October 24th, 2012

Ministerial Cow-Headedness

Yesterday the Environment Secretary Owen Paterson said “I will do what is right, not what gives me a warm feeling or gives protest groups a warm feeling.” Yet Alice Thomson’s column in the Times today shows a spectacular level of ignorance from a Minister and a government Special Advisor, who are shameless about their populist motives:

“As one minister explained: ‘We have three priorities: the economy, education and welfare. Badgers don’t fit into any of those scenarios so they are a distraction.’ One special adviser compared it to the U-turn on selling off forests. ‘Why would we want to antagonise all the fluffy animal-lovers when we don’t have to?'”

Guido has his suspicions to which side of the coalition the Minister sits on, but that aside, the argument is nonsense. The economy? Defra’s own website states that there are 5,300 dairy producers in the UK produce 13.3 billion litres of milk per year at an average of 27p per litre. Bovine TB, spread by badgers could wipe  out this £3.5bn market.

Which would do wonders for welfare numbers…


  1. 1
    The PRick Posing as PM says:

    One only cares about personal survival! Why needlessly upset the common people – or sheeple as Tony called them? What?

  2. 2
    A badger says:

    I’m so glad your Prime Minister does U-turns.

  3. 3
    The PRick Posing as PM, - as an afterthought - says:

    The common people – or sheeple – are all bovine anyway! Hahahahahahhahhhha!

  4. 4
    Brock Watch says:

    Obviously the minister has never come a across a badger in the wild, the are not fluffy. The most striking thimg is their body fat which means they lie as road kill for many months as their bodies will noy rot down.

  5. 5
    Ruth Badger says:

    Am I safe then?

  6. 6
    President O'Barmy says:

    I am voting for Romney. I want to return to my first love, basketball.

  7. 7
    Rodger the colleague says:

    John Major gave Edwina Currie a warm feeling inside

  8. 8
    Aye tis odd indeed says:

  9. 9
    Anonymous says:

    ‘noy rot down’

    Is that a Northern Irish accent?

  10. 10
    Use by 23 Oct says:

    Animal lovers don’t love cows then.

  11. 11
    Stampo says:

    I think you are wrong on this one Guido, Bovine TB could not wipe out a 3.5 billion market? Not so. DEFRA’s own website claims it cost £90 million last year, a figure hotly disputed AND the science which says Badgers are the main cause is wobbly to say the least. There ARE bigger and more important priorities at the moment!

  12. 12
    Anonymous says:

    Except killing badgers will do nothing to stop TB spreading, as countless researchers have said.

  13. 13
    Use by 23 Oct says:

    Wait ’till he gives you a cast-iron guarantee, then you’re fucked.

  14. 14
    Barny Beaver says:

    Me too – so far!

  15. 15
    ToonBert... says:


    I like ‘em :)

  16. 16
    Notanon E Moose says:

    Except killing badgers will stop TB spreading, as countless scientists have said.

  17. 17
    ToonBert... says:

    Good for him !

  18. 18
    Another badger says:

    Bugger! Never thought of that! – still, nothing ever came of the fox-hunting thingy did it?

  19. 19
    Use by 23 Oct says:

    But…..it’s spreading north of Watford. What about us?

  20. 20
    ToonBert... says:

    At least he did not do it for a Jim’ll Fix It badge !

  21. 21
    Anonymous says:

    So, which category does gay marriage come into?

  22. 22
    Give Country prople a break says:

    Not if you are struggling to run a Dairy herd.

  23. 23
    Clean up the mess says:

    But cold drippings later

  24. 24
    Anonymous says:

    Is pretty normal for a premiere?

  25. 25
    Almost Anonymous says:

    If badgers looked like cows..where would your argument lie?

  26. 26
    Da Inquirer - with a pertinant question, says:

    Why all the attention on Badgers?

    The greatest question is ….. how do you stop LieBore spreading?

  27. 27
  28. 28
    Almost Anonymous says:

    Same solution.

  29. 29
    Bye Sally says:

    Will remember all the jaunts in the Alley. Thnx 2!

  30. 30
    Use by 23 Oct says:

    One down….

  31. 31
    Not surprised says:

    Intersting to hear him on PM yesterday evening. Gave some fairly lame excuses for the U-Turn but then said “we look forward to carrying out the cull next year.”

