Given the choice between watching the leaders of the UK’s three supposedly main political parties debate their choice of tie colours or going ratting with Harvey, you’d didn’t really think I’d go for the former did you?
It’s not that I’m disengaged from politics, it’s just that when I look at Labour, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats—and the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru as well—I don’t see much difference between them at all.
They’re all the preserve of Britain’s privileged political class, which carefully maintains its grip on power by giving voters the illusion of choice.
Britain’s political class uses that power to test its latest political and economic theories, no matter how addled or crackpot, while rewarding its members with more privileges and indulgences.
“Red tie, sir? Blue? Perhaps yellow, but it is a bit yesterday? All go well with your grey-black suit. No need to change the suit sir, just try a new tie.”
So why watch a debate that was simply intended “to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.“
Instead, Harvey and I went out to catch King Rat.
King Rat was the biggest of our intruders. He was also the smartest, if not the most agile or the fastest.
When Harvey found his companions in preceding days, King Rat was always careful to let them run ahead and into the dog’s jaws.
King Rat knew where to hide so neither Harvey nor I could winkle him out.
And King Rat realised that by waiting until Harvey was busy with one of his companions, he could nip past the dog, leap off the retaining wall, hit the back wall of the croft, and run into to a number of useful cracks.
What King Rat didn’t count on was my filling in the cracks with stone or Harvey being much smarter than the king himself.
On previous evenings, Harvey had rocketed up the ramp and gone for the first rat to break cover.
This evening he ran along the low ground, between the retaining wall and that of the steading, while I ran up the ramp beside him.
King Rat, with no companions left to sacrifice, had to bolt for cover on his own.
He shot out from under the chicken houses—raised high to allow better access for this exact purpose, jumped to the top of the retaining wall, and leapt into space.
Harvey timed his jump to perfection, snatching King Rat from the air and, on landing, snapping his neck with a quick flick, flick.
He brought King Rat’s carcass around to me, dropped it at my feet, and enjoyed his well earned praise and treat.
We continued our hunt for a while, but with no further luck came in just as the leaders’ debate finished.
Perfect timing and a job well done.
As for politics and the election, isn’t it about time we all voted for anyone except the sitting candidates, unseated most MPs, and reminded them all that even the cunning, the fat and the sleek can get their comeuppance?