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The BBC’s Nick Robinson: It’s coming up to 20 past 8. So, the report has finally come out. The facts have been laid bare. Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep, and doesn’t know where to find them. She’s here in the studio. Let’s face it, Little Bo Peep — it’s not looking too good, is it?
Little Bo Peep: I disagree Nick. Things are looking great. The farm is working at a profit, for the second year running all our targets have been met and the comeback we are getting from social media is incredibly positive. And I’m happy to say my leadership enjoys the full confidence of everyone.
Nick Robinson: That’s all very well — but what about those sheep?
Little Bo Peep: Let’s focus on the cows — productivity up 20 per cent. And the goats — more baby goats born this year than at any time over the past 20 years. Hens — higher egg yield than ever before. New fences, new styles. These are achievements to celebrate, Nick. It’s been a humbling experience.
Nick Robinson: Again, I’ve got to ask — what about those sheep? They’re lost, aren’t they?
Little Bo Peep: What our critics like to forget is that we’ve invested more in livestock in real terms year on year than any other farm in the region, which is why our record is, frankly, the envy of the world.
Nick Robinson: That’s as maybe, but what about the sheep? They’re lost. And — frankly, Ms Peep — you don’t know where to find them, do you?
Little Bo Peep: It depends what you mean by lost, Nick. You say: ‘They’re lost.’ But the sheep know where they are, and, frankly Nick, that’s the only thing that matters.
Nick Robinson: You say it’s the only thing that matters. But doesn’t it concern you that, under your stewardship, these sheep have gone missing? And let me ask you once again — do you, Little Bo Peep, know where to find them? Yes or no?
Let’s face it, Little Bo Peep — it’s not looking too good, is it?
Little Bo Peep: Let’s not be so binary, Nick. It’s not just a matter of whether or not I know where to find them. Frankly, Nick, that’s between the sheep and myself. No. What I really want to concentrate on is one of the most important issues facing us all today — namely, what to do about keeping the foxes out.
Nick Robinson: Forgive me, Ms Peep, but that’s not what I asked.
Little Bo Peep: I’m sorry, but it’s high time we started focusing on it, Nick, because our children and grandchildren will not lightly forgive.
Nick Robinson: What our listeners will be saying to themselves is this: Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep. And she doesn’t know where to find them.
Little Bo Peep: Leave them alone and they will come home, dragging their tails behind them.
Nick Robinson: But will they?
Little Bo Peep: That’s what they’re telling us on the doorsteps.
Little Bo Peep has lost her sheep, and doesn’t know where to find them
Nick Robinson: Let us now turn, if I may, to the important matter of your colleagues, Jack and Jill. The news could not be starker. Jack and Jill went up a hill to fetch a pail of water. Jack fell down and broke his crown. And Jill came tumbling after. Why? What went wrong?
Little Bo Peep: Nothing at all. I know how the BBC likes to spin these things, Nick, and I’m — hur! hur! — dreadfully sorry to disappoint you! But it so happens that everything went according to plan.
Nick Robinson: So you’re really asking us to believe that Jack PLANNED to fall down and break his crown, and that Jill PLANNED to come tumbling after? That’s certainly not what we’re hearing. We’re hearing that there was a party, and not just a party but an ALL-NIGHT party, against all the Government guidelines, and that, after this party, both Jack and Jill went up the hill, to fetch either a pail of water or something a little stronger, and that, AS A DIRECT CONSEQUENCE, Jack fell down and broke his crown. And, as we all now know, Jill came tumbling after. Is that what you would describe as ‘good behaviour’, Ms Peep?
Little Bo Peep: We could always do better, and we’re determined to learn lessons. We’re all humbled. I was humbled. Jack was humbled. And Jill came humbling after.
TO BE CONTINUED…