BRITLAND’S popular and attractive Prime Minister, Mr Boris Johnson, is becoming the animals’ champion. Egged on (free range) by his bidey-in, Carrie Symonds, he has this week harpooned whalers, and disgracefully described Chinese medicine as “demented”. Which it is.

Mr Johnson spoke out against “cruel” whale killing, after an incident in which a young minke whale took 20 minutes to drown at the hands of pleasant and agreeable fishermen off the coast of Japan. The poor beast was then cut up and sold at local markets.

Usually, Japan claims it enjoys killing whales for “scientific research”, which so far has yielded many interesting insights into, er, nothing whatsoever. Meanwhile, primitive societies such as Iceland and Norway usually claim that they are mangling whales out of “tradition”.

It’s a lovely tradition, all right, if a bit more bloody than cinnamon buns and midsummer dancing. Recently, I read about the depredations of Vikings in Ireland and one of the many incidents that horrified the locals was the butchering of a pod of porpoises. Why have the Norse always been obsessed with this sort of thing? What have they got against cetaceans?

It is extremely discombobulating to find Faroe eulogised as an example for an independent Scotland to follow. Yes, on the first day of freedom, we’ll get the screwdrivers out of our toolboxes and use them to stab dolphins to death, just like in Faroe’s most loved and famous “tradition”.

I recall arguing with an Icelander about the issue, and she said it was their equivalent of our butchering cows. No, it isn’t. For a start, cows can’t swim. And they are thick.

As for “traditional” Chinese medicine, Mr Johnson was specifically referring to the harvesting of pangolin scales, which it has been suggested might have caused the coronavirus.

I must confess that, after thinking the matter through, I have some doubts about the idea that swallowing powdered pangolin scales will enhance sexual performance. Have they never heard of whisky?

Much Chinese medicine also involves making the private parts larger. However, as I have found out, the only way to do that involves the use of stout elastic bands, 2lb weights, one bottle of Scotch, liberal amounts of broon sauce, and the invoking of the Law of Attraction, whereby you pray to the universe for things that you want.

So far, I must admit the results have been mixed, particularly on the occasion when I had to attend accident and emergency. But, on the whole, I think you’ll find that, in matters such as these, a millimetre is not to be sniffed at.

Tigers’ tadgers are also much coveted in traditional Chinese medicine, the idea being that, as the beast is big and strong, eating its privates will make you the same. I see. Deplorable cynics say this is baloney. That said, I have heard that eating baloney, a type of smoked sausage, can make the brain expand, which sounds reasonable enough, until you remember that your cranium is finite.

Mr Johnson was warned that he could be creating a diplomatic incident with China (which might well retort: “If you think we’re daft, how do you explain homeopathy?”). Even more oddly, he faced opposition from within his own peculiar party. One Tory insider was quoted as saying of the PM’s push on conservation and animal welfare: “When the f*** was he talking about the environment before he got with her [Carrie]? This Government should be about the public’s agenda, not Carrie’s agenda.”

Au contraire, Monsieur Pillock, Carrie has been the best thing to happen to Boris. The Prime Minister has many personal and political failings, estimated at around 5,642. And it is unarguably true that, no matter how he tries to fulfil his lifelong ambition, he will never become First Minister of Scotland.

But, while the poor and the weak and the sick might suffer terribly during his tenure, at least he’s trying to do the right thing by the animals. It’s an odd thing to do as these do not have votes. But, then again, he is rather an odd fellow.

The heat is off

ONE question we long-term home workers can ask of newbies to this lifestyle is: how do you like dem fuel bills?

Much of my work here is performed while wearing a woolly hat and fingerless gloves. The idea of having the heating on all day is preposterous and would lead me to the debtors’ gaol in weeks.

Being self-employed, I can write off part of my heating costs against tax, using a simple calculation dividing my bill by the number of rooms in my house (excluding hall and bathroom), then multiplying that by five-sevenths (for a five-day week) and deducting the result from my taxable income, thus saving me the price of one sausage roll (non-jumbo).

Meanwhile, companies must be saving a fortune by not having to heat their offices. It’ll be interesting to see how much changes once we finally kick this virus’s butt. Perhaps abnormal service will simply continue.

Some of you can then look forward to many more years of talking to yourself, overdoing the snacks, practising the kazoo when you should be working, and freezing your butt off in winter.

Sock it to me, Ma’am!

I AM undecided about buying a pair of the Queen’s bed socks. Let me stress that these aren’t available on eBay.

They’re on offer at the Royal Collection store. The what now? I’d no idea there was such a place. Why was I not informed of this before?

Here, you can buy royal gin, strawberry shortbread, cuddly Corgi toys, shower caps with the royal coat of arms on them, coronation commemorative teapots, a pineapple-shaped trinket dish, Buckingham Palace pencil, Holyrood House liquorice allsorts. Wonderful.

The bed socks, at just £69 a pair, have been “lovingly crafted”, though it doesn’t say if this was by Her Majesty herself. To complement the bed socks, there’s a hot water bottle cover for £115. Disgracefully, one of the London public prints pointed out that Asda’s version costs £5.

Ignore these carpers, and let your bed become a king-size shrine to the Queen. With her business devastated by coronavirus, you’ll also be helping her earn cash desperately needed to maintain her artworks and furniture. What an excellent cause!

We shall make inquiries as to whether loyal subjects might buy the socks one at a time.

Blinking eyes

NURSE, the screens! Gawping at computers and television box sets is ruining the nation’s eyesight.

We must have known this would happen. Leading worriers once warned pre-computer generations that watching television would make them blind. But it never happened, so everyone thought they were safe. That was before we started staring at screens all day and night.

Now, our eyes are shot. Eye clinics say they’re seeing many more patients. And Chinese researchers found that children stuck in front of screens during lockdown are becoming shortsighted.

As a solution, we’re encouraged to blink more while screen-gawping. But I’m afraid I’m far too busy for that sort of thing. Maybe that’s why my peepers are pooped. First came the reading glasses. For years, I’d complained to waiters that the print on the menus was too small. Then a fellow diner loaned me his reading glasses. Good heavens: I could see! No more blindly ordering the Cauliflower Surprise!

More recently, I’ve found I can no longer drive in the dark and have to sleep in laybys till morning comes. Luckily, I can pass the time by watching a film on my phone.

Our columns are a platform for writers to express their opinions. They do not necessarily represent the views of The Herald.