Friday 29 September 2006

Capitalism: is it for the birds?

It's one of those stories that almost make the political class worthwhile:
The Scotsman revealed yesterday that the Scottish Parliament had agreed to pay a private contractor £250 to transfer a baby pigeon 100 miles away to Ayrshire - if the company decided the bird needed to be rescued from the ledge at the parliament in Edinburgh where it is nesting.
Even the Lib Dems are talking sense:
It's a flying rat, for goodness sake.
But back to the story. According to the Pigeon Control Advisory Service (I did not make that up):
"I cannot believe they would pay £250 to transfer it to Hessilhead. We would have done it for free but this is what happens when you go to a commercial pest control company."
So, I thought, this PiCAS outfit is just another bunch on lefty haters of capitalism that isn't tainted by the dreaded cash nexus.

Except it ain't so. From their own website:

With the exception of the United Kingdom where PiCAS operates on a commercial basis, PiCAS offers a not for profit service to its client base worldwide, charging only travel expenses where a site visit or survey is required.
In other words, commercial companies are undesirable in the great world of pigeon control, but commercial "advisory services" are just fine. Bah!

(By the way, how much would it cost to transfer 129 MSPs to Ayrshire Rockall?)

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