Tag: Daily Mail

The love of a cool cat!

How lady luck brought joy for a ‘down-and-out’ Londoner and a cat called Bob!

I was chatting with my son yesterday and he happened to mention that perhaps I should write about a cat for a change!  Alex mentioned a book recently published in the UK called A Street Cat Named Bob: How One Man and His Cat Found Hope on the Streets.

This is how the book is described on Amazon (UK site),

When James Bowen found an injured, ginger street cat curled up in the hallway of his sheltered accommodation, he had no idea just how much his life was about to change. James was living hand to mouth on the streets of London and the last thing he needed was a pet. Yet James couldn’t resist helping the strikingly intelligent tom cat, whom he quickly christened Bob. He slowly nursed Bob back to health and then sent the cat on his way, imagining he would never see him again. But Bob had other ideas. Soon the two were inseparable and their diverse, comic and occasionally dangerous adventures would transform both their lives, slowly healing the scars of each other’s troubled pasts. A Street Cat Named Bob is a moving and uplifting story that will touch the heart of anyone who reads it.

A quick web search found volumes of material, so let’s start with this video,

The local London newspaper the Islington Tribune wrote this back in 2010,

Two cool cats… the Big Issue seller and a stray called Bob

Inseparable: musician James Bowen with Bob

Down-on-his-luck musician teams up with ‘wonderful loyal friend’ he rescued from streets

Published: 24 September, 2010
by PETER GRUNER

NOT since the legendary Dick Whittington has a man and his cat become such unlikely celebrities on the streets of Islington.

Big Issue seller James Bowen and his docile ginger cat Bob, who go everywhere together, have been attracting comments since they first appeared outside Angel Tube station.

The story of how they met – widely reported in blogs on the internet – is one of such extraordinary pathos that it seems only a matter of time before we get a Hollywood film.

James, 31, who lives off Seven Sisters Road, Holloway, is a musician who has fallen on hard times.

He ekes out a basic living selling the homeless people’s magazine Big Issue at Angel and Covent Garden.

Bob was a stray discovered by James outside his accommodation one day.

The cat was limping after apparently being attacked by another animal, possibly a fox.

After failing to discover the cat’s owner, James took him to the RSPCA hospital at Finsbury Park, which prescribed a course of antibiotics.

“I kept him for two weeks until he was well enough to go on his way,” said James. “But when I opened the front door to let him out Bob wouldn’t move. He seemed to me to be saying: ‘I want to stay with you.’

“Now we go everywhere together. I even have a cat harness when we go out and Bob gets really excited when I show it to him.”

Read the rest of the article here and if you want more information, a web search on Bob the Cat will finds loads more.

It’s a fabulous story with a great message of hope for not just for James and Bob but for all of us that find ourselves ‘up a creek without a paddle’ at points in our lives.

Here’s how the newspaper The Daily Mail wrote about it on their website,

[last half of the story]

But then Bob started following him and it became increasingly difficult to shoo him away, especially as there were dangerous roads to be crossed. One day there was nothing for it but to put Bob on a makeshift lead and take him along. Bob travelled sitting on James’s shoulders.

The trouble was, so many cat-mad passers-by stopped him to stroke the animal that James arrived late at his pitch, secretly cursing Bob for thereby costing him some of his usual £25-a-day takings. He couldn’t have been more wrong.

Within minutes, people who would normally have walked by without giving James a second glance were lingering to make a fuss of the cat sitting sedately in his guitar case, and most made a donation. By the end of the day, he’d racked up more than £60.

It was the beginning of a phenomenon as tourists and commuters befriended Bob and James, many bringing titbits for the cat. People were amazed at how placidly Bob would sit all day, quite happily watching the world go by while James earned a living. Not that it was always without a hitch; on a couple of occasions Bob bolted when startled, leading to a frantic chase through the crowded streets.

