Wednesday, 12 September 2007

MP Martin Salter supports shooting but not hunting, is he confused?

Martin Salter, Labour MP for Reading West and a Labour Vice-Chair, became a Centenary patron for the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC). Mr Salter is further to host the 'Rural Reception' sponsored by BASC and The Fisheries & Angling Conservation Trust at the Labour Party Conference on the 25th September. The Labour party claims to be the Government responsible for most animal welfare advances, yet promotes killing for 'sport.'

Not long ago he was loudly speaking out against hunting, is he confused? Does this have something to do with hunting with dogs being perceived as a posh activity, while shooting, along with fishing, doesn't seem so elitist? It seems a coldly calculating political decision, with nothing to do with animal welfare, and everything to do with bolstering an image of a working class man. He earns over £60,000 pa, and claimed expenses of £115,670 in 2005/6 (£75,672 for his staff), he hasn't been working class for a long time.

In Reading this week a gunman shot at people in the Oxford Road (in Reading West)with a BB gun, the police were called but didn’t arrive. Clearly there are some irresponsible people getting hold of guns, we are lucky no one was seriously injured. Has Martin Salter said anything recently on the issue, or perhaps he doesn’t want to upset his new friends in the shooting lobby.

In 2005 in Prospect Park, Reading West, one girl was shot and another stabbed to death. Martin Salter branded her death an “absolutely horrific murder“. But he assured his constituents they could still feel safe to walk the streets. He said: “We have not got people hiding in the hedgerows.“

In 2003 after three were hurt in a drive by shooting, Reading West MP Martin Salter said 'street crime had been falling in Reading since it became one of 10 areas earmarked by a government initiative.' He didnt mention that gun crime had nearly doubled since 1997.

In 2002, again near the Oxford Road, a BB gun was fired repeatedly through the window of a car. A passenger in the car was then slashed with a knife and later received six stitches to the back of his head and hand. Martin said "it is still a horrendous assault and I regret very much that things like this are still happening on the streets of Reading.

In 2001 police tried to calm tensions after two shootings in Caversham and Oxford Road, connected to rising tensions over gangs drug dealing in the area.

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