Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Tales from the Watercooler: Are your peacocks at risk?


Those of you with a loyalty card to this little section will recall that it’s a place where I select a couple of stories from the week’s news and combine them into one delicious starter with which to begin your i meal; an entertaining, literate vol-au-vent, if you like.

This week I spied a brace of tales from the animal kingdom which perhaps illuminate our own human condition. Firstly, from the files of “You Know You’re Not A Man of the People Any More When…”, comes the story of the Pakistani Prime Minister, Nawaz Sharif, who this week sacked two guards from his private residence because they failed to stop a cat from killing one of his peacocks. Well, as long as old Nawaz is focused on the day-to-day challenges facing his people. And you thought our own Bullingdon Boy was too posh to be aware of the plight of we soot-stained plebs.

At the other end of the wildlife scale comes the story of three bears (no, not them) who have been liberated from private ownership in Kosovo. To illustrate the story, the reporter mentioned that, since 2010, it has been illegal to keep bears in the home. Hang on – Kosovo has been an independent republic since 2008, but it took you two years to get round to banning kitchen bears? Priorities, people. Priorities.