At the bottom of the page on the Daily Mail on line there was an appealing photograph of a red squirrel with the strap line - Vote for Bob.
Now I love red squirrels so I clicked on the image and found myself transported to a web site that - weirdly-has nothing to do with red squirrels but is a campaign site for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB). On this website under the image of Bob the red squirrel was the following:
'I may be a small red squirrel but I have big ambitions. I want my young - and yours -to inherit a world where they can thrive .....'
Yes - well so do I Bob - unfortunately you are not getting any help from the RSPB - rather the opposite in fact. It would have been far more accurate if the RSPB -instead of showing the appealing picture of a happy Bob -had shown Bob being torn to pieces by a ravenous goshawk. The RSPB is - actually - a bird organisation and not a squirrel one and near the top of the list of birds the RSPB is most keen on is the goshawk which regards squirrels as a special treat.
So far so bad - but even worse is the sheer gall of the RSPB in using an image of a red squirrel when it has done absolutely nothing to help save this endangered species from extinction in the UK. The red squirrel is almost extinct in England and is on the retreat virtually everywhere with a few exceptions where - the energy and skill of a few dedicated people have caused the red squirrel to make a comeback -with -it goes without saying - no help from the RSPB.
The key to the survival of the red squirrel is the elimination of the introduced American grey squirrel. Yes - get rid of the grey squirrel and once again Bob could ' ..have big ambitions' and '....want his young to inherit a world where they can thrive.' But that ain't going to happen unless we learn how to eliminate the grey squirrel.
So what exactly is the RSPB doing to achieve this aim? Is it funding much needed research into the habits etc. of the grey squirrel with a view to improving our knowledge of this rodent and thus making our control methods more efficient? No it isn't
Has it issued traps to all it's wardens in it's reserves with instructions to zealously pursue grey squirrels with the aim of wiping them out? No it hasn't
Has it actually done anything to help preserve the red squirrel as pat of the fauna of these islands -No it hasn't.
So how dare it use Bob's image. Well it is the RSPB and has a total contempt for the truth about nature and has long got away with a policy of being - at best - economical with the truth regarding the world of birds and beasts.