I signed the badger petition. I complained to my MP. I vowed to use my vote to attempt to kick this lot out at the next possible opportunity. I declined to dress up in a badger suit and march past Westminster, so it is true to say that I have not done everything I possibly could to help save the badgers. Oh, and I didn't completely trash one of my own hit songs by re-releasing it with every second word replaced by the word badger. Sorry about that, I am deeply uncommitted.
However despite my activism shortcomings, I actually like badgers. Sometimes they even guest on this blog, though you wouldn't be able to tell. I remember being thrilled when I saw my first unflattened one for the first time in Devon whilst looking for Cirl Buntings. A few weeks ago our whole family got to see two together in a friend's back garden, as they feasted on the remains of some cattle that had mysteriously died. It was a real treat, but unfortunately with our leading politicians in the pockets of landowners (mainly because they are landowners), we may not get the pleasure for a great deal longer. I am sure you all know about the trial cull being carried out in the south-west. This pilot is designed to remove a high percentage of the badgers in two areas, some 5000 animals. Except they don't know how many badgers live there, so they're basically making it up. The whole thing is based on bad science, is being badly carried out (pesky badgers digging up and moving goalposts apparently, rather than gross incompetence from those involved in the cull and their political masters). I'm not going to drill into the sheer stupidity of the plan, and the hapless manner it is being carried out in. Suffice it to say that the evidence doesn't add up, it is expensive, largely ineffectual, and it is deeply unpopular. And Owen Paterson is a complete cretin (this with or without the badger cull). The badger petition now has the highest ever number of signatories of any petition ever released onto the government's website, and unsurprisingly is being completely ignored.
But here's the rub. I'm fed up with hearing about it. Fed up with it being shoved down my throat. Fed up with the tweets, fed up with the news. What's that quote? All that is required for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing? Something along those lines anyway, so I'm feeling very bad for now feeling more or less ambivalent towards the whole issue. I'm as likely these days to swear when I see yet another badger-related missive as I am to start thinking dark thoughts about what I would like to do to DEFRA. My point is this - on the one hand there is a view, and I think a correct view, that the government are on the run on this issue. Extensions are being applied for, and ridiculous statements being made about this being the fault of the badgers make this very clear. On the other hand, if you over-do it, if you go on about things too much, you not only lose your effectiveness, but you also turn people off. Like going on about Tropicbirds, to use a hypothetical example. And that I think is what has happened to me with the badgers. Yes, the government are acting very undemocratically, yes they're a bunch of self-serving, self-interested and pompous idiots, yes it is very cruel on the animals, but at the same time, for fuck's sake, will people please stop going on about bloody badgers every five minutes as it is getting on my nerves. Am I alone in this? Find new ways to fight the issue, as if I have to read another George Monbiot article on this topic I might up sticks and move to Syria. Hasn't been in the news much lately, so I'm guessing everything's fine again.