The BBC’s Chris Packham's spam mail campaign to MPs flops after just 0.017% of people sign up
[BBC Celebrity presenter, Chris Packham, enjoying another glitzy commercial event]
Mark Avery, Ruth Tingay and the BBC’s celebrity presenter Chris Packham have this week been trying to put a positive spin on their efforts to rally supporters to send emails to MPs to 'save the skydancers'.
What makes the timing of their spam mail campaign even more ridiculous is only yesterday it was announced by Natural England that hen harriers had enjoyed their most successful breeding rates for two decades, with 60 chicks fledging from 19 nests.
The number of birds of prey in the UK has also rocketed past 250,000 leading many conservationists to question whether the country is now reaching unsustainable levels which risk leaving the countryside barren of other species.
Chris Packham' spam emails, which were sent using a template e-action link shared on social media, specifically urged politicians to ‘save’ the Hen Harrier from the ‘plight’ of unsustainable grouse moor management.
These spam messages were sent over a period of 20 days, piling high in the inboxes of public servants who surely have nothing more important to be dealing with at the present moment.
To an unexperienced and overworked MP it may even look like an expression of democratic will, rather than the irate button-pushing of a coordinated and vocal minority. Rather like the shrieking loon who would sit in the corner of a town council meeting, who everyone once knew to ignore, but whose opinions social media has tricked people into taking seriously.
[There are now more than 250,000 birds of prey in the UK]
Their campaign, which was run in coordination with the RSPB, even managed to embarrass their close ally, Angela Rayner, The Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, who compared the UK's raptors to be like Africa’s tiger population. She seemingly failed to realise there are no tigers in Africa. That's India you're thinking of, Angela. Mind you, given the Labour Party's recent record on racial slurs, that is hardly surprising. Mark Avery and his wife, Rosemary, are long term Labour activists.
It was not long ago don't forget that the former Labour Shadow Environment Secretary Kerry McCarthy MP, told the House of Commons that 'grouse were being imported into the UK in their millions'. Grouse are of course wild birds.
[Mark and Rosemary Avery, long term Labour campaigners]
As much as Packham and the RSPB try to demonstrate those who signed up to the campaign reflect 'the will of the people', their ‘will’ is nothing even close to a democratic mandate but rather is further proof of the fact that people will sign up to just about anything on the internet if a rich BBC celebrity with unlimited airtime at the taxpayers’ expense asks them to.
The ease of signing online petitions means that nowadays anyone with Wifi and a spare five seconds can virtuously signal to all of cyber space that they have jolly well made their mind up about something – regardless of whether they had any previous interest or information on the matter at all.
This craze of online direct democracy most famously came to light in 2016, when 127,000 people voted for a £200 million polar research vessel to be named Boaty McBoatface. A totally harmless joke but nonetheless indicative of the fickle nature of online petitions.
Perhaps it is no coincidence that this mad campaign was launched by fellow BBC presenter, James Hyde, reinforcing the influence that BBC's presenters are able to harness.
A more sinister petition surfaced later that same year, when a call to ban former Prime Minister David Cameron from re-entering the UK from Lanzarote gained 42,000 signatures. Another few thousand and the commons would have been asked to debate the right of a British Prime Minister to return home to the country of his birth.
As Packham and Avery lead their supporters in a jig, it should be remembered that Wild Justice’s campaign reflects just 0.017% of the British people. This pestering chain email should therefore be immediately directed to the junk box of any right-minded British lawmaker, along with messages from Nigerian princes requesting funding and inheritance bequests from long lost great aunts.
[5G phone tower set on fire after coronavirus conspiracy]
But if any MP is in need of further convincing of the dangers of internet forums, it is worth pointing out that 8% of Britons (approximately 5.3 million) believed that the coronavirus was spread by 5G technology and yet the telephone masts curiously remain in place.