On Thursday/Fri we put out a call for funding which Jane since repeated several times and several ways.
I said that when it got to Sunday I would look at what we had and it would tell me a lot. I’ve just heard from her and both of us agree that £200 quid (£100 of which we already had and £50 came from one person) just does not justify our vast level of work, commitment, self sacrifice and risk. Apart from anything else we cannot do anything with sums like that.
It does not motivate either of us to sit and give all of ourselves and do all this work – for that.
We’ve tried absolutely everything in our power to turn the public around. There is simply no way of dragging them out of this habit of rage/forget it/rage. My experience in the past year is that they are totally resistant to anything which isn’t that.
We can and have been able to court the media.
We can and have been able to create something unique to this country
We can and have been able to make an example out of offenders and their sentence
We can and have worked flat out with no breaks because the urgency of the situation demands it.
We can and have come up with ideas that permits us to keep the cause in the public narrative.
We can and have commanded the respect of other animal welfare groups.
We can and have done all of those things, over and over and time and time again.
There are only two things we cannot do. We have not been able to persuade people to retire from their Internet gangster chat and actually grow up and be productive. And we have not been able to get people to put their hand in their pocket to give us the tools to do what we need to do.
We cannot plan a strategy as we never know what we have, although its usually barely enough to do the thing we want to do. If cannot plan a strategy then I cannot give direction to what we do. I cannot take opportunity of things at key times. I cannot do that which brings us press and which gets the people speaking about these issues and which puts pressure on ministers.
There is literally nothing anyone could do for this cause of any worth with £200. I can do lots and lots of things. I cannot do that and no one could. That’s about the same as a bill for six people at an Indian restaurant. And yet we are somehow expected to take on the might of a haughty Government (and win) with that?
Its not going to happen.
It doesn’t matter how good our ideas are or how interested the press are. It doesn’t even matter if it makes MP’s flap.
We simply cannot do it anymore. Not when that’s what we have to work with. Indeed we would challenge anyone in all of Britain to take £200 and take on the Government. We would challenge the CEO of the RSPCA to be more robust in their lobbying, but only with £200.
It cannot be done.
We have to face the reality that the overwhelming (maybe 99%) of people are simply stuck on Internet rage when a story breaks and nothing else after it. I do not have the means to break that habit in them. I have tried, but I cannot. Any time I think I have I am proven wrong.
It is simply totally impossible for us to function without funds – period. Jane and I are from business and professional backgrounds, normally a proven body of work brings further investment. This is the one exception. In this arena there is a lot of talk and a lot of weird violent comments (aimed at offenders who never read them). There is no desire for true action.
True action to the public is maybe throwing an egg at house or ranting at someone as they go to court. That’s not what’s going to crack this Government but its what people are drawn to.
They aren’t always drawn to what is best for them I guess. They are often drawn to the most primal or instantly gratifying thing, even if the problem remains the next day. I cannot change that either.
Jane and I are bored hearing how there is no excuse for pet abuse. Well there is no excuse for those that talk about there being no excuse yet who aren’t actually doing anything to fight it.
There’s nothing we can say or do that has not been said scores of times before. We are not being given the means to fight it and we are being boxed in – not by political opponents or the abusers, but by virtue of the laziness and lack of will to share the burden that exists out there.
We are being defeated not by ministers, abusers or lack of media interest. We are being slowly strangled by the steadfast refusal for enough people in Britain to alter their habits and get behind the only thing that is out there doing things that no charity or single minister would be able to consider.
If people could see the number of man hours that it takes to build something from total scratch to what it is today they would understand in an instant why £200 is nothing but a flat out insult to be honest.
This is a generation that seems to require constant motivation all the time and just to do something that takes about 60 seconds. Its a constant mental strain having to motivate people over and over when they can barely be bothered to do one or two simple things or even give some cash.
You’d honestly think the cause we were fighting for here was to get Jane’s or my garden fence to be painted and it was doing us some huge personal favour. I don’t even have a dog now and I am not even from England, but that didn’t stop me putting that aside for something England would probably benefit from first.
Jane and I are far too grown up to not face reality.
The reality is that (at least in these sorts of circles) there are simply not a sufficient number of people who are thinking rationally. They may get all angry and they may rant at how unfair it all is. But it ends there.
They are not interested in fixes, they have no personal motivation to be part of any fix, they just get angry on repeat and seem to somehow think that by doing so things will just sort of pan out fine.
Then when they don’t pan out fine they go back to raving about magistrates and soft sentences.
It is completely and totally boring if that’s all its going to amount to, which I suspect it does. We simply cannot do anything meaningful if that’s about the extent of what the public regard as reacting.
All words are empty words to me right now. Even if well meant saying stuff like “don’t lose heart” is meaningless to me. It may be because I’m a man and such things just don’t resonate without proof. I dunno though – I think Jane likely finds them well intentioned but ultimately meaningless.
Its not a matter of ‘losing heart’. It would be like me sending you to buy a months groceries and when the cashier told you the price you would stare blankly because I had given you zero funds. Then I’d say “don’t lose heart, simply buy them with your winning smile”.
It would be like you having a car and not putting any fuel in it. How fast will you go?
We really should be in a position now where we put out a call to arms and, if anything, we get too many offers of help. It should be a case now that when we say we plan to do X and we need Y that the public over fund us. It isn’t though so it doesn’t matter what Jane or I think it should be.
We’ve spent a year persuading, cajoling, building up our work, acting on behalf of a population we will never know, we’ve worked through the night and we have worked over Festive holidays. We are both out of pocket as we pay for everything else ourselves (as well).
I’m done dancing around the British public and esp the British animal loving public and esp the British animal public that rant about weak sentences. We’ve tried being patient to the point of making absurd excuses on their behalf that don’t even sound convincing to us.
