I still haven’t heard from the Game Fair directly – that’s a bit rude of them.
And I haven’t heard from BASC yet on whether they regard me as an extremist – and on what grounds.
I was interested to see the tweet above from Kerry McCarthy MP about a Defra minister going to the Game Fair – no doubt he will be praising the Game Fair organisers for their open-mindedness, their willingness to debate and their strict regard for the truth.
It’s a shoddy episode in the annals of the shooting industry when three shooting organisations stifle debate and one of them publishes slurs against people who disagree with some aspects of shooting.
But there are other strange things going on too. Raptor Persecution UK has drawn attention to the wording of an email that appears in the video released by Charlie Jacoby’s Fieldsports Channel yesterday. Apparently the Game Fair organisers couldn’t trust their attendees to behave without violence in the presnce of nature conservationists. It’s a sad state of affairs when those running shooting behave so badly, and they can’t trust their own supporters to behave in a civilised manner.
One of the reasons for the feelings apparently running high in the shooting community is that they are fed so much misinformation by the shooting press, by the likes of the Fieldsports Channel and by their own representative organisations. And that was precisely why Chirs Packham and I were very willing, almost keen, to accept the invitation to face questions in front of the Game Fair audience. What better opportunity for hundreds of people to hear what we think from the horses’ mouths, so to speak.
I quite like Charlie Jacoby on a personal level (though I hardly know him) but he does talk a massive amount of tripe. When he interviewed me for Fieldsports Channel (another example of me being willing to face questions and talk to ‘the other side’) he kept telling me what I thought and believed – an interestin interview technique. And in his video of the other day there is a lot of nonsense too – it would ahve been good to puncture some of those balloons at the Game Fair too.
But in Charlie’s video there is a fleeting view of that email – here it is;
First of all, note that this is an email from Chaerlie Jacoby to Tim Bonner (Chief Exec of the Countryside Alliance), James Gower (the Managing Director of Game Fair Ltd), Ian Bell (Chief Exec of BASC) and Teresa Dent (Chief Exec of GWCT and Natural England Board member).
So, apparently Chris and I (and probably Ruth Tingay too, for all I know) are ‘after anything they [we] can get in time for the Panorama ‘Slaughter on the Grousemoors’ show’. This is the first time I’ve heard of this – although I am often approached by film makers who all have the great idea of amking a hard-hitting film about grouse shooting but none of them ever has and they all seem to fizzle out quite quickly. To be quite clear about this – I have not spoken to anyone from Panorama, or who I can even imagine might be from Panorama, about such a programme. And so I am certainly not involved in such a programme. If there is one in the offing I’d be perfectly happy to get involved of course!
Likewise, I have no knowledge of a series of town hall events to be held in Yorkshire. No knowledge whatsoever. In fact looking at my diary it looks very unlikely that I will set foot in Yorkshire between now and 12 August, or even be connected to Yorkshire through a car on the A1 or any other road. That may change, but the idea that there is a series of town hall events is interesting but, as far as I know, completely untrue. I can certainly be completely sure that I am not involved in any such series of events – I’m open to offers though!
With all this misinformation going the rounds then it is difficult to have a sensible discussion with many in the shooting industry – but we’ll keep trying.
Dialogue is quite difficult when we are routinely subject to the type of abuse revealed this afternoon on the Wild Justice blog – click here.