‘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.’


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.’


sheep were very inspired by all these great names and repeated the message


‘Individual sheep good, collective sheep bad.’


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.’


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.’


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.


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