CHRISTMAS OFFER Subscribe to Cotswold Life today CLICK HERE

Editor’s Comment: August 2017

PUBLISHED: 11:18 24 July 2017 | UPDATED: 17:00 24 July 2017

(c) eAlisa / Shutterstock

(c) eAlisa / Shutterstock

eAlisa/Shutterstock

The RSPCA needs to revert to the caring, compassionate force that it has been in the past as opposed to an unthinking uniformed army that will kick your door in and confiscate your Corgi

There is a running joke in our house that if the dogs don’t get ice lollies and a paddling pool when it’s hot or get Spam on their Sunday dinner, they’ll phone the RSPCA neglected pets’ hotline. (You may mock, but never underestimate the animal cunning of a lurcher and a whippet working in tandem.) Well that ‘joke’ isn’t quite so funny after it was revealed that the RSPCA is currently seeking new police powers to allow hundreds of its inspectors to enter private property and seize pets.

The ‘charity’ is in talks with the Government about new statutory powers which would allow it to take enforcement action without involving the police. This is despite the organisation’s somewhat chequered past in which it has spent part of its £140 million annual budget on politically motivated prosecutions of hunts and farmers; accusations of persecuting the elderly, ill and vulnerable by taking away and killing their family pets; and the loss of yet another chief executive after just one year. Indeed, the Charity Commission has recently stated that “the governance of the RSPCA remains below that which we expect in a modern charity”.

This may come as a surprise to the child dropping a few shillings into a collection box or the wealthy spinster writing her will, but there is a danger that a self-appointed paramilitary force may soon be ‘caring’ for animals in distress while acting as judge and jury on those perceived to be responsible. Sadly, we all know that if you give a quasi-political organisation power, then it won’t be long before it starts to abuse it.

I certainly don’t want this. I’m sure many of you don’t either. The RSPCA needs to revert to the caring, compassionate force that it has been in the past as opposed to an unthinking uniformed army that will kick your door in and confiscate your Corgi.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

It is only when flicking through these pages prior to the magazine going to press that I realised that for a Pets Issue, we were somewhat light on one kind of pet – the cat. In fact, only one single feline makes an appearance. Instead we have dogs, sheep – and even a lizard, although you’ll have to search all the way to the back to find it.

This is, of course, an accurate reflection of the Cotswolds where dog ownership is practically compulsory, while the sheep made us what we are. Not that I have anything against cats – I was once the guardian of a pair of piratical Burmese – but you can’t send a cat to collect a downed pheasant (well, not if you want it back) and you can’t turn to a cat for a cuddle when you’re having a bad day. They’d just sneer at you and tell you to ‘man up’.

Cats merely pass through your life; dogs are an essential part of it. They are loving, loyal and a perfect, uncomplaining companion.

Just don’t let the RSPCA find out that you forgot to put Spam on their Sunday dinner.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Almost unnoticed, one of the pillars of our childhood has been allowed to slip into near oblivion. A recent episode of Blue Peter, a programme that once attracted eight million viewers, was watched by precisely zero people. Admittedly this was a repeat, shown at 2.30 in the afternoon on the CBBC channel, but even so...

How have we let this happen? Blue Peter is woven into the tapestry of our youth, each generation relating to its own team of presenters. I was a Peter Purves and Valerie Singleton man. When John Noakes died last month, it was as if we’d lost a member of the family. We sent them our milk bottle tops and used stamps; we built that highly flammable coat-hanger Advent crown with them; we started to construct Tracy Island out of bog rolls and washing-up liquid bottles, but then gave up halfway through; we grieved over the vandalism of Percy Thrower’s garden; and we never, ever, managed to get a coveted Blue Peter badge. Blue Peter is just as important today as it was back then. It represents innocence and honesty, invention and inspiration. This ship cannot be allowed to sink.

For more of Mike’s musings, follow him on Twitter! @cotslifeeditor

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Cotswold Life visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Cotswold Life staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Cotswold Life account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

More from Out & about

As well as three days of action-packed racing and tradition, there’s plenty to do away from the course at this year’s November Meeting. Neil Phillips, The Wine Tipster, shares his 14 suggestions on how to make the most of your time at Cheltenham Racecourse

Read more

The Warwickshire town of Alcester is considered one of the best understood Roman settlements in the country. Tracy Spiers digs below the surface to discover its hidden jewels

Read more

Thanks to the impact of ground-breaking comedy This Country, the quiet market town of Northleach has become one of the Cotswolds’ hottest film locations. Katie Jarvis is sent to investigate

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Stephen Roberts walks in the footsteps of the Oxford scholar who enjoyed attending parties dressed as a polar bear, and once chased a neighbour while dressed as an axe-wielding Anglo-Saxon

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

I send this postcard from Cirencester, complete with the discoveries and viewpoints from four members of my family – both the young and not so young

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

If you’re looking for things to do in the Cotswolds this month, we have gathered plenty of events for you to pop in your diary

Read more
Tuesday, November 6, 2018

One hundred years ago this month the guns fell silent, marking the end of what was to become known as The Great War. Stephen Roberts remembers the impact the war had on Cotswold lives from 1914-1918

Read more
Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Being a region so steeped in history, there are plenty of locations in the Cotswolds with spooky stories from over the years. From bloody executions, eerie apparitions and headless horsemen, we pick 23 of the most haunted locations throughout the Cotswolds to visit if you dare

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

New bat cams installed at Woodchester Mansion help study protected breeds while also becoming an added attraction for visitors. Jo Barber looks at the work of one of the UK’s foremost bat experts and the mansion’s valued volunteers

Read more
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

From an all-boy, all boarding prep school for just 30 pupils, to the quietly trailblazing yet still traditional school it is today – here is a snapshot of Beaudesert over its 110-year history

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Of all the castles in the region, none have seen as much war, romance and royalty as Sudeley over its dramatic 1,000-year history. And with such a colourful and eventful past, it is easy to see why some people believe there could be spirits from bygone eras which still wander the halls and corridors to this day

Read more
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Following a record year for ‘visitor giving’ donations via local businesses, applications are invited to fund conservation projects

Read more
Monday, October 15, 2018

What started as a business ploy by one Cotswold firm has developed into an inspirational garden

Read more
Monday, October 8, 2018

If a bit of English eccentricity is your thing, spend an enjoyable afternoon exploring the delightful follies of Faringdon

Read more

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Topics of Interest

Food and Drink Directory A+ Education

Subscribe or buy a mag today

subscription ad

Local Business Directory

Property Search