Kabul evacuation: red herring to say animals were prioritized over people

The world is aghast. There is shock and disbelief. How could anybody prioritise animals over people? And yet, all over the news today and yesterday are denials by Boris Johnson that he intervened in the rescue of dogs and cats from Kabul during the chaotic evacuation from Afghanistan as it was taken over by the Taliban. The news media say that Carrie and Boris Johnson ensured that Mr Farthing’s Nowzad animals got into the airport and flew to the UK with the help of the British military on the direct instructions of the Prime Minister of the UK.

Dog rescued from Kabul by Nowzad and evacuated to the UK

Dog rescued from Kabul by Nowzad and evacuated to the UK. Photo: Wales Ape and Monkey Sanctuary.

We don’t know whether Boris Johnson did or did not intervene. We are told by Dominic Dyer a colleague of Mr Farthing’s who campaigned for the evacuation of the animals that they were turned away on one occasion and on the second occasion a British soldier let them in the gates of the airport. They waited 24-hours in a hanger while the privately chartered jet arrived from Karachi and then American military personnel loaded the animals on to aircraft. Nowzad personnel were left behind but they made their way to Pakistan in a separate journey later.

The point is though that there is a lot of discomfort by many people that the Nowzad animals may have been prioritised over vulnerable Afghanis who for example acted as interpreters and who have a right to be evacuated to the UK.

I’m not saying that animals should be prioritised. I don’t think they were in this instance. Only a tiny, tiny fraction of the sentient beings evacuated from Kabul were animals. They amount to 200 cats and dogs mainly rescued by Nowzad. There were 15,000 people evacuated by the UK. In all 122,000 people were evacuated. Some American military personnel took their pets with them in the planes.

0.2 percent of the sentient beings evacuated from Kabul were animals. A tiny percentage. Why complain? The animals deserve it, surely?

If you want to take a balanced viewpoint on the percentage of animals to humans that should and rightly deserved to be evacuated from Kabul, I don’t think you can complain about the current position. It’s a reasonable balance between animals and people.

Some animals were left behind. I read that about two dozen cats were left behind in the American embassy to fend for themselves. What happened to them? No one knows or cares. In the grand scheme of things, I don’t think anybody can complain that the Nowzad animals got out. Their escape from Kabul is a small nod to animal welfare. It is not asking a lot to at least save these animals and it is thanks to Mr Farthing’s enormous efforts. It is thanks to his high profile standing and his ability to make a lot of noise and stand his ground to get the animals out. Without Mr Farthing’s influence and energy, the evacuation of the Nowzad animals would not have been successful.

RELATED: Whistleblower’s claim of direct trade-off between animals and people evacuating Kabul is wrong.

We still don’t know whether Boris intervened or not. Regrettably, he is developing a reputation for telling untruths. For not being transparent and totally honest. It seems he likes to blur things or muddy the water. And it is damaging his premiership. A recent poll is a blow for the Tories as it tells us that trust in Johnson has fallen. The Conservatives have slumped to their worst poll rating in 11 months. More than two thirds of voters are now questioning Johnson’s integrity and this applies specifically to his response to a Downing Street Christmas party while London was in lockdown due to Covid.

Other parties appear to have come to light which are allegedly in breach of the then lockdown rules. And the refurbishment of Carrie and Boris John’s flat has caused consternation because of a lack of disclosure of funding. All in all, an erosion of the Prime Minister’s standing is taking place. He needs to play a straight bat in cricketing terms which is appropriate at the moment because the Ashes series is taking place. And he needs to improve his image to the world by changing his hairstyle and tidying up his overall appearance. He has apparently dishevelled look does not help when you are making mistakes. It opens the door to criticism some of which is unjustified.

A lot of people are questioning why he insists on keeping that hairstyle which indicates chaos. I know he likes it because it makes him stand out, I guess, but he needs to brush up his image. Image counts in the world of publicity and presentation and Boris Johnson is in the world of presentation.

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