I have not been a fan of that unlikely Lord, Hattersley, since he tried to get me the sack from my job on the Daily Post. So I am uneasy about agreeing with him on the subject of St George, an Arab from Lod who made a fortune selling no doubt dodgy bacon to the Roman Army. He rightly suggests we should celebrate instead the birthday of William Shakespeare, which I did with a roast beef supper followed by a Shakespeare DVD. English is the only language in which Shakespeare could have written. The famous exhortation in Hamlet, translated into Dutch, would read “ Omlet,omlet, is dein feider's spooke”, which misses the dramatic emphasis of the original., as Geoffrey Madan pointed out in his hilarious notebooks.
I suppose I should be glad to have anything to celebrate as the last crumbs of England are brushed off the table of history.
If I were a bird I would be keeping a beady eye on the RSPB. Worse than the Metropolitan Police with their shooters.
The Royal Society for the Protection (?) of Birds has its sights trained on the magpie, a handsome bird, admittedly with relaxed nesting habits, which eats smaller birds because that is what magpies do. Magpies were doing it before the arrival of the Royal Society for the Protection (of some) Birds. No matter. It is Open Day on the magpie. The RSPB has form in this matter. Readers may recall the shocking affair of the Ruddy Duck.
I recall being very disturbed by that RSPB-sponsored Massacre of the Innocents, the ruddy ducks in Britain whose only crime was breeding with their Spanish cousins, resulting in flocks of ducks of mixed race.
I pointed out at the time that if pulling Spanish birds was a capital offence it would not be long before we had a great gap in our male population between the ages of 16 and 30.
I was also unhappy in these days of politically correct genetics that it was considered a bad thing to be of mixed race and an excuse for genocide. Tell that to the Afro-Caribbeans; because it does seem to me that if we encourage mixed race among humans we cannot deny it to the rest of Creation.
Speaking generally, I am opposed to the human race doing God’s job for Him. Even though I don’t think He is very good at it or we wouldn’t have tried to wipe each other out in wars. If it pleases Him to let the Ruddy Duck go at it like knives on Spanish holidays, who are we to quarrel with the Divine Wisdom?
We have also declared war on grey squirrels. If God thinks the grey squirrel has more right to live than the red, so be it. Though even if you don’t agree with Him, battering them on the head, as I am told the hunters do, is an appalling way to despatch them. Wouldn’t dare do it to a fox.
People who took part in the cull claimed the grey squirrel behaved very badly to the red, yet I have never heard of anyone bashing a red-head with a stone.
I am not one of God’s greatest fans. I think He was a lousy designer. Have you ever seen an armadillo, a sloth or a baboon’s backside? Nor would the human body pass the Prince of Wales’s architecture test. As I have pointed out before, you would not get planning permission for a building where the waste pipe is directly above the food inlet.
THE CORN OF SCONE
My friend Colin Hills writes from Germany