Friday, 9 October 2009

Water way to make a point

THERE was yet another protest outside my Westminster Parliamentary office window last Wednesday. One minute it was just the normal mix of tourists, joggers and bored-looking coppers. Next thing, hundreds of people were running on to Westminster Bridge and forming a human barrier. This week's demo was by the Tamils from the Elam region of Sri Lanka. For years they've been getting shirty about how badly the Sri Lankan government treats them. They even set up the 'Tamil Tigers', a rebel group fighting the Sri Lankan government. Recently, the military over there started a big push to destroy the Tigers once and for all. Unfortunately, they killed a lot of innocent Tamil people too. That wasn't good for peace and reconciliation, and the whole thing's now a big, violent mess.
So that's why they were out demonstrating. They want the British government to intervene. Some of the protesters got so riled they threw themselves off the bridge into the Thames. What an odd way to make a point. People took photographs of the floating fellows, probably missing the point of the demo and thinking it was something set up for tourists. What happens next with this Tamil business is anyone's guess. But the protesters aren't the only people who are all at sea on this one.
EVER heard of Muntadar al-Zaidi? You may not know his name but you'll know what he did. He's the plucky Iraqi journalist who lobbed his shoes at George Bush last December. Muntadar was hacked off with how bumbling Bush had messed up Iraq. So he chucked his shoes-a big insult in Arab culture-at the outgoing President during a press conference. Bush managed to duck but Muntadar's stunt earned him three years porridge in an Iraqi slammer. However the good news this week was that a court of appeal decided he was generally a decent bloke and had never been in trouble with the fuzz before. So they cut his sentence to just 12 months. A year in Baghdad's lock-up can't be a bundle of laughs-but it's certainly better than three. And considering that six out of 10 Iraqis see him as a hero, Mr al-Zaidi is in for a warm welcome when he gets out. Perhaps he'll even get an advertising deal with Doc Martens.
PORN seems to have become a bit of a theme in the Home Office over the last couple of weeks. First, there was Jacqui Smith's other arf claiming expenses for adult flicks. Now there are more red faces over a dodgy website link. It all started with a page about, 'Security and Counter-terrorism'. The page linked to a body called the Technical Advisory Board unfortunately they'd changed their website without telling the techies at the Home Office. Then the old website address had been bought up by a Japanese porno site! A chap trying to find out about security regulations stumbled across the lusty Japanese babes and quickly phoned the BBC. They called up the Home Office to point out their saucy site to officials. It just goes to show that the police aren't the only ones seeing blue at the Porn Office. I bet the Home Secretary has had enough of all this. She'll be laying down the law in her department-I suppose you could call it the Porn Ultimatum.
WHAT’S your view on fox hunting? I ask because the whole subject’s just about to be dropped right back into the centre of the political agenda. Tory chief David Cameron said this week that if he becomes the Prime Minister he’ll bring it back. “WHAT!?” I hear readers scream. “How very dare you?!” Well, hold on a moment. Now, I’m not here to talk up the Tories, but it’s not as horrible as some people may have you believe. Consider this: The fox hunting ban was supposed to reduce animal suffering in the countryside. But actually, the facts I’ve seen show it’s done no good for animal welfare at all. More foxes are now being shot, snared and wounded than before the ban, all perfectly legally. Hunting, on the other hand, uses dogs which either catch and kill the fox pretty quickly, or the fox escapes unharmed. There’s no wounding because it’s an “all or nothing” kind of thing. I asked the pro-ban lobby why they’re so keen on banning the one method which never wounds a fox in favour of methods which do. So far, they haven’t been able to give a single sensible answer to this simple sensible question. Oh, and here’s another thing. The Hunting Act applies to ANYONEwith a dog. So if your little Pekinese poochie kills a mouse, technically you could be arrested and tried for breaking the law. If we care about animal suffering, we’ve simply got to can the ban.

1 comment:

  1. Were you educated by the Countryside Alliance? Do you think that one form of torture should be legal simply because there are worse forms of torture? This type of warped logic is exactly what is wrong with society today. If you can catch a fox in a cage trap with food as bait (as many of us have done when a fox needs medical help), you can shoot it with accuracy and eliminate any prolonged period of suffering. That is a humane form of pest control. Remember only certain types of farmers (poultry, etc.) see foxes as pests. Crop farmers have said endlessly that that foxes actually help keep down the rabbit and vole population which are much more of a problem to them.

    Over 60% of the UK hunts have completely ignored the ban and continued hunting, thanks to people like you who turn a blind eye to what is really happening here. They consider themselves well above the law and may soon be rewarded by a repeal. It is little wonder why there is so much violence on our streets. What kind of role models do our children have if political leaders support this type of gang behaviour and dare to call it a sport?
    Have you ever seen how the fox is actually killed? No ficticious first bite to the neck. The hounds are in a frenzy and literally rip it apart alive. You should hear the screams from these animals. This is after men, women, and children! on horseback chase the poor animal to exhaustion with the hounds. If the fox goes to ground, they dig her out with lurchers and shoot her. There is nothing fair or sporting in this activity. Just vile behavior from those who enjoy torturing the helpless. No one complained when bear baiting and cock fighting were made illegal. Why? They weren't carried out by the ruling class.