At a time of worldwide animal extinctions and potentially irreparable damage to the ecosystem, what kind of psychopath firebombs the house of a conservationist who campaigns to save our wildlife?
Shockingly, masked intruders parked a Land Rover outside a Hampshire house belonging to TV naturalist Chris Packham last weekend and set fire to it. This was the day before he was due to deliver a 100,000-signature petition to Buckingham Palace, calling for the Royal Family to conserve nature on Crown estates and to reintroduce species like beavers and wild boar.
Mr Packham himself has attributed the attack to online trolls:
Here is one of the good souls on this ailing planet doing his utmost to protect the life in it and on it and yet has to deal with this hate.He needs as much support as we can all give. https://t.co/byNNlxHWpn
— Robert Lindsay (@RobertLindsay) October 11, 2021
He said: “These people are angry at some of the things that I campaign against.” He campaigns against the wilful destruction of our natural environment! How can anybody be angry about that?
Sadly, This Writer can understand and sympathise with much of his experience with online trolls.
It is very easy to whip up extreme hatred on (for example) Twitter. I’m currently fighting a court case against another TV personality, who claims that her own behaviour on that platform didn’t encourage her Twitter followers to bully and intimidate a teenage girl with mental health problems. My question is simple: if she didn’t focus her followers on that girl, who does she say did?
Mr Packham says the social media companies have done nothing to enable justice or prevent hatred from being whipped up, and I am (again) inclined to agree.
But the Tory government is (allegedly) putting legislation through Parliament to change that. The Online Harms Bill will propose penalties for such behaviour.
I am eagerly awaiting it. Depending on what measures are finally imposed, it may be the best thing this Tory government does.
Have YOU donated to my crowdfunding appeal, raising funds to fight false libel claims by TV celebrities who should know better? These court cases cost a lot of money so every penny will help ensure that wealth doesn’t beat justice.
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Don’t forget that most of the so-called ‘Countryside Alliance’ are very Right wing, many far-Right, and they support bloodsports and are pro-gun. They are opposed to any sorts of restrictions that protect wildlife, they want the right to kill any type of wildlife by any means for the fun of it and without anyone else interfering to stop them. These are the sort of people who vote Tory.
Somebody would probably have to have quite a lot of cash to afford to destroy a Land Rover.
That should narrow it down quite a lot, I would think.
Deeply disturbing story.