Very nasty

I don’t think you will find this story in any newspaper other than the Daily Mail – they say it is an exclusive. And you’ll notice that it stems from a complaint by the Countryside Alliance.

The story, such as it is, is that a senior, highly respected, female police officer, Chief Inspector Lou Hubble (head of the National Wildlife Crime Unit) was filmed dressed as a rapper and dancing , rather well I thought, to a rap song. OMG!

The reason for this was that the video was a rather jokey ‘thank you’ to Nick Lyall from people who have worked with him in his role as Chair of the Raptor Persecution Priority Delivery Group. Originally the video was going to be played to Nick Lyall at a raptor crime meeting but because he was prevented from attending by illness it was put on the Raptor Persecution UK blog on Christmas Eve by Ruth Tingay who actually organised some of the dancers who appeared in the video.

The Countryside Alliance has made a formal complaint and the Daily Mail has gone to town on it. This is quite nasty stuff in my opinion.

It’s taking an entirely light-hearted tribute to a colleague and trying to make something of it, and to affect someone’s career. You watch, Chief inspector Hubble will now always be labelled by the Countryside Alliance as a police officer who was investigated for blah blah blah.

Why would the Countryside Alliance pay so much attention to a police officer who works on wildlife crime issues? Can’t imagine, except that some of the practitioners of rural fieldsports cross over from the legal to the illegal now and again when out trail hunting or managing game shoots.

This attack, for it cannot be seen as anything else, is just like the abuse that others, most particularly Chris Packham, get when they question anything associated with the ‘sports’ of killing things. Chris gets attacks on his property, his business interests and his character. I have to wonder whether this attack on the police is something rather similar.

There are loads of people involved in the video, including me (I’m the one who can neither dance nor do the jacket up!) and a host of others and we all wanted to thank Nick Lyall for his work.

I can’t spot the BASC staff members who were also filmed for this tribute but I know they were happy to participate to thank Nick Lyall – I wonder whether the Countryside Alliance knew that.

I can’t stand the Daily Mail (although every day it includes some fine journalism in its pages – you just have to seek out those bits) and I can’t admire the Countryside Alliance (even though they must be right sometimes) but this orchestrated and concerted attack on a female police officer strikes me as being scraping the bottom of a very deep barrel. Nasty, nasty, nasty.


50 Replies to “Very nasty”

  1. First they ignore you
    Then they laugh at you
    Then they attack you
    Then you know that you are winning

    They have no respect and they continue to demonstrate that, this is another desperate example.
    The rest of us are behind the work that you do on behalf of the beleaguered and persecuted raptors, thank you all.

    1. But then you get complacent, take your foot off the pedal, they regroup and come back stronger than ever and annihilate you. That is why the left and progressives always ends up losing in the long run. We never see the thing through, and always end up declaring victory and going home before sealing the deal or continuing to play the long whack a mole game of smacking down the right when they try to regroup.

      Trying to get people on the left to accept that it is never just enough to win on an issue, you’ve got to keep on top of it for years and decades thereafter. Please let this time be different though, please let us see this one through, and please let us defend against the inevitable counterattacks in the long decades to come.

  2. The Countryside Alliance are a weak and petty organisation spending all their time knocking everyone else. Anyone who doesn’t accept their pathetic views is considered to be a terrorist or extremist or something similar. They need to grow a spine and accept hunting and shooting is outdated and the majority of people in this country don’t want to be associated with them…….and never will.

  3. The Countryside Alliance are a weak and petty organisation spending all their time knocking everyone else. Anyone who doesn’t accept their pathetic views is considered to be a terrorist or extremist or something similar.

  4. Ban dancing and music…and kites…just like the Taliban.
    Tim Nice But Dim and Band of Merry Biffs at the CA

  5. Personally Mark, I think the Daily Mail is not worth the paper on which it is printed. It is a nasty, sometimes vicious and heavily biased publication which rarely if ever gives a evenly balanced report. It is extremely right wing and will stop at nothing to sell itself. It is really not worth reading.

