There were a load of animal rights protesters in Oxford today. There usually are outside the site where the medical primate research stuff happens, but this time they were doing a big protest through the middle of Oxford.
I'm all for people's rights to public assembly and all - I can see that it's potentially a right I might quite want to use in the future, but sometimes the people who use it make me want to get out the (possibly apocryphal) Brown note generators.
Anyway, today's lot seemed especially concerned about a monkey named Felix. Their concern is of course commendable, though some fusspots might think that on balance Felix the monkey should probably be a lower priority than Darfur or Iraq or whatever.
I was tempted to get up and give a rabble-rousing speech. Something along these lines (with appropriate pauses and so on):
Friends, we have come here today to say that this must end!
They must stop all experiments on animals now, or we will stop them!
Free Felix now!
They say this is medical research!
But they are cutting Felix's brain out!
We will not let this continue!
Not while we and our children are alive!
If they want to do experiments, let them use us instead!
Who will volunteer to take Felix's place?
But I didn't.