News

Scraping the rooftops… the most remarkable aerial duel ever

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in the Daily Express on 15 September 2020.

On the 80th anniversary of Battle of Britain Day, Lord Ashcroft asks whether an RAF pilot was denied a posthumous VC because he RAMMED his German rival.

EVEN by the standards of do-or-die aerial duels, it was a remarkable spec­tacle. The Battle of Britain was more than ten weeks old but the residents of Hailsham, Sussex – accustomed to watching dogfights overhead – had never seen anything quite like it. Screaming just feet above the town’s rooftops were the aircraft of Hauptmann Horst Liensberger and Flying Officer Percy Burton. As the two aircraft lifted away over the nearby country­side, they were just yards apart with Burton’s Hurricane on the tail of Liensberger’s Messerschmitt 110 fighter-bomber.

What happened next was certainly deadly but it was also controversial. Eighty years on, there is still a debate over whether Burton should have been awarded the Victoria Cross, Britain and the Commonwealth’s most pres­tigious gallantry award for bravery in the face of the enemy. (more…)

Dame Vera Lynn, the ‘Forces’ Sweetheart’, Remembered

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in The Royal British Legion magazine on 08 September 2020.

The film footage taken on 14 May 1944 is remarkable. It shows Dame Vera Lynn sitting on the driver’s footstep of an Army truck with troops of the Fourteenth Army in what was then India, close to the Burmese border.

Smiling and looking relaxed, wearing a WAAF cap and an officer’s tunic and shorts, she is seen chatting to British and Burmese Karen soldiers. In another clip from the same day, she signs autographs for Servicemen on pieces of paper and the rims of their slouch hats, worn for protection from the hot sun.

With her passing, we have lost a much-loved singer, songwriter and entertainer, who was a colossal inspiration during the Second World War. (more…)

Watch Lord Ashcroft on ‘The Conversation’, CNBC Africa

By Lord Ashcroft

08 September 2020 – Lord Ashcroft’s interview on CNBC Africa.

Lord Ashcroft talks to CNBC Africa about his new book, Unfair Game, and the undercover operation he organised in order to gather the evidence disclosed in the book on the grim trade of lion farming and canned lion hunting in South Africa.

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Lord Ashcroft on the John Maytham Show, CapeTalk Radio

By Lord Ashcroft

In an interview on CapeTalk Radio’s The John Maytham Show, Lord Ashcroft discusses his new book, Unfair Game, which reveals the dark truth about South Africa’s shameful, captive-bred lion farming industry, and the illegal exportation of lion bones for the black market.

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See the September issue of Britain at War for Lord Ashcroft’s new bravery article

By Lord Ashcroft

Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC has had his latest “hero of the month” article published in Britain at War, the country’s best-selling military history monthly magazine.

The September issue of the magazine has four pages on the life and career of Major-General George Alexander Renny, who was awarded the VC for bravery during the Indian Mutiny.

Renny, the son of a Scottish merchant, was born in Riga, Russia (now Latvia), in May 1825. He was commissioned into the Bengal Horse Artillery as a second lieutenant in June 1844. (more…)

I give pupils and teachers 10/10… and shambolic education chiefs 1/10

By Lord Ashcroft

First published in Mail on Sunday on 30 August 2020.

Wearing the same blue and green school tie as them, Boris Johnson addressed a group of children last week and said: ‘Education is the great equaliser. It’s the liberator. It’s the transformer of society. And it’s the single most important way in which we can unite and level up across this whole country, and deliver social justice.’

Quite rightly, ‘levelling up’ has become a mantra with Tory politicians, with his predecessor, Theresa May, talking about tackling ‘burning injustices’ in education. In fact, much has already been achieved. (more…)

Bones of contention

By Lord Ashcroft

Article published on 30 August 2020 in Post Magazine, South China Morning Post.

South Africa’s wild and farmed lions are being slaughtered – often by tourists in brutal ‘canned hunts’ – butchered and shipped to Asia as tiger bone for use in traditional medicine. British politician Michael Ashcroft wants to end this cruel trade.

The tiger’s fate is sealed at a clandestine meeting outside a wildlife reserve two hours’ drive from Johannesburg, South Africa. An Asian businessman known as Michael waits in a saloon car with a brown paper bag stuffed with banknotes on the seat behind him. A 4×4 pulls up alongside and the driver joins Michael in his car, picks up the bag, and carries it to the owner of the reserve nearby.

Read more …

Cycle of cruelty

By Lord Ashcroft

First published on 24 August 2020 in The Witness, South Africa.

Article about Unfair Game by J. Nozipo Maraire, Zimbabwean, neurosurgeon, entrepreneur and writer

Until the lion learns how to write, every story will glorify the hunter.
Author investigates the dark and dangerous world of the captive-bred lion industry.

SOUTH Africa has long been regarded as a conservation champion and a nation deeply committed to the ongoing protection of its wilderness areas and the iconic wildlife species that call them home.

However, these are challenging times for the “Rainbow Nation” as its game reserves and national parks battle the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and associated lockdown that has devastated valuable revenue streams derived from eco-tourism.

Read more …

 

Canned Lion Hunting – not a sport for civilised people! In fact NOT A SPORT AT ALL!

By Lord Ashcroft

Article on 10 August 2020 for Aviation, Travel & Conservation News from Africa & the Indian Ocean islands in association with Brussels Airlines.

CANNED LION HUNTING COMES UNDER RENEWED FIRE AS LORD ASHCROFT PUBLISHES HIS BOOK.

South Africa has long been regarded as a conservation champion and a nation deeply committed to the ongoing protection of its wilderness areas and the iconic wildlife species that call them home. However, these are challenging times for the “Rainbow Nation” as its game reserves and national parks battle the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdown that has devastated valuable revenue streams derived from eco-tourism.

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#WORLDLIONDAY: HEART & SOUL – AUTHORS & CONSERVATIONISTS

By Lord Ashcroft

Blog for the Captured in Africa Foundation – 09 August 2020.

Two years ago, after a visit to South Africa, I became determined to expose the horrors of lion farming. There are now some 12,000 captive-bred lions in South Africa and virtually all of them are destined for a cruel fate.

When they are small, the animals are used for cub petting at tourist attractions. When they are older (perhaps a year or more), they are used for “walking with lions”, again as tourist attractions.

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