Gunning for Victory

first_imgJCR by-elections at St John’s College were enlivened this week by a less than serious candidate for the the position of Environment and Ethics officer.Ben Lewy, a second year, grabbed the attention of voters by advocating controversial policies. One poster depicted Lewy holding a gun, next to a caption reading “Divest from arms companies? Bullshit”. Another candidate had called for an end to unethical investment.The by-election, which took place on Monday evening, resulted in the appointment of Edward Love and Shaahin Pishbin to the position.Lewy ran a controversial campaign, choosing to advocate policies that caused a stir in John’s. On a poster, he pledged to “make sure that environmentalism just isn’t an issue in college.” He called upon voters to support him in his bid to tackle the problem that Global Warming poses to Oxford, saying that “As one of the city’s largest sources of hot air, our JCR has a duty to be part of the solution”.During the hustings, candidates were grilled on their credentials for the role. When asked about the most unethical thing he’d ever done, Lewy replied, “I made someone cry once.” The candidates were then questioned over their ability to annoy people, this being a desirable skill for cajoling the College authorities over environmental issues. Lewy duly replied by saying “I am really good at annoying people”. The eventual winners, Love and Pishbin, commented that they did not feel the need to “lecture” on the importance of the role.Phillip Coales came in second place, with Lewy bringing up the rear. Talking to Cherwell about his campaign and defeat, Lewy said, “I thought it was quite funny. Unfortunately, not enough other people did”.Some people did appear enjoy the novelty campaign, with Lewy even managing to glean 21 of the 128 votes casts. David Messling, JCR president, told Cherwell that he thought Lewy’s antics “were great for raising the profile of the JCR.” Helen Austin, a member of the JCR committee at John’s, was sure that no one found the content of Lewy’s campaign offensive, albeit a distraction from the actual process of voting in new committee members.The outgoing officer, Emma Fay, had effected changes to recycling in College and candidates for the position declared their intentions to “continue Emma’s excellent work” in the event of their success in the election.last_img read more

Press release: Government announces support for Finn’s Law campaign in Parliament

first_imgPC Dave Wardell, Finn’s Police Dog handler, said: The Bill proposes amending the Animal Welfare Act 2006 to address concerns on an existing section where a defendant accused of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal can claim they were protecting themselves and justified in using physical force against a service animal.Sir Oliver Heald MP, who presented the Bill, said: This Bill will offer stronger protection for the many brave service animals that help to protect us. I pay tribute to PC David Wardell, Sir Oliver and all those who have campaigned for Finn’s Law. This Government is continuing to raise the bar on animal welfare, whether it be for our beloved pets, brave service animals or on farms. Courageous service animals such as police dogs and horses will be offered greater protection under a new law being backed by Government.The Animal Welfare (Service Animals) Bill has been published in Parliament by Sir Oliver Heald MP and is scheduled for its second reading today (Friday 15 June).It relates to the prominent Finn’s Law campaign, named after the police dog which was stabbed whilst pursuing a suspect with his handler PC David Wardell.The proposed legislation will remove a section of the current law of self-defence, often used by those who harm a service animal.This change, coupled with the government’s plans to increase maximum sentences for animal cruelty offences to five years in prison, will make sure those who harm service animals are punished accordingly.Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: My boy Finn, now retired, was one of several thousand service animals that work to protect the whole of society 24 hours a day, everyday. When Finn was seriously injured it didn’t seem right to me or the public that he was seen as an inanimate object/property, in law. This campaign and Bill is my way of saying thank you to Finn for saving my life and to the many others for the truly outstanding and brave work they do everyday. With the amazing support of my MP, Sir Oliver Heald QC, a great working relationship with Defra was formed. Sir Oliver, along with Sarah Dixon and Nicola Skelley, have worked so incredibly hard to get us to the point we are at today. I would like to take this opportunity to thank them and Defra from my heart and from the thousands of supporters that our service animals have. What you have done today will help protect our amazing service animals, animals we should be very proud of. It’s time for Finn’s Lawcenter_img We are absolutely delighted to receive and welcome the backing from Defra to Sir Oliver Heald’s amended Bill. Throughout the Finn’s Law campaign we have been grateful to Lord Gardiner, in particular, for the respectful discussions he has held with Sir Oliver. For too long have the Courts struggled with securing prosecutions for injuries intentionally inflicted on Police and Prison dogs and horses in particular. We are looking forward to the 2nd reading of Sir Oliver’s Bill and we feel optimistic for a positive outcome. We will continue to work tirelessly towards securing protection for these animals. I am delighted that the campaign for Finn’s Law has gained the support of the Government. I’ve had productive meetings with Defra ministers on this Bill and am looking forward to its passage through Parliament. This is a good day for all of our brave service animals. Nicola Skelley and Sarah Dixon, of the Finn’s Law Campaign, said:last_img read more