elcome back to today’s Diary, where Carrie Johnson comes under for criticism from fur traders as the government mulls a potential ban. Then, artist Tai Shan Schierenberg tells us what it was like painting the Queen’s portrait and historian Greg Jenner reveals what happened when he suggested putting 18th century English philosopher Jeremy Bentham’s body in a bobsleigh. Later in our SW1A we hear how Dominic Cummings is apparently chatting to Keir Starmer’s team about providing strategic advice.
FUR is flying as the Government considers a potential ban on its sale in the UK following Brexit.
Frank Zilberkweit, who chairs the Fur Trade Association, tells us a total ban is “naïve” and adds it was “idiotic” for the PM’s wife Carrie Johnson to tell her Twitter followers that anyone who buys fur is “really sick”.
He says a total ban would be “the start of a slippery slope to other restrictions on animal products including leather, wool and silk and the food on our plate”.
But Conservative Animal Welfare Foundation patron Sir Roger Gale tells us this is “puerile”: “It’s a bit like saying because we banned cock fighting, nobody is allowed to eat chicken. There’s not much to win coming out of Brexit but if animal welfare is one of those things, let’s do it properly.”
HISTORIAN Greg Jenner had a useful suggestion for utilitarian philosopher Jeremy Bentham’s preserved body.
“I asked [its curator] whether it’d allow for maximum happiness if we could put Bentham in a bobsleigh and push him down the hill at the Winter Olympics,” Jenner tells us, as Bentham argued for maximising happiness for the most people.
But Jenner, host of the You’re Dead to Me podcast, says his suggestion was met by “disappointment and genuine alarm”.