Since he became London Mayor, Boris has had plenty of ideas. Some of them have come to fruition – the return of the Routemaster bus, the bicycle hire scheme – while others have been, er, less well received (floating airports, for example).
In a new and fascinating interview with the Financial Times, the Mayor has brought to the public’s attention one scheme which we weren’t previously aware: the reintroduction of red squirrels to London.
As you may know, the problem with red squirrels can be summed up in two words: grey squirrels. The wretched grey squirrels came over here from the USA (immigrants, if you will). Bigger and hungrier than their red cousins – and carriers of a disease that’s harmful to the reds but doesn’t affect them – the grey squirrels have gradually taken over to the point where they can’t survive in the same environment. If a grey squirrel gets to the Isle of Wight for example – and it would have to swim the Solent to do so – it won’t last long.[Thanks for the biology lesson. Can we get back to the point? – Boriswatch Ed]
Boris wants nice red squirrels but London is full of the grey ones. And, the pesky nutmunchers can be mean. Bozza told the FT: “One of the singers in One Direction was attacked by a squirrel in Battersea Park and was actually disabled.â€ [“London Fan Goes Nuts For Niall”, presumably – Boriswatch Headline Chief]
Whether ‘disabled’ is the right word we’re not sure, but the teen-pop band’s Niall Horan was attacked by a squirrel, as Bozza says, and tore ligaments in his knee. Now the Mayor wants less pop-star bothering animals to live in the Capital.
â€œOne of the few mad ideas that Iâ€™ve not been able to put into practice was to reintroduce the red squirrel,â€ says the Mayor. â€œI got absolutely obsessed with it for a while but they told me it would basically involve creating a huge aviary patrolled by G4S security people to shoot all the grey squirrels that tried to get in.â€
Mass squirrel culling, an enormous aviary and armed security guards in central London. Perhaps it may be better if Boris concentrates on other issues and lets evolution run its course, eh?