Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Rebuilding Iraq



NP: …which is why Chelsea have one the league on expenditure. We’ll catch up on today’s sport later, but now over to Tosh McDonald in Baghdad.




TC: Thank you Colonel Blakely for giving us this chance to meet you in what must be a busy time for the British Armed Forces in Iraq.

BC: Sorry, was that a question?

TC: Well, not as such. Colonel, many people in the press and in the public are questioning whether the rebuilding of Iraq is meeting with any success.

BC: I’m not following you Tish…

TC: Tosh

BC: … Tosh that’s what I said. Was that a question?

TC: Well, no, but would you like to comment on the rebuilding of Iraq and how you see it going?

BC: Well Tiff,

TC: Tosh

BC: Tosh, we’ve been here for many years now, and I think it’s an excellent time to start rebuilding.

TC: Yes, it’s about the rebuilding that’s happened that we the public would like to know about from you Colonel, as you are in the field seeing it happening.

BC: Am I? Yes, well I suppose I am somewhat closer than the people back home as it were so I do see some building going on.

TC: So are we the Allies making headway against the wave of terrorist attacks and implanting an infrastructure, in the face of what many are saying is turning into a civil war?


TC : Christ!



TC: A terrorist attack! We should move out of the area. This doesn’t look safe.

BC: Terrorist attack?


BC: Oh! I see the confusion

TC: Confusion?!

BC: Yes well, some of the locals are a bit sick and tired of waiting for the rebuilding to start

TC: Meaning?

BC: They lend a hand

TC: Lend a hand?!

BC: You know, with the demolition and the ‘blowing of things up’, as it were. You can’t rebuild unless there’s something destroyed now can you?

TC: Surely Colonel you’re not suggesting that what happened just now was a controlled demolition?

BC: Well, not controlled as such, but it’s ever so hard to communicate when the infrastructure isn’t in place for a cohesive amalgamation of resources and expenditure.

TC: Meaning?

BC: Well, we don’t speak their language.

TC: You can’t be serious

BC: Perfectly serious. We’ve tried asking them to blow up specific things, but they seem to have taken too many lessons from our American Allies and just go ahead and knock down whatever looks out of place.


TC: I think we should leave now

BC: Leave? Just as the training is about to start?

TC: Training? Oh sod this, let’s get going!


BC (SHOUTING): We’re training their army! They haven’t quite got the hang of not shooting at us, but I think it’s just the language problem!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Rifleman in Winter

Corporal Leo Bunin’s breath came out in a cloud in the ice cold air of the Russian winter. He had to constantly move his fingers, the tips of which were not covered by his woollen gloves, incase the skin froze on the metal of his German rifle. It was a fine rifle, one he had found under a body on the decimated outskirts of Stalingrad next to the enormous grain silo. The craftsmanship of the rifle was impressive; it’s wooden stock smooth and polished, the metal seamless. He had fired it three times. He hadn’t hit anything that he had intended to, but Leo was aware of his own capabilities and regarded this as a failure of his own skill as a marksman, rather than the quality of the tool he was using. And it was a tool. If he thought of it as a tool, it made it easier to fire the thing, than if he believed it to be the weapon it was. On the three occasions he had pulled the trigger, a wave of relief passed over him when he missed.

But now he was lining up to shoot the rifle for a fourth time. He was lying on the embankment of a ditch, his left eye closed as he lined the shot, his breathing steadying as he tried to keep still. If it wasn’t for the dreadful cold, it would have been easier to stop his shaking, but his clothes were inadequate to stop it permeating through.
In a copse of trees his target moved. A dear, startled already, by who knows what, was ready to sprint away. He had seconds to shoot before the moment was too late. He squeezed the trigger. A figure dropped from a tree but too late the dear had sprung away deeper into the thick of trees. His bullet must have wildly missed as the man was stood exactly where the dear had been.

