National seat

Dr Al Gabriel

Region: Northumberland, Northern region

BASC membership: 5+ years

Proposed by: C Jacoby

Seconded by: J McGee

I have been a member of BASC for six years and live in the North East of England. I am a molecular biologist and hold a PhD in genetics. I am a former Territorial Army soldier, an avid deerstalker and game shooter. I am a committee member of the NE England branch of BDS and an approved witness for DSC2.

I am an advocate for diversity, equality and women in shooting. I believe that my background as an academic biologist and my interest in conservation means I have a lot to offer to BASC and its council. I also have a perspective as an ethnic minority. I have spent the last few years speaking to BASC members, to find out what we want BASC to achieve. One of the answers is that BASC should become proactive and not reactive to political and legislative events. Another is that the council should be better informed and representative of the membership and modern Britain.

I write this at a time when a misinformed part of society is threatening our sport, people’s livelihoods, traditions and way of life. Protection and promotion of our sport depend on each of us. No institution, not even BASC, can carry that burden alone. I do not believe in tokenism, but I do believe that the future of our sport depends on widening our appeal. We want more women, people from working class backgrounds, disabled, ethnic and other minority groups going shooting.

I want to join BASC council so I can work towards two main aims. The first is to improve the composition of our membership so it resembles modern Britain. I want us to form closer ties with other conservation groups. The second is to look at the possibility of creating a new special branch of BASC with full-time employees whose role is to horizon-scan for upcoming challenges, monitor the spread of misinformation and update BASC council and the executives in real-time so that we are never caught off-guard. Let’s stop the rot of anti-shooting headlines and actions. We can do this by restructuring existing assets and recruiting new talent to be the eyes and ears of BASC. They can work with the individuals out there fighting the cause on their own on social, local and national media, who currently go unnoticed. Our opposition is organised, financially backed and already doing all this.

I have listened and heard your worries. I share your view that we can all do better, and that we can all take part. All BASC HQ and regional offices work tirelessly to promote the ethos of BASC and do a commendable job. The special unit I am proposing will put the teeth back into our association.

I intend to do my best to ensure that you, the members, are heard and supported in your effort to protect our sport. It would be an honour and privilege to serve all of you as a BASC council member. The future of shooting and conservation depends on us.

Cast your vote online

All votes must be submitted by 10am on Wednesday 8 July 2020. 

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