February 5th, 2013

Tory Toffs’ £5,000 Blood Sports Junket

Yesterday it was Chris Huhne who was staring down the barrel, but for six Tory toffs there has been a very different target in the crosshairs. Step forward Sir Gerald Howarth, Graham Brady, Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Sir Edward Garnier, Simon Reevell and Bill Wiggin. The six have all declared they were treated to a weekend of blasting birds out of the sky at 2,500 acre Catton Hall estate just before Christmas that cost over £5,000 courtesy of the blood sports lobby.

Catton Hall, a country estate that has been in the same hands since the fifteenth century, offers guests a 350 bird bag and use of its luxury dining room. How generous of the British Association for Shooting and Conservation to foot the bill. These six clearly didn’t get the Tory detoxification memo…


  1. 1
    Tuscan Tony says:

    Better to live and die a Catton Hall pheasant than a KFC chicken from a factory in Brazil.

  2. 2
    Danton and Robespierre says:

    Just give us a call.

  3. 3
    Peggy Lee says:

    Is that all there is?

  4. 4

    A very thin gruel. Feast or famine after yesterday, eh.

  5. 5
    WoRaft says:

    I don’t have a problem with them shooting. I do have a problem with them getting a £5k freebie. A gift copy of the BASC calendar would be sufficient. Same goes for the RSPCA etc.

  6. 6
    Ex-Conservative voter says:

    Funny.. Tory ‘Toffs’ kill pheasants to eat them, it’s “toxic”. But when East-European immigrants kill swans, it’s “in their culture”.

  7. 7
    PULL! says:

    Good to see now that you have bagged the Huhne, you are turning your sights back to Piggin Wiggin Guido.

  8. 8
    genghiz the kahn says:

    In these testing times, one might have thought that if they wanted a pheasant they would have popped over to Sainsbury’s or Waitrose.

  9. 9
    Diane Fatbott says:

    Racist !

  10. 10
    Houdini says:

    BASC didn’t pay 5K, and iut’s a pity you carry this rubbish, full of innuendo that is assumed, than your usual decent stuff.

  11. 11

    Quite right, sir.

    It’s a hard job. Somebody has to do it…

  12. 12
    Gazza says:

    After the Lord Mayor’s Show!
    This is such a non story and unworthy for Guido to even include.
    So what if six MPs shot pheasant – it’s perfectly legal to do so.
    No single person is barred from shooting pheasant in this country on the grounds or race, gender or sexual orientation so there are no issues to concern anyone.
    Good luck to ‘em.

  13. 13
    Cynical-old-bag says:

    A bunch of hooray henry’s shooting at someone else’s pile.

    Is this really news, Guido?

  14. 14
    Peter skellan says:

    Small point. There are nearly 600,000 shotgun certificates on issue in the UK and a six figure number of firearms certificates. Allowing for people who don’t own guns but still follow the sport or hunt there is well over a million people out there that actively like a bit of shooting. I don’t think six MP’s out of 650 is over representative of the general Population.

    Not everybody is an urban hard pressed ethnic minority you know. I’m more out off by politicians pretending to be something they are not for PR reasons. I’m sure others are the same.

  15. 15
    P.Mandevilson, the Eminence Greasy says:

    Dear Chris,

    Now that, like me beforehand, you have been rumbled had a little local difficulty with a silly rule that’s really only meant for the electorate, please allow me to provide you with guidance on how to become a European Commissioner once you have collected all your farewell goodies from the HoC.
    My fees are very reasonable, starting at 5,000 euros per hour.

    Love & kisses.

    Lord (?) P.

  16. 16
    Anonymous says:

    Be worried. Very worried.

    Most people knew what that Hune was but couldn’t prove it.

    But a free press and blogging did in the end.

    Leveson,Labour don’t want you to be able to investigate the lying politicians any more.

    Be worried, very worried

  17. 17
    Anonymous says:

    I can understand killing an animal for food or pest control but not understand killing for sports. These animals / birds looks lovely when they live in their natural environment.

    I don’t understand how anyone could get pleasure out of killing for sports.

  18. 18
    robin says:

    Threads like this make me quail.

  19. 19
    Diane Abbott election monitor to places en route to Jamaica says:

    The gift may be worth 5 grand to someone who has to pay full price but what was it worth at cost?