“You Russian’s, you know how to cope with the cold. In Germany we don’t get the winters like this. It is hell.” Said Heiko. Leo laughed and bit into the roasted meat. Actual meat! Their combined thinking and organisation had given them a proper meal, and a shelter to keep warm in. In the silence of eating, a Stuka could be heard diving, even from this distance.
“I hate that sound.” Said Heiko. “It scares the hell out of me.”
“That’s what it’s supposed to do. The only thing I’m scared of is everything” he bit into the meat. After a moment he paused in his chewing. “It’s your plane though. Why are you scared?”
“It’s not my plane.”
“It is. German’s built it. You are German.”
“I can just about say I own this watch. But when I am shot, it won’t be my watch. It will be whoever ransacks my corpse. I didn’t make it. Someone who made this has a little bit of ownership in it. But does it matter if he’s German of Russian?”
“If he was Russian it would be worthless! Stuff we make always falls apart!” He laughed and Heiko laughed to. Heiko relaxed warm and full. The fire blazed briefly, throwing sparks into the air like a miniature volcano.
“But that plane. I didn’t make it. I haven’t flown it. I haven’t even seen it.” He craved a cigarette. His full belly would be better for it, he knew. “How do I know who it belongs to? German yes, but not my Germany. Probably never again.”

Monday, November 24, 2008


I went to a boy’s school in Cumbria
It was lovely a place as could be,
Except for the school
With it’s misogynistic rule,
The forced runs, it’s food
And no heating.

I loved the fells and the becks,
And the views that stretch on forever,
Over hill and dale, midst summer or gale
It is beauty irrespective of weather.

But the boys I never did like,
Which inevitably led to many a fight,
So tucked in my room
I’d read through the gloom,
Till I loved thought over fought
beauty over cruelty,
and that which appeared to me true.

So fight if you like,
Mock and make light,
Of everything you see or hear,
But that which is dear
Is a self without fear
Forthright, loving, and kind.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Her Majesty’s Secret Service

‘Listen Agent 0001 your Majesty, we need you for a top secret mission for Queen and country’ said M. Agent 0001 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II took the Marlboro red cigarette, her fiftieth of the day, out of her mouth and flicked it. The cigarette bounced off M’s forehead, spun through the air, out the open window and into the pram of a passing peasant’s baby.
‘M, I’m ready to do my duty for myself and my country.’ Said Her Majesty as she poured herself a double scotch with extra scotch, and topped it up with meths.
‘Shouldn’t you lay off the hard stuff agent 0001? It is six thirty in the morning” said M with concern.
‘Listen M,’ said the Queen angrily, ‘my life, my country, so we’re playing by my rules’ said the Queen as she let off an enormous postern blast of gas. ‘Sorry, I had eggs this morning’ said the Queen.
‘Very well Your Majesty Agent 0001 Queen Elizabeth II, let’s get down to brass tacks’ said M sternly. ‘We need you for a search and destroy mission.’ The Queen looked up from her copy of Private Eye.
‘Is it that bastard Murdoch? Is he using his media mogul power to influence the world into all out nuclear war where he will hide in his secret lair and then return when it’s all over to start a new world order?’
‘Not quite Agent 0001’ said M, ‘it’s far, far worse than that.’

Her Maj slipped her final throwing knife into her hair as a hair pin. Prince Philip was busy gutting a rabbit.
‘Phil, it’s the big one’ she said seriously.
‘Good luck. May the force be with you’ said Prince Philip in his high falsetto voice.
‘I do this for God and King Harry’ said Queenie as she back flipped out the kitchen door, down the corridor, up a flight of stairs, through the state dining room, along another corridor, right, down another corridor, right again, down a flight of stairs, along another corridor, left, more corridor, past the guards, out the front door over a corgi and somersaulted into her souped up Range Rover, through the sun roof.
‘Let’s roll, Fido’ said Agent 0001 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.
‘Woof’ barked the corgi. The air was palpably stuck with seriousness. They both new that today was the day Barrack Obama would die for his evil schemes.

In his office M looked out the window. His eyes were staring at nothing as he thought of the danger the Queen was putting herself into. ‘What a woman’ he thought to himself appreciatively. Osama Bin Laden would soon be a bloody smear on his Welsh cave hideout and the world would be a safer place. Osama Bin Laden, after all this time would finally pay for his crimes.
Suddenly panic gripped him Something wasn’t right. Something deeply, deeply, worryingly, staggeringly, incredibly, amazingly wrong was nagging at his attention. Then it hit him. He lurched from his man size baby high chair and fell on the florr. Picking himself up, he rushed to his desk and started throwing papers all over the place as he looked for the secret mission note from Miss Moneypenny’s replacement.
Eventually he found the note, covered in her familiar green crayon.

