anon: (archaic or literary)
- in a short time; soon

50:50 vision

80:20 insight

Illegal rat meat

The item on the BBC News website said, “Illegal rat meat ‘sold to public’”. I read the headline and thought, by implication, there must also be ‘legal rat meat’ …. I wonder where I can buy some?

My ‘Better Half’ (notice the capitalisation) often watches the Aussie customs programmes on day-time-TV while doing the ironing. One of the most frequent transgressions by people arriving at customs (apart from hiding drugs) are their attempts to bring food stuffs into Australia. The ‘innocent’ travellers (don’t get me started – adjectives such as criminally innocent, bizarrely innocent and just plain stupidly innocent spring to mind) … these innocent travellers don’t declare they have food stuffs when they should … “But it’s a drink”. This results in an on the spot fine.

Some are trying to bring banned plants and food products in – more on the spot fines.

It’s quite mad … some have whole suitcases full of the stuff … “No, I didn’t know my mother had packed all that!”.

You vant to buy my rat?

“You vant to buy my rat?”

Sometimes, whatever it is, is leaking into their socks and pants. One Chinese woman insisted she should be allowed to keep her apples (for her health). What? … You can’t buy apples in Australia?

The Australians take these potential breeches of bio security very seriously, as they should – though it’s a bit late for some of their native fauna and flora. Although they talk about the possibility of lethal plant or animal diseases coming in, they the don’t handle the confiscated items with much care or hygiene.


There are rules about what you can bring into the UK … did you know that? We purchased some fruit teas in the Egyptian Market in Istanbul and brought them back with us last year. Were we breaking the law? No idea. We discussed this – briefly and in hushed voices – as we waited for our cases to appear on the carousel at Stansted. There was an advertising-style poster from the UK Border Agency which told us it was illegal to bring certain foodstuffs into the UK. Was there a list? No, just a web address – as if we’d be checking on line amid the scramble for our luggage.

In this country, the authorities aren’t very good at keeping us informed. It’s probably because there are

so many rules and regulations. They also like a quiet life. If every government agency enforced the regulations fully, there’d be queues round the block at every police station and magistrates court. The British seem to have a fairly relaxed attitude about ignoring the rules (as opposed to breaking the law).

So, did you know selling rat meat was illegal? That is, instead of just being very unpleasant? If bush rat meat is a normal part of the diet somewhere overseas, why shouldn’t there be (controlled and approved) rat meat for sale?

No, you’re right … I still wouldn’t buy it.


James – More Anon …