Jack, the Jack Russell

A couple of years ago, I was running through a field when I saw a chap struggling with a dog. He was bowed like a Volga boatman pulling on a barge, and the dog was pulling him in the other direction. It was a large dog, some sort of combination of German shepherd and husky, with a dash of wolf there in the mix. When I got within about 20 feet, the dog seemed to win their tug of war, and he bounded in my direction. His eyes were bright, his tongue was pink, and he bounced with all the happiness of Timmy the Dog in the Famous Five, as though seeing me was the best thing that had ever happened since the world was begun. "Hi there, dog!" I cried, coming to a halt, and with great friendliness the dog stood up to greet me on his hind legs. He put out his forepaws and rested them on my chest, as though embracing a long-lost relative at the airport. He gave a sweet little woof of excitement, and a doggy grin broke out all over his face as he opened his jaws as wide as they could go, exposing a perfect set of white teeth. Then he made a wholehearted attempt to bite my head off. A few moments later, when everything had calmed down, the dog was back in the arms of his ancient master, and I was bleeding freely from puncture wounds in both cheeks. "Look here," I said, and I was on the point of invoking what are presumably the rights of the dog victim in modern Britain. I was about to tell the wheezing codger that his dog was a menace, that there were children in the vicinity, and that it was my civic duty to have that dog destroyed. Then I looked again at the picture of the man and his dog. The old geezer was slumped by a fence, his arms around the dog. He was pleading with me. It seemed the dog had never done anything like that before. He was a good dog, said the dog's master. He had chosen this field because it was generally deserted, and though he was sorry for my injuries - which looked more spectacular than they were - he really didn't know how he could make amends. As he spoke, I had a sudden vision of his life: a widower, probably, with not much by way of family, and probably not much by way of entertainment or companionship or warmth except this vast hairy hound. In that second, I felt ashamed of even contemplating some act of retribution. How could I even dream of separating this old man from the beast that probably meant more to him than any other sentient being in the world? I mumbled a few reproving words and we went our ways, me dabbing my bleeding fang-holes and he bowed and puffing as the dog surged before him. And I think of that dog bite today, because I have just read that we are nearing the moment of truth in the case of "Jack", the 12-year-old Jack Russell from Newcastle. It is a fable for our times, and no politician can read the facts - as alleged - without a prickle of fear. It is claimed that a former Labour councillor called Brian Hunter was out canvassing in November 2006, and he was doing what we all do, we British politicians. He was pushing the literature through the letterboxes. You know what I mean. You push aside the gate, you walk up the little path, you ring the bell or rap on the frosted glass and, if no one is there, you shove the bumf through the flap, being careful not to trap your fingers as you withdraw. No one is ever very keen to get this literature, but you have to dispense it, because otherwise the address cannot be deemed to have been properly visited. I hope I will not seem unnecessarily wet, in the eyes of my fellow politicians, if I say that I have sometimes found this procedure a bit nerve-racking. As you stick your hand in, you very often find that you have to push it through a kind of mouth or barrier made of black nylon fronds. It is impossible not to suffer a little frisson of fear about what may be beyond those hairy lips. You cannot help speculating about the slavering canine chops that may be right there, about to close over your intrusive politician's fingers. I don't know whether Brian Hunter had any such apprehension, but something terrible certainly happened to the end of his little finger. When the householder, Mark Monroe, 44, came back, he found the tip of the digit on the mat - along with some election literature from the Labour Party. With great presence of mind, he wrapped it in a food bag, popped it in the freezer and called the police. A few days later, Mr Hunter of the Labour Party identified himself as the owner of the severed fingertip, and is now pursuing Mr Monroe for £15,000 in damages. The prime suspect in the case is Jack the Jack Russell, and, even though the dog is now getting on, and even though he has very few teeth left, the finger of guilt (so to speak) seems to be pointing in his direction. It is a hell of a case, and I am glad I am not the judge. On the one hand (so to speak), I feel real compassion for a politician who suffered a painful injury in the course of doing something that is an everyday part of our democracy. But there again, it is hard to see why Mr Monroe and his dog should be blamed, and have to pay such a swingeing sum. He has no insurance. He has had to give up work to defend himself, since he has no legal aid. On the facts of the case, as alleged, it would be monstrous to deprive him of £15,000 and monstrous to harm the dog. What does it teach us, this shaggy dog story, in these times of economic hardship? It is that sometimes there can be accidents where it is hard to find a villain. [First published in the Daily Telegraph on 30 Septemebr 2008 under the heading 'The Labour Party campaigner, the Jack Russell and a lesson for our troubled times']

72 thoughts on “Jack, the Jack Russell”

  1. Warning, folks. If you comment here and use a real email, it’s signed up to the Conservatives email list, without your consent.

