Thursday, September 16, 2004

The unspeakable pursuing the inedible

Well - the Daily Mail have confirmed it - we're in a CIVIL WAR. Some of you around the world might think that's a bit silly: you might be living in a conflict zone, you might have fled an oppressive regime or hurricane. You might be facing an election which will probably influence the fate of the entire world. But no, according to those In The Know what is most concerning you right now is the pictures being beamed around the world of the finest and oldest democracy being turned into a mockery.

Yes, it is civil war. And in case you missed those all-important pictures (perhaps your country was showing something, well, important) it's all about hunting. The country is split between those who think pest control must be done on a Sunday morning, wearing red hats and blowing horns and those who would rather leave the creatures alone and watch the sport of MPs being hunted down in their chamber and pointed at in a slightly threatening way. You can see why MPs sympathise with foxes: for them life is one long stretch of paranoia, assuming as they do that people care so much about what they get up to that their lives are in constant, imminent danger. It must be exhausting: you're just trying to make a living, voting through the laws and wars as directed by the Whips and all you've got to protect you is a bunch of men in tights against the marauding mob. Poor sods. It's no wonder that a Labour MP, speaking on the Today programme, declared 'it's one step from protest to terrorism'.

Except that this protest was nothing like terrorism and that was a stupid thing to say. For a start, the idea that the men that stormed the Commons could have been armed or wearing explosives is just silly as anyone who has been through the metal detectors and body searching at the public entrance will testify. You might get flour in there, but not a lot else*. Secondly, they were white and nicely spoken which means that they would have been judged 'not to be a threat' by all the policemen that they would have passed on their way. Woe betide you if you're not white and nicely spoken these days if you're trying to have a protest or even just go to work in Canary Wharf. But that's beside the point.

The incident demonstrated that MPs may be at risk, but they are still ultimately far better protected from the effects of their own war on terror than the rest of us. Their hysteria and money-spending every time an incident like this happens - and indeed the excuse it gives them to remove themselves further away from the public and sneak in a few draconian laws - is just what we've come to expect from a mob who've grown adept at casually dishing out decisions which have dire consequences on the rest of us.

Except for the foxes - huzah!

* Update: OK, so the Sun reporter got a bomb in - there's always one, isn't there.

No comments: