BBC gives short shrift to Countryside Alliance’s latest vindictive attack on Chris Packham

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.

9 thoughts on “BBC gives short shrift to Countryside Alliance’s latest vindictive attack on Chris Packham”

  1. Its now clear that the Countryside Alliance are running a vindicative campaign that falls somewhere between bullying and stalking. You would imagine that at this difficult time the CA would be putting some effort into the rural fuel crisis…… but no, they only have time for fringe shooting issues and petty what-aboutery. Not much of a rural campaign lobby.

    Its also clear that the BBC are now fully aware of this behaviour.

    Maybe we should now be asking the BBC to stop giving this corrupted organisation a platform for its views?

  2. The CA never had anything to do with the real countryside. I don’t think we were even aware of it in forestry other than the occasional nuisance over hunting. The BBC must have been relieved when its members agreed that the BBC was biased – but they didn’t mention that I, and hopefully others, filled in their survey saying the BBC was biased in FAVOUR of field sports as in countryfile and farming today. The CA – and the shooting lobby’s – incompetence in communicating with the wider world couldn’t be better demonstrated than by their attacks on Chris who has become an iconic and much loved figure for millions through his brilliant presentation of the ‘Watches’.

  3. Nasty but dim Tim given the bums rush by the BBC. You’d think he and the awful Countryside Areliars would learn.

  4. But the BBC still ban open criticism of the UK shooting industry for the demise of UK predators and reptiles, or the widespread ecological damage the UK industry causes, in its UK natural history programmes. It is as if was a taboo subject.

  5. The Countryside Are Liars and Iron Bottom. Sorry, but I haven’t got anything constructive to say about this bunch. Anything I said that was longer would only give credibility to an organization and individuals who have got no credibility. Chris is a champ.

  6. This is a bit rich of the CA, given how timid Spring, Autumn and Winter Watch all are about addressing raptor persecution of any sort, but especially that linked to shooting estates. If it’s mentioned at all it is so vague and insipid that one might think that it wasn’t an issue of any importance. It’s almost (pacé Emily Maitliss’ recent revelations) as though someone was influencing editorial decisions…But that can’t be happening, can it?

  7. Chris is a wildlife presenter, he’s hardly going to praise an organisation that takes pleasure in killing creatures

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