Saturday, November 04, 2006

The Commons needs a cat

Tim Worstall argues that "our civilisation is disappearing down the plughole, sucked into a vortex of our own gross stupidity".

His evidence?

The Commons is infested with mice. Fair enough, old, Victorian, building, a thousand or two people wandering around, lots of cafeterias and dining rooms, lots of people using take away trays to eat at their desks and so on: sure, there will be mice around. It's even rumoured that the mice have become immune to poison and the pest control people doubt that they'll be able to eradicate them.

Now, given the accumulated human wisdom that is our inheritance as a civilization, what would be a rational thing to do? Why, for example, does damn near every farm in the country have a few cats sunning themselves on the hay bales (and those that don't usually have a couple of terriers scurrying around the yards)? Yes, well done, we'll control the mice by bringing in a predator or two.

Can we do this in the Commons?

The work appears to have forced the mice out into the open. Requests for a House of Commons cat to do its traditional job of catching vermin have been rejected by the "authorities" on health and safety grounds.
You have to admit he has a point. Tim does not give a link to the news story he is quoting, but there is a short item on the subject here.


Jock Coats said...

The Commons is infested with bigger vermin than mice. Some would say.

Mike Oborski said...

Birmingham Town Hall had a very lordly cat living in the Mayor's Parlour for years. Did them the World of good.

Warsaw's Palace of Education & Culture (Stalin's gift to the city at the city's expense) would reputedly take over 70 days to tour in full and is also reputed to host a feral colony of some 650 cats who prowl the basements, tunnels and secret rooms. The building is spectacularly rodent clear.

A colony in the Palace of Westminster would work miracles!

As Consul of the Republic of Poland for the West Midlands we house four. Not only are we rodent free but the two senior toms - who wear Polish security badges - have kept the Consulate free of Weapons of Mass Destruction and have so far prevented any terrorist attacks!

James said...

I'm surprised Tim didn't claim that Parliament was going to the dogs.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't it be illegal to hunt rodents with dogs these days?

Disgruntled Radical said...

I believe the ridiculous Hunting with Dogs Act (or whatever it's called) permits the hunting of rats with dogs, but not the hunting of mice.