I’ve heard a thousands excuses not to take action this past year and I am seduced by none of them.
I did not set out for this to be some sort of hobby that we never really win. I set out purely and only to win. Win means (among other things) creating the pressure that will eventually get Government to concede. It absolutely turns my stomach having to deal with these issues all the time, but I did it because A) They damned well needed dealt with and B) I truly believed that the general publics rage would really translate to something valuable.
A still applies. B has never come close to happening. It is completely and totally not possible for a man alive to build a pressure group or movement of this type on nothing.
We have given it a year and there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that the British public can translate their Internet seethe into something more productive.
We never set out to be merely yet more people that spoke about how bad stuff was online. And we aren’t. We were people that did far far more than write and talk.
That’s why neither Jane or I would ‘feel bad’ if we cannot go on anymore. As Malcolm Plant put it people need to look themselves in the mirror. I look myself in the mirror and I can truly say that I could not possibly have done more, every single day. I would guess that Jane would think similar being that she is on the inside and can see the wasted potential for herself.
There are far nicer and more rewarding things both of us could be doing and there’s not much point doing something like this if at the end of it all the public themselves just default to type – the archetype being the literally thousands of people online that blow a fuse over soft sentences .. but DO nothing AT ALL to change them.
What can we say? People get the society they deserve then, right? Politicians ride roughshod over you? This is why. Abusers laugh in your face? This is why. Growth of more extreme people doing more extreme things? This is why.
People are far too lazy and far too quick to find an excuse for themselves. Rather than just admit they could and should do better and do it, they will hold on to their habits and make a never ending tsunami of excuses to qualify them.
If I do not think we can win it I will read one more abuse story ever again. What would be the point? I’ll never read comments sections and take the public seriously when they sound off about sentences being a joke. What would be the point? Jane and I would know they had a golden chance and we know that when presented with it it was like giving a laptop to a 4 yr old.
There is absolutely nothing I can say that is going to make any difference. There are no memes, no articles, no events, no anything which seems to penetrate the minds of at least enough of the public. We feel like two people ringing a giant bell to warn sheep about the wolf nearby and the sheep are just chewing on the grass, not really bothered.
The demographic of those who say they are anti pet abuse (or rather pro much tougher sentences) defy all logic known to either of us. They totally defy the principle of business logic. Business logic – someone gives you a remit to take something and force it into the media as much as possible. You come back to them with a LOT of media, more than they even expected. In business logic the person contracting you would be impressed and contract you again.
That logic does not apply here. We can take on and deliver a remit, we can even over achieve. It makes absolutely no difference. The ‘contractor’ is too lazy or slow to renew.
It also defies the norms of political lobbying. Again, in the norms of political lobbying you have a remit. That remit might again be to create a body of pressure that forces a previously under discussed subject right into the faces of the people at the top. The remit would certainly involve getting a lot of press. If those things are accomplished then those who are committed to that subject soon see that Group A is fighting for them and doing pretty well with not much. They usually then enable those fighting for them to do better and more.
That doesn’t happen with this either. Sure, people might love it when something hits the press or if there’s an event pending. But once its over its that instant gratification thing again. They have their fix and at no time or stage does it cross their mind that to get their fix A) Two people had to work their backside off B) A handful of people paid for it.
If the one million who signed those change.org petitions were really people of action and sacrifice then this would all be over by now. That’s how fast the Government would throw all those abusers under the bus if people were truly serious. That’s just from one petition. But ask yourself this. From that huge number how many are truly still here, one year on? How many from that one million said “Know what, a bloody petition isn’t going to cut it here..”?
We have toiled, and sweated, we’ve put our own cash in, we’ve built something that the British public should be proud of but they have very little sense of pride in anything these days.
We are done motivating the British people.
It is about time the British people took a turn of motivating us, or at least doing things to keep us motivated (its meant to be a two way street).
£200 for all the pressure and media we have generated?
All this for that?
Sorry general public but you are going to have to decide what you want here.
A) To be ranting and raving and crying about pathetic sentences in years to come
B) Evil people like Frankish to be locked up for many years
There is no option C.
Its not even a super complex thing that requires a whole lot of analysis.
Its really simple.
You need funds and backing to turn hopes into reality, esp when the Government are determined to dash your hopes and keep letting these dangerous people out to be among you.
Nothing works to get through. Jane tries sweet talk. Doesn’t happen. I try straight and honest talk – doesn’t happen. Things get more extreme – makes no odds. We do events that the press love and abusers hate (esp those two). People consume it and it makes no difference.
So its over to you British public. There’s no more we can do for you and there’s no way we can pressure this Government to bend with this level (if you can call it a level) of financial support. Its that simple. I wont burst into tears if in fact we simply cannot represent you in this. At least we would know that the general public weren’t really serious about getting into the game and winning. That’s something we’d always have wondered had we not put it to the test.
Like I say – we’re done with racking our brains for answers. We’ve tried everything and the simple solution was always the best one – dog lovers etc should have helped us.
Only a few did and with that few we created far far more than even a PR company could have delivered. But its also a real ethical bone of contention that even those things have always and constantly been paid for by the same people.
I honestly cannot believe that the public are going to blow this opportunity but they self evidently are. Likes or kind words are not evidence to the contrary.
Its not often people say they’ve done everything they can do and mean it literally. I do though.
Your Government are pretty determined not to lock up these dangerous people. You’ve heard it from their own lips. No amount of Internet aggression is going to change their minds. They don’t read your FB comments.
They do read the newspapers however.
Animal welfare is not going to cut it. Bless all those who work and volunteer on that side of things, but you cannot rescue and patch your way out of this.
You focus on the sources. The sources are A) The offenders B) The ministers whose inactions enable them.
Here’s my reaction to being expected to do this with £215.55.