Q) Of all the public events you’ve done which has been your personal favourite?
B) Our first ever one, probably down to the fact of it being our first ever one. When that one went well and hit the press and went viral on social media, I knew we had the makings of something.
Q) What makes a successful event for you?
A) One that is high visibility and raises either awareness or provokes a public discourse. If it gets mainstream press coverage that’s also desirable.
Q) What motivates you?
B) It was my personal awakening at how profoundly evil and dangerous such individuals are together with my determination that we (as people) cannot lose to them.
Q) What has most surprised you?
A) I’ve been surprised at the sheer % of people who see this issue, who are told and have proven to them how dangerous such people are but who still do nothing to counter it. I recently put up a social experiment video in which an actor brutally beat a dog in public. From the dozens of able bodied people that walked by only an elderly man and one women intervened. When I put this on the Internet people were shocked that so many stand by and do nothing. The irony is the video is really an extension of our own experience.
Q) What has happened to Anna Turley’s role in this fight?
A) No idea, you’d have to ask her directly. I follow the latest news items and I haven’t seen anything relating to her and this issue for quite some time. I have no idea what her intentions and plans are after her Private Members Bill failed.
Q) Why do you think viral petitions with sometimes as many as 800,000 signatures often come up short in terms of a result?
A) That’s simple. Because they are too easy to create, its too easy to get lots of signatures, but the Government couldn’t possibly cave in to every petition with a lot of names on it – so they tend to cave in to none at all. Also, they can easily ignore petitions. If its ignored what do they signatories do about it? Usually nothing.
Q) You recently announced you had approached the FBI. To what end?
A) For one thing they are the world leaders in profiling various kinds of offender. They are light years in front of any other country, and if they can offer any insight or value there – great. For another thing, there is a suspicion that those brothers have a nefarious Internet history which may even be of interest to the FBI. There was only one way to find out – approach them. If there were the opportunity in the future and if I felt it served a purpose, I’d be prepared to go to the US for a short time and observe their methods first hand.
Q) You also researched and approached seven of the foremost criminal psychologists and forensic psychologists and asked them to do a profile of both brothers. To what end?
A) Because they are internationally respected in their field and have a vast body of experience with individuals of this type, their risk factor to others, and their chances of re-offending. If we can create a body of gold standard testimonies as to the danger and risk such people pose then we can use that in many ways to achieve our aims.
A) Its been said by many social commentators that we live in a low empathy generation. If we assume that to be true what is the counter to it?
B) Yes, I think that it is true. The only viable counter to it is that good men and women have to redouble their efforts and do whatever they can to compensate for those too selfish or low empathy. Its the only answer since it would take too long to socially re-train society to be high empathy.
A) If the country has no concise and relentless advocacy to meet this cruelty with a radical shake up in the sentences given, what do you think will unfold in the next 5-10 yrs?
B) Legally things would remain as they are. Perhaps a few cosmetic changes. Since cosmetic change is really no change at all my forecast is that both the instances and severity of the cruelty would inevitable get worst and more extreme still. If there is no proper pressure and dynamic advocacy then in that decade a large number of children will also be suffering – usually at the hands and feet of the pet abusers. Simply put – minus strong advocacy we are all guilty of condemning the weakest to a nightmare. That’s not hyperbole. Its a self evident fact that can be proven.
A) Can you think of any big social change which was initiated internally, by the Government and legal people themselves, with society following and not leading?
B) Not really. I could perhaps make a case for the ban on smoking in public places, but even that had organised support and advocacy behind it. The last sincere one might be the obligation to wear seat belts.
A) Do you think the public understand how key advocacy is?
B) No. Generally speaking they unconsciously think things just happen by themselves. When things don’t happen by themselves or improve they get very annoyed and disappointed that things don’t improve.
They need to look to groups within the country who now have agency and advocacy. They need to look and consider why MP’s will fall over themselves to appease and please certain groups for issues far less pressing, while paying lip service to this one for decades. Example. Imagine there was a big push in this country to get Halal or Kosher totally banned. Here is what would happen in no time at all – Muslims and observant Jews would swing right into action to defend what they regard as something key to them.
They’d have advocacy, they’d be organised, and any Muslim or Jew who was prepared to be a voice in defence of thee practices – they would rally around and support. They’d put money and effort into protecting this practice and, thanks to that organisation, that pressure, that dedication to defend what is important (to them), very few British politicians would want to be the one to try get a ban going.
That’s advocacy at work.
Q) What do you think the co-operation is like between big charities like the RSPCA and other organisations whose stated goal is some sort of better future for pet ownership?
A) Very poor. There should be much more and it would make sense, but there isn’t. In part its down to the fact that the established ones seem to rock from one disaster to the next. Just look at the press the RSPCA has had over the past year or two.
Q) What do you think the RSPCA, SSPCA etc should do more of?
A) Simple. Use more resources and devote more of the press privileges they are granted to push aggressively for much longer sentences. They cannot argue a lack of funds when they pay their CEO 200k a year and spend thousands on private prosecutions. They don’t do nearly enough direct and robust advocacy for such aims. I find it all a bit lame and limp.
Q) The comments sections in abuse stories seem to provoke a lot of threats and/or wishes of harm to offenders, something which often seems to irk you. Why?
A) Because there is no follow through to their anger. I don’t agree with vigilante style ‘justice’, but even if I did people who talk about it aren’t doing it anyway. Its just a waste of them typing it and a waste of my time reading it.
