21
Jan
19

Back-pedalling BASC?

Earlier today we blogged (here) about the apparent boycott by several pro-shooting organisations of the Raptor Persecution Priority Delivery Group (RPPDG), the so-called ‘partnership’ tasked with tackling the illegal killing of birds of prey on game shoots in England & Wales.

According to an article published in The Times, we learned that the National Gamekeepers’ Organisation had resigned from the RPPDG because, hilariously and without the merest hint of irony, it had “lost faith in the integrity” of RPPDG Chair Supt Nick Lyall.

We also learned, according to that article, that the other pro-shooting organisations that had failed to attend last week’s RPPDG meeting (Moorland Assoc, BASC and Countryside Alliance) stayed away because they had complained it (the RPPDG) “now favoured anti-shooting groups”.

Perhaps senior staff at BASC have realised that this is a monumentally idiotic position to cling to as these organisations have become a laughing stock on social media this morning. The following statement has just been posted on BASC’s website:

The statement repeats the quote reported in The Times, that “BASC remains committed to constructive dialogue with all sides” but it has added three important words: “BASC remains committed to constructive dialogue with all sides of the debate….”.

It’s not a debate, BASC. Raptor persecution is a crime. And not just any old crime, it’s a national wildlife crime priority. There’s no “constructive dialogue” to be had within the RPPDG other than “What can we do to help eradicate these criminals from within the shooting industry“?

And that dialogue is hard to have (or believe) when you refuse to turn up to meetings.

Sort yourselves out or shove off and make way for those who genuinely want to tackle this.

Oh, and one more thing. The content of RPPDG meetings is not confidential. We’ve got copies of the minutes of all the RPPDG meetings which we obtained via FoI requests. One of the things Nick Lyall has promised us is that in future, minutes will be be made readily available so we don’t have to spend months chasing DEFRA via FoIs. It’s called transparancy and accountability – you should try it sometime.

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11 Responses to “Back-pedalling BASC?”


  1. 1 Chris Batchelor
    January 21, 2019 at 12:15 pm

    What is the best thing to do when you have shot yourself in the foot? Shoot the other one!

  2. January 21, 2019 at 12:20 pm

    Congratulations on the strength of RP UK response to mealy-mouthed comments from BASC. Too few people willing to inform themselves of situations that require in-depth understanding, that would allow a critical eye and voice on these double-dealings.

  3. 3 Andy Mitchell
    January 21, 2019 at 12:22 pm

    Back-pedalling? Reading it carefully I realised that it has very, very carefully constructed. Nowhere does it offer a reason they did not attend the meeting nor does it say that they will attend any in the future. It merely says that their membership is on record. All it does, actually is confirm what was in the Times article. It’s going to fascinating to see the attendance at the next meeting. I do hope Nick Lyall calls and “extraordinary” one very soon!

    • January 21, 2019 at 12:53 pm

      Yes have not denied that it is a boycott.
      The fact that these organizations (MA, BASC, CA) have – well organized themselves – to all boycott this meeting but to give no actual admission of their boycott and given no reasons, I find quite menacingly.
      At least the NGO were being honest.
      This wall of silence is like the dead animal on the lawn. There is an implied threat which i would call it *****-****.
      They are so predictable that i knew this would happen.
      The other thing that springs to mind which is rather obvious but not to newcomers, that these organizations are all in it together. They all have different names but there isn’t a hair between them. Their defence of criminals is very organized and united. Fill in the rest. We know.
      What happened to the comments of the chair of the BASC last year about cleaning up their act? Did they boycott him or has he just been steam-rolled like they are trying to do with Lyall.

  4. 6 Dylanben
    January 21, 2019 at 12:34 pm

    From the BASC statement you would not realise that there had been a meeting last week at which it was not represented. Two down, two to go!

  5. January 21, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    I’m speculating, but this all looks a bit like you’d would expect them to act if they were told not to rely on the same “high level” political back-up as they would have been given in the past. The recent adverse publicity on fox-hunting and the recognition of conservationists will not have been lost on the politicians. These pro shooting organisations just might have had to reconsider their past performances and look to reform – they’ll also fear their organisations breaking ranks because of the criminal elements – but we won’t ever get to hear of that, not from them anyway.

    Even if they do decide to make changes, they may feel compelled to look at who their representatives are within the RPPDG, who’ve been involved in past discussions with NGO. What they will have to avoid at all costs now is antagonising the NGO and individual keepers into a “he said, she said” – that would be embarrassing. The NGO, may already be feeling like they’ve been, or are about to be, scapegoated.

  6. 8 Secret Squirrel
    January 21, 2019 at 2:00 pm

    An attempt to set the narrative re ‘content fo meetings is condifdential’ – like trying to retrospectively impose Chatham House rules

  7. 9 Simon Tucker
    January 21, 2019 at 2:38 pm

    Do you think Chris Packham’s CBE has changed the environment a little? Recognition of one of the most high profile opponents of the shooting industry with a gong could be an indication that the tide is turning just a little within the Establishment

  8. 10 Homer Simpson
    January 21, 2019 at 3:03 pm

    Worth sharing on here. I saw this comment on twitter from the formed RSPB Head of Investigations Bob Elliot

    @Bob_Elliot
    4h4 hours ago
    I cannot remember one meeting of the previous group that involved a proactive suggestion or initiative led by any of the shooting community. Always @RSPBbirders or NERF trying, in vain to move things on.

  9. January 21, 2019 at 11:51 pm

    Agree with Secret Squirrel here..they [BASC and presumably some of the other shooting organisations] are very keen to keep these meetings “secret”..why?..could it be that they know who the criminals and their sponsors/supporters are, within their own organisations but are not willing to pass that information on to the authorities? Damn right. Just about the only thing that hasnt been tried in this decades long fight against crime is for there to be a purge from within the shooting organisations. Or are they worried there would be no one left standing!….The entire raptor issue is now a very public one, there is no place for special pleading or secrecy at these meetings.


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