We cant afford street lights in this country now, apparently. Councils all over the land are turning off the lights in a bid to save money. Traffic speed cameras are being dismantled because they cost too much, roads are going unrepaired - they still sport the pock marks of the pot holes created during last winter as we're moving swiftly into next winter. The impoverished huddled masses are deciding whether they want to freeze to death or expire from starvation and what is the government spending your hard-earned on? That's right, bridges for bats. That's right. Bridges. For bats. But it's OK because these things are ten-a-penny, oh no, that's right, they cost £500,000, of real money. Half a million quid to get some hairless flying rat across the road. It's in case they get hit by a car, you see.
If you are the mother of small children and you wish to do the maternal thing of caring for your sprogs, no matter how annoying they occasionally are, and their trip to school requires the traversing of vast swathes of hurtling rush hour traffic, you will not be provided with a bridge to promote their safety. That is because your children are mere humans and therefore not afforded the special rights and protections offered to - and I mean no disrespect here - one of the ugliest things on God's Earth.
The Highways Agency has spent a hundred grand each on five bridges across the A11 so as to prevent the winged creatures from flying face first into an articulated lorry. You might think that with bat's innate sense of their surroundings refined to such an degree that they could nip the legs off a fruit fly while on the wing, that they could easily navigate their way around a lumbering lorry the size of house but that is because you are a fascist and are insensitive to the plight of our mammalian friends. It is possible that you feel unconcerned at the prospect of a bat related catastrophe because of their looks. Cuddly they are not. Snuggle one of those and you'll never play the nose flute again. They look like someone has stuck ears on their bottoms and has trained them to fly backwards. No offence. They have teeth and icky wings and they shake heir heads around and THEY'RE JUST HIDEOUS. It's not even as thought there aren't many of them. Bats represent twenty percent of all mammal species worldwide. That's a lot of bats. But at least the A11 fiasco is the end of our expensive relationship with these hand-winged freaks. Or it would be if some people in cagoules and bad haircuts hadn't spotted a rare Bechstein bat near the proposed route of the high speed rail line connecting London to Birmingham. Why anyone would want to get to Birmingham in a hurry is incomprehensible. Perhaps it is being mooted to allow people to escape Birmingham and come to London at top speed, either way, the £17 billion line is now on hold because some aviating rodent might get biffed on the bonce by a carriage full of escapees from England's second city. Our relationship with the lower order species is becoming a little unbalanced.
You want another example? Are you completely satisfied with the number of spiders in the country? Have you ever thought that we could do with millions more of them? Thought not, but that is what trained specialists are in the process of doing. People with degrees are releasing into the wild spiders so gigantic and hirsute that they have a passing resemblance to top singing sensation Tom Jones. Ladies, if you have ever run screaming from the house after sighting an ugly hairy legged monster in the bath that is not your husband, do not under any circumstances go into the garden, for there you might find one of these newly release creatures that, and I am not making this up, eat fish for a living. Fish! And heaven forbid that someone should pronounce them endangered because at this rate you will be forced by law to pop down to Waitrose for a kilo of smoked haddock and be required to demolish your house in case it impedes their progress.
The bats are not the only thing that's bats. The whole world's gone insane.