  6. Having walked past the magazine aisle in a supermarket at the weekend and noticed the current issue of Shooting Times running an article title on the front cover about the joys of shooting roosting birds, nothing surprises me any more. I can’t believe shooting at sleeping birds and scattering them in fear and panic is actually allowed, let alone that people gain ” joy” from it.

    1. Sophia, roost shooting as described in this article, and more generally,
      usually targets pest species such as woodpigeon, flighting in before
      they have actually settled.
      Well done BASC staff for taking part in this, and although I am not
      Ruth Tingay’s greatest fan (although recognising the work she does),
      if I were her I would want a retraction from the Mail over that headline , unless of course she is an anti hunt extremist in her spare

      1. Nailed your colours to the mast as soon as you said “pest species”. It’s like people who use the term “vermin” for wildlife: they are self-describing terms, whether you accept it or not.

        1. You’d probably be amazed that some people can be good and committed conservationists as well as active shooters even if the majority of ‘country sports’ participants sadly let the side down. If some birds weren’t considered pests or vermin then we wouldn’t have need for the general or specific licences that are used just as equally by conservation charities such as the RSPB. It’s not a great way to think about wildlife but it is the world we live in with its heavily damaged ecosystems that need human intervention. Sophia’s original comment shows she is just as influenced by headlines as Daily Mail readers and perhaps some research into facts might have settled both their minds slightly.
          As for this blog post I’m afraid that the Daily Mail and the Countryside Alliance have done nothing to earn enough respect for me to give their opinions any consideration. More pathetic than nasty really and a very petty level to sink to.

        2. Simon, my colours have flown from different masts for many years, (what about the rest of my comment ?), you seem to misinterpret me nearly every time, ‘Edale Day’ for instance, is one I remember.
          If a common species is causing agricultural damage, what should I call it ?.
          ” Problem Species “might fit, I suppose, without offending too many people ?.

      2. Ruth Tingay & ‘spare time’ – would that she had (I hear her say?) and if so then I suspect it would be more of the same, her tenacity and dedication is phenomenal and hats off to her:)

  7. A formal complaint by the CA!? Well, no doubt there will be some high ranking police who will welcome it. If this taken seriously by anybody above her, I would suggest they will have their reasons to do so.
    Personally, I believe that both Lou Hubble and Nick Lyall deserve promotions and medals. The sort of people who would take this piece of fun seriously are the sort of people that don’t mind seeing dead corvids nailed to Chris Packham’s gate.
    They are desperate. Desperate to see the back of two decent police officers who are trying to uphold the law. The law our own government ignores.

  8. First they ignore you
    Then they laugh at you
    Then they attack you
    Then you know that you are winning

    Nimbly is right, well said. Chris Packham and no doubt these hard working, committed and brave police officers are right to have backs reminiscent of a duck. And why shouldn’t they let their metaphoric (or otherwise) hair down now and then? Keep going all.

  9. At Waitrose, if you have one of their cards, you get a free newspaper if you spend over a fiver. I always choose the Mail(it usually has the most pages) not to read but to start the fire in my woodburner. I know, I know book burning but I can’t find a better use for the Mail. Peter Hitchens is good though.

  10. Very seriously does anyone take the clowns at CA to represent the views of decent countryside and rural folk? They are simply a collection of ancient relics clinging desperately onto a bygone age, even their dress sense goes back over 100 years. Best to ignore these insults to normal people and not promote their agenda.
    As for the Daily Mail (Fail), my dogs get more information from sniffing their hind quarters than we can reasonably expect from reading this excuse for a newspaper.

  11. “One field sports activist, who did not want to be named, told MailOnline: ‘Chief Inspector Hubble is supposed to be impartial…”

    That’s a good one! Police should no longer be saying crime and criminals are bad – they should be impartial!!!!

    Can we expect that the Daily Mail will be publishing outraged articles the next time a policeman is spotted in a social context with members of the shooting world? No? I thought not.

  12. Whilst the wisdom of making public this spoof video is questionable, the motive of the Countryside Alliance in making their complaint is clear: they never miss an opportunity to smear anyone who tries to stop their members committing wildlife crime and I will never understand why the police service ever engages with them.