    And no matter how you try, you can’t unsubscribe!
    [Ed: Lori – the conservatives DO NOT have access to any emails via this site, I can assure you – they remain confidential only to us on this site]

    I’m pretty sure that’s dodgy marketing, Boris. I know it was this site, as it’s the only contact I have with the Conservatives (no offence).

  2. If I was the judge I’d say it was reasonably foreseeable that if you stick your fingers into someones letterbox a dog might bite them. I’d send Mr Hunter packing and award costs to Mr Monroe.

  3. Fairly hefty costs by the sounds of it if the man cannot work because he has to defend himself. Much as one feels sympathy for the wounded politician, he willingly invaded the dog’s territory. Perhaps all post-people and politicians should use flat metal grabs to do the letterbox posting? Two fish-slice blades held on like castanets should do it – and they can double up as glove puppets in boring interviews or door chimes in houses without them.

  4. Of course the politican will argue that the man was negligent by not having on of those metal cages around his letterbox, and probably failing to have ‘beware of the dog’ signs.

    If the politican wins the consequences are that every dog owner in the land will need metal cages on their letterbox. Labour politicans are finding ways to regulate us in lieu of a Parliamentry seat.

  5. Tis’ a pity the little fellow was not a Shih Tzu, (the canine not the politician!), for I could picture the headlines now…….

  6. People do love their pets like people. A lady I knew adored her cat so much she bought it special chicken breasts to eat and on Christmas Day, the cat was better fed than she was.

    When she went into hospital for an operation, her well meaning but insensitive neighbours had the cat put down for health reasons without her permission. She grieved so badly she nearly died and they just didn’t understand why. It is good Boris sees this.

    Then again, Andrew Gilligan has said such lovely things about Boris Johnson. Recently he said Boris was like Ronald Reagan, but with brains. Boris said Andrew Gilligan gets so much stick because he is not good looking. Boris may have a kind heart, but he also has a cheeky streak and this needs slapping down hard.

  7. im the dog owner, and i have the utmost sympathy for ex labour councilor mr brian hunter, after all he has suffered an injury, but not by my dog, i have a cage on the back of my door, not because i have a dangerous dog but just to catch the mail.
    i have a letter box, which will no doubt be like most peoples and if you put your hand in (post men are instructed not to do this) as mr hunter did, and try to take your hand out quickly, you will take the risk of injury.
    im at court next month and have no legal defence as i cant get legal aid for a civil case…to say im worried is an understatement…!
    im a man of no means or assets, yet im still being sued!

  8. It is very kind hearted and sensitive of Boris to think of someone else when he has just been bitten by their dog. I hope he had injections, or whatever you have to have.

  9. Yes Catherine, I am informed that the dog had injections, but has been behaving like a complete buffoon ever since the incident, so the vaccine was obviously faulty.

  10. I’m glad this incident happened a couple of years ago. And Boris still looks rugged as ever. But you know the saying: Never greet a stranger’s dog, no matter how friendly it is.

    Last week, a Tory Animal Spokeman was bitten by an ape on the Rock of Gibraltar; having his picture taken while standing too close to it.
    ( Google: TORY MAN BITTEN BY APE IN GIBRALTAR ). My verdict as below:

    – The dog should have worn a mouth chastity belt in public. Fine the dog’s owner £60 ( the same rate for speeding ).

    – Fine the victim ( in the field ) £1,000 for being too cute.

    -Fine the other victim ( in Gibraltar ) 50p for being too forward to the ape.

    -Fine the Labour Councillor Hunter ( or Hunted ? ) £15,000 for putting Labour junk mail through people’ letter boxes without the householder’s permission.

  11. When I was a baby, a cat came and sat on my face in my pram and I nearly smothered. I never been able to muster up much love for animals ever since.

    If such an incident happened now, could I sue for nearly smothering? Or for trauma in later life? It has definitely put me off animals. I feel nervous around both cats and dogs. If they stare at me, I feel jumpy, possibly fearing they are plotting my demise.

  12. ps. Boris your eyes are bright, your tongue is pink and you had the shaggy blond longer hair do then. Did the dog mistake you for a relative?

  13. Awww.

    Destroy the dog(s).

