Philobiblon: Tuck into the duck

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Tuck into the duck

Two nicely matched articles in today's Guardian - wondering why society today is so gullible - focusing particularly on bird flu hysteria. When the front page of The Sun is taken up by a death of a bird meaning, in its terminology, the feathered kind, there must be a new "dead parrot" sketch in there somewhere - but then again, perhaps it is beyond parody.

I could hardly believe that anyone had given this stuff a thought, until I went into my local small Sainsbury this evening and found poultry of all descriptions covered in half-price or less stickers. Just had a very nice expensive free-range duck breast fillet (baked in honey and mustard-seed mustard in case you were wondering) that usually would have been £3. It cost me £1.20 - I foresee poultry meat being the predominate source of protein in my diet in the immediate future.

Then, the Guardian, debunking one scare (while it continues elsewhere to promote bird flu) runs an expose on the lab that keeps finding MRSA everywhere. Funnily enough, none of the other, accredited labs, which happen to be run by trained scientists, can.

So all those poor senior citizens terrified out of their wits - that if they touched an NHS door-handle they were going to die - were misled by their newspapers. It'd be nice to think the pensioners will know better next time.

In other news, as (nearly) always Matthew Parris offers an original take on the news. You mightn't have thought it was possible to find a new angle on the Tory leadership contest, but he has, and although I've only been resident in England for seven years and wouldn't presume therefore to claim to more than dimly understand the class system (although I'm sure it is still going strong): it is that the rise of David Cameron is the return of the toffs.

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