The following from Nick Green -Both Dr Anderson & his secretary were both shocked after listening, virtually with no comment, to Cumbrians venting their feelings at The Shepherds Inn Carlisle tonight.
MAFF/DEFRA and the government, including Blair, were ruthlessly condemned by an audience that had lived under this jackbooted campaign for the last 12 months.
Some of the submissions defied belief.
At one point, and I was in the front row very close to Dr Anderson, it appeared to me that he was either in or very close to tears.
I believe he is genuine, but sadly, this enquiry will never find the truth.
just a couple of points from last night's meeting: Sorry to "go on" all the time.
All I want to do, you know, like many others here in Cumbria, is return to a "normal" lifestyle. But as the days drift into weeks, into months and now over a year since this tragedy unfolded I find it impossible to "let go". I feel I have to stand up for Cumbria & Cumbrians our stock & our way of life. The truth simply MUST be told.
1. I went to the meeting prepared and armed to "attack" Dr Anderson & his team vigorously. I had formulated pre-conceived ideas. Quickly, during and subsequently after the meeting I realised that Dr Anderson is a genuine person and will try and produce a meaningful report. This will be impossible of course due to the lies Ministers & Civil Servants will tell in a pathetic effort to "Cover up" this tragedy. I also believe that Dr Anderson has become increasingly concerned by the consistency of reports as he travels around the country. He was very moved last night as I have already reported. In general terms , I do not believe that anyone in the audience feels that Dr Anderson is anything less than "genuine".
2. After a slow and reserved start, the stories related to the team, at times, defied belief. I saw, again. grown men in tears. Everyone in the audience related their own story, patiently awaiting their chance. The meeting was handled very well by the team, a direct contrast to the arrogant, belligerent Royal Society enquiry weeks earlier.
3. Many eminent scientists attended the meeting, including Professor Ellwood, from Keswick, he is ex. Porton Down. You may remember his offer of help and advice was turned down by Blair in early March when "It was all under control."
4. Last night I was very proud to be a Cumbrian. People talked as ONE. Everyone talked in a dignified, controlled and polite manner. Dr Anderson thanked us for that. But, the anger and frustration amongst us must have been felt all the way down to No 10. Blair may have slept uneasily last night.
5. It was interesting to note that the NFU representatives present have were very supportive of all the comments, have appeared to have changed some of their views and at least one senior Cumbrian NFU official was not backward in condemning the government`s handling of the crisis. More than one farming family who tried to resist ths cull, told me that NFU officials had contacted them to ask what "they thought they were doing" and "why they were making waves".! These families were disgusted at the pressure they received from the NFU and felt it was up to the organisation to actually support them not bully them!
6. One comment by a local farmer to me concerned the threats he and his wife had received from not only MAFF but the ARMY. I had not heard of this before. I was disgusted. Over to you Brigadier Birtwhistle.
7. Finally, and the actual meeting will be reported verbatim later, I was told by a senior member of Cumbria County Council that they had information from a local Vet, that the suspected "Case" of FMD near Thirsk recently, was no more than a cynical method employed by Blair to take the heat off Byers. It was completely fabricated.
How much longer will Blair survive? Who knows? But this man simply must go.
Heart of Cumbria
"Campaigning for the Truth."