Sunday, 29 September 2013

Badger: Yum Yum!

Tasty snack
A man from north Cornwall who regularly cooks and consumes animals killed on local roads says culled badgers should be given to the public - so they can eat them.

Arthur Boyt (73) wolfs down weasels, rats and squirrels, as well as the unlucky brocks. He began eating roadkill 50 years ago, and still scoops up flattened animals for his dinner table. Mr Boyt believes all badgers killed under the Government's recent culling scheme should be served up, and has developed a recipe for badger casserole.

"I've eaten badger for 55 years and I certainly haven't got TB," says Arthur. "As with all meat you just make sure you cook it long and hot enough to kill any bugs. Badgers are fully edible, and their meat could be used to feed the hungry rather than being chucked in a furnace, I can't see any point in that."

Mr Boyt, a former civil servant and scientist, does not kill animals, and all his free meat comes from the roads near his home on Bodmin Moor. He also has an interest in taxidermy, and lives with long-suffering wife Sue, a vegetarian. 

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Jeremy Kyle: TV To Be Ashamed Of

Recently, a guest on TV's Jeremy Kyle Show hit the presenter in the head with a heavy envelope containing DNA test results proving he was the father of his girlfriend's baby. Hurled with great force, the envelope's edge caught Kyle around the ear. 

Clearly shaken, our host turned to confront his guest who threatened to "knock him out." Two of the show's bouncers stepped in to calm the situation before it escalated. 

The man, named only as Kev, and his girlfriend Elana appeared on an episode titled, 'Will our relationship survive two lie-detector tests and a DNA test.' Not included were tests such as general knowledge. 

To find people suitable for his programme, Kyle drives to run-down areas in an ice-cream van full of crack. He parks outside Pound Shops and Cash Converters, handing out drugs, cheap cider and tickets for the show. 

It’s two weeks later. On one side of the TV studio are several fat ugly people, all related and all sleeping with each other; on the other a baying, prurient audience. Kyle stands between them taking the piss and generally, no-one gets it. But sometimes it can be a risky business for the pint-sized personality, which is why the bodyguards are there. That, and the added buzz if they have to step in. 

The whole point of the Jeremy Kyle Show is to present a morbid procession of freakish people who are in some kind of turmoil. The programme titillates viewers who enjoy watching a human form of bear-baiting, inexplicably billed as entertainment. Really, even ITV should be ashamed.

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Welby, Wonga and Wealth

Fighting the good fight?
Clear-eyed Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, has launched a campaign against the money-lenders of Wonga. Sadly though, it’s since emerged his church funds the very company Archbishop Welby so wishes to oppose. Some prior fact-checking wouldn’t have gone amiss. 

In place of pay-day loan providers, Welby advocates Credit Unions. But there’s nothing new here; Unions have always offered an attractive and responsible alternative to rip-off loans.

Of course the church loves a fight; think of all the good things achieved by the Crusades, or the Reformation. How Welby intends to resource his challenge is left unclear but whatever happens, the church's support for Credit Unions will always be arms-length. Any taint of church-backed Unions being involved in say, sub-prime mortgage failure or scandal involving PPI would harm its reputation fatally.

Is Welby even attacking the right target? If banks were pressured to become more co-operative with loans, many people could avoid loan-sharks. Or how about demanding a living wage for the low-paid, so they can feed their families without resorting to usurers?

It’s not just the misdirection of Welby’s outburst which rankles. More irksome is his sense of entitlement to speak for those beyond his church's dwindling flock, to address wider society on temporal as well as spiritual matters.

Welby’s challenge to poverty might be better received, and more effective, if his church helped out by parting with some of its own resources. The Church of England’s hoarded wealth is currently a staggering £5.5 billion, helped by tax-free status. Yet even in these harsh times, every Sunday at services across Britain the collecting plate ensures ever more money rolls in.

In speaking out so, the new Archbishop of Canterbury follows his right-on leftie predecessor Rowan Williams, and shows a similar hilarious media naivety. Before Justin Welby addresses secular issues he should put his own out-of-step house in order, as gay people and women priests would no doubt agree.