Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Don't forget Foot and Mouth Disease

The UK's current political game is to find new ways of 'rubbishing' Gordon Brown. No insult is considered too demeaning. Vince Cable is being lauded as if he had delivered the equivalent of the Gettysburg Address simply for telling the Prime Minister that his recent performance was akin to that of Mr Bean. A variety of incompetence's are listed as examples of this, including Northern Rock, the disappearing data-discs and the dodgy Abrahams donations. (Incidentally, can anyone explain why Jon Mendelsson, Gordon Brown's fundraiser, who knew from September that these donations were unlawful has not resigned?)

But what about the recent outbreak of Foot and Mouth Disease. This should be at the head of the litany of foul-ups. Incredibly, this issue is sometimes wheeled out as an example of the Prime Minister's competence. The virus, which has visited havoc on the UK's sheep industry escaped from Pirbright, a Government research establishment. The Prime Minister, disgracefully tried to put the blame on Meriel, a US business which uses the same site, with absolutely no evidence at all. At that time, spin worked and he got away with it. It was subsequently discovered that the culprit was the drainage infrastructure at Pirbright for which the Government was responsible. It had not been properly maintained because of budget restrictions imposed by 'you know who'. So if you want to join in the game of 'Dump on Gordon' remember the Foot and Mouth outbreak which led farming leaders to predict that the Welsh sheep industry would be halved in size at this week's Winter Fair at the Royal Welsh Showground.

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