Forget pupils ‘identifying as cats’

It’s the dead ones you need to keep an eye out for

jane fae


Floofy cat with paw over its eyes. Exasperated. Speech bubble — ‘Not dead … just napping’
Mr Paws expressing his views on government anti-trans rhetoric today

What larks! We live now in a country where, at last count, three ministers, including the AI Beta programme currently identifying as head honcho, Rishi Sunak, have demanded an urgent investigation into pupils who think they are cats.

Head of Telegraph House, and born-again Trunchbull, Kate Burbling, claims to have evidence of pupils identifying as all manner of beings, including inanimate objects. Lately, she has been out on Twitter, where she goes by the somewhat feline handle of ‘Miss_Snuffy’, fulminating against anonymous trolls.

The culture warriors are ridiculous. Perhaps, though, we should not be so quick to laugh.

Now read on.

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Dead cats and Boris Johnson

We begin, as so often, somewhere completely else. With the ennoblement of Boris Johnson adviser, Charlotte Owen. Youngest life peer ever and — ooer! — just what did she do to get that peerage?

Cue salacious speculation. Is she secret love child? Provider of sexual favours? Or merely witness to some of the most unsavoury of Boris’ peccadilloes. Personally, i am disinclined to believe any of these. But, more importantly, does it really matter?

Short answer, no. At least, not in the sense that the answer to any of these questions matters.

What does matter is that this single piece of nonsense has distracted us all from the bigger picture. Like the fact that in three years, Johnson increased the size of the House of Lords by 10%, going a long way to building in a permanent Tory majority. Or that peerages have gone to a range of decidedly unsavoury, not to mention dodgy characters.

It is, as i have written about before, what is known as a ‘dead cat’: an announcement or regulation so ridiculous, so outrageous, that everyone looks at the cat…and no-one looks beyond it.

School cats

As Owen, so last week’s claptrap about school pupils identifying as cats. That, too, is nonsense…on stilts. It has been roundly debunked by Otto English in Byline Times.



jane fae

Feminist, writer, campaigner on political and sexual liberty who also knows a bit about IT, the law and policing. Not entirely serious…