Some years ago I used to work as an engineer in a delightful business park adjoining the Dunton site on the outskirts of Basildon. On the way to work I used to travel on a winding country lane. I noticed that a group of magpies had developed the knack of eating road-kill in spite of the passing cars. I marvelled at how one of them would take advantage of a gap in the traffic, hop onto their target, grab a few bits, and then hop back onto the verge at the last possible moment, avoiding the fate that had befallen their meal. If, when I got there, the gap was too small they would simply wait. I couldn’t help thinking that no cat could do that, and marvelled that a creature with such a small brain could be so smart. Since they all looked alike I wondered if it was the same one each time or if they took turns. If so – how clever is that!
However, one afternoon in the office someone shouted ‘come and look this’. I found myself looking out of the window at one of the many beautiful oak trees we overlooked. (Yes, I said it was delightful there!) There I saw a magpie hunting down a squirrel. The magpie was going hammer and tongs, both flying and hopping, darting between branches while the squirrel performed herculean feats of ducking and diving to avoid getting pecked.
The squirrel then worked its way into a thick outgrowth of ivy. Undaunted, the Magpie dived straight in. The ivy leaves moved around frantically and a few feathers appeared. Shortly afterwards out came the Magpie, battered and bent and flew rather uncertainly to a different branch where it sat for a while preening itself. Soon the squirrel reappeared looking none the worse for wear. The magpie took off immediately.
Now what, you may well ask, made me remember that!
Well, recently I got onto the train and picked up a “Metro” newspaper that had been lying on the seat, open on page 4, and saw a picture featuring our new Prime Minister. For some unfathomable reason I remembered the magpie episode …
The picture was captioned ‘United: Mrs May with Barack Obama’. That would be Barack, back-of-the-line, Obama I thought, so I began to read.
The article was headlined ‘PM: We still want to tackle climate crisis’. I thought to myself that while not everyone agrees on whether carbon dioxide causes warming or not, most are aware that since temperatures have not risen for 17 years and the icecaps did not melt by the year 2000 as predicted by Al Gore, and if anything, the one on the bottom is growing rather ominously, there is obviously no crisis …
The article went on to report Mrs. May, who supported remain and presumably voted for it, as saying that we who voted for Leave ‘did not vote to turn inwards or walk away’. Funny, I didn’t think anything of the kind! In fact, I voted Leave so the UK could turn outwards and trade with the whole world and especially the Commonwealth, something the EU is still stridently trying to stop us from doing. As far as ‘walk away’ is concerned, it is obvious to any Leave voter that the UK should continue to trade with the EU or, if it doesn’t survive, the European Countries – but not on a cap-in-hand basis as an EU colony!
Her comments on globalisation left me with little confidence that she was against it. Her convoluted comment about ‘ensuring a controlled international migration response’ and ‘we can reject isolationism and xenophobia’ left me with a strong feeling of Mayphobia.
As a one-time immigrant myself I cannot accept either of her labels. What I can accept is that immigrants are, as I was, carefully selected by the UK government alone without any outside interference, ensuring that, like me, they have a job to go to when they get here, as is right and proper for any self-respecting, sovereign, independent country that cares first and foremost about the wellbeing of its own citizens.
So perhaps we at UKIP should not fret too much about Mrs. May picking up our policies because it appears that when she does she doesn’t know what to do with them.
They may be clever – but Magpies should watch out for squirrels …!