Apologies and thanks

First of all, thanks to all of you who bother to read this – including the people who don’t think greyhounds need any welfare. ( read Phil Donaldson’s blog, if you don’t believe they still exist) Sometimes you wonder how people who are so blinkered avoid getting run over by a bus. But, at least the man is honest. Not for him, the protestations of concern and promises to make it his priority. No, that was Lord Lipsey. All during the ten years it has taken for the Animal Welfare Act to ignore racing greyhounds. Ten years for the dogs to get nothing that will make the slightest difference to their existence as gambling chips.
The trouble with democracy is it only works as well as we make it or want it.
The dogs have been promised a consultation on the success of the present regulations in another five years.
First of all, political “promises” have a way of turning out to have been “aspirations” not promises at all.
Secondly who is going to be consulted? I think we can rely on it being the same people who succumbed to the bullying this time around.
When a committee is set up by this Govt. it is clearly expected to back the Government’s already declared opinion and intention on regulations. If it has the temerity to disagree it is discredited and discounted. Simple. Now if the committee is largely composed of charities – as was the case with greyhounds – the dogs don’t have the ghost of a chance. As I see it, charities are, of necessity, professional begggars. They cannot risk their dependence on the public’s goodwill by being confrontational with a body that is unscrupulous in its methods of dealing with opposition. I hoped for more steel from the League Against Cruel Sports but it’s still fighting the fox hunting battle and it was outnumbered by the charities.
Not that the charities didn’t publish their “disappointment” etc..They just didn’t stick to their guns because they couldn’t. And the Govt. knew that. In five years it will still know that and the whole sorry charade will be repeated. It’s not, it seems to me, a case of Gordon Brown being a bully. Since this Govt. came into power it has bullied its way through more parts of our lives than that drink is supposed to reach.
(Have to feed the dogs now)
You have to wonder, too, what use any consultation is going to be when a Government Minister simply refuses to believe a number that has been tested against all the evidence which the industry cannot hide if it wants to advertise dog racing. On the other hand, Lord Lipsey told the Lords Merits of Statutory Instruments Committee (I know, I know) that the rehoming effort of the industry is largely funded by the bookmakers’ voluntary levy when, in fact, the bookies only contribute 38% of the money. The rest comes from the public. They all swallowed that and more, which was equally misleading, but it gets boring. He has also claimed 7000 rehomed in a year.
If only! But again, I expect the inhabitants of the Westminster village believe him. Is this an example of “bunker mentality”? Are those of us outside never to be trusted?
I lost any respect for this Govt. when the House of Commons got rid of Elizabeth Filk (I think that was her name), who had been given the job of making sure the honourable members of that House behaved honourably. They voted her out because, as one of them put it, “she did the job too enthusiastically” Long before we discovered some of what they got up to. In both Houses.
So those of us who still believe that the welfare of racing greyounds should not be left in the hands of the business that exploits them and only makes regulations to protect the bookmakers’ interests are back where we started except there are far more of us now and we have the internet where information can be instant and checked and where we can easily form links among ourselves and our supporters. That’s why I do this. You can only get supporters if they know the facts. And one of the facts is that the welfare body wasn’t asking for a ban or any influence in the business side of racing.
We were also told – in the pages of the Racing Post and wherever else Lord Lipsey could get it – that , to the genuine welfarists (his word) his door was always open. Well, from our first encounter, and for all the years since then, I can vouch for the door being open but the mind was as closed as any I’ve ever encountered. I also got the impression that the message that the dogs would not get statutory legislation interfering with self regulation was being delivered from “on high” but maybe that was Lord Lipsey’s spin and it was just the bookies’ determination that made sure the dogs got nothing.
Before I make myself a coffee, I wonder if any of you watched the Five Days drama that finished last night. And I wonder if you were as irritated by the seemingly ceaseless background music.
Sometimes, as an actor, I’ve filmed a scene and then watched it with background music superimposed and thought “I wouldn’t have played it like that if I’d known we were going to smother it in bloody violins.”
I promise you I don’t spend my life grousing. But you only have my word for it.


10 responses to “Apologies and thanks

  1. Hannah (owner of adopted greyhounds)

    Totally agree with you, Annette. I just don’t see any real future for racing greyhounds in this country, other than the horrors that they suffer every single day. So very angry and feel quite helpless 😦 Why do these animals have to endure this hell? Why are they, as you so accurately put it, used as living, breathing gambling chips?

    PS Didn’t watch the Five Days Drama, but interested to hear your thoughts.