    Compared to MPs who constantly globe trot at taxpayers expense in all the best 5* accommodation in order to research something that does not need researching this is small beer.

    No doubt if they had been treated to a stay at a Windfarm the Guardianistas would say this is money well spent.

  20. 20
    T'Old Fella says:

    “Tory ‘Toffs’ kill pheasants to eat them”, they don’t eat all of them, they are flogged off to those posh boy resturants in London, for folks have loads a money so it has little meaning meals on expenses. Our local shoots are still blasting away, if every shot is a kill, it is amazing there is any wild life left, I think a lot of them just go to the shoots just to show off their £5000 twelve bores.

  21. 21
    Fluffy Thoughts says:

    A dog bird and Huhne in a single thread-header. [Punctuation wilfully suspended.] One word:


  22. 22
    Mine d'Boggles says:

    I once had an idea for a shop: it was to be called “Kill yer own chickens” and I planned to roll it out to all council estates in Britain. The concept was simple: the shop was full of chickens, a mallet was issued at the till, the customer waded in, and brought the selected carcase back to the till for weighing and payment.

    It didn’t work. The business plan omitted something vital – what to do with all the chicken droppings.

  23. 23
    Hunting is Human says:

    What is shot is eaten.

  24. 24
    Sir Mary Flappes says:

    That nice young chap Yves Cooper is on the telly.

  25. 25
    Modern Myths says:

    I never did find the proof about the swan killling. Source?

  26. 26
    bruised forsythe says:

    Good game. Good game!

  27. 27
    T'Old Fella says:

    A pheasant has very lttle meat for the size of bird enough fo two for one meal or 1/3 meal for Pickles, Prezza, Watto el al

  28. 28
    Gonzales says:

    One assumes the peasants were also there to assist in the admininstration of receiving and giving beatings?

  29. 29
    Tesco's Horse says:

    Where the provender on offer may well have been shot by a hunting party.

  30. 30
    T'Old Fella says:

    Are you sobber now Gazza

  31. 31
    Taxfodder says:

    Err…have I missed the point…?

    Why should this concern me any more than a few ravers getting pissed and woofing down a kebab or three over a weekend or indeed any standard pissy arsed office party over the Christmas celebrations?

    Surely people are entitled to enjoy themselves….at least these pretend Tories Toffs were not shooting the peasantry or shagging the sheep on the estate or indeed each other…

    I am worried I have lost the plot…..don’t answer that ):-/ just found my long lost second pair of glasses wintering in my greenhouse seed box…deep joy if not slightly concerned.

  32. 32
    Tesco's Horse says:

    Agreed. They could be doing something more useful like shooting rats in the backstreets of Hacnkey, but apprently thatwould not go down well with the Hoxton arty set

  33. 33
    Reality is oh so different to your prejudice says:

    Except they do hang and eat the pheasants.

    Now can you understand that giving a pheasant a natural life and killing it instantly is a lot more humane that raising beasts and swine in intensive artificial conditions and trucking them to an abattoir to line up one by one, be sprayed with water, stunned by electric shock and finally despatched by bolt gun before the hydraulic skinner tears the flesh off them?

  34. 34

    Catton Hall by William Smith the younger represents a type of brick house with a retrained exterior and occasionally a more ambitious interior. Sir Nikolaus Pevsner

  35. 35
    Dead Eye Dick says:

    In which case stop pontificating about things which you plainly don’t understand. Two points:
    1. The bag will generally go to a game wholesaler, so it is killed to be eaten.
    2. England is not the natural environment for pheasants. So no shooting would mean no pheasants for you to coo over in your befuddled state of ignorance.
    3. Shooting is great fun.
    4. I cannot count.

  36. 36
    Richard the 3rd says:

    I got a hunch that this is a bit of a non story.
    Not like meeee.

  37. 37
    lordstansted says:

    I agree. As for this “what’s shot is eaten” crap, go to Tesco like everybody else.

  38. 38
    Bercow says:

    Parliament to debate the lethal effect of order-order’s Cross-Hairs.

    How something so deadly can exist without a license in the UK might need legislation.

  39. 39
    Col Nut says:

    They look like a bunch of pheasant pluckers

  40. 40
    TWatson says:

    I didn’t get to be the man I am today by shooting, beating or picking up. Or even by eating birds – I floss.

