We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Murder at the palace!

Well, not quite. The Royal family’s horrible little dogs have been fighting each other to the death, is all. Not for cash bets, which would be much more exciting, if less hilarious: just because that’s what animals sometimes do if you let them. Sometimes animals kill people too. We sentimentalise them at our peril.

We British folk, especially the upper classes, have long been renowned for our perverse attachments to four-legged creatures over normal human beings. Personally, I can’t see the point. They can’t think, they cost money, you have to clean them, take them for walks, pay vet’s fees, if you go away for a couple of months they destroy the house and/or die and make a mess, and all this for nothing other than the proximity of a creature that can’t do anything except perform basic bodily functions. Why? On second thoughts, don’t tell me: I don’t care.

What I do care about is people getting attacked by other people’s vicious animals in public places. Why this crime which Anne was found guilty of last time only merited a £500 fine, I have no idea. But there’s a definite poetic justice to this seasonal next chapter of the story, in my view.

Jokes about pets, life and Christmas, anyone…?

39 comments to Murder at the palace!

  • Theodopoulos Pherecydes

    I was always attracted to Auberon Waugh’s theory that the British like their pets so much because they despise one another.

  • Corgis: These “horrible creatures” are far more likely to provide security for the queen than the current crop of incompetents that surround her.

    Perhaps animals provide greater satisfaction and love than children. All they can do is bite…

    Ever since children have risen above pets in parental satisfaction, with the “little Johnny can do no wrong” syndrome, the decline of our Great Nation has been assured.

  • Simon Austin

    How anyone can delight in somebody’s misfortune, Queen or not at Christmas is quite beyond me.

    What a nasty, sad and miserable specimen you are! I find you very offensive!

    “I have no idea. But there’s a definite poetic justice to this seasonal next chapter of the story, in my view.

    Jokes about pets, life and Christmas, anyone…?”

    Simon Austin

  • Philip,

    What are you talking about?

  • Verity

    Simon – I agree! What a revolting post! It doesn’t matter that it belonged to the Queen, her favourite dog was mauled before her eyes and she had to have it put down to save its suffering. The dog didn’t know it was privileged. It didn’t know it lived in a palace. It simply ran forward to greet someone it knew. Is the Queen not allowed to love her pets in your world?

    Alice says “especially the British upper classes” (as though there’s such a thing any more) have a weird attachment to pets. Maybe she should go down and spend Xmas at the PDSA where people without the means for treatment for their sick or injured pets queue for hours to get them treatment. Or any veterinary surgery in Britain that, on the quiet, lets very poor people with a strong attachment to their pet, pay off their debt for treatment in tiny weekly installments, which they somehow manage to pay.

    Yes, Princess Anne is responsible for her dog’s behaviour. Given the little shit’s behaviour, it will obviously be put to sleep.

    But what a mean-spirited, flippant show-off you are! Yuck!

  • Yeah this is a pretty pathetic post, one that gives libertarians a really bad name. Basically this post has no place on a decent blog like Samizdata.

    Corgis are actually not the calmest dogs in the world, probably provoked the other dog. It is, however, a shame that both dog-lovers have lost a pet in a single day. So what if they happen to be Royals? Does that mean we are suppose to take pleasure in their pain?

    Just because Alice does not appreciate dogs does not mean she has to spread her bile here.

  • Corgis… yummy. Well I found the post rather… bracing.. myself 🙂

  • ernest young

    Typical Alice, prepared to say anything to attract attention.

    She will no doubt defend the post by claiming it as ‘free speech’.

    Does Samizdata really need this sort of spiteful posting? and particularly at this season of ‘supposed’ goodwill.

  • Alice

    I was trying to be funny.

    Never mind. Merry Christmas!

  • Brian Micklethwait


    I was just about to do a posting about this unfortunate Corgi, and I had the crocodile link in there too and everything. But you beat me to it.

    I was going to add a solemn note with the the other animal related news of Mad Cow Disease breaking out in America and infecting two creatures so far, a cow and Oprah.

    To avoid having a dog, how about the latest Sony AIBO mechanical dog, version 3.0 of which has apparently just been released. But remember, an AIBO is not just for Christmas, it’s for life.

  • Six months ago I walked into a pub, and a woman was in the pub with a pair of dogs. One of them barked at me and then lunged and bit me as I walked past. I got a little angry, and the woman became extremely upset because I was angry. Heaven forbid if I should have been upset due to having been bitten by a dog.

    I am with Alice. I have amazingly little sympathy for the owners of violent animals.

  • ernest young

    I can’t stand dogs either, just too much poop.

    That Alice, has a very peculiar sense of humour, it comes across as being a bit too ‘sneery’, while at the same time being a mite patronising. Maybe she has to work on her timing.

