Foot and Mouth

Philip Ferguson plf13 at SPAMit.canterbury.ac.nz
Sun Mar 18 23:03:56 MST 2001


I haven't read Mick Hume's piece on Foot and Mouth, an extract of which was
posted by Gary.  I can't really be bothered to visit the Spiked site, I've
not been able to work up the interest to even go to it out of morbid
curiosity.

However, I still think it is necessary for us as Marxists to be sceptical
about the foot and mouth scare in Britain.  It has featured on the TV news
in NZ every night, and yet it was only last night that I became aware that
the total number of stock found with the disease so far is about 220.  Yet
hundreds of thousands of animals are being slaughtered.  Not only that, but
the most bizarre 'counter-measures' are being taken.  Six-nations rugby
matches are being called off.  Various other public events are being
curtailed.  Last week, out of political curiosity I visited the Sinn Fein
website and found, unbelievably, that the party leadership had even called
off SF's annual national conference plus postponed a load of other
political events.  Apparently the leadership of SF can't travel from
Belfast to Dublin because of the 'danger' of spreading foot and mouth!

Now, I just find all this kind of stuff totally out of proportion to any
real danger.  It is more like something out of medieval times.  Talk about
irrationalism run amok.  Perhaps the real link here is between late
capitalism and rampant irrationalism rather than the economic reductionist
one.

Philip Ferguson







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