  41. 41
    Anonymous says:

    If all of these birds are eaten its better. In my view it might be even better than some of the modern farming methods.

    But do they get pleasure out of killing or harming another life? I cannot understand how someone might get pleasure out of killing or harming another life.

  42. 42
    Dixon of Dock Green says:

    “Our local shoots are still blasting away”. What’s going on ‘ere then? The last day of the shooting season was 1st February.
    Or is this another contribution from someone who hasn’t got a clue?

  43. 43
    Earl of Croydon says:

    What a non-story. Indeed victimising a “toff” seems to be the only acceptable form of prejudice and boy do Labour use it.
    How pathetic that Guido thinks that it a good idea to go down that route also.

  44. 44
    Steve Miliband says:

    Country Sports is a big industry.Townies will never understand

    Wonder if the gamekeeper was tipped with cash or whether an invoice was raised.

  45. 45
    Anonymous says:

    I have problem with “Shooting is great fun”. One shouldn’t take another life for fun or harm another life for fun.

  46. 46
    former_tight_head_prop says:

    Jeez, Guido. Thought you were a bit above this. Shooting is legal, they’ve declared it, no deception or lies, no attempt to pass the buck.

    Total non-story, unless you’re Owen Jones or cut from the class warrior cloth

  47. 47
    SomeoneElse says:

    without shooting and other ‘bloodsports’ vast swathes of the countryside would be unlooked after. Unlike foxes, game birds can be eaten and are quite tasty.

  48. 48
    Popeye says:

    So what!
    These pheasants are bred to be shot and they are eaten, just like lambs and steers and pigs.
    If you are complaining about the method of death, why not shout about slitting a lambs throat and bleeding him to death, in the name of religion?

  49. 49
  50. 50
    T'Old Fella says:

    I agree there, but it just not sniping at opposition parties, it is ALL PARTIES AND INDIVIDUALS whenever they try to do some dodgy dealing, over the past 60 years they have all been up to something to personal/party advatage (I say 60 years because before that I was 7 or less years old). Guido is trying to give a bit of even handedness, good for him, surely that a blog of this kind is for, indeed it is its stated aim.

  51. 51
    Sir Richard Richard says:

    Oh do shutup, guido. BASC is the only organisation (with any influence) that actively promotes gun rights in this country. The conservation and game shooting aspect of their organisation is part and parcel of that.

  52. 52
    Richard the 3rd, Definitely Dead says:

    A horse! a horse! my kingdom for a horse!

    O shite it’s gone to Tesco.

  53. 53
    Bluebottle says:

    But have they done anything illegal ?

    That is what we want to know.

  54. 54
    Ha ha says:

    How about a mention to our Eastern European ‘visitors’ who are hunting deer with dogs in Lincolnshire. An upgrade in nicking Her Majesty’s swans!

  55. 55
    WoRaft says:


    Latest report 28 Jan 2013. Happens regularly right across the eastern counties. You want more cases? Can provide.

  56. 56

    Allister Heath is nearly always an excellent writer but he has made an important omission in his article on banks today.

    A ringfence wouldn’t have stopped the failures of Northern Rock is quite true. But a spread of funding on the bank’s part would have reduced their vulnerability to the instant rollover (or not!) involved with securitisation.

    Clearly not something that Gordon Brown, his successors, or the Bank of England understands any more.

  57. 57
    T'Old Fella says:

    Guido, a little off topic, did you hear the Today Program this morning, it appears the RCC has been involved in another scandle, young women from poor families were given to the RC nuns and made to work in laundries for no wage. As you claim to be an Irishman why not start a blog in Ireland and set about exposing political, religious and other such sorts of carryingons

  58. 58
    T'Old Fella says:

    “without shooting and other ‘bloodsports’ vast swathes of the countryside would be unlooked after” shouldn’t that be concreted over

  59. 59
    T'Old Fella says:

    Steve of course they have to have some outlet so they can spend their money once they have bought their big cars, run a couple of large houses, will no one think of the rich chaps.

  60. 60
    G. Khan Esq says:

    What’s all this ‘detoxification’ nonsense? The public are yearning for a more toxic (ie robust) approach to:




    anti social behaviour

    spendthrift public bodies


    rubbishy public sector services

    …and many more.

