BASC spoke with forked tongue?

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.


10 Replies to “BASC spoke with forked tongue?”

  1. This total inconsistency indicates the management of the organisation is in disarray and perhaps a power struggle is going on. Anyway, one is completely right not to trust any shooting organisation. None of them are capable of controlling and eliminating the criminal elements that are associated with them as has been proved time and again.

  2. If I remember correctly BASC got an awful lot of stick from members over its support for the phasing out of lead ammunition, especially those with old expensive guns. Many of these folk threatened to or did resign from an organisation that gave them no warning of this change of heart to a more sensible position. Perhaps now they are trying to stem the loss of these luddites.
    Your characterisation of the organisation reminds me hugely of one of their spokespeople, perhaps that is their real problem.

    1. Paul – thanks. I wonder who came to mind for you?

      Of course BASC is not a charity so maybe it feels it doesn’t need to appear the least bit charitable?

  3. A bit like the UK Government…..some excellent parallels.. say one thing, then say the opposite, some do what they want, others pretend to play by the rules……..

  4. This is in no way a defence of BASC as all the above criticisms are justified. But it has to be borne in mind that they are the moderate (even “progressive”) end of the shooting world. They have a dual purpose of morale and education of the shooting rank and file, and PR for newspaper columns. I’m sure you have all encountered the really sly, greedy and powerful folk that are the real guardians of the shooting world where it matters i.e judiciary, legislature. These are the ones that genuinely would have us all shot and stuffed down the holes in the peat…if only they thought they could get away with it. I honestly don’t know whether it is better to have a moderate and mediocre organisation to engage with or not.

  5. Well, I suppose when you know you’re factually incorrect so many times people start to laugh at your “expertise”, then the only approach is to try and undermine the opposition’s credibility and try to bring it down to yours. Good try, but easily seen through and laughable again. One does wonder what the real reason for your and your compatriot’s continual ranting to the naive and gullible about the countryside is, because it’s certainly not the best interests of our flora and fauna. But, I suppose it keeps the donations flooding in and that could be good enough reason, I wouldn’t know myself.

    1. Rod – thanks for your first comment here. No, it is clear that you wouldn’t know, yourself.

      Just explain how it is possible to be for a phasing out of lead and against a phasing out of lead. That was what the blog post was about. Remember?. That’s not what your comment is about.

    2. Rod,

      You seem to have described the BASC very well! I’m sure that wasn’t your intention though.

      I’d be interested in your explanation of your assertion that what Mark and his fellow conservationists do is “not in the best interests of our flora and fauna” In what way do you mean? I’ve seen no evidence of that being the case in any of their actions or indeed their measured well thought out briefings on the subject.

      I am genuinely interested but won’t hold my breath for a response.

      1. I can see the logic, whereby you have made a commitment, (possibly against the wishes of
        the majority who pay your wages – a risky venture-),over a given time frame, not to want to be railroaded even sooner .
        Having said that, there is nothing i really disagree with in the EU proposals, possibly the
        “Posession” clause is a bit iffy, dont they trust hunters ?.
        By the way, for some reason i have started receiving duplicate copies of “Shooting Times”,
        if anyone would like them forwarded on.

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