Bob’s popularity continued when James switched from busking to selling the Big Issue, the magazine produced and sold by homeless people. This change in direction was part of James’s growing sense of a need to get his life in order, which he puts down to the responsibility of looking after Bob, and the example the cat offered of the possibility of a second chance.

It enabled James to make the final push to end his drug dependency, going through the necessary cold turkey to get off heroin substitutes, and to mend broken contacts with his family. The final result of Bob’s influence came when a literary agent who passed the duo every day and had seen them on YouTube suggested James tell their story in a book. The result is this heart-warming tale with a message of hope that will appeal especially to the many cat obsessives out there.

Read the full story here.

Let me close with another video, this one from a recent UK This Morning TV show with James Bowen and his cat being interviewed by Eamonn and Ruth.

Thank you, Alex; great story!

Climate, truth and integrity, part two

Continuing from Part One last Friday.

Last Friday I started re-publishing the wonderful comments that had appeared on Climate Sight in response to a question that I had raised, namely,

While in every way that I can think of, I support the premise of mankind affecting global climate, I would love to hear from someone who could reconcile the Post above with these recent items:” and then included the links to the WSJ and Daily Mail items.

If you are not familiar with those WSJ and Daily Mail items, then you will need to go back to Friday’s Post.

So moving on.

The third response was from chrisd3, here’s what he wrote,

Paul, here is the Met Office’s response, which begins, “[The Daily Mail] article includes numerous errors in the reporting of published peer reviewed science undertaken by the Met Office Hadley Centre and for Mr. Rose to suggest that the latest global temperatures available show no warming in the last 15 years is entirely misleading.”

Here is Deltoid taking David Rose apart on some earlier pieces:

And NASA never said anything about the Thames freezing over. Rose just made that bit up.

Finally, here is a chart of global temps from HadCRU:

From this, it is pretty clear why Rose chooses 15 years as his starting point: 1997-1998 was the time of the largest El Nino ever recorded, resulting in a huge temperature spike. Using that as the starting point for a temperature comparison is absolutely classic cherry-picking.

And in any event, you can’t say anything about trends in noisy data by simply comparing two arbitrary points. That is not a valid way to analyze the data (especially if you pick an obvious outlier as your starting point!). It is like trying to say whether the tide is coming in or going out by looking at the height of two waves. It just doesn’t work that way. You have to look at the long-term trend to remove the noise.

Let me take you to that Met Office response (and I’m republishing it in full).

Met Office in the Media: 29 January 2012

Today the Mail on Sunday published a story written by David Rose entitled “Forget global warming – it’s Cycle 25 we need to worry about”.

This article includes numerous errors in the reporting of published peer reviewed science undertaken by the Met Office Hadley Centre and for Mr. Rose to suggest that the latest global temperatures available show no warming in the last 15 years is entirely misleading.

Despite the Met Office having spoken to David Rose ahead of the publication of the story, he has chosen to not fully include the answers we gave him to questions around decadal projections produced by the Met Office or his belief that we have seen no warming since 1997.

For clarity I have included our full response to David Rose below:A spokesman for the Met Office said: “The ten year projection remains groundbreaking science. The complete period for the original projection is not over yet and these projections are regularly updated to take account of the most recent data.

“The projections are probabilistic in nature, and no individual forecast should be taken in isolation. Instead, several decades of data will be needed to assess the robustness of the projections.

“However, what is absolutely clear is that we have continued to see a trend of warming, with the decade of 2000-2009 being clearly the warmest in the instrumental record going back to 1850. Depending on which temperature records you use, 2010 was the warmest year on record  for NOAA NCDC and NASA GISS, and the second warmest on record in HadCRUT3.”

Global average temperatures from 1850 to 2011 from the three individual global temperature datasets (Met Office/UEA HadCRUT3, NASA GISS and NOAA NCDC)

Furthermore despite criticism of a paper published by the Met Office he chose not to ask us to respond to his misconceptions. The study in question, supported by many others, provides an insight into the sensitivity of our climate to changes in the output of the sun.

