Monday 24 October 2016

Grey areas/green areas

A hen harrier and a man in a Chris Packham suit

The BBC treats the countryside... one would expect from an organisation so long divorced from country life that it thinks The Archers is real, probably because it is made in Birmingham, which from a London perspective is practically a village.
So (quite wittily) says Ian Coghill, chairman of the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust (GWCT).

Just in time for the start of Autumnwatch tonight, the Daily Telegraph is today reporting Mr Coghill's view that those who enjoy traditional country pursuits, such as shooting and fishing, are treated as 'whipping boys' by some parts of the BBC. 

His main target is Chris Packham - the Springwatch/Autumnwatch star whose extracurricular activities include (very vigorously) campaigning against certain kinds of shooting (on behalf of his beloved hen harriers). 

Mr Coghill rejects the BBC Trust’s ruling in Chris's favour (after the latter posted an article in the BBC's inhouse magazine Ariel calling grouse-hunters "the nasty brigade)". 

The BBC's defence, if you recall, was that Chris Packham (like Gary Lineker) is not a BBC man but a freelancer, and not "associated with news or public policy-related output". 

Mr Cogham, according to the Telegraph, regards that as bunkum, alleging that Chris worked for the BBC "for 119 days last year" and should, therefore, be subject to the BBC's guidelines on impartiality.

This whole thing remains a very grey area impartiality-wise - and it was made even greyer by the BBC, having cleared him, then saying he would be monitored for impartiality and telling him not to use the phrase 'nasty brigade' again. 

As I'll be watching Autumnwatch (one of my favourite BBC programmes), I'll let you know if Chris Packham uses it to proselytise on behalf of his favourite cause.

If he does, then it definitely won't be a grey area in any way, shape or form.


  1. Chris Packham's OK in my book. Knows his stuff. The interests of game and wildlife are often in conflict. That's just reality.

    1. The issue is more with the BBC playing very fast and loose on impartiality on a highly selective basis.

      Currently they have their cake, eat it, and then deposit the result at will... because they just can.

  2. Chris packham is great and should stop working for the twisted and corrupted BBC. Plenty of other channels that would snap him up and back his incredible informed views.


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