The Spelling Lady’s not for burning at the stake, just grovelling apologies. Little Jemima and Gabrielle can continue to frolic in the forest counting ladybirds, secure in the knowledge that whilst Daddy may have their trust fund invested in acres of Conifer plantation, no nasty capitalists, nor even one of those charidees that Mummy works for, will ever have the right to restrict their frolicking.
Half a million of the middle classes recoiled in horror and wrote to their MPs and Downing Street, cardboard placards were printed up ‘hand’s off our woodland’ – an entire forest’s worth of paper used up in less than a couple of weeks – to emotively extol the virtues of the Forestry Commission as continued custodians of 7% of our wooded land. Who knows whether private owners would have continued to let them trample the undergrowth in their four x fours, or run company ‘paintballing’ week-ends? The risk was too great.
Meanwhile, the vast majority of the British population muttered ‘what’s a forest’ as they gazed out of their tower block window and wondered whether their housing benefit would be cut to pay for this Yew-turn.
Back in Downing Street, a neutered Moggie by the name of Larry was plucked from the security of the Battersea Dog’s Home (there’s a joke in there somewhere) and subjected to the raucous shenanigans of popping flashbulbs and shouts of ‘this way darling’ as the media descended for an official ‘photo call’ before being ConDem-med to a life in 10 Downing Street, trying to sort out which rat to start with. Two legs or Four? How hungry am I?
Peering through the trees in search of the wood, I am minded to ask –
‘What was it that the highly professional Downing Street spin-meisters didn’t want us to look at this week whilst they tossed us this ‘bread and circus’?’
A feeble prize – Larry’s spare Balls, now rolling round Battersea perhaps? – to be announced when I get round to it, for the best suggestion!