It confirmed that although solar output is likely to reduce over the next 90 years this will not substantially delay expected increases in global temperatures caused by greenhouse gases. The study found that the expected decrease in solar activity would only most likely cause a reduction in global temperatures of 0.08 °C. This compares to an expected warming of about 2.5 °C over the same period due to greenhouse gases (according to the IPCC’s B2 scenario for greenhouse gas emissions that does not involve efforts to mitigate emissions).  In addition the study also showed that if solar output reduced below that seen in the Maunder Minimum – a period between 1645 and 1715 when solar activity was at its lowest observed level – the global temperature reduction would be 0.13C.

Back to that response from chrisd3.  He offered this, “Finally, here is a chart of global temps from HadCRU.”  Here is that chart, remember we are looking at Global temperatures.

Global temperature trend

OK, between this Post and my Post last Friday, you probably get the message!  There were many other contributions and I could go on and on quoting the great responses I got, all of them uniformly saying there IS global warming unprecedented in recent years.  The message is crystal clear and those who wish to deny the evidence … well, I can’t come up with a polite term, so will just leave it at that!

My final contribution is from Martin Lack, author of the Blog Lack of Environment, and a good friend of Learning from Dogs.  Here is what he wrote in a recent email,

You may have seen my latest response to How much is most?

When I eventually saw your earlier comment, I was surprised and disappointed in equal measure because I almost feel that I have failed in some way. Let me explain:  Unlike ClimateSight and SkepticalScience, which both do an excellent job of focusing on the science of climate change, my blog is deliberately focused on the politics underlying the denial of all environmental our problems; including 2 key aspects to my MA dissertation, namely the political misuse of scepticism; and the psychology of denial.  See my How to be a Climate Change ‘Sceptic’  for more detail.

Therefore, although not specifically categorised as such, just about everything I have posted is traceable back to Paul and Anne Ehrlich’sBetrayal of Science and Reason (1996) and/or Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway’s Merchants of Doubt (2010).  For someone who does not currently go to any Church, I am remarkably fond of quoting Scripture so, if necessary, please forgive me but, as the Good Book says:  “What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9).

Therefore, I do not think you should be surprised by the amount of misinformation and misrepresentation contained in the original WSJ Sixteen’s article; and/or the fact that denialist arguments are repeated no matter how many times they have been shown to be false.  Furthermore, I would warn against trying to summarise it all on Learning from Dogs.  This is definitely Book territory and, in addition to the two mentioned above, the market is already saturated by the likes of Climate Change Cover-up by James Hoggan and Climate Change Denial by Haydn Washington and John Cook.

With very best wishes for a fog-free future,

What to say to close these two Posts off?  Frankly, it’s difficult to know how to pitch it.  The science seems clear beyond reasonable doubt.  But if you are reading this and disagree, then PLEASE offer the science to refute the conclusions presented here.  I promise you that I will present it on Learning from Dogs.

So let me end with a simple photograph.

Earthrise

This is the photograph that wilderness photographer Galen Rowell called, “the most influential environmental photograph ever taken.”

The now world-famous photograph was taken by Astronaut William Anders from Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the Moon, a little over 43 years ago on December 24th, 1968.

As the Earth rose above the horizon of the moon, NASA astronaut Frank Borman uttered the words, “Oh my God! Look at that picture over there! Here’s the Earth coming up. Wow, is that pretty.”  Bill Anders then took the ‘unscheduled’ photograph.

Now project forward 43 years to the year 2055 and play with the idea of what ‘pretty‘ planet Earth will be like for mankind and so many other species, including our longest companion, the dog, if we don’t get our act together pretty soon!

Climate, truth and integrity, part one.

It ought to be straightforward, but the reality is different!

Those of you, dear readers, that have been following these ramblings and musings over the last 30 months, now amounting to more than 1,200 Posts, will hopefully have sensed that Learning from Dogs is much more than a blogsite about dogs!  It is, as I say here, about truth, integrity, honesty and trust using dogs as a powerful metaphor for these essential qualities of a civilised society.

