Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Plus ca change

So I watched the TV news tonight for the first time in a while. And? Foot and mouth outbreaks...Madelaine McCann's parents believe her to be alive...British soldier dies in Basra...Tension between Georgia and Russia.

All these stories have been seen before. So whats new under the sun? Well, 2 things, both appearing well down the programme (this thatbeing Channel 4 at 7 o'clock).

i) This FMD outbreak has been assessed as extremely likely to have emenated from Pirbright research centre, where there are two operations. The first is a governmental research institute. The second is that of a private company, Merrill, with which the government yesterday placed an order for 300,000 doses of FMD vaccine. I don't know what other viruses, affecting animals or humans, are treated at these and similar sites, but for FMD to infect livestock as a result of biosecurity lapses at Pirbright, this soon after the enourmous slaughter of the last outbreak, is beyond disgraceful.

ii) GB again makes headlines for 'distancing' Britain from the US. This time he has persuaded Bush to release 5 non UK nationals who have residency here from Guantanamo. If that is the best he can do to mark a change in TB's policy to the US, those who fear the position of Britain's shoulder should be fearful indeed. Even those of us who think our security depends upon our relationship with America must fear that we are to become embroiled in yet more international atrocities as a result...



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