Many of you may have missed this special edition of Mastermind held in Committee Room 8, of the House of Commons, on the 29th Nov 2001. A transcript has been provided below.
Magnus M: Good afternoon everybody, and welcome to this special edition of Mastermind, held today in Committee Room 8 of the House of Commons where Mary Critchley has just concluded a fascinating and very successful meeting concerning the present FMD crisis and the Animal Health Bill (No.39). Our time is limited, so I shall get straight on with the show, with our first contestant.
Good afternoon, and your name please ?
Contestant: Ahh...My friend makes a very good point...Good morning...rather afternoon...ahhh...Mr Elliot Morley.
Magnus: And your occupation ?
Mr Morley : PASS
Magnus: No, the game has not started yet Mr Morley, can we try that one again please, what is your occupation ?
Mr Morley: Ahhh...trick question....The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.
Magnus M: And your chosen specialist subject ?
Mr Morley : Ahhh...Foot and Mouth Disease 1967 to the Present Day together with the Animal Death....sorry...Health Bill.
Magnus M: Your timing starts now......What countries vaccinate sheep against FMD ?
Mr Morley: Ahh... Vaccination is a problem in sheep. I'm not aware of any country that does vaccinate sheep in relationship to foot and mouth.''
MM: Who said in the House of Commons on the 12 Nov 2001, "I want to stress that the Bill is related NOT JUST to foot and mouth disease.." ?
Mr Morley : Mrs. Margaret Beckett
MM: Who said in the House of Commons on the 12 Nov 2001, "The Bill applies ONLY to farm animals that are susceptible to the disease" ?
Mr Morley: Ahhh..I did !
MM: Who said in Parliament on the 12 Nov 2001, ".we must have measures that apply to ALL ANIMALS that can spread the diseases" ?
Mr Morley: Ahhhh. ....I did !
MM: Who said in a letter to Nick Green (Cumbria) dated 21st Nov 2001 ".but I strongly refute the suggestion that there was any intention on our part to deliberately mislead people" ?
Mr Morley: Ahhh ....I did !
MM: What EU Law and Directive, by Article number and quote, specifically prohibits the slaughter of healthy animals ?
Mr Morley : Directive 82/894/EEC/2 and 85/511/EEC Article 4 (1) which states, "As soon as the suspected infection is notified, the competent authority shall have the holding placed under official surveillance..."
MM: Who and when and to whom, said in letter to a member of the public, ".There was a 'voluntary' element to the initial implementation of the cull".
Mr Morley: Ahhh..I did, and it was on the 21st November this year in a letter to Nick Green
MM: What government department wrote to all farmers who turned down the 'voluntary' cull and were lawfully resisting the slaughter of their healthy animals, the following official letter containing these words,
"According to our records you were not willing to give up your sheep. This letter is to advise you what arrangements are now being put in place to include your sheep in the cull. In the infected area, sheep, goats and pigs on premises within 3km of an infected premises will be treated as Dangerous Contacts. This means that the Ministry of Agriculture will make arrangements for your sheep to be slaughtered on the farm."
Mr Morley: Ahhhh... DEATH.RA
MM: I'll accept that answer...correct.
MM: Would you then agree that 'voluntary' actually means "compulsory" ?
Mr Morley: Ahhh...YES !
MM: What Senior Labour MP said on the 12 Nov 2001, "The powers given to DEFRA officials are so extensive that they TERRIFY me" ?
Mr Morley : Tony Banks
MM: Who said in Parliament on the 12 Nov 2001, "..He (Albert Owen) sought an assurance that we would not rule out a vaccinate to live policy. I am happy to give him that."?
Mr Morley: Ahh..I did
MM: Can you explain why then the Animal DEATH Bill specifically includes a clause that will allow vaccinated animals to be slaughtered ?
Mr Morley: Ahhh..No !
MM: What Lord said on the 19th Nov 2001, "...more detailed evidence will be produced by the department and by others; and the various committees of inquiry that will examine the outbreak will present their conclusions. THAT is the way to get candour and truth and recommendation as to how better to deal with such outbreaks of disease in the future" ?
Mr Morley: Ahh..Whitty.
MM: Can you explain then why you are rushing this Animal Death Bill through Parliament without consultation and before waiting, as Lord Whitty suggests, for the various committees to report their findings ?
Mr Morley: Ahhh..NO !
MM: I'm sorry but we shall have to leave it there as there is uproar in the House due to the, Total Hypocrisy Bill tabled earlier has just gained Royal Assent....can you come back next week Mr Morley ?
Mr Morley: Yes
Fade to God Save the Queen.
From the recorder of Captain Bryn Wayt
I have some similar plans for President Blair !!
Blair in the chair............
Magnus M: Who said this in his manifesto ? "The total failure of the Conservatives to manage the BSE crisis effectively and to secure any raising of the ban on British beef has wreaked havoc on the beef and dairy industries. The cost to the taxpayer so far is £3.5 billion".
Blair: Hmm....I did
MM: Having secured a public Inquiry over BSE due to this £3.5 billion "cost", can you say why you are not giving those same taxpayers a Public Inquiry over FMD which has robbed the country of at least £20 billion ?
Blair: Hmmmm........Ahhhhh.....NO !
MM: Who said, "The BSE fiasco symbolises their (Conservatives) failures in Europe" ?
Blair: Hmmmmm.........I did !
MM: Using simple logic, if BSE was a "Fiasco" and a "Failure in Europe", what does your handling of FMD represent ?
Blair: Ahhhh..........a complete and lamentable political disaster of biblical proportions.
MM: I'll accept that answer........correct
MM: Who said, "People are cynical about politics and distrustful of political promises. That is hardly surprising" ?
Blair: Ahhhhh......I did
MM: BSE precipitates a Public Inquiry, FMD does not....does this not succinctly define Labour's political cynicism ?
Blair: Ahhhhh.........YES !