    “Looking forward” to killing lot’s of animals? Strange choice of phrase!

  32. 32
    One Optimistic Voter says:

    Does this mean ZanuLielabor aka The Badgers are going to be exterminated ?

    sooner rather than later…….lol…….

    there will then be 2Ed’s aka dick heads less……..

  33. 33
    Anonymous says:

    Bye, See You Next Tuesday

  34. 34
    Gonk says:

    Me too

  35. 35
    Axe The Telly Tax says:

    Dodgy science.

    Are you sure you’re not talking about man-made climate change?

  36. 36
    Anon says:

    Thank fcuk for …..that is great news…….

    remember to keep your fcuking legs shut as well……..

  37. 37
    Scientific Method says:

    How did they do this research, exactly?

    Did they do a monitored trial where they got rid of badgers? If not, then how do they know the outcome? I don’t think anyone is arguing that badgers don’t carry TB. I thought the idea of this cull was to find out whether a cull really would have any effect.

    Badgers are only protected because people dug them out for baiting, not because they are uncommon.

    It is of course all the fault of the EU – because vaccinating cows is banned under directive 78/52/EEC

  38. 38
    Call me Dave says:

    Excuse me for interrupting but I would like to correct the post above…

    We have three priorities: Our property portfolio, our salary & pension rights and our after dinner speaking gigs.

    That is all.

  39. 39
    Axe The Telly Tax says:

    It’s a test run.

    If it works on badgers then it’ll work on chavs.

  40. 40
    Quiet Bat Person says:

    Anything with black hair with white streaks could come under fire.

    Badgers, Milliband…

    …are you sure you want to go with this, Guido?

  41. 41
    Eric Pickles says:

    Liking them more already

  42. 42
    HenryV says:

    Being familiar with the state of British diary farms I think there is more likelihood of some disease spreading from poor dirty cows and farm labourers. Some farms are pristine and animal welfare top notch, many others not so good, and some verge on cruelty. For the most part farmers themselves are work shy money grabbing leeches. There is a lot of talk here about benefit cheats and MP’s expenses they all pale into significance compared to the farming racket. They would have you believe the industry is on its last legs like fishing and it isn’t.

  43. 43

    John has finally put his built up foot down.

  44. 44
    Use by 23 Oct says:

    Might I suggest as a very competent scientist>
    Stick a badger with TB and a cow without in a tumble dryer…you get the picture

  45. 45
    Quiet Bat Person says:

    Let’s have another debate about fox hunting, while the economy gets even more fucked up. It worked for Labour.

  46. 46
    Tony B. Liar says:

    You’re still an amateur compared to me Davey boy.

  47. 47
    Farmer Palmer says:

    Get orf my land

  48. 48
    Use by 23 Oct says:

    It didn’t have far to go.

  49. 49
    City Dwellers are greedy parasites. says:

    Why do Townies hate country folk so much?

    Not content with covering the countryside with windmills and solar panels which thet give fluffy names like farms and parks to, they now want to put Dairy farmers out of business and cause suffering and slaughter of their herds.

  50. 50
    Bercow resplendant in his cuban heels says:


  51. 51
    Tay King-dePisse says:

    I’d have thought you’d want to return to Kenya, but then again, Indonesia’s a nice place too, might want to consider there as well.

  52. 52
    Scientist says:

    I just followed you suggestion and performed the experiment.

    You owe me a new tumble drier, you bastard.

    P.S. do you want to buy some Beef & Badger pâté?

  53. 53
    A Farmer says:

    Where there’s muck…

  54. 54
    Jordan says:

    Ive seen TOWIE so is TOWNIE The Only Way is Northern Island?

  55. 55
    Gonk says:

    Save badgers, kill foxes, ignore bats

  56. 56
    Axe The Telly Tax says:

    Those are the ones too stupid to download a cam version of the film from a russian premiere weeks ago. LOL

    I watched a DVD Screener of War Horse before the Royal Premiere ;-)

  57. 57
    Ted Bundy MP says:

    Vote for me

  58. 58
    Ken John Peel says:

    Don’t forget The Hunt. ( yes H unt )

  59. 59
    jgm2 says:

    For the most part farmers themselves are work shy money grabbing leeches.

    Dairy farmers? Workshy?

