Monday, April 02, 2007


While we're waiting for the reels to be changed, and the next post to begin I'd like to introduce some light entertainment of the type that everybody else is linking to, but is too good to miss.

First we have the extremely splendid Picking Losers with a letter to the Secretary of State for DEFRA, as Agriculture is now known:

Dear Secretary of State,

My friend, who is in farming at the moment, received a cheque for £3,000 from the Rural Payments Agency for not rearing pigs. I now want to join the "not rearing pigs" business.

In your opinion, what is the best kind of farm not to rear pigs on, and which is the best breed of pigs not to rear? I want to be sure I approach this endeavour in keeping with all government policies, as dictated by the EU under the Common Agriculture Policy.

I would prefer not to rear bacon pigs, but if this is not the type you want not rearing, I will just as gladly not rear porkers. Are there any advantages in not rearing rare breeds such as Saddlebacks or Gloucester Old Spots, or are there too many people already not rearing these?
Apparently, the Secretary hasn't replied yet, but I'm sure PL will keep us posted.

And in the red corner, we have Alan Rusbridger, Grand Wizard of the Guardian editorial team, effortlessly rebuffing shallow accusations of hip hopracy from tabloid hack Piers Morgan, and setting refreshing new standards of openness in the process. After all, only someone with something to hide need be afraid:
AR: I'll talk to you off the record about this, but not on the record.

PM: Why? In The Guardian, you never stop banging on about fat cats. Do you think that your readers would be pleased to hear that you earned £520,000 last year? Are you worth it?

AR: That's for others to say.

PM: Wouldn't it be more Guardian-like, more socialist, to take a bit less and spread the pot around a bit? We have this quaint idea that you guys are into that "all men are equal" nonsense, but you're not really, are you? You seem a lot more "equal" than others on your paper.

AR: Er... [silence].

PM: Do you ever get awkward moments when your bonus gets published? Do you wince and think, "Oh dear, Polly Toynbee's not going to like this one."

AR: Er... [silence].

PM: Or is Polly raking in so much herself that she wouldn't mind?

AR: Er... [silence].

PM: Are you embarrassed by it?

AR: No. I didn't ask for the money. And I do declare it, too.

PM: But if you earned £520,000 last year, then that must make you a multimillionaire.

AR: You say I'm a millionaire?

PM: You must be - unless you're giving it all away to charity...

AR: Er...
Oh, if you do click through to the Morgan/Rusbridger thing and wonder why there seems to be a little bit of an undercurrent, I can't help. You'll have to figure it out for yourselves.


Anonymous said...

Does the Guardian make even a serious effort at pretending to be socialist any more?

Peter Risdon said...

The awful truth is, they do.