  61. 61
    T'Old Fella says:

    Since when do shots strictly stick to dates

  62. 62
    A nice photo of a chinless wonder. says:

    An interesting case study, the English equivalent of the Muslim, brains that have not evolved for over a thousand years.

    Step forward Mr Dawkins and check out why?

  63. 63
    Busted Nokia says:

    I’d rather vote for these real Tories than the pretend Cameroons

  64. 64
    Gameshooting is fine says:

    Erm…Tesco would not be able to offer pheasants for sale were it not for gameshooting.

  65. 65
    Gameshooting is fine says:

    Guido your story is class-based rubbish and badly written too. eg shotguns do not have “cross hairs”. Without gameshooting there would be less wildlife in our countryside. Plus game is good to eat.

  66. 66
    Blimey says:

    Always dubious about anyone, chavs or toffs who kill for recreation. If they want excitement and enjoy the outdoors they could take up free fall parachuting or rock climbing?

  67. 67
    Blimey says:

    The difference is that these guys do it for pleasure and recreation. Not sure many slaughterhouse workers are there for pleasure. Although there will be some no doubt.

  68. 68
    yeah, right... says:

    No taxpayer’s money died during the shooting of these pheasant.

    FFS Guido, why are you wasting your blog on sneering at people doing something entirely legal and devoid of state subsidy?

  69. 69
    Alex Dalli says:

    Not surprising then, that given their blood lust, that these were the MPs on a tirade against the RSPCA prosecutions in a recent debate.

  70. 70
    Hugh Janus says:


  71. 71
    Anonymous says:

    Has Sunny Hundal hacked this blog. Guido WTF are you on about here?

  72. 72
    Death to the Fox says:

    What have you got against blood sports Guido?
    A guys got to relax you know…

  73. 73
    BASC says:

    The day’s shooting in question was a 150 bird day. It is part of a programme to involve MPs in shooting sports which is run by the UK’s largest shooting organisation, the British Association for Shooting and Conservation (BASC). This also involves taking MPs clay shooting.
    Shooting generates some £1.6 billion pounds for the economy every year and makes an essential contribution to local rural economies. 480,000 people take part every year. The conservation work undertaken as a result of managing land for shooting is valued at some £250 million pounds per year. Shot game is, of course, eaten and demand has been increasing for the last few years.

  74. 74
    David says:

    Oh dear Guido, let yourself down badly here. Metropolitan Elite hmm… perhaps take a look in the mirror and whilst you are about it educate yourself on shooting and conservation.

  75. 75
    s.s. says:

    I do and I love doing in and eating them, have killed everything from mice to Elephants and ate most of them.

  76. 76
    lojolondon says:

    I can only guess you are saying that because you haven’t seen the Haalal way of killing animals – totally legal, slow, painful, terrifying, everything we are all against. Google for it if you want to really feel sick!

  77. 77

    I take it that no poor people’s babies were harmed at this weekend? At least this piece of rampant class warfare was given some meaning with the in-set of some very fit and well-trained gun-dogs. I wonder if Guido shoots when on his Irish country estate?

  78. 78
    yeah, right... says:

    Yes, because all that Danish and Dutch pork has been reared and slaughtered in such a humane, loving and generally fluffy way.

    Still, what we don’t see won’t hurt us, eh?

  79. 79
    Psychopath says:

    Apparently it’s ok to kill. Just as long as you don’t enjoy it.

  80. 80
    yeah, right... says:

    Except that the BASC hasn’t morphed into some sort of quasi-state animal rights militia with full prosecuting powers.

  81. 81
    yeah, right... says:

    Perish the thought that someone posting on here ‘hasn’t a clue’

  82. 82
    Tarquin Romulus Needlethrush says:

    It was a most splendid day for all. The bloodying of two of the young boys was certainly a highlight of the days activities.
    In the evening my buttocks were given a damn good thrashing which I thoroughly enjoyed.

  83. 83
    DoDG says:

    Always. And if they don’t, report them: it is you duty as a fine, upstanding, displaced metropolitan citizen.

  84. 84
    DoDG says:

    It was also reported in this impeccable source.

  85. 85
    Muzzie Watch says:

    Part of Halal dispatch is that the animal has to die through a means similar to hunting.

    This is why the throat is slit: This is a quick death and even though graphic is somewhat quick and relatively painless for the animal.

