Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Jobs For The Badgers


Spotted among today's small ads, new job opportunities for Mr Badger and his chums:

'APPLICATIONS INVITED FOR NEW GB BOVINE TUBERCULOSIS (bTB) STAKEHOLDER BODY

Ben Bradshaw, Minister for Animal Health and Welfare, is seeking to make appointments to a new stakeholder advisory body to help Defra develop effective bTB control policies. Candidates will need to demonstrate...the ability to create buy-in from stakeholders and other interested parties and to represent the views of those parties.'

We can presume badgers are at the very top of Ben's stakeholders list.

Applications close on 31 January. Then a selection period...what should we say, three months? Might be a bit tight, given that "appointments will be in accordance with the principles of public appointments based on merit and equal opportunities, with independent assessment, openness and transparency of process".

And then the successful candidates will need to get on board, so that's pretty well up to the summer holidays...not much point starting then, so kick off next autumn perhaps. Agree terms of reference, draw up a programme of work, commission research studies...let me see...next Christmas might be pushing it. And then six months to get the research findings...consultations- another six months or so. Draw up a "Next Steps" agenda...buy-in meetings. Ah, well, perhaps not meetings, what with all those Badger Rights people...perhaps a media campaign. Yes that's it, a professional media campaign should surely get some buy-in. Might cost a bit, but worth every penny...

Meanwhile back in the real world, the Tenant Farmers Association has joined all the other farming "stakeholders" in anguished disbelief at the lack of leadership shown by the Government in tackling bTB's rampant spread:

"As a result of the Government’s failure in this area, bovine TB has spread rapidly throughout the country. We lay the blame for this at the door of the Government which has failed to take the action required in order to stem the level of disease.

The time for further talking shops, consultation and survey work is over. The TFA calls on the Government to lay out an action plan for the achievement of the goal to eradicate TB over the next ten years."

CAP subsidised or not, I'm sure glad I'm not a farmer.


Picture: Seems Like Old Times

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