L'Ombre de l'Olivier

The Shadow of the Olive Tree

being the maunderings of an Englishman on the Côte d'Azur

05 November 2008 Blog Home : November 2008 : Permalink

Your Tax Quids At Work

One of those things that make you scratch your head and wonder is this news item from the BBC.

Cat and dog owners are to be told to provide "entertainment" and "mental stimulation" for their pets under new government advice.

The code of practice also includes advice on diet and providing "somewhere suitable to go to the toilet".

It says owners should watch for signs of stress and advises on introducing cats to dogs without the fur flying.

I know the UK is a nanny state but really, does Nanny Govt have to tell us how to look after our pets? Of course there's also the charming next paragraph;

Owners will not be fined for breaking the rules but failure to comply may be used in animal cruelty prosecutions.

So they publish these rules, you won't be fined if you're caught not following their advice, but if you don't follow it and the RSPCA decide to go after you, then you're screwed. I do sort of wonder whether an acceptable defense against an RSPCA prosecution will be that you follow these rules. I'm sure they will have been written so that you can abuse your pet while still following the letter of the regulations.

Oh and there there are the "Eco-towns", which pretty much everyone is criticising as pointless boondoggles, possibly because that is exactly what they are.

Personally I can see one way to make them better. Pass a law to forcibly relocate all greenpeace members to them. Now. And when the greenies whinge and point out that they are not built yet? Simply point out that any building structure would damage mother Gaia so they have to live outside. If the winter is a cold as I suspect it may be we'll soon solve the tree-hugger problem.

Unfortunately my Eco-town solution probably means I'll upset the Govt because I'm creating a "culture of cynicism". According to Hazel Bears

too much commentary is provided by a self-appointed political class that leaves "ordinary people" excluded and the mainstream media must adopt a "more responsible manner".

She will tell a Hansard Society conference political disengagement that blogs are mostly written by "people with disdain for the political system and politicians".

She goes on to make a couple of other rather more whiney points:

"The most popular blogs are rightwing, ranging from the considered Tory views of Iain Dale, to the vicious nihilism of Guido Fawkes. Perhaps this is simply anti-establishment. Blogs have only existed under a Labour government. Perhaps if there was a Tory government, all the leading blogs would be left-of-centre?

"Until political blogging 'adds value' to our political culture, by allowing new voices, ideas and legitimate protest and challenge, and until the mainstream media reports politics in a calmer, more responsible manner, it will continue to fuel a culture of cynicism and despair."

I think we can ignore the rest of her moaning as its quite clear that she's just upset that the blogs aren't afraid to point out the holes and the spin of ZANU Labour. It seems quite clear to me that bloggers such as Timmy, the Devil's Kitchen and other prominent ZANU labour critics are in fact "new voices, [allowing new] ideas and legitimate protest and challenge" and they (we) blog because the mainstream media didn't and doesn't let such new voices in until they made it in the blogosphere.