  2. Hello Miss Crosbie! It is so wonderful to be able to read your thoughts and opinions – I really love this blog! I signed your petition and wish that I had something of importance to add about the greyhound cause but I do have some information about a new film that features some of your other interests. It is an animated film called The Illusionist and has a screenplay by Jacques Tati, concerns the world of theatre and is set in Edinburgh. The Times said: “Based on an unproduced screenplay by the late Jacques Tati, The Illusionist is an exquisitely animated story seeped in nostalgia for a bygone age of stage entertainment and variety shows. A struggling magician… performs on a remote Scottish island…There he meets an innocent young girl who believes his magic is real and follows him to Edinburgh…If ever there was a love letter to a city, it is this gorgeous, poignant portrait of Edinburgh, so superbly rendered that it almost feels as if the city on screen is a living, breathing entity”.
    Just thought I would mention it in case it is of interest.
    As for background music on TV, I completely agree! I read an article which stated that the BBC were going to allow viewers to switch off background music by pressing the red button on their remote control. However, this was just a trial run for the last episode of ‘The Nature of Britain’. I have not heard if it was a success. Viewers were complaining that they could not hear the dialogue and that it was too distracting. There have also been complaints on Points of View about the amount of such music in recent episodes of Doctor Who. Let’s hope that your appearance as Mrs Angelo next month is not spoiled by the music.
    Wishing you all the very best, David Dmytriw.

  3. Grouse? Tu? Scottish girls don’t grouse, Annette, they BLETHER. Uncontrollably. I once bumped into you, Annette, a lifetime ago, and found you rather nice and not at all grousy. Except when Judi Dench beat you at ping-pong …again.

    I’m not annoyed by all the background music, but by actors wasting their careers doing soaps. The scripts are appalling! This and the stupid ‘special effects’ that aren’t over the top than more out of this universe.

    There is nothing more dramatic than reality.

    Glad to see you in good health, Annette.

  4. Annette, I saw you on TV a couple of years ago bringing the plight of greyhounds to the attention of people including myself. At the time I had a beloved rescue Golden Retriever and it was not long after that she had to be put to sleep aged 15 years. We were without a dog for 18 months but I kept remembering your plea about greyhounds and so I asked a retired greyhound trust homechecker to come round and see if we would be ok to adopt a couple and despite our tiny little Cornish Cottage she approved us for 2 females. At the end of January we drove up to Exeter service station to meet a greyhound trust van that had rescued 14 of the poor things, we chose two and have never looked back. They are now called ‘Holly’ (a beautiful blue and white girl) and ‘Grace'( a black beauty) and are now recovering from their appalling treatment and subsequent starvation between their last race and their rescue. Without your efforts it would not have occurred to me to view greyhounds as pets. The only thing they lack is a large secure area to be allowed off the lead to run at full pelt but I am hoping to find someone through the greyhound trust that has a much larger garden than mine! Best wishes, Cheryl xx

  5. Drar Ms Crosbie,

    I was delighted to read your article about greyhound racing in Britain. I am now intrigued to find out whether the same situation exists here ( I live in Australia). My understanding of the greyhound racing industry here was that it is very strictly controlled. I am now beginning to wonder.

    Your comments also prompted me to consider “rehoming” a greyhound as a pet. I have had pets from the Animal Welfare League, as have friends, and it has been my observation that they are much more loving, loyal pets that the $1500 designer items acquired through breeders. Maybe we put more love into pets that have been abandoned.

    I shall continue to watch your work, both in your work to prevent cruelty to animals in sport and your fine work on the screen. I am presently watching “Hope Springs” which I missed on its first screening and am thoroughly enjoying it.

    I wish you well.

    Kind regards,


  6. It is wonderful having people like Annette who are prepared to spend the time analysing the figures on this filthy ‘sport’. We need to put some money into some careful advertising and as well as political lobbying at local and national level to put the case. Am happy to join the work.

  7. Analysis of the figures, exposure of the facts and collaboration is so key to winning this argument so that greyhound racing is properly controlled and ultimately. Every greyhound rehoming organisation should include this, as well as a campaign for independent regulation as an interim step, in its mission statement otherwise it is dependent on the sport continuing. Out of sight is out of mind. Keep shining this torch on the facts, Annette. V. happy to help.

  8. http://www.greyhoundcompassion.com/news-142.htm

    There is to be a peaceful demonstration outside the Irish Embassy
    on Sat, 9 April, from 1pm-2pm, at 17 Grosvenor Place, London SW1X
    7HR, to protest against proposals by the Irish Greyhound Board
    (part owned by the Irish government) to export greyhounds to China.

    Please come along, sign the online petition, or write emails or letters to
    express your opposition to these proposals.

    Many thanks.

  9. Wolfgang Hey and MAY the irish 11 year old ex racer lady

    Hello, I wonder whether this blog is still active. Last weeks I spent hours and hours in the web to learn about the life of the racers. 128 days ago I adopted an 11 year old grey lady from Ireland. She was prepared for being killed but fortunately she could be rescued. Now she is laying on my sofa and giving me and my wife so much love. However, there are a lot of other Germans (that’s the reason for my broken English – sorry for that) who like to do more that just cry and/or adopt a grey. Probably you know that at least here the rescue organisations do not colaborate but even fight against each other.
    Those people I am talking about like to bring the organisations to one desk and even get support from the EU MPs asking them to stopp the fiancial support of the tracks.
    Do you have further ideas, do you have a list of people in UK and ireland to be contacted for support or even some communication?
    Thanks a lot wishing you a long life allowing you further Greyhound support
    Wolfgang from Germany

  10. I help greyhounds by raising funding for them to be rescued and rehomed through Birmingham greyhound protection also galgos Podencos from Spain all hounds bless u miss Crosby ur babies are beutiful

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