Looking sheepish

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The Independent Online

How do you react to the news that government scientists who feared they had found evidence of BSE in sheep had, in fact, been examining, for a number of years, the brains of cows? Well, yes, of course, incredulity, astonishment; perhaps, even, outrage, coupled with demands that heads, and, indeed, brains, should roll over this one.

How do you react to the news that government scientists who feared they had found evidence of BSE in sheep had, in fact, been examining, for a number of years, the brains of cows? Well, yes, of course, incredulity, astonishment; perhaps, even, outrage, coupled with demands that heads, and, indeed, brains, should roll over this one.

Down here, however, we like to search for the silk and the silver in the affairs of the day. On the loftiest level, we are always pleased to see human frailty loudly confirmed, having observed far too much harm resulting from the opposed human attributes. Next, it is good to see Britain still so enthusiastically embracing its traditional role of amateurish stumbling and fumbling and muddling through. You might despair; we find it almost endearing that, for example, our spin doctors are quite so hopeless.

And we are happy to contrast this rather Ealing approach to empire and the rest of it with other attempts at world domination. It is, moreover, and pertinently, extremely hard for the West to be categorised as entirely evil as long as it has us bumbling along.

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