There have been a couple of ‘Fox related’ stories in the media this week. The one that sparked my interest was the rather disappointing news that the anonymous Blogger and one-time BBC Question Time Extra Guest, the ‘FleetStreetFox‘ has revealed her real identity.
The enigmatic @fleetstreetfox has decided to go public ahead of the publication of her book ‘The Diaries Of A Fleet Street Fox.’
Susie Bonifaces’ alter ego had developed a large Twitter following with her mix of media commentary, news and drunk tweeting as classic hack behaviour married to 21st century technology.
I for one, will miss the aura of mystery and intrigue that accompanied her online anonymity, will no longer hold the same attraction for me. She is still a damned good writer though, who’s unique insights have brightened up the darker moments in the celebrity-obsessed and vacuous climate that the mainstream media thrives on.
FOXES! FOXES! EVERYWHERE
The second story revolves around the urban Fox ‘Attack’ that has been reported by many newspapers including the piece below in the Guardian.
“A fox left a one-month-old baby boy with a serious hand injury after creeping into his bedroom and dragging him from his cot. Police said they were investigating the incident in Bromley, south east London, in which the animal tore the infant’s finger off. The child’s screams alerted his mother, who rushed to his room to see his hand lodged “halfway down the animal’s throat”, according to the Mail on Sunday. She is said to have kicked the fox until it let go. Surgeons managed to reattach the finger in an “extremely difficult” three-hour operation, the newspaper reported. The child, who also suffered puncture wounds to his face, was said to be recovering well. The attack happened after the fox entered the house through an open back door, which was apparently awaiting repair by the council. A Metropolitan police spokesman said: “We were called at 16.38 on Wednesday 6 February by staff at St Thomas’s hospital to reports a baby boy who had been admitted to hospital after being attacked by a fox. “Police attended to find a four-week-old baby with a hand injury. The baby was admitted to hospital after the attack at its home address in Bromley.” An RSPCA spokeswoman said the only reason a fox would attack is due to fear. She added: “It’s extremely unusual for foxes to attack young children or anyone. “It’s not typical fox behaviour at all. Foxes will come closer to a house if there are food sources. Then they can become quite bold, but they usually do back off and run away when there’s people around.”
Being the type of person who can usually see the real picture behind the mainstream media version, I can offer an alternate take on the reported events.
It mirrors another recent news article which regaled us with the headline ‘I can still hear the boys screams…. People have no idea what goes on in care homes.’
If you dug a little deeper into that story, you will eventually find that the lady in question was known to the reporter, she had indeed spent time in care homes without a doubt, though some sixty years previously. In the piece she also says clearly that she experienced no abuse during her ‘traumatic years in a Manchester Care Home, the headline is a blatant attempt to draw you in to the later, larger article further inside the paper.
On page four of the same newspaper, is a full page article drawing attention to the new Children’s initiative being launched by Children’s Commissioner Keith Towler.
The initial filler story has used the inertia already created by the recently reported North Wales Care Home scandal and exploits it to the full.
It starts to make sense when the whole picture emerges does it not?
The aforementioned Guardian piece is yet another example of this practice.
Among the ‘filler’ is a reference to the fact that the back door was left open allowing the fox to enter the house in Bromley. The reason for the open door, was in fact because it was awaiting repair by the local authority, and what the article fails to mention, is that since the ‘incident’ the family has now been rehoused.. (another story here I think).
It also fails to address why the child was left alone at such a young age, and why or how a fox could actually ‘drag a child’ out of a cot and across the room.
There are conflicting reports also that the mother was ‘alerted’ by the child’s screams, yet an earlier media report stated her attention was drawn by the large ‘thud’ that came from upstairs..
There was an earlier incident if you recall, the now infamous case of Hackney twins Isabella and Lola Koupparis also allegedly seriously injured in an urban ‘fox attack.’
Wildlife experts now seriously doubt the validity of this story, but once again the mainstream media account seems to be burned into the public’s shared consciousness..
Before these alleged ‘attacks’ do you know how many actual fox attacks were reported in the UK?
One, that’s how many.
In 2004 in Edinburgh, an 88 year old Margaret O’Shaughnessy went into her garden late at night to feed her cat and was bitten on the leg by a fox . . . allegedly.
I have to admit I doubt the validity of this story also.
It could be because I struggle to comprehend why an elderly woman decides to feed her cat in the middle of the night, and in the garden too…
More news construction on a slow news day?
Of course any attack on children is appalling and I am not making light of it in any way, but it does need to be investigated more fully.
For instance, a staggering three ‘attacks’ in six years compared to the frequency of bites from ‘man’s best friend’, which is currently estimated at around 250,000 a year and rising.
This, coupled with the suddenly urgent call for the mass cull of the urban fox population, by none other than Boris Johnson, who is a known advocate of fox huntinq, and is a close friend of David Cameron, does not sit right with me.
I do not hear any angry cries to address the dog attack epidemic, and alongside the majority of dog owners who are responsible and care deeply for their animals, there are some who clearly do not.
There is no point ignoring this issue in order to appease the wrath of animal lovers, who will without a doubt attack these words with the viciousness of a rabid pit pull.
I feel that in these belt-tightening times of austerity, when people are struggling to feed their children, and the Animal Charities are being swamped with requests to take in household pets, attacks by dumped, hungry and uncared for dogs are only going to increase.
“Fox is a common name for many species of omnivorous mammals belonging to the Canidae family. Foxes are small to medium-sized canids (slightly smaller than a medium-sized domestic dog), characterized by possessing a long narrow snout, and a bushy tail (or brush). Members of about 37 species are referred to as foxes, of which only 12 species actually belong to the Vulpes genus of “true foxes”. By far the most common and widespread species of fox is the red fox (Vulpes vulpes), although various species are found on almost every continent. The presence of fox-like carnivores all over the globe, together with their widespread reputation for cunning, has contributed to their appearance in popular culture and folklore in many societies around the world (see also Foxes in culture). The hunting of foxes with packs of hounds, long an established pursuit in Europe, especially the British Isles, was exported by European settlers to various parts of the New World.”