But perhaps there is no topic more challenging for people to determine the truth than the topic of man’s impact on the earth’s climate.  I’m sure that millions intuitively sense that we are over-consuming ourselves to oblivion.  That is where I come from.  I am not a scientist, just a humble writer, and rely on quality sources of information and instinct to form my conclusions in this area.  I am also deeply suspicious of the largely out-of-sight relationships between large corporations, big money and politics!

I have no doubt that there are other millions of people who do believe that mankind is changing our planet’s climate.

So when I saw this article in the Wall Street Journal, I was dumbstruck.  Here’s the headline and opening paragraph,

No Need to Panic About Global Warming

There’s no compelling scientific argument for drastic action to ‘decarbonize’ the world’s economy.

Editor’s Note: The following has been signed by the 16 scientists listed at the end of the article:

A candidate for public office in any contemporary democracy may have to consider what, if anything, to do about “global warming.” Candidates should understand that the oft-repeated claim that nearly all scientists demand that something dramatic be done to stop global warming is not true. In fact, a large and growing number of distinguished scientists and engineers do not agree that drastic actions on global warming are needed.

The long article closes with this paragraph just ahead of the ‘signatures’ of the scientists.

Every candidate should support rational measures to protect and improve our environment, but it makes no sense at all to back expensive programs that divert resources from real needs and are based on alarming but untenable claims of “incontrovertible” evidence.

Then in short order, up came this from the Daily Mail online,

The supposed ‘consensus’ on man-made global warming is facing an inconvenient challenge after the release of new temperature data showing the planet has not warmed for the past 15 years.

The figures suggest that we could even be heading for a mini ice age to rival the 70-year temperature drop that saw frost fairs held on the Thames in the 17th Century.

Based on readings from more than 30,000 measuring stations, the data was issued last week without fanfare by the Met Office and the University of East Anglia Climatic Research Unit. It confirms that the rising trend in world temperatures ended in 1997.

I subscribe both to Climate Sight and Lack of Environment, although wish I spent more time thoroughly reading these fabulous sources of information.  However, I did spot an article on Climate Sight that came out on the 31st January with the heading of How much is most?  It opened thus,

A growing body of research is showing that humans are likely causing more than 100% of global warming: without our influences on the climate, the planet would actually be cooling slightly.

In 2007, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change published its fourth assessment report, internationally regarded as the most credible summary of climate science to date. It concluded that “most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid-20th century is very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations”.

A clear question remains: How much is “most”? 51%? 75%? 99%? At the time that the IPCC report was written, the answer was unclear. However, a new frontier of climate research has emerged since, and scientists are working hard to quantify the answer to this question.

The timing was impeccable, so far as I was concerned.  I posted a comment, “While in every way that I can think of, I support the premise of mankind affecting global climate, I would love to hear from someone who could reconcile the Post above with these recent items:” and then included the links to the WSJ and Daily Mail items.

Little did I realise what a response I would get.  Just wonderful!  I will offer some of them to you in this piece, but please do read all the comments offered on that Climate Sight post.

First up was Dana Nuccitelli.  Dana is an environmental scientist at a private environmental consulting firm in the Sacramento, California area. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in astrophysics from the University of California at Berkeley, and a Master’s Degree in physics from the University of California at Davis.  (Taken from here.)  This is what he wrote,

How to reconcile the two? The folks who wrote those two articles you linked are misinformed and/or misinformers. I covered the first here  (and) SkS will shortly have a post on the second as well, but I covered the solar cycle issue recently here.

Dana’s article in Skeptical Science, that first link, included this:

Nearly half of the list (at least 7 of 16) have received fossil fuel industry funding, and the list also includes an economist, a physician, a chemist, an aerospace engineer, and an astronaut/politician.  These are apparently the best and brightest the climate denialists can come up with these days?

