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.