Minister of MAFF 1995-97
Given peerage Lord Hogg ( 2015)
I am deeply offended and distressed that days before what would have been my Andrews birthday (2nd September 2015) Douglas Hogg has been made a peer in the House of Lords, for fiddling his MPs expenses and whose deliberate actions unlawfully killed my only son, due to the human form of mad cow disease.
From the start of his tenure as Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, Douglas Hogg’s mantra was “Beef is safe”.
He claimed there was no evidence of a link between BSE and VCJD, while information filtering into the press and public arena was finally starting to suggesting otherwise.
As a barrister (Lincolns Inn 1968) and QC (1990) Douglas Hogg was more than capable of developing a positive argument and he backed the Government’s line throughout the BSE scandal, while the public became increasingly-sceptical about the safety of beef and its products.
Hogg sought allies. In 1995 he attempted to get experts from the Spongiform Encephalopathy Advisory Committee (SEAC) to back him. Fortunately they refused to do so. It’s estimated that more than 800,000 infected cattle entered the human food chain during the BSE scandal and we have yet to see the full effects.
Professor Collinge told me in one of our many interviews “vCJD has an incubation period of ten to forty plus years, so it’s possible that many more members of the UK public could still be incubating the disease.”
Within months of Douglas Hogg declaring that beef was safe, the government and MAFF were no longer able to offer opinion as scientific fact. Old-Etonian Hogg adopted a forlorn appearance wearing a distinctive floppy hat. The battered fedora and downbeat manner was out of character for the experienced lawyer and able politician. He’d shown great acumen as Government Whip (1983-1984) when his steely role was to keep politicians in line and “whip” them into shape, but his demeanour seemed to reflect the mood of a Government in political-freefall.
By the time Stephen Dorrell finally told the Commons on March 20th 1996 that BSE was the most likely cause of ten cases of vCJD, Hogg was laughed at by the press. He was criticised by senior colleagues for not acting quickly enough, and derided by officials who had looked the other way.
In 2000 Douglas Hogg said he “was deeply sorry” both for the victims of vCJD and their families and the farmers who had suffered “deep loss”. As a mother of Andy, a victim of vCJD, I am “deeply ” offended that my son’s immeasurable loss of at least fifty years of life is put in the same statement and context as a farmer losing a cow. This, to me, highlights the attitude of the government, ministers and officials towards human life throughout the BSE scandal. The agricultural industry, trade and shareholder profits always seemed to come before human life. It’s an attitude which cost my beloved son his future.
Douglas Hogg became a member of the Home Affairs Select Committee (1997-1998) and The Right Honourable Douglas Hogg MP for Seaford and North Hykeham.
EXPENSES SCANDAL 2009
Hogg with many others named on this website were found to be fiddling their MPs expenses. Hogg was found to be using tax payers money to fund clearing his moat around his mansion, tuning pianos, and fixing light on his stables.
Meanwhile many victims of vCJD and their families are in financial poverty unable to pay basic bills such as gas and electricity. Hogg was rewarded for his criminal actions during BSE and fiddling his expenses and given a peerage in 2015. Which means he can claim more expenses from the tax payer as a member of the House of Lords.
In 2000 Andy was seventeen had been working for over 2 years at talkSPORT and was branching out into television. He was a determined and confident young man who was known as “a legend of the desk” by producers and presenters….fearless and totally organised in the studio with a talent to talk nineteen to the dozen and articulate when everything around him was going wrong….and still broadcast seamlessly…