    And I still think she is prepared to say anything to attract attention, and any critiscism gets a lame excuse in reply.

  • ernest young

    You’ll notice the gratuitous link to her personal site. Is that good blogging manners?

    I thought that a good site was built on quality content, not links slipped onto other sites, bit like blowing your own trumpet.

  • Alice,

    I probably have views on children that others find offensive. Can’t stand them myself. Hence, the somewhat elided comment.

    But, as this event made the front page of the Daily Mail, most people reacted with a combination of “so what” and “who cares?”

    It’s not the death that counts but the tugging forelock reporting that has surrounded the whole incident.

    Dog Bites Man – not news. Man Bites Dog – not news these days. Dog Bites Dog – news if owned by royals.



  • Well I found Alice’s post nowhere near ‘beyond the pale’, but then I really don’t like dogs and I do rather like Alice… though I suppose dogs are okay if lightly sautéd with onions.

  • Perry, wonder how Alice would taste sauted with onions?

    This is the sort of post that one would see on something like Indymedia…

    I like most dogs (those admittedly not small dogs like corgis) but not too keen on Alice’s tripe.

  • If Alice doesn’t like the Royals, which is most apparent, it would be much appreciated if in future she were to confine that dripping condescending attitude to her own blog. This is not a Royals-worshipping blog, but that kind of writing does not enhance Alice’s position, either.

  • Andrew,

    You may like dogs, but that doesn’t make Alice’s point wrong. They can be dangerous and unpredictable. There is a stronger case for prohibiting dog ownership than there is for prohibiting gun ownership, in my view (although I oppose prohibitions on either).

  • ernest young

    Do I detect a circling of the wagons?

    The point was not whether you like or dislike dogs, children, or whatever. It was the general tone of the post that gave offence.

    It shouldn’t be beyond a competent scribe to write a piece that amused, without resorting to cheap shots, etc.

  • Charlie

    Alice —

    I believe you’ve confounded the Queen’s dogs with Democrats.



  • Verity

    Yes, the wagons certainly did get driven into a circle. I don’t particularly like dogs, but I love my cat. That particular corgi was the Queen’s favourite dog and went everywhere with her. She called it ‘vigilant and loyal’. According to the report, it did nothing vicious or threatening; it simply ran forward on Christmas Eve to greet Anne, who obviously it knew, and Anne’s excitable dog launched into it and damaged it so badly and painfully that it had to be put down.

    I cannot see what is amusing about this and the smartypants, show-offy nature of the post would indicate that Alice Bachini has an elevated – and unjustified, to put it mildly – estimation of her ability to write humour. She also has a vengeful streak that some will find quite chilling.

  • Anyone who has ever owned a dog or spent much time with one knows that they can think. It’s so obvious as to not need formal proof.

    But some religions/philosophies require that only people be defined as being able to think, so the verb “to think” is re-defined to accommodate the religious definition of people.

    Sure, dogs don’t think as well as people do, but they can think. Acknowledging these facts takes nothing away from the magnificence of humans.

    I’m sorry you don’t like dogs. I’m sorry that this innocent corgy was killed, and I’m sorry that the “princess” (why you Brits put up with that title is beyond me) has failed to control her animal. Bull terriors aren’t the most docile animals around and require much better oversight.

    I know you meant to be tongue in cheek, Alice, but I think the delivery here was a bit off. I don’t equate dogs with people, and they often taste very good, especially with the right seasonings, but some animals are like family members and this type of mocking hits some people too close to painful memories of losing their own pets.

  • Tim Haas

    I was trying to be funny.

    It took reading twice, but I got it.

    We de-sentimentalise Alice at our peril.

  • Well as someone who has owned dogs all his life…I can tell you they are a hell of a lot more loyal, loving and dependable than almost every human I have met. They are there for you when you need them, not when they can be arsed.

    Most problems with dogs are a reflection of their owners not the dogs themselves (ie rather alot like guns in that respect).

    Of course, some rodent dogs (including Corgis) suffer from little man syndrome and if not controlled with seek the biggest dog to fight all the time. My dogs, who are Belgians and thus rather large, have frequently had some little dog (like Jack Russels or Chihuahuas) trying to pick a fight. I would note that they only dog every to bite me was a JR. It is likely the Corgi picked a fight and the bigger dog finished it.

    Still its very sad for both of them and it is not an appropriate to use this occurance as a chance to mock the monarchy and dog-owners.

  • Derute

    I get it!
    Blog bites dog. Dog bites blog. Blog bites dog.
    Words, they’re so much fun, almost like humans.
    Man bites dog and pays the ultimate price.

  • Michael Lindsay

    I was trying to be funny.

