The perennially nasty Countryside Alliance (CA) has received a metaphorical two fingers from the BBC in response to the CA’s latest attack on Chris Packham, calling for him to be gagged or sacked.
Using The Telegraph to promote its ongoing hate campaign, last week we learned how the CA planned to complain to the BBC because on Twitter Chris had publicly applauded the hunt saboteurs whose peaceful protest had stopped a grouse shoot attended by Ian Botham in the Peak District National Park. Here’s the Telegraph‘s headline from 25th August 2022:
The Countryside Alliance was apparently upset that Chris was using his personal Twitter account to air his personal views. Shocking, I know.
Fast forward a week and yesterday The Telegraph published a second article, this time announcing that the CA had launched [another] petition to try and force the BBC to gag Chris or sack him. You’d think the Environment Correspondent at the Telegraph might have more pressing issues to address…
Here’s the second article’s headline:
We’ve been here before, of course.
In 2015 Tim Bonner, Chief Exec of the Countryside Alliance complained to the BBC about Chris Packham describing various ‘countryside’ organisations as “the nasty brigade” and Bonner accused Chris of other alleged breaches of the BBC’s editorial code. This complaint coincided with the beginnings of a concerted campaign by Chris & others against driven grouse shooting. It was pretty obvious to everyone why they wanted Chris silenced.
After long consideration, the BBC Trust dismissed the complaint and published a report that concluded Chris had not breached any BBC guidelines (see here).
The Countryside Alliance’s latest complaint to the BBC has been met with a wonderfully chiding response from a BBC spokesman, not unlike that of a tired adult trying to explain to a small child whose brain hasn’t yet fully developed why they can’t eat ice-cream for every meal:
“As we have said before, impartiality at the BBC is sacrosanct and we have established strong and clear guidelines for social media use.
“And as a piece of context, Chris is not exclusive to the BBC, isn’t a factual journalist and isn’t speaking as a BBC presenter.”
Nice one, BBC.
UPDATE 3rd August 2022:
A counter-petition to the BBC has been set up.
That petition, ‘Chris Packham should NOT be silenced by hunters‘ can be found here.