Peter Cosgrove carried out the first national pearl mussel survey and wrote about pearl mussels as a Guest Blog here in October 2012.
I have been watching the raptor haters’ tactics since Hen Harrier Day and I think they might have secret list of 10 do’s and 10 don’ts, which I have identified below. To be fair and balanced, I must acknowledge that I may have missed some.
Tactics to use – 10 do’s:
• Avoid answering a question directly.
• Create a straw man and attack it.
• Be highly selective in any ‘facts’ you quote.
• Use anecdote or unreferenced ‘data’ and appeal to ‘common sense’.
• Criticise criminality generally whilst denying criminality exists in your community of interest.
• Under all circumstances assume that your knowledge exceeds those who have worked on an issue in a professional capacity.
• Deflect attention by changing the subject.
• Listen to someone unqualified (for example a clueless has-been celebrity) to comment on an issue in preference to someone more experienced, qualified and knowledgeable.
• Promote opinions that ignore peer-reviewed evidence/research/data.
• If all else fails do make sweeping generalisations based on where someone may or may not live in relation to town and country.
Tactics to avoid – 10 don’ts:
• Use actual evidence, reason and logic.
• Under any circumstance acknowledge that your salary depends on you deliberately not understanding or recognising an issue.
• Listen to other people’s point of view and re-evaluate your own position.
• Consider weight of probability.
• Acknowledge that someone may be better qualified to comment on an issue than you.
• Comply with the law when it comes to your own or your community of interest activities.
• Answer a straight question honestly.
• Recognise that a problem may destroy your own community of interest.
• Face up to responsibility.
• Consider societal benefits.
When analysing a raptor hater’s response to, say, news of the latest raptor killing, it may be helpful to plot the numbers of do’s or don’ts on a simple chart to calculate Lagopus’s Delusion Index. Each use of a do or don’t scores 0.5 points, so the maximum total is 10. Thus, rather than get annoyed and respond to each of the ridiculous arguments raised by a raptor hater, why not simply give it a Sandringham Score on the Lagopus’s Delusion Index and highlight this to them in any reply?