Poor Dion Graus, the Dutch politician of the anti-islamic PVV political party that managed to get his idea for ‘animal cops’ into the agreement with which our new government started its task of ruling the country. No less than 500 new police officers, with the exclusive task of guarding animal welfare, would be found during the coming years. Their main field of interest would be pets, not animals reared for the food industry. It was Mr. Graus’ personal crusade, and he succeeded.
But then came along the chief police officer of the capital, Amsterdam, Mr. Welten. In a speech last week Mr. Welten made short work of two proposals by the new government. This first a proposed bill against wearing (islamic) dress that covers the whole body, including the face, in public; more specifically: the burqa. Mr. Welten announced the Amsterdam police force would simply not enforce the law, if instituted. The police has better things to do according to the commander in chief.
For Mr. Graus’ animal police he only needed three words: ‘guinea pig police’.
There is no other way out now for Mr. Graus than to let his animal cops die a silent death. The invention of the term ‘guinea pig police’ is enough to taint the idea forever, and not just the idea: anyone ever working for this corps will know what their colloquial designation will be.
Naive and enthusiastic Mr. Graus did not reckon with one of the main laws of public relations: ridiculability. No matter how sensible your idea may be, if it’s ridiculable, you don’t go for it. It’s an accident waiting to happen, this time it was the more cynical Mr. Welten.