    It is also a much more honest ‘death’ as it is direct: The semi mechanized approach is somewhat more creepy.

    This is the reality of meat production: There should be no emotional attachment to food, other than enjoyment when eating it.

    If there are any other, either become vegetarian or adjust outlook.

  86. 86
    Swan Watch says:

    Apparently quite tasty, but completely illegal.

    Has been speculated that Swans would likely be extinct now if it wasn’t for Royal protection.

  87. 87
    GrumpyG says:

    Guido, Why have you become anti country ? The world does not start and end in London: shooting is not a ‘ blood sport ‘ I have shot for over 60 years, since my father gave me an air rifle aged 9, and my life has ever since been involved with the country. During the season I work my fully trained Cockers about three times a week beating on various estates with like minded people. At the end of the day all Guns, Beaters and Pickers Up mix together enjoying tea and homemade cakes, and there is no such thing as ‘ them ‘ and ‘us ‘ we are just a group from all walks of life who enjoy good sport and good company in the country. Very seldom do such people get in trouble with the law, unlike townies.

  88. 88
    yeah, right... says:

    Almost certainly – these are elected members of parliament after all – but not in this non-story.

  89. 89
    yeah, right... says:

    Some Irishmen still have issues when it comes to English ‘toffs’ with guns.

  90. 90
    Brass Monkey says:

    Another, at present legal pastime like foxhunting used to be, coming into the sneering sights of the anti posh brigade. Whatever happened to tolerance and live and let live? Oh I forgot. Since Blair and co nothing that does not meet a leftist, anti anything, pro muslim/immigration agenda can be tolerated

  91. 91
    Harriet Harpee says:

    Exactimundo (as we old Pauline’s like to say). Nothing wrong with a bit of nihilism …

  92. 92
    Catty Comment (Ms) says:

    You should have had a few shovels and plastic bags in the bag with a notice saying “Best free manure in town. Help yourself”.

    Some folk have no business acumen – oops sorry, acuperson.

  93. 93
    Catty Comment (Ms) says:

    Retrained? Is the HS2 going to run along the main driveway?

  94. 94
    Catty Comment (Ms) says:

    Rats! Forgot the key word; try again.

    Catty Comment (Ms) says:
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    February 5, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Retrained? Is the HS2 going to run along the main dr*veway?

  95. 95
    Blah blah blah says:

    STOP THE PRESSES – MPs engage in country sports at no expense to taxpayer.
    I remember when you used to report interesting stuff Guido.

  96. 96
    Drunk Lawyer says:

    Catton Hall also hosts a heavy metal festival, appropriately titled “Bloodstock”. I do so wish the six Tories had attended that instead.

  97. 97
    Realist says:

    Please do not labour under the misapprehension that anyone visiting this website gives a stuff or is amenable to rational debate. But at least it’s nice to see that the BASC is providing gainful employment to whoever wrote that post.

  98. 98
    Real-world Inhabitant says:

    “birds looks lovely when they live in their natural environment” What India?

    Pheasants aren’t natural to the UK – they were brought here to be shot for game and are sold to be eaten.

  99. 99
    Back to reality says:

    “show off their £5000 twelve bores”

    Clue-less townie comment – £500 would be more the average

  100. 100
    Peter Carter-Fuck says:


    It looks like the SWP have hacked into your site and produced a sneery and ignorant bit of Spartist class war propaganda. That’s the only explanation, I mean there’s no way you could have written such a lame, cliched piece of shit about toffs “blasting” pheasants out of the sky is there?

  101. 101
    Jeffrey Bernard says:

    In which case duck them and don’t grouse.

  102. 102
    Lord Flashcunt says:

    True, shooting pheasant to eat is completely legal and, arguably, more ethical than buying meat from supermarkets – however the point is that these Tory Troughers weren’t private citizens paying to do it out of their own pockets, but legislators accepting a junket from a lobby group, so Guido is quite right to highlight such an attempt to buy influence, and the eagerness with which it was accepted.
    I don’t agree with many of Guido’s views, but I approve of his even-handed approach to embarrassing (in the unlikely event that they are able to feel such an emotion) the venal, money-grubbing, amoral scum who claim to represent us, of whatever party.

  103. 103
    Tally Ho! A hunting we will go. says:

    Keep all field sports. Repeal the ban on hunting and stop the National Trust becoming political like the RSPCA

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