In case you missed it, do read this very sensible response from RSPB Chief Exec Mike Clarke, to calls from the Countryside Alliance for Chris Packham to be sacked from the BBC.
Despite Chris’s thoughtful and fairly mild criticism of the RSPB, Wildlife Trusts, Hawk and Owl Trust and National Trust (yep – pretty much the set!) in his column in BBC Wildlife magazine, and repeated to some extent in interviews with the Guardian, the RSPB is big enough to recognise that Chris’s aims and the RSPB’s aims (and the Wildlife Trust’s aims – not completely sure about NT or H&OT) are very similar. Not exactly the same, but pretty similar. The disagreement, such as it is, is over the means of achieving those aims. So it’s a disagreement among friends.
By no stretch of anyone’s imagination could the Countryside Alliance and the RSPB and Chris Packham be seen to have identical aims. And it is to Chris’s credit that he is seen to be so powerful (#2 on the BBC Wildlife Power List indeed) that the Countryside Alliance are trying to cause him pain and trouble. It’s a sign of success. Just as it is a sign of success that the RSPB has been attacked by the Botham-fronted You Forgot the Birds group which is funded by the British grouse industry – I’d guess their members are also likely to be members of the Countryside Alliance wouldn’t you?
I don’t agree with Chris Packham about everything, and I don’t agree with the RSPB about everything, nor do I agree with the Wildlife Trusts about everything. But I know that they are generally aiming in the same direction as I am. The RSPB and Wildlife Trusts could fire their guns a bit louder and more frequently to my mind, but they are powerful allies for nature.
I don’t disagree with the Countryside Alliance on everything – just an awful lot of things and an awful lot of things that matter a lot to me. And they can say what they like, as in this case when they do say anything they tend to generate a massive amount of opposition from normal people. Their nastiness is likely to misfire as nastiness almost always does.
But you can have a say in whether the BBC sacks Chris Packham or not:
This e-petition calls on the BBC to sack him – and has been signed by over 2,000 people.
This e-petition calls on the BBC to keep him – and has been signed by over 35,000 people
(The Wisdom of Crowds).