Kill obama

My God, thought M. Queenie, Britain’s top secret agent, was going to kill the leader of the free world. He ran through to his receptionist’s room.
‘What have you done?!’ screamed M at his receptionist. Jade Goody looked up vacantly with a great big stupid smile on her fat face.
‘Watcha, how’s it going M? Eh? Like M & M’s your name is but only a half one like low fat M & M’s or something – ‘
‘You’ve gone and told the Queen to kill the wrong person! It was supposed to say Osama Bin Laden. You’ve written Obama you intellectual cripple!’ M was fuming. Damn these Back To Work Schemes. How he wished Miss Moneypenny was here with her style, charisma, sexiness, and above all, an IQ rating bigger than her shoe size.
‘You’re a fucking idiot, Jade Goody’ said M and left her to look at the pictures in her copy of The Beano.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ode to an end to Love

She had big boobs, it’s true,
I loved them,
And that’s why I rue
The day she left,
With her marvellous chest
To live with some guy
From Gloucester.

Friday, November 14, 2008



Rachel, you ain’t got no knees
It’s sad I know but please,
Don’t worry ‘bout having them gone
You sold them, you know that it’s wrong

Oh Rachel you said some stupid things
As you sold that Russian your limbs,
You said you weren’t going to miss ‘em
My friend, she just wouldn’t listen, as we sang


Rachel you ain’t got no knees
Rachel, why did you lease,
Your left leg to a muslim
Your right arm to a Jew,
The Catholic’s an appendix
And the Buddhist’s your poo?
Rachel, Rachel,
your two limbs too few!

Oh kids don’t hawk out your joints
To ASDA for nectar points,
Don’t swap them for cider
Or sell them for a fiver

Or you’ll be like Rachel with two limbs too few!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


They say time heals all: but tonight
The ticking clock hails nothing new,
But endless seconds echoed away 'till five o'clock;
The first timid trace of dawns' dim light.

The air is thick. It doesn't move, but hangs,
just as it does in the light. Theres no difference then
between night and day, no cut off point,
no spiritual sensation of a big bang

To mark something changed. Tomorrow,
The working day will be the same, the coffee,
Idle chatter with the clerk at her desk:
Days marked by an ever deepening sorrow.


Oh Lord, save me from everything iniquitous,

Oh Lord, save me from myself

Save me from Tuesday night’s and sat on the edge of the bed

Staring with existential dread,

Save me from holiday’s
Save me from nothing to do
Save me from TV, coffee, tea & death
Save me from me

Save me from pencil death staring at the whiteboard of eternity
As pencil necked men pencil in pointlessness on the eyelid’s of
Monday morning, face fucked from here to Friday on the back
Of productivity & pro-activity & performance, Oh Lord! Save
Them for they do not know, oh Lord! Save them for they do not see
The words that haunt them are the words that
Blind them, the words that blind them
Are the words of work that blinds and
Haunts them, on Tuesday’s of Huddles at three PM
When the soul is stretched thin over coals
Of scores racked up & spat out & sucked up
Into the vacuum of the Trial of the Castle of
Postmen going postal, of old age and pension
Slips, collected and dejected marching out of
Post offices, unwanted & unloved and hated above &
Below and holed
just there.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Stewart's Diary

I've been keeping a diary for my friend.

I think I need to record for posterity how evil Stewart is.


Day one: Stewart is going to Seville to watch football. He tries to hide the real reason for going, but all his friends know he's going to perv at men in shorts. Stew admitted that he has no time for his friends anymore. It could be because he has AIDS. Stewart incited me to call a work colleague a tramp. Now I have an enemy in the office who tells me to fuck off. I shouldn’t listen to Stewart but I feel obliged to because he has herpes.


Day Two: Stewart is adamant him and jesus are the same. He sent me a picture of a T-Shirt saying Jesus is gay to point out the similarity. I think Stewart would be much happier if he came out of the closet and admitted his religion. He sent me a list of his favourite things today:

Stewart CS: cheese
Stewart CS: poo
Stewart CS: weeeeee

He also admitted that he doesn’t get paid enough or frequently when he said “Stewart CS: i hope we get paid before xmas again this year” as he hasn’t been paid since February and has to eat on peoples charity.


