Being boiled

Well the good news yesterday was that my modem at home wasn’t working, so unfortunately I couldn’t spend the twilight hours reading comments from angry smokers.

Today’s good news will no doubt lead to a convoy of combine harvesters congregating on parliament, with dairy farmers throwing cows off the ramparts onto the heads of treacherous MPs.* (And yes, I do know combine harvesters are nothing to do with milk production). The Government has announced that it’s not going to authorise a badger cull. Pretty sure I’ve blogged before as to why I think this is the right decision, and it’s not just because – to quote the really, really tall MP with the Polish name – ‘badgers are sweet’. In fact it’s not because of that at all.

Obviously the last 24 hours or so has been a lesson in the perils of the Google alert. How many times have I blogged about the smoking ban before without attracting a single comment? But ridicule a certain organisation for holding a champagne tea party…

When I posted on the Canadian seal hunt earlier this year I got a few negative comments from Canadians; next time I’ll actually mention Bash the Seal, Inc. by name and watch my comments count go through the roof. (Someone is going to Google that now and tell me there really is a company of that name, or at least an online game. And someone else is going to comment on this post that clubbing seals is not remotely funny. Yes, I know).

(In future I’m just going to put “yes I know” in brackets whenever I make a flippant comment.)

On the subject of being lobbied en masse, I got an irate email from someone the other day. I’d sent his elderly father a letter explaining why I wasn’t able to sign the EDM on post office accounts (because I don’t sign any EDMs) . The son’s email basically said, what’s the point of telling my father you’re not going to sign the EDM when you don’t even tell him what the EDM is about? I replied saying that seeing as his father had sent me a postcard urging me to sign the EDM it was, I thought, a reasonable assumption on my part that he would actually know what he was asking for….

This was, I suppose, a little disingenuous on my part. Last year I got more than 600 postcards about the double-taxation of bingo profits, and dutifully forwarded a reply from the Treasury to them all, probably to their complete bafflement. The front of the postcard said “Save our Bingo” and I don’t think it’s being patronising to assume that was what motivated most of them to write in. (Although by all means accuse me of it, as seems par for the course at the moment). On the other hand, most of the people who write in on individual issues are incredibly well-informed.

* I should point out this is a reference to a comment left on a previous post, about a certain episode of Alan Partridge. Included for an audience of one.

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