Last week the You Forgot the Birds campaign disclosed that their ‘campaign’ was funded by the British grouse industry.
Today, in the Mail on Sunday (prop P Dacre, grouse moor owner) YFtB is described as a grassroots campaign of farmers and conservationists.
59-year old Ian Botham has been brought back into the bowling attack. He attempts to get a few balls on target but only succeeds in unfairly stripping RSPB Chief Exec Mike Clarke of his doctorate with a glancing blow to the helmet when Mike was looking the other way.
Botham, the self-styled champion of gamekeepers, appeals to the umpire that the RSPB accused him of killing birds of prey on the BBC last week. I missed that – I wish I’d heard it – I only heard Martin Harper on Farming Today.
Botham also accuses the RSPB of ‘constantly slurring gamekeepers as criminals’ which seems to me to be rather unfounded – even rather a slur itself, particularly when followed by an apparent attack on the motives of the RSPB who do this as part of their class war and to help raise funds. Sir Ian asks if the RSPB has heard of libel – I suspect they have actually
The danger is, that the RSPB might be content with picking up a few runs from these wides and no balls from Beefy rather than remembering to despatch the ball to the boundary. The British grouse industry, who fund the Botham campaign, are in the pavilion, having had their second innings and having amassed a feeble score. There is a Test series to be won here. When will RSPB start swinging the bat, delighting the crowd and winning the game?