    You failed miserably.

  • Alice

    Thanks for the criticisms! It’s always useful to get feedback on the views of a particular audience: clearly some vociferous Samizdata readers are offended by sick jokes about dogs and royalty. I’ll add those to the list. And not feel egged-on at all.

    (“to egg-on”- encourage, encite, goad)

  • Verity

    I’m not a dog lover in particular – although I can see their appeal – but I’m a slave to cats.

    With regard to the royal family, I think on balance, I prefer having an non-elected, non-political head of state. The French have Jacques Chirac.

    But would-be humorous comments that come accompanied by the whine of an axe grinding and the smell of vitriol are seldom amusing. Ms Bachini’s post was a case in point. It came across as vengeful and cruel. Taking pleasure in the distress of someone who has done you no harm just because they occupy an elevated position and you don’t isn’t, you know, funny.

  • lars

    I’ve observed dogs giving comfort to humans in a number of different capacities. They can be loyal and true friends and helpers. They don’t care if you are sick or have zits or everyone else in the universe hates you. Heck, in a pinch, they can hunt for your pack.

    Yes, some people are damaged to the extent that they find dogs to be better friends than people. It does take more effort to have a good relationship with a human being.

    Can we really know what goes on in another being’s mind, human or otherwise?

  • Alice is right.

    Alice is always right.

  • ernest young

    Yet another victim of the Witch of Somerset….

    Jeez!, what a brown-nose you are Patrick.

    Just what are you scared of?.

  • ernest: Do you have no sense of humor whatsoever?

  • Gil

    Jeez, lighten up.

    I’m sure Alice isn’t happy about the Queen being upset at the loss, but she’s right that many people over-sementalize their pets. Those who feel the need to bark at the source of this insight probably identify with the problem.

    Relax, and have a Merry Christmas.

  • ernest young


    Yes I do, after all, I do read your articles, and I admit to finding them quite amusing – sometimes. However I am definitely not into the nasty, juvenile humour that your idol indulges in.

    If she could only came out with an original thought of her own, instead of composing some over-contrived, sneery critisism, just for the sake of attracting attention, then perhaps her posts may get taken more seriously. Honest opinion is always worth reading, patent rubbish is plain irritating.

    I never could find much humour in delighting at someone else’s misfortune or dilemma, unfortunately this appears to be her only competence.

    Enough said on the matter, you like her items , I do not, let’s just leave it at that.

  • Mike Rentner,

    “”princess” (why you Brits put up with that title is beyond me)…”

    Speaking only for myself here, I ‘put up’ with such things because our Monarchy is a part of our history, tradition, culture and (the remains) of our constitution).

    If it was abandoned now I guarantee that it will be replaced with something far worse.

  • Verity

    Mike Renter – I don’t know that we “put up” with the Queen’s daughter having the title of princess. It’s a very ancient title, its significance is clearly understood by everyone, and it takes nothing from me that the monarch’s daughter bears it.

    If you intended criticism of our head of state, meditate on the fact that we have had a non-elected, non-political head of state who has served us loyally for 50 years – at who knows what sacrifices to herself at times; she doesn’t burden us with confessions. The French have Jacques Chirac. He is to be arrested and charged with fraud the day he leaves office. Before that they had another big-time crook and sleazeball, Mitterand, who escaped prosecution by death. And as I write, I feel hovering at my shoulder the faux aristocrat and all round poseur Valery d’Estaing.

    Alice Bachini, in her lumpen attempt at humour, simply ignores the fact that when you prick the royals, they bleed, just like us. There will always be some frivolous and some indolent members of the royal family around the fringes, but all in all, we’ve been lucky with our monarchs. Generally speaking, Mike Renter, most of us are fond of our Queen. Personally, I do not care for Prince Charles, but he is diligent and caring. Princess Anne undertakes more royal engagements, and by far the most gruelling, of any member of the royal family. They are duty driven.

    I don’t think I could have written these words about Bill Clinton, say, or Jimmy Carter or John Kennedy.

  • Ernest,

    Taking potshots at someone – fine. Personal abuse – wrong.

    Whatever the merits or lack of them in Alice’s post, your description, the “Witch of Somerset” is definitely abusive and wrong.

    You should apologise.


  • ernest young

    And I am accused of not having a sense of humour?…..

  • Johnathan Pearce

    Crimminy, all this outpouring of rage against Alice’s piece on the mutley’s makes me realise why I confine my remarks to uncontroversial topics, like ID cards, the arrest of Saddam and the case for Intellectual Property rights!!!!

    I quite like dogs myself, but think they don’t really belong in an urban environment unless you have the space/time to care for them.

    Of course, there is always the Korean perspective on dogs. heh-heh.