Posts Tagged ‘Peter Egan’

End Live Transport

Monday, October 28th, 2019

My heart sinks when any event I am intending to document is described as a “photo-opportunity”, or, as in this case has clearly been designed as such by someone working in PR. It’s like when someone tells me “this will make a great photograph” and I’m obliged to take some rather pedestrian images, often of large groups doing something not very interesting.

I’m a photographer, and see it as my role to come up with ways to tell the story and not to be told how to see things, often by people who seem bereft of any power of thinking visually. Of course it’s useful if people have made posters and placards, but very few really add to a scene if reproduced in large numbers. Perhaps the only example of those that do I can think of offhand are those produced by David Gentleman for Stop the War protests.

The idea of a poster showing part of a cow’s face that people could hold up in front of them and complete with the left side of their own face wasn’t a bad one, and it works well when photographing one or two people, but doesn’t at least for me for a whole herd. It simply isn’t possible to see what it is meant to be – and I’ve only photographed around half the herd in the picture above.

Cut down the numbers and you can see it beginning to work, but I think the best attempt I managed was the image at the top of this post, with only two people involved.

Perhaps it could have been even better with just one person, but I chose to photograph John Flack, who recently lost his seat as a Conservative MEP with another poster which made clear by its text what the event was about. I know nothing about his background, but to me he looks very much the image of a wealthy farmer, though appearances are often deceptive and Wikipedia informs me that as well as being an active animal welfare campaigner he was a chartered surveyor and a director of various property companies. After a distinct lack of success in his campaigns for parliament and failing to become an MEP for the East of England in both 2009 and 2014 he rose to that status after sitting MEP Vicky Ford was elected as an MP in 2017.

The event marking Stop Live Transport International Awareness Day was a curiously Conservative one, with as well as John Flack, Tory MP Theresa Villiers speaking. Other speakers were Compassion in World Farming CEO Philip Lymbery , Professor Jo Cambridge of Vets Against Live Export and actor Peter Egan .

More at Rally to end Live Animal Transport.


My London Diary : London Photos : Hull : River Lea/Lee Valley : London’s Industrial Heritage

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