23rd Dec - Ruth Tingay, Packham's puppeteer
Whilst Chris Packham may be the most high-profile member of Wild Justice, it is Ruth Tingay who is thought to be his puppeteer – driving him from her seat in the background.
Whether she takes a back seat because she is the brains behind the group, or because her vicious temper doesn’t lend itself to public appearances, we are unsure. She recently publicly smeared a local Yorkshire farmworker with whom she disagreed as a ‘xenophobic homophobic racist.’
Tingay, or rather, Dr Tingay we should say, started her career working at Heathrow Airport monitoring the legal and illegal trade in wildlife. It is thought that it was there at Heathrow that she first became aware of the vast numbers of birds of prey and eggs that are stolen across the UK’s uplands each year and smuggled out to the Middle East for falconry.
The illegal trade in falcons is thought to be worth as much as $50million dollars a year. However it is interesting how rarely Tingay writes about this issue. Perhaps that is because it is inconvenient to her narrative of gamekeepers being responsible for almost every missing bird of prey.
Tingay campaigns prolifically for overstretched police forces around the country to prioritise investigations into any disappearances of raptors in the UK’s upland areas. It is strange that someone who asks so much of our police forces is also someone who took £20,000 from a company, Lush, who had just run an incredibly unpleasant and hostile campaign against the same police.
Earlier this month we reported how fellow activist, Sarah Whitehead, had been charged with running a ‘terrorist style campaign’ against scientists. It also seems Tingay has been learning a few things from these campaigning methods having reportedly moved her communications on to a secret encrypted app called Signal, which is also favoured by Islamic terrorists around the world.
Tingay and her Wild Justice colleagues even employed a legal team that previously represented ‘murderous Shia militias’ to pursue cases against British soldiers in Iraq, which says just about everything you need to know about her approach.
When the Scottish government announced they intended to bring in a grouse moor licensing scheme, anti-grouse shooting activists crowed repeatedly to everyone who would listen that ‘those estates operating within the license scheme have nothing to fear’. Indeed the Scottish Government sought to reassure the shooting community that the licensing scheme was in fact a positive step in shoring up the long term future of grouse moor management.
However Tingay had already announced what many in the shooting community knew. In her eyes, similarly to Max Wiszniewski from Revive, the licensing is just the intermediary step to an outright ban.
Some more rational thinking people within organisations like the RSPB privately blame Tingay, Wild Justice and the more radical activists for causing the polarisation of the moorland management debate that we now see, as she feeds conspiracies against the gamekeeping community.
There is also the question of the millions of pounds of public money and work hours of civil servants she is responsible for that have achieved nothing other than an enormous deterioration in the relationships between all sides of the debate and many of our red listed ground nesting birds being wiped out.