliation as the Grand National is watched by a global audience of over 600 million
But it’s impossible to ignore the fact that authorities have historically been the opposite of robust in handling similar protests. And that hardly inspires confidence.
READ MORE: Unrepentant eco-fanatics double down on their plot to sabotage the Grand National
When Just Stop Oil demonstrators invaded the track at Silverstone’s British Grand Prix last year, they posed a great risk to themselves, drivers and marshals. Yet the response of the judiciary could not have been weaker.
At Northampton Crown Court on Friday, all six Just Stop Oil protesters were spared prison and instead received suspended prison sentences or community orders.
That won’t teach them a lesson – indeed, two have already gained notoriety by gluing themselves to a Van Gogh painting in the National Gallery.
And the court’s leniency was reflected in the words of the judge, who almost expressed his political sympathy for the protesters, saying he accepted that “the motive for all of you was not to cause harm, but to climate change’. .
Why on earth should the politics behind these criminal protests influence the sentencing? Justice is meant to be impartial and blind. The problem is that the police and judiciary have become hopelessly infected with fashionable dogmas.
This was highlighted in the recent statement by a self-righteous group of 120 lawyers — grandly calling themselves “lawyers are responsible” — who said their consciences cannot allow them to prosecute protestors from ecogroups such as Just Stop Oil and Extinction Rebellion.
Among these beggars of virtue are Jolyon Maugham, founder of the Good Law Project, and Sir Geoffrey Bindman, president of the British Institute of Human Rights.
In their view, activists blocking the M25 and condemning thousands of motorists to spend hours in traffic jams or flights, missing doctors’ appointments and business meetings should probably go unpunished.
And then I haven’t even mentioned ambulances that can’t reach hospitals.
Meanwhile, a senior police inspector told protesters blocking the highway that “if any of you are in discomfort or need anything, let me know and we’ll try to sort it out in a friendly way.”
That is the exact opposite of the tough approach needed – and for the sake of justice, Merseyside Police must stand by their word.