Going for gold – twitching to become part of the national curriculum

As a  nation bids a fond farewell to the Olympic Games we turn our minds to legacy.  Rather than pretend that suddenly it has become the birthright of all Britons to excel at coxless fours, dressage and wiff waff the coalition government (including the Liberal Democrats who have won golds for irrelevance for many months now) have decided that all children should face two hours compulsory twitching each week.

David Cameron, who is thought to have been moved by the sight of a badger on the Queen’s arm (is that right? Ed), said ‘I’m just an ordinary guy, and when I was at Eton we used to go twitching at Staines Reservoir.  It never did me any harm – in fact a bit of competition is good for young naturalists.  Those days taught me all I know about the environment’.

A government spokesperson said: ‘ We really don’t know how the PM came up with this idea, you know what he’s like. He probably was flicking through the TV channels and came across an old Attenborough programme.  He has as much strategic direction as tumbleweed. Don’t quote me on that, obviously. It’s a great idea and every child should know what it’s like to dip on a Pallas’s or spend fruitless hours staring at a bush on Fair Isle.  It’ll see an end to the ‘everyone joins the UK400 club’ culture.  A bit of failure never did anyone any harm and there is nothing as competitive and truly meaningful as running round in circles with binoculars faster than the next guy.  It’s character building. ‘.

Boris Johnson said ‘I’m just an ordinary guy, and when I was at Eton we used to call it bird baffing – at least I think that was it. My Dad wrote the Habitats Directive you know, so I’m really green and want to destroy the Thames estuary with an airport.’.

A teacher said ‘It makes as much sense as most new Government education initiatives. Two hours less maths or English won’t do anyone any harm and all teachers have been saying for a long time that our aim is to get everyone’s lists up.’.

A Mr Bolt said ‘There was a lesser black-back over the stadium but that’s all I got in 9.63 s’.



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8 Replies to “Going for gold – twitching to become part of the national curriculum”

  1. Great idea except might have to sacrifice spelling…words like currriculum for example.

  2. .”…and it has just been announced that for reasons of balance Michael Gove has insisted that Fighting for Birds will be included in the national curriculum from next month onwards. Eton and Harrow have already ordered 10,000 copies so all their pupils will get a good idea of how their grouse and hen harrier shooting antics will be received by joe public. Obviously not every pupil will be forced to go twitching, they will be able to take part in a BBS, or a bit of habitat management at their local reserve. Some may even be able to do special dance classes inspired by the mating behaviour of scarce species like Cranes; said David Cameron when asked about Goves’ innovative approach “. Wildlife minister Richard Benyon added; “shooting birds is tantamount to twitching them, especially those pesky Buzzards”

    Meanwhile in the real world I have just finished Fighting for Birds which proved to be a right riveting read. It arrived last Thursday and to anyone who hasn’t seen it yet, I would say it is the most interesting and thought provoking book I’ve ever read on bird conservation and there have been a few over the last 40 years. Its made me seriously think about whether grouse shooting and releasing pheasants should be banned. For me the most infuriating aspect was the biofuels issue which Mark has set out in a very straightforward way, beautifully clear and writing throughout. If a pan european protest could be organised based on a pledge to reduce driving by 5% with a catchy car sticker, would that do any good with those EU bureaucrats? By the way, the book is a good laugh too, with many delightful anecdotes.

    1. Phil – many thanks indeed. I’m glad that you enjoyed Fighting for Birds – and biofuels make me mad, too!

  3. Redolent of the much missed Reservoir Cats I’d say, ( as an ordinary guy) who misses its revelations terribly, or should that be terrwibly!!

    As for Magnus Linklater, we discover in a later Comment to the Guardian piece that he’s also a moor owner!

  4. There were cormorants over the Olympic Park several times. I saw them myself. They always seemed to be heading to the velodrome, so maybe they like Pringles? If that’s the case, it could prove useful for diversionary feeding purposes.

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