Foxing the Public

12 Feb
February 12, 2013

FoxOne of the most astonishing things about Boris is that he has the ability to say anything and get away with it. He could argue that black was white, then argue the following day that black was black. We might think it odd, but then we shrug our shoulders, say “Well, it’s Boris” and get on with things.

There has been a terrific example of Boris’ Teflon-ism this week, on the subject of urban foxes. In the Mayor’s recent Telegraph column he wrote: “Foxes go for vulnerable critters. They might go for your toes if you were lying in a stupor, but only because they failed to grasp that your toes were attached to a large and potentially violent human being. They might go (once in a blue moon) for a baby, but only because a baby is defenceless.

“Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, I lay the facts of the case before you, and I suggest that the evidence against the fox is by no means conclusive. I am left with the mystery of that first eruption of rage, that chilling certainty as to the authors of the crime. There is a word for that misapprehension. There was something that made me finger the newcomers, the strangers, the ones who weren’t around when I was a kid. There was something that made me want to believe that the culprits were the recent additions to our urban habitat, the ones who make the spooky yowling at night. I think the word for that anti-fox feeling is prejudice. Or am I wrong?”

A lovely and passionate defence of vulpes vulpes, there. How nice to see.

A week later, however, came this following a fox ‘attack’ on a baby in Bromley: “They may appear cuddly and romantic, but foxes are also a pest and a menace, particularly in our cities. This must serve as a wake-up call to London’s borough leaders, who are responsible for pest control. They must come together, study the data, try to understand why this is becoming such a problem and act quickly to sort it out.”

Oh. A lovely call for all of vulpes vulpes to be dealt with, there. How, er, nice to see…

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Elvetham Heath