Speaking of Tory Boys (see below) one of the highlights of tweeting through the Speaker contest was the apoplectic response of one Tory Bear. I suspect he calls himself Tory Bear because his real name is Rupert but I may be wrong. Not a happy bear at all. His blog is worth checking out, if only to remind yourself that such people exist (and also just in case he becomes Speaker in 30 years time).
Today his guest contributor, Working Class Tory, poses the question... Do Labour hate meat? (Which sounds grammatically incorrect... ?) Here's an extract:
"The Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is Hilary Benn - is a hardline vegetarian, who seems to be able to convert those around him to his anti-meat cause. In the reshuffle earlier this month, the new Minister for Food and Farming was Jim Fitzpatrick - another vegetarian. Understandably, the farmers of this country, already put under ridiculous financial strains by the recession, are fearful their concerns will fall on deaf ears."
Some questions... What exactly is a 'hardline' vegetarian? Does he mean the type who doesn't say 'I'm a vegetarian but I eat fish and sometimes chicken?', i.e. someone who isn't a vegetarian at all? And what evidence does he have that Hilary has converted anyone at all to his 'anti-meat cause?' Is the public gallery in the Commons now swamped at Defra question time by adoring disciples in "Meat is Murder" T-shirts? Are farmers up and down the country putting down their pitchforks and adopting their pigs as pets? I think the public should be told.
(Jim, I assume, being a grown man, has been a vegetarian for some years and hasn't been brainwashed into it by the mung bean munching Benn. But who knows? It's a shame he wasn't in post when I did my recent debate on livestock's contribution to climate change, rather than Jane Kennedy who seemed rather underwhelmed by the case I was making).
Anyway, Working Class Tory and his friend have missed the real scoop. 10 Downing Street is, I understand, also introducing a meat-free day once a week in its canteen. Tom Watson obviously got out just in time! (Actually just clarified this with someone - it's not compulsory, but there's a meat-free promotion each Wednesday).
This week "self-confessed" vegetarians the McCartney family launched their Meat-Free Monday campaign - http://www.supportmfm.org/ which is linked to this http://meatfreemondays.co.uk/ I'm tempted to start lobbying for a Meat Free Monday in the Commons dining rooms. If there's one thing guaranteed to get Tory blood boiling - even more than a Bercow Speakership - it would surely be that.*
*As with backing JB for Speaker, this would not be the primary motive, but an added bonus!