I’m glad the Telegraph and Mail noticed something was happening but I suspect they only noticed when a press release from the Countryside Alliance arrived in their inboxes.
It’s good to see Tim Bonner at his emollient best:
Disappointingly this seems to be the final step in the RSPB’s long journey to becoming an anti-shooting organisation. It displays the organisation’s bizarrely warped priorities in the face of so many other pressing concerns that face the countryside we know and love.
No pre-judging of the outcome there then, Tim!
The only so-called countryside organisation quoted is the Countryside Alliance which is a countryside ‘sports’ organisation rather more than it is a countryside organisation. Tim Bonner’s quote is identical in both papers, including the annoying split infinitive, and so probably comes from a CA press release rather than a couple of searching interviews. That’s presumably why it say ‘countryside organisations’ (plural) – the Countryside Alliance has never been much good with numbers. It’s probably also the reason why both pieces of cut and paste journalism have the sentence ‘However, it is now using environmental concerns as a reason to review its policy.‘ – note the rather perjorative use of the word ‘using’.
I’m quoted, from this blog (see here and here), and described as an anti-shooting activist by both the Telegraph and Mail – I am an activist rather than inactive, but to describe me as anti-shooting is a bit unfair. I wonder whether that came from a CA press release too? It looks like it probably did as both papers use almost the same words to describe me.
So, my guess is that this was just cut and paste journalism uncritically using a press release sent out by the Countryside Alliance. Well done Helena Horton and Joel Adams.