    There are plenty more dogs that don’t maim people. Let them get another one.

    15K for the loss of a little finger tip? Too much. I got less than half that for my life and my abilities at that time being completely destroyed. Many rape victims get nothing. The victims of peadophilia rarely even get justice.

  14. “im a man of no means or assets, yet im still being sued!” (mark munroe)

    How unlike a Labour politican to spend good money chasing bad!

  15. I’m sensing that Boris seemed to imply that the root cause of this mortgage financial crisis is the attempts of the “good hearted” democratic governments and the investment banks of the U.S and U.K helping those who can’t afford to own a house to own a house.

    In return, not only they ended up in bankruptcy but also got their face bitten off on both sides and finger tips are off as well. No wonder no face of those bankers showed on any media neither they are able to point their fingers at someone else for their wrong doings. That makes me all curious go to find out who are these the CEOs and their smarties money guys of those critical financial institutions. Why not even one media source write about their story dig up some dirty laundries?

    Of course the poor are only to be pitied not blamed for buying something they can’t afford while their dogs are still to be loved pampered after biting off human flesh but not to be shipped off to China.

    No one’s fault and no one to blame. We all have to do our part as the good citizen of the good society by paying off the hopeless debt with our tax money and help the government to clean up the big mess.

    But wait, what about the billions billions those CEO and financial smarties made when they were “helping the poor buying houses on nothing which bankrupt the banks? Shouldn’t they do their part too, to hand out all their ill gained to repair, at least, a small part of the damage they created?

  16. I’m rather disappointed to find myself the sole defender of the rights of the homeowner in this particular instance. If the dog was inside the house and the dog cannot squeeze out through the letterbox, then presumably the fingertip of the politician had entered the house.

    As such, it was trespassing, and subject to actions of self-defense and defense of property.

    The solution is, obviously, to outlaw pamphleteering specifically, and to strike a Royal Commission into investigating doing away with politicians altogether.

  17. Not alone, Raincoaster. See my comment earlier – and SteveL’s.

    Outlawing pamphleteering should be done in the name of green-ness. Bound to get lots of votes if people can figure out who they should vote for and when.

    Royal Commission to do away with politicians entirely should be headed by Prince Philip.

  18. The solution is, obviously, to outlaw pamphleteering specifically, and to strike a Royal Commission into investigating doing away with politicians altogether

    Superior reasoning from Raincoaster, as ever.

    (can we do away with spam porn as well please? And local council junkets to America at the tax payers expense.)

  19. Jaq how about all the supplements in Sunday newspapers that most people never read. Maybe to save paper, they should be optional.

  20. If politicians were animals, Dvid Miliband would definitely be a monkey, especially after the banana stunt.

  21. Dawn – a sunday newspaper is a product we buy. We can choose not to buy it. We don’t choose to have a Nulab politician sticking his fingers into our home so the dog can bite them off. Tempting though isn’t it? Come election time I can see Battersea Dogs Home running out of pooches 🙂

  22. A midwife tripped over a couple’s buggy in their home and now she will probably be suing them.

    David Cameron is right now giving a brilliant speech saying we have got to get rid of their stupid political correctness and their stupid stupid rules and potty regulations that are without heart, don’t do any good and just drive everyone crazy. WAY TO GO DAVID CAMERON.

  23. An awesomely good speech from Dave C at the conference wrap-up. Intelligent, moving, passionate, sensible, visionary… here was a real statesman at work, a future Prime Minister without question. If Gordon can survive that, there is no justice.

    Your turn next, Boris.

  24. Very serious, passionate speech. David Cameron is always at his best in a tough situation – it was tricky, because he has to be supportive in an economic crisis, without shirking his responsibity in saying where the government had gone wrong.

    David Cameron is totally right – if it were just experience that was needed, we would be stuck with the incumbent PM for ever, what an appalling thought! What is needed is the strength and the character and the vision to steer us through and I would 100% put my trust in Cameron as the man.

  25. Jaq darling, I have just realised what you said way back. You CAN’T get rid of the dog! For some people, their pet is all they have, as Boris understands! Only that dog will do, that is the dog they love, and it is what gets them through life! In the case of the lady I told you, when her neighbours had her cat put down, I tried to coax her to get another cat when some time had passed. She said “I couldn’t. I could never suffer and go through that again”. It was heartbreaking. I’m not like that myself about animals, but some people love their pets like they would a human being. When they lose the pet, they suffer bereavement.

