Friday, March 03, 2006

England: London Media Reporting

Taking a break from the reporting of council corruption and drug crime London regional newspapers decided to try for something different and reported on bird flu. One set of regionals hunted down some experts to talk to them who came up with such memorable quotes such as "The UK is considered to be one of the best prepared countries in the world." The expert in question was referring of course to the grand claim that Britain was ready for H5N1 and would be kicking ass when it showed up. Good good I am thinking. Then I remembered that British weatherman in 1987 who denied that a hurricane was coming. Still even experts are known to make mistakes. Evidently the local London experts have got their plans down to the comma and full stop of who was making the tea when H5N1 visits London.

Another approach by our H5N1 reporting London reporters is to interview the vets on their local patch. Matthew Wilson, of the Young Veterinary Partnership was on hand for an interview with the Hounslow Guardian, and looked very expert like and perhaps was a Government Expert in the making. We had such enlighten statements such as dogs are safe from H5N1 ... although nothing was mentioned about gold fish. One interesting quote on H5N1 infection was this:

"The virus, which survives in droppings and nasal discharge, is transmitted by close contact with either the birds themselves or material they have contaminated such as food, water and clothing."

So perhaps Londoners will not suffer death by chicken but rather by death by pigeon. Pigeons are a part of London culture as much as trigger happy policemen are with users of the London Tube system. It is not uncommon to be travelling along to find an unwelcome addition to your nice new clothing. Pigeons are London's answer to chickens in the country. The London people have a love hate relationship with their pigeons. Pigeons help Londoners to diet because rather than eating all their sandwiches Londoners get a primitive urge to share their expensive food with the London pigeon population. Pigeons return the favour by then crapping on Londoners. Predictably pigeons with H5N1 will share their illness with Londoners in this ongoing ancient pigeon-Londoner symbiotic relationship they have with each other.

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