  • Claude Allegre, former director of the Institute for the Study of the Earth, University of Paris
  • J. Scott Armstrong, cofounder of the Journal of Forecasting and the International Journal of Forecasting;
  • Jan Breslow, head of the Laboratory of Biochemical Genetics and Metabolism, Rockefeller University;
  • Roger Cohen, fellow, American Physical Society;
  • Edward David, member, National Academy of Engineering and National Academy of Sciences;
  • William Happer, professor of physics, Princeton; 
  • Michael Kelly, professor of technology, University of Cambridge, U.K.;
  • William Kininmonth, former head of climate research at the Australian Bureau of Meteorology;
  • Richard Lindzen, professor of atmospheric sciences, MIT;
  • James McGrath, professor of chemistry, Virginia Technical University;
  • Rodney Nichols, former president and CEO of the New York Academy of Sciences;
  • Burt Rutan, aerospace engineer, designer of Voyager and SpaceShipOne;
  • Harrison H. Schmitt, Apollo 17 astronaut and former U.S. senator;
  • Nir Shaviv, professor of astrophysics, Hebrew University, Jerusalem;
  • Henk Tennekes, former director, Royal Dutch Meteorological Service;
  • Antonio Zichichi, president of the World Federation of Scientists, Geneva.

RED – No climate science publications, member of at least one climate denialist group – GWPF (advisory board), George C. Marshall Institute (board of directors or roundtable speakers), Australian Climate Science Coalition (advisory panel), Heartland Institute (board of directors), and/or ExxonMobil

BLUE – Published climate science research

Orange – both a member of a climate denialist group and has published climate science research

Black – no climate science publications or climate denialist group membership

Next was Gail Zawacki who writes a compelling Blog Dead Trees and Dying Forests.  She commented thus,

Paul, try climate progress, first link here and second link here.  I suggest you read those refutations very carefully.

The first link went to this,

Panic Attack: Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal Finds 16 Scientists to Push Pollutocrat Agenda With Long-Debunked Climate Lies

By Joe Romm on Jan 29, 2012 at 12:33 pm

A lot of folks have asked me to debunk the recent anti-truthful Wall Street Journal article with the counterfactual headline, “No Need to Panic About Global Warming.”  I’ll combine my debunking with the rapidly growing list of debunkings from scientists and others.  And I’ll update this as new debunkings come in.

That the WSJ would publish an amateurish collection of falsehoods and half truths is no surprise.   The entire global Murdoch enterprise is designed to advance the pollutocrat do-nothing agenda (see Scientist: “The Murdoch Media Empire Has Cost Humanity Perhaps One or Two Decades in Battle Against Climate Change”).  As National Academy of Sciences member Peter Gleick explains in his evisceration of the piece, “Remarkable Editorial Bias on Climate Science at the Wall Street Journal“:

But the most amazing and telling evidence of the bias of the Wall Street Journalin this field is the fact that 255 members of the United States National Academy of Sciences wrote a comparable (but scientifically accurate) essay on the realities of climate change and on the need for improved and serious public debate around the issue, offered it to the Wall Street Journal, and were turned down. The National Academy of Sciences is the nation’s pre-eminent independent scientific organizations. Its members are among the most respected in the world in their fields. Yet the Journal wouldn’t publish this letter, from more than 15 times as many top scientists. Instead they chose to publish an error-filled and misleading piece on climate because some so-called experts aligned with their bias signed it. This may be good politics for them, but it is bad science and it is bad for the nation.

Science magazine – perhaps the nation’s most important journal on scientific issues – published the letter from the NAS members after the Journal turned it down.

A tad more surprising is that 16 admittedly non-leading scientists would choose to soil their reputations by stringing together a collection of long-debunked falsehoods.  What is surprising is that these falsehoods are more easily debunked than the typical disinformer clap-trap because they are so out-of-date!

This is a long, detailed and powerful response to that WSJ article.  Do try and read it in full.