  26. I am outraged by the attitude of peple commenting on here supporting & making light of the suffering Mr Hunter experienced. The people commenting have obviously never been through what Mr Hunter has. Whether he was out delivering political literature or charitable leaflets should not be called into question. He was not doing anything that is against the law. i recently suffered the same injury, under similar circumstances & I challenge any of you that are lucky enough never to have suffered the trauma & devistation that losing a finger in this manner causes. I have been fortunate that I have a good employer & I have had full support & pay whilst recovering otherwise I could have lost my home as well as my finger.
    Every day I have to live with the physical pain & mental anguish this has caused me. The dog in my incident was known to destroy the mail but the owners decided to do nothing about it, fitting a letter cage is simple, inexpensive & responsible. My finger can never be replaced, my confidence to leave the house alone is slowly coming back.
    I think you should all be ashamed of making such flipant comments when you have no idea how traumatic it is to be a victim in such an incident. Dog owners should be made to be responsible.
    If this happened to your child delivering newspapers, or yourselves delivering a birthday card to a friend, I would imagine that most of you would adopt an altogther different attitude. I too am an animal owner & I understand completely how precious they are to their owners but with ownership of a pet comes responsibility, if people are not willing to face up to that responsibility then they should not be allowed to own pets, simarliy if an animal is proved to be dangerous then it should not be allowed to do this again, whether that should be by an enforced control order or a destruction order should be decided upon by someone who is a trained professional & a responsible citizen.

  27. Angela, darling, in my experience it’s amazing how, despite their protestations, people swiftly take to a new pet when you plonk the little bundle in their arms and tell them it was rescued from the jaws of death if only you could find a home for the poor wee thing……

    A dog that would take Boz on would make short work of a toddler. How do you feel about the random link from the 2,550,000 Google of ‘dog attacked child death’: “A five-year-old girl mauled to death in her family home today was named by police as Ellie Lawrenson.” Look it up?

    If a dog bites an adult, it will bite a child. And to indulge in awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww until a child is dead is too long, too late.

    It’s a dog and NOT a human being. Even little old ladies are adults. Put the dog to sleep. Get another dog.

    PaulD – sadly I doubt I’ll be voting Conservative at the next election.

  28. Jaq – one thing emerging from this is that the Dangerous Dogs Act, like so much knee-jerk legislation, has been totally ineffective.

    Dangerous dogs are defined by breed, viz

    (a) any dog of the type known as the pit bull terrier;

    (b) any dog of the type known as the Japanese tosa; and

    (c) any dog of any type designated for the purposes of this section by an order of the Secretary of State, being a type appearing to him to be bred for fighting or to have the characteristics of a type bred for that purpose.

    The last provision is so slippery that, in practice, only pit bulls and Tosas are in the firing line. So what happens? A boom in marginal breeds trained to be highly aggressive.

    There was an article recently (The Times, I think) about dog ownership on a South London estate where vicious dogs are traded like home-grown veg as fashion accessories and – how shall I put it? – manhood enlargers. And the police can’t do anything about it.

    If a dog bites an adult, it will bite a child. Not necessarily true. Many dogs have a parenting instinct that stops them from doing to babies and children what they might do to adults.

    As for your Google search, beware Google searches. The millions of occurrences you found may only have contained one or two of the keywords, eg ‘dog’ and ‘child’. Those I saw nearly all involved aggressive breeds like bulldogs. Not a golden retriever in sight!

    Not voting Tory? Anything Dave said?

  29. PaulD – I agree, knee-jerk legislation is rarely (if ever) effective. And yes I’ve heard of the rise in the latest red-kneck must-have accessory. Sad. They wouldn’t be so popular if all these ‘men’ had a manly job to go to.

    If a dog bites an adult, it will bite a child … Many dogs have a parenting instinct that stops them from doing to babies and children what they might do to adults.

    Sorry Paul but that’s just rubbish.

    And yes, on the Google search all I saw were big aggresive breeds too. But that doesn’t mean that small dogs won’t bite, it just means an adult is more likely to be able to pull them off and so prevent death.

    I’ve never understood this tendancy in people to attribute human characteristics to animals, as if it’s cruel and insulting to treat an animal how it is. I was asked by someone why my cat kills birds, like I wasn’t feeding it or something. I answered by stating the bleedin’ obvious – it kills birds because it’s a cat. And ANY dog will bite ANY person, large or small, if it chooses to. I can do anything with my cat but it’s attacked my children because it was here first. and dogs get jealous too. It’s their territory. And a toddler accidentally standing on it’s tail doesn’t help.

