Skip to main content

Mr. Badger and his Lobbyist Friends

I'm looking at the August issue of Harper's.

There is a weirdly fascinating tidbit in the "readings" section about His Royal Highness Prince Charles.

In May of this year, various memos that HRH wrote to various government officials, including the Prime Minister, in the period 2004-09 became public under the UK's Freedom of Information Act.

The weird bit is the notion of a "badger lobby." HRH says that not only is there a badger lobby, but it has political strength to a degree that distresses him.

He says that the "most pressing and urgent problem" facing British agriculture today is "the rising number of TB cases in cattle," and that this cannot be addressed without "a proper cull of badgers," who apparently spread TB to the bovine set.

But the badger lobby stands in the way of this proper cull, and in a letter to the PM, Charles said that their interest in saving badgers at the expense of slaughtering "thousands of expensive cattle" who have contracted TB, is "intellectually dishonest."

All I can think of now is The Wind in the Willows.


Popular posts from this blog

Great Chain of Being

One of the points that Lovejoy makes in the book of that title I mentioned last week is the importance, in the Neo-Platonist conceptions and in the later development of the "chain of being" metaphor, of what he calls the principle of plenitude. This is the underlying notion that everything that can exist must exist, that creation would not be possible at all were it to leave gaps.

The value of this idea for a certain type of theodicy is clear enough.

This caused theological difficulties when these ideas were absorbed into Christianity.  I'll quote a bit of what Lovejoy has to say about those difficulties:

"For that conception, when taken over into Christianity, had to be accommodated to very different principles, drawn from other sources, which forbade its literal interpretation; to carry it through to what seemed to be its necessary implications was to be sure of falling into one theological pitfall or another."

The big pitfalls were: determinism on the on…

A Story About Coleridge

This is a quote from a memoir by Dorothy Wordsworth, reflecting on a trip she took with two famous poets, her brother, William Wordsworth, and their similarly gifted companion, Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

We sat upon a bench, placed for the sake of one of these views, whence we looked down upon the waterfall, and over the open country ... A lady and gentleman, more expeditious tourists than ourselves, came to the spot; they left us at the seat, and we found them again at another station above the Falls. Coleridge, who is always good-natured enough to enter into conversation with anybody whom he meets in his way, began to talk with the gentleman, who observed that it was a majestic waterfall. Coleridge was delighted with the accuracy of the epithet, particularly as he had been settling in his own mind the precise meaning of the words grand, majestic, sublime, etc., and had discussed the subject with William at some length the day before. “Yes, sir,” says Coleridge, “it is a majestic wate…