Their anger would be just if there was legitimate follow through. Not running around like some lawless mob – grown up measures that gradually lead to changes that last. To be honest I’m not interested in anyone’s anger unless it then calms down and translates to something of worth. Also I am trying to protect them from themselves. Why make it easy for the abuser to use the law for his own ends by reporting a death threat? It makes no sense to me.
Q) You’ve openly asked people to try to hold back on expressions of public sorrow, up to an including acts such as candlelit vigils. Why?
A) Well, people are free to do what they want. I don’t dislike them doing it, its just that its tactically counter productive. Why? Because its a hyper display of sentimentality. That’s what the abusers will feed off. I don’t want people to give them such emotions to feed off if I can help it but its down to them. They can feel one way privately and be another when public facing. That’s just my view.
Q) How do you manage to fund your events?
A) Its all public donations and on the very rare occasion, someone doing a fundraiser for us.
Q) How do you rate the level of financial backing that comes in?
A) What comes in is greatly appreciated. But people need to face the reality that advocacy that desires to do a little old thing like make legal history needs backing. We appreciate what we do get but what we do get in no way reflects the seriousness of the goal, nor does it reflect or reciprocate the personal effort and manpower put in.
Q) You speak a great deal about the need for momentum. Why is it so key?
A) Because this is a crazy and insane world where almost everything is fighting for its say or its fair share of the narrative. The public have short memories and you cannot have large gaps in between what you are doing. Momentum causes its own pressure among those in public office. Once you have that momentum (which is hard to attain to start with) you have to try to sustain it. That’s why its so vital.
Q) Do you think people fully understand that yet?
A) No. If they fully understood it then we’d have been able to take on the amazing momentum of three events in three cities over Christmas and New Year. They may think things can be done in a sort of laid back, ad hoc, ‘as and when’ fashion. There’s not really much I can tell them except they are wrong. That’s not how victories are won.
Q) Do you plan to do any further events after the one on the 15th?
A) Well the problem and issue is still going to exist after the 15th, so its obviously going to be a necessity for any pressure group to keep applying pressure over and over. Until such a time you have a crack in the wall.
With that being said we live in the real world. We have created a movement and a platform for people that’s quite a bit different to the Dog Trust or the RSPCA. We can do some interesting things, we can even do it without the need to be paying a CEO a six figure salary. We may not be physically be able to rescue as many dogs as they do – but that’s because we are not designed to do that.
There is no reason though why our advocacy cannot be the catalyst which leads to historical legal change. We are much smaller, but due to that we can be more nimble, we can focus on a few goals, and we can push things in a way they will not.
There’s one thing we cannot do and that’s the ancient art of alchemy. In short – we cannot achieve anything on thin air and tears. If citizens want proper advocacy then its down to them to make it what it is.
Q) How much would it matter to you if your best efforts were in vain and how long would you give it to determine this?
A) It would matter. But as much as it would matter I could deal with it knowing I had given everything I had. If I hadn’t given everything then I might feel bad, but the fact I have given it my all – I could deal with it. As for determining it? That’s easy. We determine it by way of the productive public reaction.
This honestly isn’t that big of a deal to do if enough people had the will for it and if enough people got serious and funded their advocacy. Wouldn’t even take a stupid number.
A thousand or so would probably prove ample if they were all quietly productive. It only becomes or remains a big deal if there isn’t even a number of productive people of that type out there. If there’s not then you just get more of the injustice that you have now. As to how long? No time frame, but I guess if I am convinced that people are happy with the present sentences then we wouldn’t have anything to advocate for.
Q) Do you think there would be greater funding for your works if your ‘target’ was paedophiles and not animal abusers?
A) Maybe. Probably. With that being said it wouldn’t surprise me if it weren’t by very much. That’s a symptom of a low empathy society.
A) Do you think the public have lost momentum with the original story?
B) Possibly a bit, but its natural. As horrific as it was it wouldn’t help to purely stay stuck on it forever. I think people accept the fact the dog is long since gone and I think they accept the fact that the best thing you can do is address this in a way that disallows those like them from getting such lenient treatment in the future.
Q) Do you hold a view on the so named Croydon Cat Killer?
A) Not really. I’ve read a lot of supposition and, unfortunately, any dead mammal which now surfaces seems instantly attributed to this person(s).
I think there’s a risk of it taking on an urban myth aspect if there are too many reports. I found the statement of the detective to be unusually colourful though – I must admit. I found them raiding the home of a know rapist and making that public to be curious – to say the least. Its bizarre to me that this has gone on a few years and there’s no conclusion. It seems to defy the odds.
Q) Views on PETA?
A) I think they are utterly ridiculous and never ever want to be seen like them. I cant even begin to tell you how dumb and insanely ideological some of their campaigns are. One example was their claim that ‘milk is racist’. It wasn’t a joke. It backfired badly and made them look nuts.
Q) View on Vegans?
A) I don’t care about them one way or another. They only make up about half a % of the population though and a large % eventually go back to eating meat. So its not exactly what I’d call a golden target audience for us. I’d sooner appeal to non vegans who can see a difference between breeding for food and two dickeads throughing their bulldog down the stairs and generally kicking the life out of her.
Q) Do you enjoy doing this?
A) Not really, but I look around and don’t see a queue of people that are begging to do it. I feel a moral obligation to do it, that’s different from enjoying it. The subject matter alone is unenjoyable.
Q) What could make it more enjoyable?
A) On the day people like that are caged for a long time I might manage a smile. Until then? I enjoy it when we do an event. I’d enjoy it if people did more, gave more and woke up to the fact that we are trying to change legal history and get these maniacs under some sort of control before the damage is irreparable.