CRISIS ON ANIMAL FARM
'Don't worry,' New Farmer Blair told a visiting delegation of over a hundred sheep when news of the plague first reached him. 'Everything is safe and under control. We will be tough on the plague and tough on the causes of the plague.'
The sheep were greatly reassured. After all they had placed their trust in Blair and the New Farming methods. The sheep rubbed themselves affectionately against their friend. Then it was the turn of New Farmer Giddens to address them.
' Dear sheep, one reason for the plague is that you and your animal friends have developed strong, too strong, systems of solidarity and self-protection. If you were less inclined to stick together and freed yourself from the burden of each other, fewer of you would get ill. Individual sheep good. Collective sheep bad. That is the third-way, socially-inclusive method of survival. It is supported by Bill Clinton, Masssimo D'Alema and Gerhard Schroeder---the moral leaders of our new world.'
The sheep were very inspired by all these great names and repeated the message loudly.
'Individual sheep good, collective sheep bad.'
Then they were photographed with New Farmers Blair and Giddens. But when the sheep returned to the farm and told the other animals about the Third Way, there were angry grunts from the pigs. The Old Sow, who had been rolling about in a stream of excrement, clambered to her feet and told them:
" You sheep believe anything. These New Farmers are doing exactly the same things as before. Have you forgotten what she said, you know when the Farm was taken over by that woman with the crazy eyes. She came here and told us: 'Individual pigs good. Collective pigdom bad.' Remember how we cheered? She told us all to read a book called 'The road to Pigdom'. We believed her and look at us now. Drowning in our own shit. "
'Yes', said the oldest sheep. 'I remember it well, but the New Farmers are also socially inclusive. We have rights, but also responsibilities.'
'Our responsibility is to ensure that we stay alive', roared an old Bull. ' Old Sow speaks the truth. These New Farmers are so full of shit that they could be used as fertilizer for the intensive-farming they love so much. That's what caused the plague. The way they farm now. Its not to feed themselves or their children, but to please the corporations.' The goats giggled and cheered. The old goat with a beard spoke in support of the Old Bull.
' Comrade animals, we face a simple choice. To escape into the mountains and resist or to be slaughtered like these stupid sheep.'
'New Farmer Blair will never slaughter us', said the sheep in one voice. Two days later the Farm was surrounded by soldiers and tanks. New Farmer Anthony Giddens alighted from one of them and spoke to the animals. 'The plague is out of control and the only way to save the Farm is by killing all of you. I have been sent here as the special emissary of New Farmer Blair to make sure that the killing will be humane. A third-way slaughter. In the old days they would just have burnt you alive, but today we will first douse you in petroleum so that you will burn very fast. Do you agree?'
'Yes', shouted the sheep. 'Please can we be the first to die the Third Way.'
By the Fifth of February 2001, almost fifty thousand animals had been burnt alive on animal farms all over Britain. A few goats had escaped to Wales and Scotland. The New Farmers announced that the elections would not be postponed. The crisis was over.