BASC is doing this a lot. One day they say something quite sensible and almost moderate, and the next they say something utterly ridiculous (and keep saying it for ages). One day they seem quite reasonable, and then they switch back to ranting and rudeness. If BASC were a person you’d be beginning to doubt their mental stability and, in their more rational moments, gently advise them that they need to calm down and maybe seek expert help. What you wouldn’t do, is trust them because you really don’t know where you are with them.
There is nothing the least bit nuanced about this recent headline: BASC is fighting to stop the EU (of which we used to be a member) from implementing bans on the use of lead ammunition in wetlands. These are largely the regulations that we have had in the UK for two decades and follows BASC’s support for a phasing out of lead use in all game shooting announced only four months ago;
You see what I mean by unreliable? Four months ago BASC wanted a total phase out of lead in the UK within five years, and four months later they are opposing less wide-ranging measures in the EU. BASC didn’t really take responsibility did they? That didn’t last long, did it?
And it’s not that surprising that the laws on lead ammunition use in the UK are so widely flouted by shooters when this is how their leadership behaves.
In the distant past, BASC used to be difficult, sometimes very difficult, but consistent and there was some logic to their positions. Now they are not like that – I certainly don’t take much notice of what they say because I simply don’t trust them to be saying the same things a few weeks later.
Let me be even clearer, nowadays I simply don’t trust BASC on anything at all.
And this is a shame, because I’d like to trust them and think that the largest body vaguely representing people who shoot in the countryside would be trustworthy, and could be relied upon to have a consistent line of argument, and that talking to them might move things on.
But BASC are now like a burly bloke (definitely male, and definitely a bloke) who always seems slightly pissed and is always rather shouty. This bloke sounds off in an incoherent way and is likely to go off on one if anyone voices any scepticism at all about he says. He’ll just say it again louder. When you see this bloke in the street you don’t smile and offer a handshake, you may cross the street to avoid his unpleasantness. I gather there are many in both DEFRA and Natural England who feel the same about BASC these days.