Friday, November 27, 2009

Golfing for Cats


The late humorist Alan Coren had a deft way of dissecting his victims. In one particular article he depicted the Inland Revenue (the tax man for those not in the UK) as Nazi storm troopers, inflicting terror on small businesses. The reality behind the wit is that indeed the Inland Revenue has truly frightening powers under the law, but rarely uses them.

One has to wonder whether Alan Coren was prescient.

Since the tragic events of September 11th, 2001 (and 7th July 2005 bombings in London), Western governments have acted to preserve our liberty. Often it appears that they preserve our liberty by removing it:


Earlier this month, the government proposed to give power to a wide range of civil servants and council officials to spy on UK citizens by giving access to every phone call, email, text message and other electronic communication.

It's time to stop this assault on our liberty.

Hart District Council is one of the smallest councils in the country. Last night we discussed the extent to which existing powers have been abused and the extent to which proposed power might be. We voted overwhelmingly to direct our council officers not to use these powers except where they are obliged by law to do so.

It's a small step, but it represents an important change in direction in winning back our freedom, not from terrorists but from Government interference.

I hope Alan Coren would have approved (although he may well have poked fun at us while doing so).

Footnote: Why "Golfing for Cats"? Alan Coren explained simply he was choosing a book title to appeal to the widest possible audience. He is missed.

4 comments:

Alan said...

Cats don't play golf. I've never seen a cat play golf. Therefore it must be a very short book.

A longer book is black, fits comfortably in a jacket pocket and is used for memorising mind bending words like "prescient". What on earth is that? Sounds like something one would say to a cat.

Sean Haffey said...

Allow me to introduce you to another lovely Google feature. If you want to know the meaning of a word, type

define:word

into the Google toolbar.

So typing

define:prescient

leads you to this definition, among others: "perceiving the significance of events before they occur"

cathryngrant said...

I adore the define:word feature and my poor, unabridged dictionary collects dust the past few years.

Mark said...

Thanks for the Google tip. I often go to an online dictionary. This saves me a step.

As for cats playing golf, here in the states, we used to have a Tiger who played golf. But he devolved into an alley cat, (some say he became a cheetah), may have chased after a cougar, and is no longer found on the lynx.