1 Sep 2016 – Media reports from the last couple of days saying that the British Association for Shooting and Conservation are in turmoil are several months out of date.
The Guardian claimed to have been leaked sensitive internal documents via the League Against Cruel Sports, a vituperatively anti-hunting organisation, showing that a “culture of fear”, in the left-wing paper’s words, was operating at BASC.
UKSN’s author knows a fair bit more about this situation than the Guardian and essentially it boiled down to a very dirty power struggle, culminating in a successful series of elections at BASC which put the right people into the right positions to sort out the mess.
Readers pondering about the election of Peter Glenser as BASC chairman some months ago – an excellent move, in your correspondent’s view – have added two and two and correctly made four.
There are still internal disciplinary procedures going on at BASC so it isn’t fair to say more than that for now. Perhaps it is a story that can be told once the dust has fully settled.
The Guardian reports that there was an “independent” investigation into what happened at BASC, carried out by a law firm. UKSN’s author knows that there were in fact two such investigations, carried out by – for want of a better term – rival factions within BASC. The version handed to the LACS, and thence to the Guardian, Mail and Times, was the version paid for by the faction which lost.
I also saw the report after a blogger rather foolishly put the whole thing online and then got in touch. Unsurprisingly, he received a lawyer’s letter politely asking him to take it down and reveal who sent it to him. The blogger panicked and started claiming he was being gagged. Not quite the “threatening letters” from lawyers that the Guardian’s anonymous source makes out, and I’ve seen a few of those in my day job.
The people eventually responsible for sending the “investigation” report to the LACS clearly, in my view, wanted the highly defamatory allegations in it against named people aired as widely as possible in order to spread muck. That they turned to the LACS after all other right-thinking people looked at it and walked away, long after they lost their personal battle for control of BASC, should tell you everything you need to know – both about their morals and about their attitude towards BASC and the country sports.