Good to see that the RSPB has had a response to Max Hastings’s article of last week published in the Financial Times, a rather moderately worded response given the poor nature of the original article. It is always a bit of a lottery whether newspapers publish responses or not.
It’s frustrating if errors go unchallenged but even when a response is published it’s very difficult to respond in the space that a paper will allow. If I say to you that ‘You are a liar’ you can reply ‘No I am not’ in the same number of words but it’ll take you quite a bit more space to explain why you are wronged.
But there is also another letter published referring to the same offending article. A Neil Stratton (the name sounds familiar but I can’t place it) from Oxford points out that Sir Mad Max Hastings’s response to a sparrowhawk at his bird table. Well done, Neil Stratton whoever you are.
The more people who challenge some of the rubbish written about nature in the newspapers the better. Why don’t you make it your hobby? Short letters, making good points in an amusing way (cf Mr Stratton) are quite likely to be published.
Maybe there should be a prize for the best non-NGO nature letter published in the newspapers each year – hmmm, there’s an idea. And because the newspapers reject lots of good letters – they’ve rejected lots of brilliant letters from me in the past – maybe a prize for the best unpublished letter submitted to a newspaper too.