Day Three: Stewart hasn't mailed me yet - the depression caused by the lack of money and having Bad AIDS must have made him even more ill. Poor Stewart, if only someone would give him the break he deserves he could a decent job rather than having to whore himself out to these mysterious events in Tel Aviv, Birmingham and Munich.

Stewart sent me an e-mail, immediately showing his schizophrenic problems by telling me

Stewart GIBCS: mate i am a legend

And he proceeded to continue to claim he is better than Jesus by calling one of His miracles a trick

Stewart GIBCS: not like a water into wine trick

Stewart also told me he wants to write philosophy. However, his intentions are mis-aimed as he told me he is

Stewart GIBCS: contemplating the steak in the fridge.


Day Four: Stewart phoned me and the first word he said was "gay". Maybe he thinks I'm a bit slow, but his hints that he might bat for the other side are blatantly obvious. Stewart’s favourite past-time is knitting. He collects GoodFood magazine – need I say more?


Stew is trying to change me. I pity the fool for his BAD AID's as it makes him take up pointless quests. Today Stew winked at me four times and blew two kisses. I have two witnesses. HE MUST BE STOPPED!!!!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Franz Kafka, Disgruntled Office Worker

Let's face it, he probably was. If you've ever read any of his books, you'll see the obvious parallels: but if he were alive now, I think Franz would be locking and loading and thinking it's time to go postal. I'm writing this because Kafka hit the nail on the head: psychologically the position we are forced to put ourselves into for work is tantamount to indoctrination. Obviously this doesn't apply to everyone, but the average Joe (such as myself) works in an office, hitting buttons and copying/pasting for eight hours a day sat behind a screen that is slowly boiling your eyes, but it's not left that at that. Now you have to live the company, breath in it's acrid air of superiority and kowtow to the machinations of managers and mysterious HR departments without the smallest bit of dialogue interchanged. To be successful in an office now, means foregoing personality for the majority of your life. You can't be to loud, but you have to be a "pro-active communicative member of the team", you have to have constructive input, but it must be praise and not negative (saying that such and such is wrong is frowned upon).
Such as it is, the office presents an irreconcilable dichotomy that cannot be resolved in the psyche. It offers you the chance to express yourself, but that expression must be within the terms that the company wants. Essentially it gives you the illusion of freedom to be who you are, but when you try to get this "out there", the illusion if sadly shattered as your free will is not the companies, but not just on a business sense, but on how you conduct yourself. With such a paradox in place, is it any wonder that stress, anxiety, and depression are now occurring to more people than ever before? Much as K finds himself in a situation where he thinks he is progressing, the illusion is taken away repeatedly, until he (us) questions everything about life and whether we are intrinsically wrong!
Speaking of the office, I better get back to work now. God I hate my job.

Monday, November 3, 2008

My Love for you (Sausage Sandwich) is Like Red Red Ketchup

Oh Sausage sandwich you're devine,
you've got greasy drippings
that feel just fine,
buttery bread, is calorific dread

And oodles of ketchup
like something just dead.
Oh sausage sandwich
clog those artery's

If I'm going to hell,
make mine with seven
before I go I'll be in sausage heaven.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Dirty, Filthy, Sex, With Spurious Terms and Conditions

As the song "The Bad Touch" states, 'You and me baby ain't nothin' but mammals' with 'you' implying a non-specific person with whom one could be having carnal relations with. This song highlights a more simplistic meaning of sexual intercourse, indeed to such a degree as to take it at it's most base raison d'etre. This theory is supported by the reference "So let's do it like they do on the Discovery Channel", which obviously parallels male and female intercourse as nothing more than the animal copulations purportedly shown on the aforementioned TV channel, which for those who haven't seen it, is a documentary Channel on television that in it's previous incarnation had many nature programme's broadcast on it.

