I watch the news and just at the moment there is nothing but shouting – the UK is better off in Europe, Donald Trump is the scariest Republican Presidential candidate, global warming is going to get you, unless the obesity pandemic does it first. It's enough to make me go out and feed the chickens for some peace and quiet...
Like that's going to work.
Chickens are just the same as politicians, forever arguing, shouting, pooping indiscriminately and maintaining their pecking order. The only real difference is that when a chicken lays something it becomes breakfast, not the morning headlines. The only time the chickens are quiet is in the shed, at night, after dark, and even then there's the occasional cockerel rehearsing for first light.
I dare say it would be more interesting if our politicians established their hierarchies the way chickens do – a solid smack of beak between the shoulders, feathers ripped out, or bloodshed if it gets serious. Just imagine Prime Minister's Questions starting with a coin-toss to choose between Queensberry Rules or something more Mixed Martial Arts and primal. Bring back John Prescott, round one, seconds out...
And then turn the lights off.
If I have to turn the lights on in the shed after dark, a senior hen might discover that she is accidentally perched next to a very junior chicken. That requires instant correction, and a savage pecking until the junior jumps down and finds somewhere else, or I turn the lights out again when it goes quiet.
There's the thing – they're all just chickens in the dark. Superiority has to be seen to be maintained. After all, if the junior hen can't see, and doesn't know that she's been pecked by a senior, she might peck back, she might prove to have the harder peck...
All chickens are chicken in the dark.
If only I could test it on politicians. Turn the lights off for a few hours. Find out if it all goes quiet.
Turn them back on and see who is sitting next to the man with killer right hook.