  13. It has to be said the general standard of ‘professional’organisations claiming to represent rural interests is truly woeful. However, with this the CA must surely get the crown for being the most pathetic, desperate and despicable, and that takes some doing.

  14. I saw the video when it was released and didn’t give it a second thought and had no idea who the second lady in the red jacket was or who most of the rest of the dancers were . To try to make it into something it is not is just bonkers which is why it ended up in the Daily Heil . That paper is not even suitable as a chip wrapper to line the cat litter tray .

  15. Trapit, your reference to such birds as “pest species” and your suggestion that at least some are targeted as they fly into their roosts, rather than once they have settled, makes no difference to me and doesn’t provide justification for this activity. That the article suggests people should derive joy from lying in wait for birds returning (often in communities and family groups) to roosts they believe to be safe for them, I find sickening.

      1. And the same tired old crap from the fans of wildlife abuse. Why the f*** should anyone have to be vegan to oppose cruelty for no other reason than entertainment?

      2. What does what I eat have to do with anything? Given that birds can and do fly considerable distances during the day, how would anyone waiting at a roost site know, or prove, that the birds flying in had actually caused damage to anything? It is not acceptable to a great many people that anything should be randomly killed just because they happen to be listed as a potential so-called ‘pest species’, regardless of what any of us eats. I am not often influenced by headlines, but I make an exception for that one.

        1. It’s acceptable in principal to Mr Mark Avery that pigeons could be shot for food… Is wild meat really so much worse than farmed chicken? Have a look at the number of wild pigeons that are eaten annually (ignoring the dubious legality of it all), remove that number from the food chain and substitute the same biomass with farmed chickens with all the associated feed and chemicals required to raise them. You can make your own decision on what is more harmful I’m sure. Personally I hate the whole principal of shooters going for big bags of pigeons for bragging rights or whatever kicks they get out of it but I’ve no problem with people eating a sustainable harvest of pigeons. With any other bird though I do agree with the points you’ve made.

    1. Thanks, Sophia, I concur.

      Those people killing ‘pests’ because they do ‘agricultural damage’ give the game away really, by saying there is joy in shooting roosting birds. They enjoy killing.
      Whether unprotected species like wood pigeons, or supposedly protected ones, such as hen harriers.

      1. Unfortunately we do not have a “natural” ecosystem whereby all wildlife lives in a balance, because of course man has disrupted this.

        The view that no wild bird or animal should be shot anywhere at anytime is both naive and unrealistic. There are many species that need to be controlled, both to protect food crops and natural resources such as woodland etc. Wood Pigeons, Greylag Geese and Deer can and do cause enormous damage.

        The control of these species is and should be subject to conditions and licences, but their control is necessary.

        I would be more sympathetic to those who espouse the do not kill anything anywhere philosophy if they ensured that they lived their lives so that no living creature has been killed to enable them to exist.

  16. Worse, there are three comments that seem to accept the article. I tried to reply but you need to log in and I don’t want the Mail to have my details….

  17. Is it the way the wild bird pigeons are killed for food by shooting? Or the killing of them full stop? You cannot accept.
    We have general licences that allow the killing and eating of pigeons and by doing so increases the farmer yield of crops we all need to live.
    If I go to my local beach and catch wild fish cod, whiting, dabs etc and kill and eat them and then nobody is at all concerned, in fact people passing by generally ask what have you caught.
    Why is one so contentious and the other not?

    1. John – no, we have laws that say that all wild birds are protected and they can only be killed under certain licensed circumstances such as to prevent serious economic damage to crops, and then only if non-lethal means have been assessed. You can’t kill pigeons for the pot – they can go in the pot after they were killed to prevent serious economic damage. Bit different with dabs. If you doubt my views then you should check with the authorities. I checked my understanding with Defra, face to face, less than 24 hours ago.