    My disenchantment with the Conservatives has nothing to do with cameron’s speech, which I didn’t watch. Just not impressed. I think Raincoaster and Vicus are turning me into a left-wing scummy reactionary. I may have to abandon my Manolo fund and buy Birkenstocks instead.

  30. Jaq, hopefully the owner will put the dog on a muzzle. i must admit I was not thinking of the dog killing a child – you are right, that would be terrible, so maybe Boris should have exacted a firm promise about the muzzle and checked that this was carried out.

    But even if we do not understand it, to some people, their dogs are the only source of affection in their lives. To this old lady, her cat Cindy was her whole family, and she was so heart broken, she could not bear the thought of replacing her and possibly being so badly hurt again. Cindy was a person who provided unconditional love, who never argued and who was always there.

    It is the same with people who worship their dogs. Boris obviously understands such things and that is why I was harsh to him, about his teasing, because frankly it shows what a sensitive human being he is, and if we keep saying that, this website comes over as so sycophantic and syruppy, we are public laughing stocks.

    Of course, when I was harsh, I felt as awful as if I had cut Bambi’s throat, you just can’t win when you write on here.

  31. Angela – you can win on here because on here you can be as syrupy as you like and the comment will be posted whereas on other sites only those comments are posted! You can write erotic poetry to Boris, dream about him naked and also tell the world how wrong you think he is and how much you dislike him personally as long as it’s legal, decent etc. But as with any online group discussion you will get teased and disagreed with, or applauded and agreed with. The good thing about this fine blog are the moderators and most particularly the environment encouraged from the top down. All are welcome.

    You’re still wrong about animals though – they ain’t people and any adult needs to deal with that. I got emotional about selling my motorbike and that’s a machine! And look at how some people react to football teams, barmy. They really do need to get over that.

  32. I don’t mind at all if I am teased Jaq. I just meant I want to put balanced comment on this site, but I can’t find anything to balance out the lovely things.

    This place is a great place to write actually because we can say exactly what we like. I could even let out all my anger against Gordon Brown and point out that if he had lived in the time of the Duke of Wellington, because of the way he has treated our armed forces, he would have been flogged! That made me feel a lot better……

    Jaq darling, you know I respect you, but can I say just one more thing about the animals? Everyone needs someone to love and it is just a natural human instinct. What do people do when they do not have a human to love? Or they have been so badly hurt by humans or let down, they can’t trust themselves to love human beings? They love a pet or transpose it onto something safe like their bikes! You may say people NEED TO DEAL with that, but who are we to judge, do we deal perfectly with everything? If what people do does not hurt anyone else, let them do it, we are all imperfect humans doing the best we can. If we were kinder to these people, maybe they wouldn’t have to just love their pets!

  33. Carla, is your living dependent on sticking appendages into other people’s property? If it is, then certainly you should be entitled to worker’s compensation or something similar. I cannot say that I have lost a finger, but I did break my back once; the pain and anguish of that were something I managed to overcome relatively promptly, and which at no time rendered me afraid to leave my house. Are you sure medical intervention is what you require at this point?

    One would think it’s a basic letter carrier skill, to put letters into the slot without intruding one’s fingers past the point one can see. Even I have managed the task on occasion.

  34. I’m NOT suggesting that all dogs which maimed people should be killed and their meat to be used for cooking. But I was on holiday in South East Asia once, and over there they eat dogs like we do rabbits. And it tastes like rabbit.

    This is how they do it: Kill the animal first, then pour boiling water over it to remove the fur, then gut and BBQ the whole thing until golden brown and smells nice. Next, chop the meat into bite-sized pieces for cooking. Apparently, one can can buy a slab of already roasted dog meat at local market and cooks it at home – anything really; curry, stew, BBQ roast – but usually spicy dishes are the best. Of course, I tried it and quite enjoyed it really. I asked the cook over there for his dog curry recipe. Here it is:

    Roast the meat until golden then chop it into bite-sized pieces. Fry onion and garlic with some cooking oil, add meat, some Pakta’s curry paste and just a bit of boiling water- as more water will come out of the meat later whilst it’s cooking. Cover and simmer for 20-30 minutes. Serve with crusty French stick. Enjoy!

    P.S: Before you slag me off – Tesco, Sainsbury… sell buffalo meat, kangaroo meat, emu meat, ostrich meat, crocodile meat, shark meat . Carla Bruni and her husband do eat horse meat, by the the way.

