The reported resignation of Barnie White-Spunner from the Lead Ammunition Group marks a tactical retreat of the military man from a battle he could never win.
The evidence for human and wildlife harm from lead poisoning is pretty much incontrovertible and so it was always going to be a rearguard action. It is rumoured that his ally, the GWCT’s Ian Coghill, fled the field months ago but he may just be sulking.
Neither old warrior had been given the appropriate kit to defend themselves from the rain of incoming evidence that assailed their indefensible positions – a knowledge of chemistry or ecology would have been a useful weapon but they appeared to be unarmed.
Their tactical withdrawal is just that. When the Lead Ammunition Group report is published it will, it is expected, make a clear case for phasing out lead ammunition because of its harmful impacts and because there are perfectly safe alternatives (as other countries have discovered and pioneered).
The shooters can’t admit that they were wrong all along, and it’s terribly embarrassing for them that they have known of the harmful impacts of lead for well over five years, and so they have to kick up a stink. I think that what stinks is the lack of honesty of shooters over lead for many years. They should be ashamed of themselves – and that includes GWCT, BASC, the Moorland Association and the Countryside Alliance. And also the Shooting Times and The Field, come to think of it.
With the lack of White-Spunner, and Coghill Missing in Action, what great brain could step in to box the ears of the townie scientists with sheer countryman’s common sense? Only one man has the proven track record – it must be Ian Botham.