Dr. C. George Boeree states "Everything, both good and bad, seems to stem from the expression or repression of the sex drive." Dr. Boeree, in his analysis of Freud's theory of personality formation, relates that good and bad can stem from repression of the sex drive. What the "Bloodhound Gang" are trying to achieve is a freer expression of sexuality, as they implore the listener "...we'll do it doggy style so we can both watch "X-Files", showing that the "doggy style" is fine and not a moral concern, and that sex just to pass the time whilst also watching a programme on television (and therefore not paying careful intimate attention to one's sexual partner) is a fine and wholesome activity. The Bloodhound Gang, in conjunction with Freud's earlier principles, are saying (in loose terms) that base carnal relations with no higher meaning are a healthier release than repressing those desires, which could lead to personality dissorder.

What it also says that an essay can be written about anything, if one's got the boredom only an incredibly tedious office job can create to motivate you!

Friday, October 31, 2008


It's not easy, this business of being attached.
You live your own life, then another to,
from their perspective, the things they do,
feigning care for every little scratch.

To be 'in love' is a heavy heavy price,
your dreams are fucked, they aren't in-line
with the house, the kids, the car. Instead,
you get by on an hour a day

Looking out the window
At a distance of fifteen years.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Leave Taking

I took the train from York,
'12:30 one way please' - the ticket seller nods
and busy's herself with machines.
'Sign here' she pushes through a half biro

Serrated edges broken ridges:
I sign my name and get the train.
We pull out slowly - an inaudible
message is read by the guard

'Leeds at 13:00 next stop Leeds'
as the train gets up speed through the City.
It's not pleasant, travel. People
sit in silent misery

avoiding eyes, too frightened to laugh.
Miles pour by - trees sat by stone walls
Isolated in the bleak pennine hills
squatting against the ferocious wet wind.

Funny how it is, here. Kids are balling
and mums are diffidently patting their cheeks,
youths are sniggering at some empty jibe
and the ticket inspector gets though his job.

All of them huddled trees in the storm.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Recession Of Dead End Job or, the Recession Hit Undertakers

There aren't the bodies like there used to be. Five foot six, look! Ah, back when I was a boy being fitted into coffins by my dear old undertaking dad, he would say "snug?" and before I could whisper a sound booooooooomph! Lid closed and laugh he would, as I as very tall as a boy. Eight foot three then I lost my knees in the war.

Which war?

The war of wounded knee.

Wounded knee? That was a battle

A battle yes, but part two made it a war.

Wars were shorter then.

Like people. People used to be shorter.

I thought they were taller?

Only when kneeling down.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Light Fades

All light fades,
at the end of what was meant to be an eternal day.
You turned, and said 'will this always be true?
This love for me and you?'
I wished it was - us before the great presence,
young, clean limbed and pure,
our meeting the cause of resonance
in hearts less sure and minds less pure,
before this going moment.

'Whats right for us is right for all!'
You exclaimed from the moss strewn rock,
'love is new and love is old,
love is ours at bec and call!'

And the wind howled around us.

The rock doesn't judge,
but the rock says nothing at all,
the rock cares not
nor the wind that howled around.

Stood here now I hear nothing.
The moss has grown, and the rock, some cracks
have etched along it's sides.
The granite doesn't love
but the granite doesn't die,
All light fades.

South Africa Win World Cup

SOUTH AFRICA the indomitable champions of rugby last night celebrated beating a bunch of aged pensioners from England. “We couldn’t have done what we did without the England Coach. His choice of 15 geriatric men from various retirement homes they laughably call rugby clubs, helped us run rings round them” said star Bryan Habana. “I mean Lawrence Dallaglio suffered two mild heart attacks in the second half, he’s that old.”

“They were nearly all older than me” said President Thabo Mbeki. “When you get right down to it, I could have run pass most of the England team. Personally I think Brian Ashton indulged in a spot of grave robbing for the team we beat.”

We traced Brian Ashton down to his Residential Home for Aged Rugby Players (sometimes known as Twickenham) for his view on losing the World Cup. “Experience is what you need to win. I don’t know what went wrong. My team had tons of it. I tried selecting William Webb Ellis but apparently he is dead.” Rumours that Andrew Sheridan had been brought back from the dead to play rugby union were quashed as he stated “I was brought back from rugby league” which is much the same thing according to many union enthusiasts.

