Saturday, 17 October 2009

Time To Eat Humble Pie ?

Kate in 'Oddie-esque' thougthful pose

A lot has been written on a well known birding forum about the RSPB's decision to elect Kate Humble as their new President. Opinions seem pretty divided re the pros and cons - some say she is too opinionated and disrespective of other cultures ( a reference to "The Frankincense Trail") or too 'head girly' and 'gushing', whilst others feel her high profile and professionalism can only be a good thing.

Me ? Well I think it is a very good decision 'cause basically I like Kate. She is not afraid to stand up to the boys, clearly reads up on her subject, is infectiously enthusiastic and is not afraid of getting dirty (her hands that is, come on now behave ). Most BBC journos would be too worried about their career ratings to say anything remotely controversial but I think Kate will speak her mind. There is no such thing as bad publicity remember.

A happy Kate in a documentary about Elephant's backsides

On the BBC's "Frankincense Trail" she was initially critical of the way women were treated in Saudi Arabi, however this was merely culture shock rather than narrow mindedness, and, she is afterall a Western woman ! She soon 'aclimatised' somewhat and was even moved to the point of tears at the incredible atmosphere of the evening call to prayer in Riyadh (?). Is that bad ? I think it shows a deep respect and connection to a culture that is radically different from our own, whilst at the same time not being afraid to voice her own values and beliefs. She is human and not afraid to show it. Poisoned Golden Eagles and habitat destruction, Kate will be there being passionate and emotional and that won't necessarily be a bad thing. Thanks to her image and profile you might even read about it in The Sun, now there's a thought. Who knows, Kate may even become the new champion of Britain's only endemic the Scottish Crossbill, and go and sort out those pesky renegades at Bird Life International ! ?

So all you doubters please give Kate a chance: she is high profile, intelligent and also practical. She learns her subject and commits to it 100% with passion, enthusiasm and verve. She will be good for RSPB and good for birds. Trust me, it is not a career move for her as, frankly, she doesn't need it as it is bound to come with some 'baggage'. And, to lower the tone somewhat, if you still can't get your head around it all, be honest: would Chris Packham look this fetching in that little green and silver number ?

Viva el Presidente !