    You couldn’t pay me enough to become a dairy farmer. Well, I suppose if you gave me a million quid a year I could employ somebody to do it for me but as for actually working as a dairy farmer?

    No way. Too much like hard work and no holidays.

  60. 60
    bergen says:

    As I understood, this was a restricted trial to find out one way or the other whether a badger cull was effective as there was no scientific consensus.

    I heard that the obvious solution (vacinating the cows) was illegal under EU rules-don’t know if that’s true.

  61. 61
    Farmer Giles says:

    The opponents of the badger cull should be made to carry out the slaughter of infected cattle.

  62. 62
    Caroline Spelman, Jon's mum says:

    If these folks have anything to say about it, yeah, I’d say so. Unfortunately.


  63. 63
    Mactheknife says:

    Anyone who pays any attention to the shite that comes out from DEFRA is crazy. Just look at the bull they churn out on climate change. They are in bed with DECC as a bunch of alarmists. Fuck me Guido I thought you had more sense.

  64. 64
    Idiot from sunderland says:

    The next black and white c@unt that walks in front of MY car i`m kicking fluck out of it anyway. TB or no TB.

  65. 65
    HenryV says:

    I was milk recorder for nine months. Those who work for farmers had a shit life. But most farmers I know put more effort into moaning and seeing what scheme would get them their next cheque. The trouble with the industry is that the best farms are superb, but the most are very average, and some purely disgusting; it is the better farms that NFU push as the average. Just as you wouldn’t eat bread from one of the large bakeries if you saw what went on, many wouldn’t drink milk if they had seen poor shit covered cow with bad feet hobbling to be milked.

    As for no holidays, really? I suppose you will tell me next farmer’s kids have no shoes on the feet or can’t afford to buy milk themselves…….

    Vaccination would be quicker and kinder. To be honest if farmer said good morning to me at 1130am I wouldn’t believe him.

  66. 66
    Mark Austin says:

    This has been tried (without the tumble drier of course). A TB infected badges was tied in a stall with an unifected calf (on the basis that the young are more likely to get infected). The result: nothing.

  67. 67
    Mark Austin says:

    There is absolutely no evidence that, compared with cow-to-cow infection, badger-to-cow infection is significant.

    The sad thing is that bovine TB was almost eradicated in this country—by strict monitoring and movement control—in the 60s and 70s. The farmers then found that badgers also had TB, claimed it was all down to them, and lobbied to have the restrictions and regulations removed. They were, and the result was that TB spiralled out of control.

    I have very little sympathy for farmers in this case: they know—because it worked 40 years ago what needs doing—but don’t want it because it would make their life a bit harder and cost the a bit more.

    At present, if a farm has an outbreak the taxpayer bails them out. This should stop. They should take out insurance (if necessary state-run: but of a for-profit basis). This would give them an incentive to do something about the problem rather than whining about badgers.

  68. 68
    Freddie Fraudster says:

    The problem is the frequency with which he does them so don’t get too comfortable yet. By next week he will have swivelled 180 degrees again and you will be back in the sights. Toodle pip

  69. 69
    Freddie Fraudster says:

    She had the same effect on me. She and that Maggie one.

  70. 70
    Freddie Fraudster says:

    Could we milk them then.

  71. 71
    Freddie Fraudster says:

    CAn we have a cull of MPs instead

  72. 72
    Blob says:

    Doesn’t the EU say you all produce too much milk anyway?

  73. 73
    Blob says:

    If farmers vaccinate cows in the milksheds, how will the ignorant nosey buggers from Brussels know?

  74. 74
    Blob says:

    Little Eddie Milipest was milk monitor for nine months at his comprehensive school. Then he got chucked off the job for pinching all the gold tops to give to the one-eyed loony frae Fife.

  75. 75
  76. 76
    Dreary Steeples says:

    Over the past decade for family farms to survive they have had to increase the herd size, producing more for less. However, when you have more animals together stress sets in creating many problems including TB. We built suoer hospitals and got superbugs, keep the herds smaller, keep the cows happy.

  77. 77
    Young love says:

    But now they are very close and waiting for the patter of tiny hoofclaws

  78. 78
    Chris The Leatherman says:

    Owen Patterson was fthe former boss of The British Leather Company. They use to make very nice Pimpernel sides. I think he is the Leather industry’s representative in Parliament. He shouldn’t be too squeamish about a few badgers.

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