The Prime Minister is the Prime Minister again, says the Owner. He was elected.
I have heard this, I say. Jeremy the Beagle is in the Park singing the Red Flag by himself.
How do you feel about this? Asks the Owner.
It is a tragedy, I say. The Prime Minister’s Dog will suffer Years of Neglect.
That is the Least of our Problems, says the Owner. Socialism is going to have to regroup to achieve Popular Support.
I say I am not sure that I want to be regrouped. My current cold weather coat already chafes in all the Wrong Places. There are parts of a Moral Dog that can get caught in a loop.
Regrouping does not involve changing your loops, says the Owner. It involves determining where your heart lies amongst the Many Versions of Socialism.
What is Socialism? I ask.
Well, says the Owner, it is a prioritisation of equality, democracy, freedom, and solidarity. Socialism says everyone should have equal access to opportunity. Some socialists believe this requires the neutralisation of inequalities such access to advantage that people did not achieve for themselves, but not all Socialists would go this far.
So some Socialists might deprive me of Squeaky Cat? I ask.
Possibly, says the Owner, although Many Other Socialists would argue that All Moral Dogs should have a Squeaky Cat.
Lucifer with the nose cage would not want a Squeaky Cat, I say, he prefers a Mammoth Tusk, and Jeremy the Beagle eschews Property as he says it is Theft. He sometimes has a Small Leaf, but only if it Needs Adoption.
I was really referring to a Metaphorical Squeaky Cat, says the Owner. Socialists believe everyone should be given a Minimum Standard, in Wages and in Life. So one Squeaky Cat might be considered a Basic Right, whilst two might be considered Excessively Greedy.
I agree that two Squeaky Cats would be too many to expect. Although, I say, Mogg did say True Freedom is the Freedom to have as many Squeaky Cats as you Like. I think we might all have cheered, but I do not mention this.
The Owner says that’s easy to say if you are born into a house full of Squeaky Cats and cannot imagine a life in which even one Squeaky Cat is seen as an Unachievable Dream.
I cannot imagine a House full of Squeaky Cats. It sounds both Wonderful and Rather Creepy. Their eyes might follow you Unnervingly (I have sometimes thought Squeaky Cat’s eyes do this but have never liked to tell him so). I say the Prime Minister believes the Market should be Free. Mogg told me this would mean I could be Off My Lead in the Market and I thought this sounded rather Tempting. I could acquire all the Cheese I will ever need and Save It For Later.
The Owner says the trouble with True Freedom of the Moral Dog in the Market is that the Ones who Arrive Late would Get No Cheese and some people would end up Spilling their Coffee which would Make a Mess for everyone. She says Socialists see True Freedom as the Freedom to develop your potential, but they do not want to see you do this by Taking Advantage of others, preventing them from Acquiring Cheese or making them Spill their Coffee.
So Houdini must be a True Socialist, I say. He does, after all, often seek True Freedom. Yesterday he sought it all the way to Kensal Rise.
That was impressive, says the Owner, but escaping from the Park and getting as far as Kensal Rise is not what Socialists mean by True Freedom. Houdini did not find Freedom in Kensal Rise, did he?
No, I say, he turned himself in to the Pound when they offered him a Biscuit,
Exactly, says the Owner.
It was Teatime, I add.
Most importantly though, the Owner says, Socialists believe in Solidarity, which is the idea that we must stand up for and defend all our Fellow Men.
And Fellow Dogs, I say.
And Fellow Dogs, she says. It was Socialism that conceived and created the NHS which is an innately Socialist Endeavour. Socialists believe we should treat the Hopes and Dreams of our Fellow Men and Fellow Dogs as Intrinsically Significant for Humanity, and that we have a duty to support other people derived from the Social Bonds which form the very structure of Moral Community without which we would still be living in caves. Socialism says that we should Share All Decisions Democratically whether they are matters of Government or matters of the Workplace.
Or Matters of the Vet, I say, thinking of Discussions around the Possible Fate of some of my Parts which Did Not Involve Me.
No Decision About Me, Without Me, says the Owner.
I say Socialism sounds very much like the Law of Dogs.
I have always Thought So, says the Owner.
There is a Moment’s silence into which, caught on a Zephyr of the morning breeze, drifts the faint but Musical Sound of a Lone Dog.
I might go and sing the Red Flag with Jeremy the Beagle One More Time before the regrouping, I say.
Wait for me, says the Owner, I’ll bring the Words.
Hergest the Hound
I am a dog of many thoughts.