      1. Two things. First – well said, Mark! John’s comment and your reply perfectly illustrate how the general license system had come to be interpreted as giving shooters carte blanche to kill anything they have taken a dislike to. Thank goodness you and WJ have challenged that notion, and let’s hope the situation doesn’t slowly drift back to that way of thinking.
        Secondly, let’s not fall for this old nonsense about killing for food or ‘for the pot’. As was brilliantly argued here a few months ago by an ex-shooter (who’s name has sadly escaped me), the overwhelming majority of shooters kill things because they enjoy the activity. After the event, the corpses (or some of them) may be eaten and/or the killing justified on other grounds, but we should never let the ‘putting food on the table’ excuse pass unchallenged.

      2. Mark, With respect I never said I was not fully compliant with all the terms of the general licences for the pigeons shot and then eaten, you made that assumption not me.
        Both my shooting and fishing are legal but the latter is sociably acceptable and the former is not so. Yet fishing stocks are in decline and pigeons are not.
        Very illogical to me.

        1. John – logic has something to do with it, but not a lot. Where, when and why do you shoot pigeons? And, actually, which pigeons?

      3. Actually Mark, we have laws about the minimum size of shore caught fish that can be kept to be eaten, if undersize they should be returned alive to the sea.
        This is frequently ignored especially by immigrants to this country from countries which have no such minimum size restraints and know no better but with little money and lots of time are frequently seen fishing keeping all they catch.
        So crimes against wildlife come in many ways yet unless it is shooting related does not get the media publicity or WJ money.

  18. Interesting how this thread has morphed into ‘animal rights and wrongs’ relating to the killing and eating of pigeons. My conscience is quite clear on this issue. If there is a sustainable harvest to be taken, and taken as humanely as possible, then there is nothing to complain about; law permitting. If people wish to not eat meat or use animal products that is not my business. Happy for them to follow this path. I, on the other hand, am a committed omnivore. But what I dislike is being preached at. I rather share Lawrence Fox’s view as articulated recently on Question Time. I am fed up with so called ‘virtue signalling’. Campaign if you wish but leave me to my meat and two veg!

    1. Nick – would you like to be left to make racist remarks or exploit people as their employer too? I guess not, so you’ll agree that it’s a good job somebody campaigned to make the world a better place. But thank you for your not-virtuous-if-I-can-help-it signalling.

  19. Alan, I shoot in full compliance of the general licences, any pigeons I or family do not eat go to game dealers where they are sold to uk restaurants or exported mainly to France I am told.
    And yes I enjoy the activity of being out in the countryside in fresh air hunting obviously I don’t expect you to understand the satisfaction from hunting and eating what you shoot ( or fish I catch).
    Rather you are happier to let trawlers catch fish and due to quoters dump back fish dead into the sea that could be eaten but they are not allow to land them. Or buy meat in nice plastic trays in the supermarket completely separated from how the animal was treated or fed and then slaughtered, So much simpler, out of sight out of mind.

      1. Where; over farmland I have the authority of the farmer/owner to do so,
        When; when the wood pigeons are doing serious damage to the crop and at the request of the farmer.
        Why; after the farmer has tried non-lethal methods of keeping them of his crop, his livelihood, such as gas banger, rope bangers, kites etc. Large flocks of wood pigeons can quickly damage the yield of a crop.
        But the birds must feed to live, so get used to such methods and learn to ignore them.


          1. Recently oil seed rape, next will be the spring drilling’s just after germination. When not so easy to say given the very wet weather we have had which has upset the farming cycle. You would be better asking a farmer that question. Mine will call me when and if he needs to.

    1. It’s definitely not ‘out of sight, out of mind’ to some of us. (John’s submission)
      That’s the very reason many of us don’t eat flesh. We know that plastic-wrapped body part was once a bit of a living, sentient being.
      Just as a shot wild bird was. All the same.
      The only point where we might agree is that the wood pigeon certainly had a better life until the shooter took it.
      Still don’t want to eat one.

      1. Marian, I take it you don’t like birds of prey then? A Peregrine makes a right old mess of a Wood Pigeon as does the Sparrowhawk in my garden!

        Also i trust you show the same respect to all invertebrates and rats etc?

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