Skip to main content


When bees are fish and protests cure pandemics

Sea-life at work. Alex Gottschalk/DeFodi Images/Getty

Last month a California court ruled that “bumblebees are actually fish”, says Andy Kessler in The Wall Street Journal. The reason is benign – designating the insects as sea-life means they can be protected by existing laws – but it’s pretty silly. Rather like when the Environmental Protection Agency tried to claim jurisdiction over drainage ditches by defining them as “navigable waters”. Meanwhile we have oat milk and almond milk, “even though they obviously aren’t milk”, and the similarly oxymoronic “plant-based meat”. China and Venezuela sit on the UN Human Rights Council. Bit by bit, we’re being trained to believe that “anything can be anything”.

In June 2020, at the height of Covid lockdowns, tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter protesters massed in the streets to demonstrate against the police. (CNN famously called protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, “mostly peaceful” as flames from riots raged behind the reporter. See below.) In defence of these super-spreader events, 1,200 medical professionals signed a letter opposing what they called “emerging narratives that seemed to malign demonstrations as risky for the public health”. Instead, said these quacks, “we wanted to present a narrative that prioritises opposition to racism as vital to the public health”. This is the world we live in today. A bee is a fish, a ditch is a river, protests cure pandemics. George Orwell said it best in Notes on Nationalism: “One has to belong to the intelligentsia to believe things like that: no ordinary man could be such a fool.”