  35. Remember the old saying ‘look before you leap’? If Mr Hunter wanted to poke his fingers through the letter box he should have checked that it was safe to do so. When will people start taking responsibilty for their actions? If you do something careless or stupid then you should suffer the consequences and not start lokking around for someone to blame and squeeze money out of. I hope the judge bears this in mind and supports Mr Munroe.

  36. Edna: you missed out camel. That’s really good, versatile meat – but a bit impractical in Northumberland.

  37. As Gill has just approved and praised camel meat, I want to confess that I’ve tried snake, goat, field rat, field bird, turtle, lizzard, silkworms, horse meats on my travels. Horse meat tastes like beef and the fat is white not yellow like beef and is much cheaper than beef. But I wouldn’t touch monkey meat.

    Gill, I will try camel meat if I have a chance. I’ve heard that camel’s milk is very nice, is that right?

  38. Sir Ian said that the Mayor had been “very pleasant but determined”. Our Mayor said in his statement that in any organisation there comes a time for people to move on and for fresh appointment to be be made. If Boris feels that this is the time and it is best for London, as Mayor he has to act on that,

  39. Yes, Angela- although I wonder if Mr.Hunter’s’s long enough to chop off !!!
    Sir Ian Blair is to retire? He should sort out that moaning chap before he goes.

  40. Stacy you are a very bad girl, but we like very bad girls on this website.

    Don’t you agree with me Stacy, if that is how Boris behaves when he fires people, I hope he fires me one day. It seems like an ineffably enjoyable experience!

  41. Stacy: sorry to disappoint but I’ve not tried camel milk. Camel yoghourt, however, is excellent stuff – unless you are trying to eat a whole litre of it before they let you out of hospital!

  42. Yes, Angela. Boris is very gentle on the outside but I know he’s really hard inside. Not a lot of people know that.

    I mean, he only needed to say to Sir Ian that they can not work together because of Sir Ian’s attitude and that’s it, I’m the boss, off-you-go.

    I mean when a lots of the senior officers and rank and file officers at Scotland Yard and in the force feel that Sir Ian has damaged its reputation by making gaffes and allowing spats between senior officers to be played out in public, then it must be true.

  43. Thanks very much Boris for easing Blair out of his post. Can we have a real policeman next time please. Here in Walthamstow we are aching for a fresh start. We need a sense that the police are going to stop going through the motions and will actually try to get on top of crime by feeling like they belong with their shoes on our streets.

  44. Boris, well done on ousting Ian Blair. Excellent result the man should have gone ages ago. Imagine he has a fat package to go with it, unfortunately.

    Ref the dog. You should have done the bloody thing! They crap everywhere anyway and in this case, you have exposed the possibility of a child or pensioner being attacked. Sorry no prisoners on that one!

  45. What’s with the photos. I want to see your smiling happy face and some dipstick has put a black line over it.

    Is this trickery and can we give it a name.

    Sorry I’mm ticked with the photos bit.

  46. Mmmm. I wouldn’t say Boris Johnson was hard inside, but he is very determined. He probably assessed the situation in depth, realised it was untenable, and decided it was for the best to make a change. However, he does it in such a tactful nice way that the damage is limited to the minimum. It was the same thing in the way he handled things with Tim Parker.

    Tim Parker was obviously highly intelligent, he had a fearsome reputation and he was touted as “the Prince of Darkness” on all the left wing websites because of his so called ruthlessness. Whether or not he actually was ruthless, I don’t know, but he was certainly extremely effective in sorting out the AA and other companies.

    All the left wingers were gleefully predicting that he would eat Boris for breakfast. What actually transpired was he ended up leaving, because Boris, after another careful, in depth assessment, decided that he would take over Tim Parker’s job. However, they parted the best of friends, with Parker promising to be available for advice whenever Boris needed him and also promising to remain on the board. All the lefties were speechless. What could they say, they had moaned that Tim Parker should never have been taken on anyway, and that Boris should be doing his job. Now that was going to happen, they were left without a leg to stand on. As a masterstroke, Boris had arranged for Parker to work for £1 a year. London didn’t even have to pay him any redundancy.

    You have to be some sort of genius to handle such matters so adeptly. In fact, in certain previously highly critical quarters, it is beginning to be realised that not only have they underestimated Boris, he IS some sort of genius.

