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Bluebell Girl…

She’s a bit of an old dog herself these days, and no high kicking dancer like Betty Boothroyd either, but she was a right goer in her day, shagged her way through the entire staff of Oz and International Times magazines back in her Hippy hayday. But yes Germaine Greer is barking again, here.

What is it about the Hay on Wye Festival, a gathering of the Glitterati Literati, held in a small town on the border between Wales and England, that has no butchers or bakers shops, but about 4000 second hand bookshops, that brings out the bonkers in our Great and Good?

Yesterday we had Stephen Fry promising to top himself, with the due dread and sympathy that was supposed to instil in us mere Plebs. Well sorry Steve baby, you were magnificent in Jeeves and Wooster, borne to play Wilde, and QI could not be done without you in the chair, but if you feel like that, then off you go. I for one, do not find you a national Treasure, more like a sneering, condescending, rich as Croesus, pain in someone else’s arse.

But I digress, back to being Germaine…

Greer has a bluebell wood you see, and she thinks that the biggest threat to Bluebells is dog faeces. It is rich in Phosphorous apparently, which is fatal to the little blighters.

Do Foxes, Badgers, Deer and squirrels not shit in the woods then dear? Why arn’t they rich in Phosporous?

Well I seem to be sitting on a nice little earner with my bonkers Springer Spaniel then don’t I? I always scoop the poop, but instead of throwing it away I may be able to start up a match Factory, or a dietary supplement business(Phosporous is a vital for good health).And of course we can all see where those inconsiderate dog owners have let their pooches poop and not cleaned it up can’t we? Just take a walk through the park at twilight and there it all is, glowing in the dark!

“If you love Bluebells, Kill your dog!”

Nice one Germaine! Guaranteed headline grapper for an old, sad Intellectual slapper like you! I always think that if you want to read an aging polemical contrarian, you are better off with Julie Burchill, at least she’s funny half the time.

Thing is that Germaine’s “Wood” has been through many incarnations over the years. I read an article by her in the Telegraph (no Leftie snob she, when there is a hefty fee involved) around the time our wonderful Coagulation wanted to sell off our woodlands, and she agreed!

She basically said that she wished she’d never started with it in the first place. The first lot of experts she got in planted the wrong trees and they died, the next lot planted ones the Deer had for breakfast, and on and on. Now we get this Bullshit, er… dogcrap, because she’s managed to grow a wood that basically grew itself.

Bluebells are not, repeat NOT a threatened species.

Still, let’s be thankful that she’s not one of the Greenie Malthusian Candidates (yet) or gawd knows what she’d be advocating…

Cull a Granny for Gaia, perhaps?


  1. Peter Risdon says:

    If you’ll excuse a link to my own blog, Germaine has left herself open with this one.

  2. Nelsontouch says:

    I have the image of Germaine as a 19th century “pure finder”.
    They – poor people, of course – picked up doggie poo for sixpence a bucket, to be used for processing leather.

    Not necessarily a nicer image than that of Germaine “leaving herself open”.

  3. NickM says:

    Knock yourself out Peter! That goes for y’all! We’re very open to that sort of thing. Hyperlinks are like the idea of the WWW.

    Julie Burchill funny half the time? RAB you are clearly a very kind soul.

    But there is a real threat to our own native bluebells so Greer is not just having one of her “little moments”and that threat is Spanish bluebells. Coming over here, fighting our bulls and doing it all with a lisp in tight trousers… And there is an issue to do with the way dog food is fortified with phosphorous.

  4. RAB says:

    I disagree Nick. The Spanish verses British Bluebell crisis has bugger all to do with dog poo does it? That’s yer Red verses your Grey squirrels story all over again, isn’t it?

    Quite why there is so much Phosporous in dogfood, I have no idea.If indeed that is the case. It is very hard to figure out looking at the can label. Puppies and young dogs need a lot, but older mature dogs not much at all. Our pooch doesn’t eat much dog food, she eats pretty much what we do, with a mixer.

    Besides most of us responsible owners pick up after our dogs, so where is the problem? I prefer Peter’s explanation, that Germaine’s bloody trees are doing much more damage than a stray doggy poo or two.

