June 3rd, 2009
07:41 PM GMT
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The dog saw it first - a bucket full of raw bones.

While it was the smell which caught Pepper’s attention - it was the sign that interested me.

The gruesome boiled-up remains, yours for about three dollars each, were labelled “MPs’ Legs.” “Let your dog have a nibble on an MP’s leg,” the sign went on.

“Well worth it!”

People in Britain are furious about the expenses scandal which is engulfing our lawmakers. But we haven’t actually got started chopping them up yet.

The dog and I were at a pet food stall on my local town market. The bones belonged to innocent animals who have never claimed any taxpayer cash to clean out their moats or pay phoney mortgages, and whose snouts have only ever graced real feeding troughs.

I asked the stallholder Colin Fletcher how his lawmakers’ bits were going down with punters. “One guy said he wished they were real,” he said. The scandal is particularly upsetting at a time when many thousands of people are experiencing the pain of losing their jobs, their homes and businesses.

Down on the market, things have been good for Colin this year, despite the recession. He said he’s invested a lot of money in the stall and built up a following of regular customers. “They even come in the winter when it’s minus five and raining. “We have a laugh with them, and a joke.”

Colin’s sense of humour is obviously keeping his customers happy. Yes, the bones are a gimmick. But it’s working. It reminded me that even the worst of times offer an opportunity for a good laugh -

And who knows - maybe even the chance to make a bit of money.

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Quest Means Business airs Monday to Friday, 1600 New York and 2100 London, and is hosted by Richard Quest.



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