Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Friday, 5 March 2010

Vermin in Westminster - again

What do you do when you've got mice? Get a cat, of course. At least that was the suggestion Lord Elton put forward to deal with a rodent infestation in the Palace of Westminster.

There's a pleasing touch of Schadenfreude in considering that all those expenses-guzzling MPS may be getting a £1,000 pay rise, but they've also got free-range mice in their offices, tea-rooms and subsidised bars.

So last week, Lord Elton asked the Chairman of Committees 'whether consideration will be given to acquiring a number of respectable cats to reduce the rodent population of the Palace of Westminster'.

Not, you will notice, any old moggies or battle-scarred toms - only the best for our ruling elite. Sadly for this picturesque image, Lord Brabazon of Tara was adamant:

The possible use of cats, respectable or otherwise, to control the rodent population in the Palace of Westminster has been considered and rejected on a number of practical grounds. For example, the cats would ingest mouse poison when eating poisoned mice; there would be nothing ...to stop them walking on desks in offices and on tables in restaurants and bars; they can carry fleas and other parasites; and many people are allergic to cat hair.

His Lordship is, I suspect, not a cat-lover. Sadly we are to be denied the delightful concept of cats - honest, decent and beyond reproach - patrolling the corridors of power and removing intrusive vermin, since the problem is to be tackled with poison instead.

I feel there may be some kind of metaphor there.


  1. "What do you do when you've got mice? Get a cat, of course."

    If these scum were really all convinced of the truth of global warming (as they invariably claim), wouldn't they plump for a snake instead?

    Or would Mandelson prefer not to have the competition?

  2. lol

    Mandelson himself is surely the source of enough poison to solve the problem at a stroke - the difficulty would be getting the mice to eat him.

  3. I was always told you never suffered from mice and politicians at the same time.

  4. I always thought you either had mice or politicians, never both at the same time.

  5. Eh? Bloody Blogger or Google or whatever.

  6. Interesting thought, Dave H.

    Does it mean that, with an election looming, you'll never be more than ten feet away from a politician?