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Gamekeepers are keyed in to the rhythms of the natural world. When there is a job to do, they do it, regardless of the hour or the EU Working Time Directive. So it is not surprising that some keepers find themselves disconnected from the ebb and flow of accepted working patterns. They sometimes fnd it hard to relate to the clock-watching mentality of lesser mortals.

Take a self-employed gamekeeper called Micky (I have changed his name to protect the innocent). I was assisting him with some dealings with a government department. When my phone rang at 7.30am, I guessed it would be him ? probably having just got home for breakfast after several hours out and about. I was right.

?Morning. It?s Micky. Have you heard anything from the department?? he asked. ?Er, not yet?, I replied.
?Do you think they will get back to us later today?? asked Micky.
?I doubt it,? I said.
?Oh, why?s that, then?? he asked, puzzled.
?Because today is Easter Monday ? a public holiday,? I said.

Micky digested this news. Then he said: ?Well, these folk and their holidays! They?re always having time off.? I think he was joking, but I am not entirely sure.

Micky?s work ethic is something that puts most of us to shame. It is all the more galling, therefore, when we read the bilge spewed by classwar hacks like The Guardian?s George Monbiot (aka the Great Moonbat) portraying gameshooting as the sole preserve of the idle super-rich.

The Great Moonbat , who comes from a privileged background with every educational advantage that money could buy, makes a good living out of harping on about lefty causes. In a sense, he has followed a traditional career path, given that he used to work for the BBC Natural History Unit. The Beeb is often accused of being a finishing school for sanctimonious lefties. That may be a sweeping statement, but you have to wonder how many other embryonic Moonbats are being incubated (at public expense) within the corporation.

The Great Moonbat knows how to play to his audience. He is always wittering on about social justice and environmentalism. He?s no mug; his commercial hand-wringing about the environment pays rather better than manual work in the countryside. Last year, Moonbat?s self-declared gross income from writing was £77,400. I somehow doubt he spends much time digging ponds or planting crops.

While mining a seam of envy and urban prejudice, the Great Moonbat has no qualms about infl icting collateral damage on the livelihoods of rural folk like Micky. That?s a bit rich, isn?t it?

Buzzards to save the planet!

Here is next week?s news: new research from the Royal Society for the Promotion of Buzzards claims that raptor persecution contributes to global warming.

A Society spokesman explained: ?We have calculated that there is enough airspace above the UK to host three billion buzzards soaring at a time. At this density, the shielding effect of their outstretched wings on sunny days would have a statistically significant cooling effect.

?To some, three billion may seem a large number, but an extrapolation of the UK buzzard population?s growth over recent decades shows that the species could easily recover to this level within the next 15 years.

?Indeed, if it does not, then this can only be due to the selfish actions of a small minority of people, who would effectively be depriving society of their right to live in a temperate climate.?

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