Very good to see the boss down here to offer some well- deserved words of thanks to the local constabulary for their exemplary efforts in ensuring the badger cull could go ahead in these parts.
I know from speaking to several of the force members that there were some long, wearisome nights involved.
I also know, though, that much of the threatening stuff from the badger lovers about disrupting the operation turned out to be no more than wind and water.
Apart from a few professional, all-purpose agitators who inevitably turn up when there's a chance of a confrontation with the forces of law and order, there wasn't, really, much to worry about – most of the antis showing a distinct preference for being tucked up in bed with a steaming mug of Ovaltine and a good book by 10 o'clock as opposed to risking their necks on the front line with the lead whizzing overhead.
All they managed to achieve, in the end, was the dumping of a few dead badgers on a few doorsteps – mine included, of course – and the earning of the general opprobrium of the majority of the populace in this corner of the country who, in the majority, are sensible, level-headed, know a thing or two about the countryside, and are more than ready to accept the fact that we have to get badger numbers down.
I can't give away what Owen told me when we met a week or so back ... but the success of the West Somerset Operation Brock has certainly encouraged him to stick to his guns – and good for him.
yours ever Ian