Gail’s second link went to this,

Human emissions of heat-trapping greenhouse gases have risen so rapidly that they now overwhelm any plausible decrease in solar activity.  Indeed, a paper from last June found that even if the Sun goes into “Hibernation” it won’t stop catastrophic global warming.

But that doesn’t stop serial disinformer David Rose of the UK’s Daily Mail from misleading the public — even after being slammed by top scientists in 2010 for falsely asserting “no global warming since 1995″ — see “Error-riddled articles and false statements destroy Daily Mail’s credibility.“  Rose has another willfully misleading piece, “Forget global warming – it’s Cycle 25 we need to worry about (and if NASA scientists are right the Thames will be freezing over again): Met Office releases new figures which show no warming in 15 years.”

OK, I think this is going to end up too long for one Post.

So let’s pause there and I will continue on Monday.

Would love your comments, of course!

The fabulous, loyal ‘seeing-eye’ dog

A beautiful story of dog loyalty – to another dog, to another blind dog.

I first received this lovely story last Sunday from Dan G., dear friend of over 30 years.  As is my want, did some research to discover the source of the story.  It appeared on the website of Ross Parry Agency on the 22nd October, 2011 (note the pics are copyright rossparry.co.uk)  But I have taken the liberty of reproducing the story as it appeared in the UK Daily Mail online site, on the same date.  Enjoy.

Meet the blind Great Dane in need of a home (but you’ll need to make space for HER huge guide dog)

By NADIA GILANI

Last updated at 1:01 PM on 22nd October 2011

When illness forced vets to remove Great Dane Lily’s eyes, the prospects of a fulfilling life didn’t look good.

But then no one had reckoned on her pal Maddison stepping in to turn guide dog.

The pair have been inseparable for years but now find themselves looking for a new home because their owner could no longer cope.

The catch for anyone interested is that the Great Danes come as a package. They have been waiting at the Dogs Trust re-homing centre in Shrewsbury since July.

Homeless: Blind Great Dane Lily and her kind-hearted canine carer Maddison
Forever friends: Lily, left, being guided while walking with Maddison right. The pair have been inseparable since Lily lost her sight

Manager Louise Campbell said: ‘Maddison is Lily’s guide dog. If they are out and about, for the majority of the time Maddison will lead and Lily will walk nearly touching her so she knows where to go. It’s lovely to watch. Maddison is always looking out for her.

Lily, six, was barely a puppy when she was struck down by a condition that caused her eyelashes to grown into her eyeballs, damaging them beyond repair.

It was after this traumatic event that her relationship with seven-year-old Maddison developed as she took her under her wing.

The best buddies lived together until their owners decided they couldn’t look after them any more.

Miss Campbell said: ‘With her lack of sight, Lily’s other senses have heightened so although we don’t split them up often she can tell if Maddison is nearby.

They curl up together to go to sleep and they are very vocal with each other.

We haven’t analysed their different barks but if Lily wants to go forward and Maddison is in her way, the bark will have a different pitch.

‘They are very close to one another and enjoy each other’s company‘.

Playful: Lily's lack of sight has heightened her other senses so she can often tell if Maddison is nearby without the pair touching

Miss Campbell said that Lily does all the things normal dogs do and if you saw her from a distance you wouldn’t realise she had anything wrong with her eyes.

She added: ‘They are really happy with life, the glass is always half full with these two.

They have been with us for a considerable amount of time but they are quite happy and go about their daily routine – they are very affectionate.’

She believes the dogs’ size and advancing years, as well as the fact they have to come in a pair, may have put off potential owners and she warned that anyone contemplating taking the dogs in should look at their lifestyle and think of the responsibility involved.

They are not gigantic when you see them outside. These are two lovely big girls who deserve to live out the rest of their lives together in comfort‘, she said.

Dogs Trust cares for around 16,000 stray and abandoned dogs every year through a network of 17 re-homing centres.

