Chris-Packham‘It’s a free country’ is one of the most meaningless expressions muttered moronically most days.

Friend of Louder Than War with an impeccable taste in music and punk rock (check his top 10 favourite punk gigs here) and Springwatch presenter Chris Packham is the subject of  a BBC investigation into  over an alleged breach of impartiality rules after a complaint by the Countryside Alliance over his anti-hunting views.

The TV presenter seems to have hurt the feelings of people who like killing things by calling them ‘the nasty brigade’ in last October’s BBC Wildlife magazine. Not sure how hurtful this expression is but surely it hurts a little less than being torn apart by a pack of dogs.

Chairman of the Alliance, Simon Hart MP (obviously being an MP sees plenty of spare time for whinging) wrote to the BBC to take action, saying: “We cannot stand by and continue to allow Mr Packham to use the status the BBC has given him to spread propaganda which has a direct impact on the lives of our supporters.”

The BBC will assess whether Packham breached editorial standard guidelines and will publish a decision in September. Maybe Simon Hart MP thinks a presenter of a wildlife programme would prefer a nation devoid of wildlife after it has been harried and chased away and killed.

Recently Chris annoyed another of the tough guys, Ian Botham – a man who likes to be known as ‘Beefy’ with his anti-grouse hunting campaigning.

Botham  told the Mail on Sunday, Packham damaged the reputation of the BBC’s wildlife team for impartiality.

He added: “When next month the BBC Trustees announce their solution to their Chris Packham problem, they may tell him to spend more time with the birds, away from the cameras.”

The former cricketer wrote that Packham “can not be convincingly neutral” and his comments “drags down confidence in the Corporation among rural communities”. 

Next time some kids on a council estate chuck a cat in a dustbin and set fire to it maybe they could shoo the police away by claiming they were hunting like Simon Hart or ‘Beefy’ like to talk about – or is hunting a rural only past time?

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


  1. Being a cricket fan, and of a certain age, I always idolised Ian Botham. Now I feel he can stick his opinions and his bat up his arse. Hunting and shooting play no part in modern day society unless you’re a blood thirsty oik. If the BBC pander to the Mail on Sunday and Country Alliance then it’ll be ‘Goodbye’ from me to Springwatch etc. My message to Chris Packham is ‘ Never let the bastards grind you down ! ‘

  2. Botham can go and fuck himself basically. How dare he consider himself fit to speak on behalf of rural communities? There is, and always has been considerable opposition to hunters and their activities in the countryside. We don’t all tug our forelocks to jumped up twats like him and that cockwomble Tim Bonner.

  3. BBC. Grow a backbone and tell the CCA And Ian Botham to do one. And stop wasting licence payers money on this ridiculous ‘investigation’. I would be really shocked if you had a wild life presenter who was for hunting. And if impartiality is so important to BBC rules maybe Professor Brian Cox should also be investigated with his non belief in religion views.

  4. Simon Hart is my MP and he is abhorrent. I met him to discuss the “Repeal the Ban” talk which was gathering momentum for a while and he was dismissive, rude, and obnoxious. He is also paid a LOT of money for very little “work” as a consultant for the Countryside Alliance. He does NOT represent us all in West Wales and he never will

  5. I live in a rural community and I (and my community) could not be more on Chris’s side. “Beefy” and his mates can all fuck off and stick their “sport” up their arse.

  6. Omg!! The BBC are morons!! How dare they or anyone else tell another person what opinions to have???? They are the ones making this a problem! Not Chris, whether he agrees with blood sports or not he should be able to voice HIS opinions!! It’s his opinion, not the opinion of the BBC we are talking about here, we are not children we do know that!!!!

    • Erm….because the BBC are publicly-funded, and all its employees and presenters are expected to follow a code of impartiality. If it was another BBC presenter using his/her position as a broadcaster to push their PRO-hunting views, you would (rightly) be angry and would be calling for them to be sacked. You, my dear, are the moron, as are all of you on here. You should be more concerned about the daily abuses of animals in our meat producing industries, not at the centuries-old traditions of our rural communities. You are all fucking hypocrites, motivated by politics and inverted snobbery, not by animal welfare

      • Madmaggie – and yet hardly any of them are impartial with their views with their books, newspaper columns, outbursts on the left and right – some I agree with and some I don’t but happy to hear them all – so this is a ridiculous case of some no-mark MP and the establishment trying to maintain their borderline illegal blood sports and nothing to do with inverted snobbery.

      • It’s taking life for fun that is so abhorrent to many. Humans should be better than that. We are civilised, not brutes.

      • “You should be more concerned about the daily abuses of animals in our meat producing industries, not at the centuries-old traditions of our rural communities.”

        Utter nonsense. You call it tradition, I call it unwarranted cruelty…and I’m not in the least bit concerned whether it’s Lord Fuckwit or a working-class fuckwit carrying it out. And what makes you think people on here are not concerned about meat production?

  7. Chris is a good, caring, compassionate man who can spread as much propaganda via the BBC as say the Newsnight team and every political reporter they have these days. I think it is called “balance”. The nasty brigade are nasty.Very nasty. The Cuntryside Alliance – for it is they Chris refers to – haven’t really got an empathic bone in their bodies and as far as I’m concerned I would not be averse to us taking up beaters, shotguns and other assorted weaponry and hunting them to extinction. After all, it’s all in the name of sport, isn’t it? As for Ian Botham, he thinks he has become gentry and therefore is acting like all the rest of them. A fallen working class hero is something to be….

  8. More verification of how controlled by the Tory Government the BBC is. They had no problem showing a hunt that is charged with illegal activities. It is blatantly obvious to everyone that none of the hunts actually engage in trail hunting: they are going after foxes and therefore illegal. I have a problem that my license money is being used to promote illegal activities, especially one that is abhorred by around 85% of the population, rural and urban. There is no place for this cruel, barbaric practice in a modern enlightened society. If it wasn’t that it was Tory donors that find it fun to torture animals it would have finished ages ago.

    Chris Packham is entitled to air his views and is a brilliant presenter


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