  47. Ah, Boris. Analysis of delivery method required, I fear.

    When the flap opens outwards, not a problem. Lift the flap with left hand and gripping the south end of the leaflet, insert it, north end first, taking care not to follow through with fingers.

    When the flap opens inwards, more of a problem. Bracing the fingers of the left hand on the door, push the flap open with the thumb only, pushing on the upper (hinged) edge. Thean, as before grip the south end of the leaflet, insert it, north end first, taking care not to follow through with the right hand fingers.

    If the dog gets you in these circumstances, write it off emotionally as an occupational hazard but claim on insurance.

    Easy

  48. Speaking as one who was once savaged by a Scottie, which sank its ferocious fangs into my calf muscle then swung around my leg like some horrible fluffy pendulum from a spoof Hammer House of Horror film, I salute your courage and kindness, Boris.

    There is, however, a far more compelling reason to salute you this evening: for your courage in despatching that fiendishly PC, fluffy, nulabour poodle with its feeding frenzied fangs sunk so deep into the jugular of our country.

    Impossible as it seems, since you’ve already reached the pinnacle of popular adoration, your standing as a cult figure and folk hero has nevertheless been enhanced by this deed. Even the nulabbers on BBC’s Have Your Say are now singing your praises.

    A job very well done, Boris, England loves you for this!

  49. Congratulations Boris on getting shot of Ian Blair, a disastrous Chief Constable. Take the politics out of policing now please and get a proper cop in there.

  50. “I think Raincoaster and Vicus are turning me into a left-wing scummy reactionary.” (Jaq)

    I think it’s very easy at the moment to be craving for more regulation, an end to the culture of greed, massive government intervention in the markets and the demonising of the financial services industry.

    When I look at the aftermath of the so called ‘credit crunch’ I can’t help but feel like a mug. It’s like the prestigious banking institutions we all looked up to were in fact just one gigantic, intricate and devious scam.

    For years I thought on one hand that New Labour had indeed abolished the prospect of recession, whilst the back of my mind told me the house-price mega-boom and massive levels of consumer debt we were accumilating were entirely unsustainable.

    Every year the banks annouced their record profits, whilst I looked around me at all the people maxing out their credit cards and wondered whether the assets they had listed on their balance sheet were actually big liabilities.

    Completely priced out of the housing market I wanted to believe it would all collapse. When the journalists first started talking about the problems in the American housing market and the dodgy mortgage debts circulating the world I wanted to believe it would all come crashing down.

    Just as I spent years kicking myself for not getting a job on leaving school and building a property empire, now I find myself doing the same for not having enough conviction to short-sell the banks and housebuilders I wanted to believe would fail, on lots of leverage, and with everything I had. If I had done either I could be retired by now, hindsight is a wonderful thing.

    We look at the bosses in pin-stripe suits walking away from the whole sorry mess with briefcases stuffed full of cash, and we feel like our future prospects have been swapped for the millstone of government debt. It’s very easy to come to these conclusions.

    What you’ve got to remember is that during these good years we were constantly lied to by a greedy cabal of politicans intent on foisting upon us their own agenda of ‘social change’.

    Either they surrounded themselves with the shortsighted or they chose to ignore the warnings and keep on hyping us further into the credit bubble in order to further their own agenda. Whichever way it was there is no excuse for the fact they also increased the national credit card bill, and taxation, during the good years to the extent they did.

    If they had paid off the debt, increased our reserves and wasted less money we would now be in a far better position to ride the storm. We would be in a position to embark on a programme of upgrading our infrastructure, building new powerstations, the Severn Barrage and high-speed railways. These projects would all create valuable employment and soften the blow of the world economic downturn.

    Instead they did nothing. They built an economy based almost entirely around the housing market. We can still do all the above, credit card UK has a unimaginably big limit, but we would be passing the cost onto future generations in order to keep ourselves in the petty luxuries we have become accustomed to until the next time the American economy falters. By then we’ll have stored up an even bigger problem.

    When the time comes to tale the difficult decision that wil affect the long term livelihood of our nation, Brown’s judgement will be constrained by the need to appease the trade unions that bankrole him and the lefty-wing backbenchers that keep in in power. We need tough love right now, not more of the same short-termist mismanagement.

    One of my housemates remembers growing up under communist rule in Slovakia. He used to have to queue up for two hours with his Mother to buy oranges, during the same time we were riding the rollercoaster of the Thatcher years.

    The next few years, perhaps even the next decade, will be very hard for lots of people. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that booting the free market out of our country will make things any easier, for anyone except those wealthy enough to leave.