The Great Dane is seeking an owner who would be willing to give both her and best friend Maddison a new home

Back to me.  Must say that it was just fortuitous that Dan’s email came in to me a little while after I posted yesterday’s article by Robert Holden, The Gift of Happiness.  Indeed, shortly after I had written, “Perhaps the art of happiness is yet another thing we can learn from dogs!

Anyone in the UK who wants to contact the Dogs Trust click here.

Perkins and “The Daily Mail”

Whitehall Ministry

Transcripts from our bug in the Ministry of Misinformation, Whitehall, London

Morning, Perkins! … Good grief, man! What’s that under your arm?

It’s today’s “Daily Mail“, Sir.

“Daily Mail”! What on earth are you doing with that?

Well, I thought I’d check it out, Sir.

Check it out?

Yes Sir. People have been attacking it.

Attacking it?

You keep repeating me, Sir …

I’m just stunned Perkins! Why on earth would anyone sane want to “check it out”?

Well, I’ve always been suspicious of situations where the establishment and so-called cognoscenti collectively attack something, Sir.

Why on earth is that, Perkins?

Well, they could have an ulterior motive, Sir.

Ulterior motive?”

You’re doing it again, Sir.

Look Perkins, the Mail is a ghastly, sensationalist rag.

When did you last read it, Sir?

Goodness me, Perkins. I have better things to do with my time.

How can you be sure then that you’re not just baying the mindless mantra of your peers?

Look Perkins. I don’t read the Mail because it appeals to the mob and has no analysis.

But “the mob” are the mass of the people, Sir.

Exactly, Perkins. Now you’re on the right track.

So you don’t believe in democracy, Sir?

Don’t ask silly questions, Perkins. Of course I do, just as long as the people don’t get their hands on government. But seriously, the Mail has little analysis; just a crude statement of facts.

But why are you so attached to “analysis”, Sir? Surely it’s the facts that are most important?

Well if you don’t have analysis then how do you know what’s really going on? You need analysis to explain the headlines.

But surely any analysis depends on the spin of the author? Why can’t people be given the facts and allowed to make up their own minds?

“Make up their own minds?” Be serious, Perkins. The mob hasn’t got a mind to make up; that’s why it’s called “the mob”.

I think you’ll find it was the mob that fought and died in two World Wars to protect freedom and democracy in Britain, Sir.

Aha! That proves my point! You don’t need to understand much to pop your head over the top and get it shot off, do you! The mob is ideally suited to it.

But “analysis” is overrated, Sir. People should be encouraged to think for themselves.

“Think for themselves!” Now Perkins, those who went to public school can be expected to think for themselves, but as for the rest …

I’m sorry, Sir; there is in fact too much analysis. I was put off at school at an early age. No sooner had we opened a Shakespeare play than we had FR Leavis shoved down our throats telling us what to think about it rather than being allowed to interpret and analyze it ourselves.

I’m sorry your education seems to have gone so seriously wrong, Perkins. Did you in fact go to a public school?

Only a poor man’s one, Sir …. but analysis in the press just seems to me a clever way of trying to tell people what they should think. I believe Goebbels was very good at analysis, and of course Tony Blair …

Now Perkins, analysis is all that differentiates us from unthinking morons who cannot understand the law.

You mean British MPs and their expense accounts, Sir?

No … errm …. perhaps I should rephrase that … but really Perkins, this “Defend the Mail” crusade is really a bit OTT, isn’t it?

Perhaps, Sir, but it’s because it is so heavily attacked by verbal diarrhoearists who support totalitarianism. My principle is that your enemy’s enemy is your friend, so to speak. If someone who supports dictatorship attacks it at every chance then it can’t be all bad, sort of thing.

I’m sorry, Perkins. I don’t think I will ever be able to follow the tortured meanderings of your mind.

I think that’s because deep down I identify with “the mob”, Sir, or as I prefer to call them; “the people” ……..

Hmm …… if I were you Perkins I wouldn’t go trumpeting that too loudly round Whitehall. It could put an end to a promising career.

By Chris Snuggs