I’ve been ill for a couple of weeks now, but I'm just about over it. Nothing serious, but an apparently endless cough tends to depress the vital forces somewhat. So what has this to do with rats?
It goes like this. Not so long ago while out walking we saw a great big rat scuttle across the Cromford Canal towpath. Not an unusual sight but unmistakable and that’s the point – rats are unambiguously ratty. That’s a rat that is.
Being mildly ill made me think of that rat because when a chap muses away the day, certain things tend to pop through the mental haze with enormous clarity. The more gloomy aspects of life can become stark and wonderfully clear. Not so much a case of enhanced consciousness as having the time and inclination to dwell on these things. There is no need to trawl around for suitable words because things are as they seem to be - that’s a rat that is.
The sheer wanton crappiness of the BBC for instance. The humongous unbridgeable gulf dividing what the Beeb is from what it ought to be. Considering the vast sums of moolah it has to spend, the iron grip it had for decades on UK mass media and the resources at its disposal, the BBC falls far short of where it ought to be. As with rats, BBC deficiencies are unmistakable.
Cameron’s untrustworthy tactics on the EU referendum are the obvious wriggling of a political spiv faced with the oafish intransigence of an EU which doesn’t give a rat’s arse about the reform hole he managed to dig for himself. He’ll get what he’s given and knows it. We know it too because the whole unedifying game is as obvious as a big fat rat scuttling along the political gutter.
It’s no mystery. Rats look like rats. As yet we haven’t been conditioned to mistake their ratty nature by calling them something less uncompromisingly ratty. 'Sewer pixies' for example. No doubt if we’d been conditioned by politically correct pressures to refer to rats as 'sewer pixies' we’d become horrified by the word 'rat'. Calling someone a rat could even become a hate crime to be tut tutted over by the BBC, the Guardian and unattractive intellectuals with soft hands and softer heads.
It probably is a hate crime already, but until I see a flashing blue light through the curtains, Cameron is a rat, the BBC is full of them and the EU is where they build their nests.