Thursday, 4 January 2018

Open Letter to Christopher Hope at The Telegraph

Dear Mr Hope,

I was alarmed to read one of your recent articles in the Telegraph, with an even more alarming headline;


There are several reasons for writing this open letter to you, but one of my main points is to let you know how disappointed I am in you as a journalist.  It appears that you have fabricated this absurd headline after reading my blog post and I am very disappointed in your "chief" journalistic approach to my meeting with Sir John Randall.

The first point I must pick you up on is your use of the words "plotting war"! Four people under the age of 20 talking with the PM's environmental advisor about a wide range of environmental issues is not "plotting war", but I am sure you don't need me to tell you that.

I am 15. I genuinely care about this shared planet we live on. We are facing a global mass extinction of wildlife, and yet you ignore everything in my blog apart from the sections on driven grouse shooting and the fact that unnamed "Pro-field sports MPs are privately appalled by the comments". So can you please clarify something for me. Are these unnamed MPs appalled that we talked about tackling "wildlife crime"? Our conversation was about "illegal activity" and sentences for illegal activity. 

As I commented in my conversation with Sir John Randall "it would be great if you could get the removal of gun licenses made law for anyone found guilty of shooting raptors". Shooting raptors is illegal, so surely this is not an unreasonable punishment. It is not in any way "plotting war" it is simply appropriately punishing those who break the law. Mr Hope, do you think it is acceptable that we had just 3 successful breeding pairs of Hen Harrier in England in 2017?

Banning the use of lead shot is not "plotting war"on the shooting industry either. It is simply ensuring that a poison like lead is not spread across our shared rural locations. Lead is a poison. It has been removed from fuel and paint as it is a health hazard, so surely it must be removed from the food chain. This is not plotting war, it is common sense.

But I can take all this in you article as you were clearly after a headline and wanted to create your story. This is not the thing that disappoints me the most about what you wrote. It's more about what you didn't write.

Georgia, Josie, Jordan and I are 4 young people who are genuinely worried about the future of the environment for our generation and for yours. We had the courage to put our heads above the parapet and speak out about our concerns on global warming, plastic pollution, lack of education in schools on environmental issues, marine conservation, investment in re-newable energy and more. You had a real positive story that you could have told. You could have chosen to write that story. You chose not to.

You have the power and influence to help spread our message far and wide. You could have supported us in our desire to tackle environmental issues, but you chose a cheap headline instead.  The surge of young people concerned and engaged with environmental issues should not be undervalued or underestimated.

I don’t think you will,  but it would be welcome if you at least offered some form of apology to my teenage colleagues and at the very least provide the names of the MPs that were “appalled" so that I can write to them also and explain to them how they are alienating themselves from my generation.

If you do choose to respond I would be happy to post your reply as a guest blog so that you have the opportunity to have your say.

I hope to hear from you soon.

Kind regards


Findlay Wilde 


29 comments:

  1. Well said Findlay. A better piece of writing than that so called journalist.

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  2. Hari OM
    Seconding the above comment. Media is responsible for how many relate to the world; how that responsibility is used must definitely be held to task! I hope you get that response. YAM xx

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  3. Very succinctly put Findlay. There are a number of people in rural areas who either think they are entitled to carry on unacceptable and sometimes unlawful actions, because of old practices dating back to William the Conqueror, and there are others more from the poaching tradition, who will quietly break the law, and demonstrate disrespect for the majority of countryside stakeholders, by various practices during hours when other people are not around. I find cartridge cases discarded in the reserve I look after, and vehicles have gone off road and got stuck, while lamping without any permission.

    People such as Mr Hope who write this sort of thing in the Telegraph have reason to fear a generation who will tackle them.

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  4. Brilliant Findlay! And great work on the blog.

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  5. Superbly written, Finn! Mr. Hope, if he has any sense at all(?), will be realising that he made a real ass of himself with that piece and it should jeopardise his position, particularly when there are people such as yourself rising through the ranks.

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  6. An excellent response, well-written, articulate and very much to the point, showing up cheap and biased journalism for what it is. Congratulations Finn, I hope you get an apology but even if not, that this strengthens your case for wildlife and spreads the word more widely.

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  7. Good stuff, keep it up, Findlay - I'll be sharing this on twitter from @PaulSeligNature later today.

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  8. Good job Fin, the kind of rational, balanced argument that you'd hope to see from national newspapers too. Wishing you every success.

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  9. You have restored my faith in the younger generation. Keep going!

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  10. An excellent letter, young man. I'll give you a 9 for your ability in writing a piece of Persuasive Writing at GCSE ��
    I read the article and was appalled by the ridiculous, over-inflated, combative and inflammatory tone. As you say, he could have written an uplifting and hope-for-the-future article. Instead, he chose to scrape the proverbial barrel. I'm surprised the Daily Mail hasn't reprinted it.
    Keep fighting for what you believe in. You have the moral high ground. Use it.

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  11. I take my hat off to you young sir.

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  12. Well said Findlay! I read that piece in the Telegraph and was utterly appalled! Keep up the good work, and keep up the pressure and we all need to follow your example and do our bit.

    Cheers,

    Seumus

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  13. Extremely well written Findlay, articulate and concise. As you've published this as an open letter I hope many of your followers will re-post it on social media.

    Happy New Year, Richard.

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  14. Your response is logical, measured and articulate Findlay. We need everyone in your generation to join you and show that you all care, know as much as anyone else (whatever their age or occupation)and are prepared to respond to poor, twisted journalism or indeed poor, twisted politics. You will win out in the end hopefully. Stay focused and polite and you will keep the high moral ground you deserve. Bless You!

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  15. Maybe the Telegraph should allow you to write a column as a way of an apology

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  16. An excellent letter Findlay. This so called journalist should be ashamed to have written such garbage and initially all the more surprising in the Telegraph but then he who pays the piper etc! Your letter deserves the widest possible circulation.

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  17. Findlay Wilde a force to be reckoned with. Keep on at them matey they'll continue to cower behind their lines until they get flushed out.

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  18. Well said. I'm appalled at the Telegraph piece. Keep up the good work.

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  19. A brilliantly written letter Findlay. Well done!

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  20. Such a well structured letter. Our media have so much to
    Answer for. But dont forget we oldies care too. But are
    Lucky to have young people like you taking up the challenge, now and in the future. Grandad

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  21. Superb letter: beautfully written and succinct. Keep up the good work.

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  22. Great work Findlay! Young people like you give me hope! Speaking of which, I hope Mr Hope has the common decency and curtesy to provide you with the considered reply your polite and thoughtful letter deserves.

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  23. Your pen is way sharper than the blunted axe of yesteryears fish n chip wrappings. Your swordsmanship exposes the arthritic dying hand of one whose desperate bullying ways evidences the weakening grip on self-centred outdated habits.

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  24. Findlay, I am so proud to "know" you virtually. I can't wait to know if that 'journalist' (using the term loosely) has the decency to reply. Congratulations to you and your friends, environmental heroes all. (And when this 'adult' takes time to read and reply you know that a lot ofpeople are taking you seriously (and no doubt really realize that you are in the right). replying!

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  25. Well done! The section on lead shot reminded me of the sort of thing that was published when it was banned for fishing - war on fishing etc, etc. Some people just dont get it, do they?

    Cheers - Stewart M - Melbourne

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  26. Well done, well though, well written Findlay. Good luck in your travels through the morass of cretinous attitudes towards the other species on our planet who desperately need champions to save them from the depredations of an appalling self involved generation of homo sapiens.

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  27. I enjoyed reading your post thanks for sharing it.
    clipping path

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