Thursday 29 May 2008

Tough on squirrels, tough on the causes of squirrels

I'm all for shooting grey squirrels, trapping mink and ripping up himalayan balsam, but you have to laugh at the language that politicians resort to when they're launching any new initiative. Check out the statement from Scottish environment minister Michael Russell in this press release, as he launches the grandly-titled Invasive Non-Native Species Strategy for Great Britain.

Scotland's "rich natural heritage" is "at risk from a number of threats." Mink (but not badgers presumably) are "voracious," grey squirrels (but not pine martens?) have an "aggressive nature" and "harbour disease." A cynic might say that these species' success is an example of Darwinism in action. And I know a few "invading" humans who fit Russell's description of squirrels et al.

Ah well, if we have to mangle the English language to get politicians to support what we all know needs doing, then it's a price worth paying.

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