The raptor haters is an occasional series of articles on people who slag off birds of prey.
Sir Simon Jenkins is an amazingly gifted writer and obviously a very clever man. I love the way he writes and I read his articles for pleasure as well as for education.
Back in May 2008, when the RSPB launched its bird of prey campaign, Jenkins took the opportunity to unload his views about birds of prey on the Guardian readership.
Birds of prey are ‘cannibals’ and ‘avian terrorists’ according to Jenkins and he bought the unecological arguments of the anti-nature lobby that birds of prey are wiping out songbirds and red grouse. The article was cleverly written but ecologically ignorant and the great thing was the comments it attracted. Here are some of my favourites:
‘Muscleguy‘ – ‘Stay out of commenting on science Simon, you can’t hack it‘
‘Sluijser‘ – ‘long on rollicking style, a bit short on substance‘
‘freepoland‘ – ‘I am joining the Raptor Party for three reasons…3. fed up with columnists who adopt the slack contrarian line when they are short of ideas‘
‘dialaview‘ – ‘I’m no naturalist, but even I can see this article is poorly thought out‘
And there are many more wise and/or amusing comments from the great British public.
Since November 2008 Simon Jenkins has been the Chair of the National Trust.