Animal Rights Terrorism - the new Fascism?

Paddy Apling E.C.Apling at
Fri Jan 19 14:31:08 MST 2001

In UK today the media is full of copy about the "controversial" Huntingdon
Life Sciences laboratories - the major UK establishment for drugs testing,
using mainly rats, but also beagle dogs and (a few) monkeys. [No one uses
ultra-expensive animal testing where any other procedure gives sufficient
information to satisfy the regulatory authorities].

The establishment and its staff have been the subjected for months now to
constant harassment, including such terroristic activities as smashing of c
ar windows, threatening letters and e-mail correpondance, and even worse.
Now the main furore is over renewal of bank loan by the Bank of Scotland -
and the bank, its directors and shareholders (individually named on "Animal
Rights" web-sites) have equally been the subject of such harassment - to the
extent that it has provoked an extended article by Polly Toynbee in
Wednesdays "Guardian" newspaper - worth reading, at
and a call by the previous Prime Minister, John Major (MP for the
constituency in which Huntington Life Sciences main stablishment is based)
for an extension of police protection for the establishment and its staff -
and for Government financial support to replace the current bank loan.

It seems appropriate at this time to draw some general conclusions about the
current spate of "Animal Rights", "Environmental" (and I suggest, similarly
linked "antu-GM-foods", "anti-Global Warming" or generally "Save the
Planet") activities worlwide.

Several obvious things that link all these activities are that they are
apparently "anti-establishment"; that their activists are mainly young, and
(supposedly) well-educated; and that they are linked (albeit loosely, and
perhaps merely by multi-membership of the particular activists) with
international "charitable" organisations, such as "Greenpeace", "Friends of
the Earth", and "World Widelife Fund" - all of which are now extremely
wealthy, - and that they are all anti science and particularly anti
technology... all of which these activists apparently suppose are a
"capitalist conspiracy".

Now when I was their age (in the 1950s), I was also a "banner-waving
activist" - but my target was the proliferation of nuclear weapons and the
threat of a new World War and I was active in the Association of Scientific
Workers campaign for the development of peaceful uses of atomic energy - and
WE were completely IGNORED by the media (and my confreres in the USA were
subjected to vast repression for "un-American activites" - now this lot seem
to have unlimited air-time and apparent support of most of the media.....

As a scientist, and also something of a historian, I regard the present
anti-science activism as extremely dangerous - and see the methods of the
extremists (nail bombs, threatening letters and e-mail targetting of
indivual staff members, directors, shareholders and the like) as distinctly
akin to the activities of the Nazis in 1933 - with the additional similarity
that just as so many, including even Jews, in Germany thought that if they
said and did nothing it would all go away - now banks, companies and
politicians - and even, to their shame, many scientists - are taking the
same "heads down" ostrich-like attitude.  A further similarity is how the
"Left" is so divided on the matter - with so many "would-be" lefties being
carried away with imagining that these anti-scieitific activities are
anti-imperialist, anti-capitalist and so on.  --  Nothing could be further
from the truth, and falling into this trap is something for which, if we are
not very careful, we shall pay dearly for in the future.

Admittedly Tony Blair has said he will support the continuation of the
scientific activities targeted - but he apparently does not see that even
the  passing throught the Commons of the "Hunting with Dogs Bill" is a sop
to these irrational activists.  In the 1950s - before the working class
began to share in the affluence of the west I would very probably have
supported such a Bill - seeing it as an activity of the "idle rich" - but
now I see it as an attack on major sports indulged in by those who work in
agriculture and the countryside generally - and just a symptom of how
completely urban-based our "Labour" party has become, a sop to the "Animal
Rights" activists - and generally to the sentimentalism about their pets of
the British middle class....

Science and Technology have not only been the basis of developments over the
last couple of centuries which have not only done so much to improve the lot
of the working classes in the Western World, but have also so evidently been
shared to a slight, but not inconsiderable, extent across the world - as
shown by the major expansion of world population in the 20th century - but
are also the main means of solving the vast problems remaining.

It is opposition to new scientific developments which is the "new
imperialism" (i.e. we have our luxury and affluence - you in the rest of the
world can stay in the "dark ages") - and I suggest that the activities of
those opposing science and technology are in significant danger of becoming
the "new Fascism".

NFHS Member #5594
Mailto:E.C.Apling at

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