    Yes, as you know, I am an incredibly kind soul. I was being way over generous to Julie Burchill, who is not a quarter of the writer she used to be. Her one trick was to be able to give a cliche a half or threequarters turn, and apply it to something else entirely. She only came to mind because she is having a very public catfight with Lily Allen at the moment.

    So just like Germaine with this “Kill your dog and save the Bluebells” crap, it’s just two daffy old broads trying to get back on the front page once again.

  5. JuliaM says:

    ” And there is an issue to do with the way dog food is fortified with phosphorous.”

    Is that a recent phenomenon? If so, it could provide the answer to that other great disappearance: white dog poo!

  6. David Gillies says:

    Of course the scientifically-illiterate subs at the DT spell it ‘phosphorous’ rather than ‘phosphorus’. Note, NickM, RAB, please. ‘Phosphorous’ is an adjective, not a noun. Getting this wrong is as egregious a scientific error as spelling the name of the most reactive halogen, ‘flourine’. See me after class.

    Germaine Greer’s been a stupid cow right from the get-go. Pure iconoclasm is always boring. It’s just an intellectual temper tantrum.

  7. Peter Risdon says:

    Julia, dog poo is white when they’ve been eating bones. I haven’t noticed the disappearance of white dog shit myself but then my dogs get lots of bones. I wouldn’t be surprised if people are feeding their dogs fewer bones and therefore the appearance of said shit has become more rare.

    Dogs need bones, though, and not just for nutrition, recreation and dental care. Their bodies are adapted to pass hard material. Anyone who doesn’t give their dogs bones should be made to squeeze out their anal glands by hand. That’d teach them.

  8. NickM says:

    I am by training a physicist. Such “chemical” niceties escape me. As a kid I once got selected to go on a chemistry “master class” at Newcstle University. I noted some poor sod had carved in the lecture theatre stall I was in the immortal legend, “Chem is wank”. Nothing I have seen over the next 25 years has persuaded me otherwise. Oh, I know it’s useful but so is rat-catching. Chemistry is the most dismal of sciences. It can essentially fuck itself. Physics is covering a blackboard in scrawl and feeling the turn of the cosmos or ramping something up to a voltage that would put Nikola Tesla’s hair on end. Chemistry is titrating something until it goes blue. Oh frabjous day! We who can predict the transits of Venus, we who can command the lightning, we who wield the secret fire care not that “it yields a milky white precipitate”. I mean if they really want to wank into test-tubes then fair play to them – I’m a liberal minded guy but chemistry is science for gits.

  9. RAB says:

    Actually David, if you look, the Telegraph actually spelt it wrong entirely “phosohorous”. And I’ve never encountered it used as an adjective.

    Ah us oldies eh Julia? I remember when round ‘ere was all fields dotted with white dog poo!

    Peter is right, it’s the calcium in the bones. The reason there isn’t any anymore is one word, Supermarkets.

    You used to get bones from old style butchers, but there are very few left, and Supermarkets don’t do bones, the meat is cut and packed at depots, so no bones for the dog, especially since the BSE scare.

    We had a leg of lamb from a proper butcher last Sunday, and gave the bone to our Saffie, which she wolfed down in no time at all, and TaRa! next day, white dog poo.

  10. Trofim says:

    But I remember that dog shit in the 1950′s was not only white, but more innocuous in being crumbly and hard, less subject to sticking to the shoes and less smelly. In Worcestershire it was, anyway.

  11. David Gillies says:

    Nick, my first degree was physics, too (Imperial College, 1992). I agree chemistry is a bit boring (although some of the quantum stuff like sp hybridisation is fascinating.) It’s just that when I see an elementary error like that, alarms start going off. If the hack writing the article can’t even spell, then it does not bode well for its credibility.

  12. JuliaM says:

    “Ah us oldies eh Julia? I remember when round ‘ere was all fields dotted with white dog poo!”

    Heh! It crops up from time to time in ‘Fortean Times’. Always a hot topic too ;)

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