  51. I just came on here to give Boris (and Dave) a pat on the back for today’s and yesterday’s events. I never realised I would have so much amusement with the comments. Great fun!
    Things are looking up politically I hope. best wishes James

  52. James you ought to come on here more often, because this is truly a fun place! You can say whatever you like here as long as you are civilised about it and if you like fun, well, you are the man for us! We seek funsters as the dry earth seeks rain.

  53. It is admirable that Boris acted so swiftly. A change from Sir Ian Blair is obviously long overdue, he should have resigned as Metropolitan Police Commissioner when there was the tragic mistake made over that shooting.

  54. Well, to be quite frank I’ve had a few to anesthetize myself against the horrors of the internet, but still I feel that there are a few facts to which I can testify without being hauled before a court of law and they are as follows:

    I was working at a Starbucks in Vancouver when we got a phone call from someone at a different starbucks, stating that a staffer there had sliced off the end of her finger by stuffing the beans into the grinder manually instead of by using the paddle provided for the purpose.

    Okay.

    So, we sent someone to cover for the partner who’d been sent to the hospital.

    24 hour later:
    we got a phone call from someone at a different starbucks, stating that a staffer there had sliced off the end of her finger by stuffing the beans into the grinder manually instead of by using the paddle provided for the purpose.

    At this point it sounds familiar…

    It turns out to be the SAME store, and the SAME WOMAN! She’d sheared off the fingertip to her OTHER hand. Nice woman. Not terribly bright.

  55. The poor old dogs eyesight is probably failing and he thought his luck was in, a tasty sausage delivered free. Why else would something edible be coming through the letter box.

  56. I too get nervous when approaching hairy lips and often wander what could be inside.

    You go poking your unprotected hands in a box in which you do not know what is inside, then you are leaving yourself open to a number of possible consequences. Whether this is a letter box, a box with hairy lips or just any old unknown box.

    Perhaps, you should take a precaution before you do this and protect yourself. I believe you can buy many different types of protective gloves including cut resistant gloves, kevlar reinforced gloves or even chainmail.

    Think, you would think twice if it was a different part of your body and an unknown box with potential nasties inside, so why not do a risk assesment of the situation and put in place methods of reducing this risk?

    I think that dog was only doing what is natural. You stick your arm in a cave with a bear and i’m sure this would result in similar behaviour.

  57. Where do u draw the line Boris? Its ok for dog to bite off post man’s finger but not ok if the dog mutilates 2 year old neighbour’s face? Both are physically and mentally scarred for life. Both due to irresponsible dog owner. So why is it ok to excuse one but not the other? Irrespective of the current economic climate and the fact that we love our animals as much as we do our own children, when a crime is committed, the perpatrator should be punished. Will you still think what you did was right in not reporting the incident in the park if tomorrow you read in the paper that the same cute-woolf like dog was let loose by his tramp owner to savage an innocent person walking in the park?

  58. Seriously, £15,000 for the end of a finger?

    I spent a whole summer delivering leaflets and I had many a run in with what was behind the letterbox and I only got paid £5.00 per hour.

    I’m training to be a journalist now and the trouble I have now is what is down the phoneline and often that is far more vicious than a Jack Russell.

    Do you think I could sue for having my ear chewed off from grumpy receptionists?

    Anyway, kudos Boris for not begrudging an old man his best friend.

  59. Is it me, or did anyone else notice that it took “a few days” for Mr Hunter to report the accident (and accident it was in my opinion since Mr Monroe has told us there was a letter cage around the letterbox).

    Please don’t suggest a dog should wea a muzzle in its owner’s home. How is the poor creature supposed to eat its dinner for example, huh?

  60. well to be perfectly frank i think it is ridiculous to try and claim £15,000 because he took it upon himself to deliver the bumf as a labour mp, but more to the point if this dog was such a danger surely the postman would have reported it, or made a complaint . As a conservative myself i feel that the dog was actually just making his point and opinion hear, and who can blame him !! labour have ruined this country and everything this country stood for !!! to be honest if i got visited by a labour mp and was given labour bumf i would ram it somewhere where the sun doesnt shine !!!! ROLL ON THE GENERAL ELECTION LETS GET SOME ORDER AND MORALS AND STANDARDS BACK !!!!!

  61. i am pleased to inform you all, that the case against me,(and jack)has been dropped.this is a great relief to my family and myself.

    thank you for you words of support

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