‘When foxes turned urban, we weren’t too worried’, she writes. ‘It was just a bit of rummaging in bins, playing hip-hop music, that sort of thing. But badgers went one step further – they turned urbane. They were the talk of the Home Counties – sophisticated, witty, charming, with a hint of the night about them. Actually, quite a lot of the night, being nocturnal.
‘Sir Christopher was never the same after he found Lady Mary in bed with one of these silver-tongued devils. It’s every civil servant’s nightmare – to catch your wife in bed with a real animal.
‘All this talk about bovine TB is a smokescreen, although to be fair we did commission some research into STIs.
‘At first we thought he’d just have a nervous breakdown and get over it, but he became quite strange – moved his bed into the office, had a gigantic map of Britain hidden behind curtains like Churchill’s. Then the culls started. It was terrifying. I’d always thought the Green Wellie Brigade was just a joke name for the county set, but it turns out to be an actual armoured brigade. Their regular job is keeping blacks out of the countryside, which is fair enough, but once they got a sniff of real action it went to their heads – gassing, shooting, poisoning – all the techniques they’ve perfected on ethnic minorities, but turned against our lovely badgers. It was horrific’.
Critics claim however that Ms Bethel is biased, having taken a badger lover. ‘What can I say? Once you’ve had Brock, you’ll never go back’.