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Get it from the horse’s mouth
1:52pm Monday 11th March 2013 in News
IN all this controversy over meat contamination, it’s the Mafia I feel most sorry for.
Find a horse’s head in your bed in the old days and you’d be terror-stricken at having offended a crime family.
Find one there now and you’d just assume your doorbell was broken, leaving the supermarket delivery service no option but to chuck your ‘prime beef’ in through the window.
You have to pity the supermarket delivery folk, though. I daresay it’s really unnerving to be the only people in Britain more likely to make a horse bolt by obeying the Highway Code and driving past really slowly than if they blasted by at 90.
If you’re anything like me, you’ve been casting a wary eye over the contents of your freezer and a wary ear to the comments of the various organisations involved. You may be wondering what some of those comments actually mean, so as a public service I’ve translated a few.
Food suppliers, for example, say things like: “We shall work to discover how this unfortunate confusion occurred.”
What they mean is: “We have been labelling horsemeat as beef, either because nobody at our abattoir can tell the difference between a horse and a cow or because the Food Standards Agency doesn’t exactly fill us with terror.
“Do you seriously think anybody, anywhere, is going to be punished for any of this? If you do, then you probably also think heads are going to roll because of hundreds of people dying unnecessarily at that hospital.”
Food suppliers also say: “We pursue the most rigorous standards at our abattoirs.”
What they mean is: “We ensure our abattoirs are located in countries inspectors are scared to visit. Several are next door to unlawful CIA prisons that don’t officially exist. Never mind horse meat; your kievs probably contain bits of hippies who re-Tweeted jokes about Bush.”
Something else food suppliers say is: “We shall put rigorous and robust new testing procedures in place.”
What they mean is: “We’ll test our meat and for all we know the results will come back saying, ‘Horse, donkey, dog, cat, rat and a soupcon of lizard because somebody’s pet iguana fell into the grinder.’ Then, when the Government comes calling and asks us about the results, we’ll say, ‘Prime beef, and nothing but prime beef. Mmmmmm.’”
Supermarket bosses have also been commenting, and often say: “We’re truly sorry this has happened and will work to ensure it never happens again. We really, really care.”
What they mean is: “We’re sorry anybody found out about this, as it might harm our profits. We really, really care about our profits.”
Certain politicians are saying: “The strongest measures will be taken against those responsible.”
What they mean is: “I’ll be at my club with the supermarket bosses this very afternoon, and I’ll tell them in no uncertain terms that they’ll be for the high jump unless I get a directorship.”
Make sure you microchip your chihuahua, madam
WILL the mandatory microchipping of dogs, welcomed by many local vets, be as much of a boost to animal welfare and public safety as campaigners claim?
We won’t be able to answer that one until the first prosecutions for not chipping.
If those targeted are pointy-headed thugs who allow their vicious, untrained dogs to terrorise communities, then I’ll say: “Wow, this new law is really working.”
And if they happen instead to be little old ladies who forgot to get their Yorkies or poodles chipped, and are coincidentally less likely to batter any official who challenges them?
Maybe I’ll say something else in that case, especially if the prosecution starts spouting about ‘Zero Tolerance’.
- ONCE again our libraries are in line to be hit by cuts, this time to the tune of 132 opening hours per week. Swindon’s aren’t the only libraries to suffer in this way; there are similar tales of woe across the country. You know, if I were a cynic I might suspect somebody, somewhere wants to keep as many of us as possible as uninformed as possible.