“South Africa could beat any team in the world, as long as they are all over 60, come from England, and don’t try and win” said an ecstatic Os Du Randt.
South Africa went on to win the match 16 to 5(strokes).

Ode To An Egg McMuffin

There ain’t nothing like a McMuffin,
An egg one is the best.
But Egg McMuffin’s don’t come for free,
They grow on no known tree

No! They run free on the Serenghetti,
Where they eat spaghetti
And are mown down by Ronald McDonald
When they turn eighteen.

Oh free the Egg McMuffins!
Can’t you see their pain?
They suffer in the Drive thru’,
They suffer on the trays

But one of these days
The Egg McMuffin
Will come at you all crazed!

A Bacon Sandwich Song

Oh Bacon Sandwich you're devine
you make me hungry all the time,
with ketchup you're delightful
and thick bread slices,such a mouthful

Oh bacon sandwich won't you be mine,
I want to eat you all the time,
maybe with an egg or two who knows?
I'd rather have you than a date
If it wasn't wrong I'd masturbate!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Anger Managing my Manager in Spain

It's that lovely time of the week again, where inside I am slowly dying by degrees. This morning was such a colossal upheaval in my weekend rested constitution, that I felt slightly nauseous. I located my flip flops and managed to struggly out of the seemingly bottomless pits of my bed. I fed the cat, tipping small poo like pellets all over the kitchen floor. Grabbing a towel from the linen closet, I managed to stumble into the shower to find out I had run out of gas. This won't be a normal event for many people back in Britain, as I believe, all houses have gas coming through lovely pipes in the ground. Things just work. I need hot water. Turn tap. Hot water pours forth. Civilisation achieved, hurrah! But not so here in Andalucia. Oh no no no no no!
Andalucia is in southern Spain. It's famous as the heartland of what tourists imagine as traditional Spain: Bullfighting, Flamenco and paella. If you come here, what you will find, mor likely than not, is just under a million ex-pats crowded along the horrendous motorway-cum-seaside corridor that stretches between Malaga and very nearly Gibraltar. The regional emblem seems to be the crane, builders seem to be a race all of their own, and "we speak English" seems to be the most predominant name for shops. British style pubs are everywhere, and sunburn is the most popular fashion accesory.
So if you hate all that, you can head out into old Andalucia - the Spanish Andalucia where you will see men it exceedingly tight trousers manfully avoiding hernia's whilst terrorising an animal for no apparent reason. The Spain where Flamenco is bravely listened too by people who have never heard of hearing imparement. The Spain of food chucked into an enormous vat and laughingly called cooked, dumped onto a plate and given to you under the pseudonym paella. Paella, I am coming to believe, means "leftovers". Andalucia is timeless, so timeless they haven't changed the name since the Moors were chased out of Spain and the Jews persecuted in what looks like the greatest dent of Medieval intellectual barbarity managed.
Andalucia is so timeless it's gas comes in bottles delivered to houses by a man who only turns up when you are at work: who beats an empty gas bottle with a crow bar to alarm everyone into acknowledging the gas man's existence, and who subsequently takes all your money and has no change. Bastards.
I'm sure Andalucia is lovely. Infact, I know in some parts it is. But today is Monday, and Monday is the devil's work!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Love in a Time of Dog's Barking in a Godless Night

As a "new person", I'm quite attracted by the idea of writing something immensly attention grabbing and thoroughly interesting. Unfortunately, I don't have the slightest iota of an inkling of a clue how to go about doing this, and so I'm probably just going to bore your ever so slightly dirty pants off of you.

Perusing this blogsite (or whatever you call it) this morning sat at my desk, in my office, needless to say losing the will to live and trying to end it all with a caffeine overdose, I came across something that has made me join this site purely because of the amount of humour that has been instigated by it. It is, without much further ado, "The Top 100 Right-Wing Blogs" list. Fascinating. "The Top 100 Right-Wing Blogs" list? It's a stupendous idea for a "top of" collection because it begs so many questions, such as how and why? How do you characterise what a good right-wing blog is? Is this blog a little too lenient against immigrants? This blog has plenty of reference to Hitler, I think 3rd place easily. First place would have to go to someone who thought he is the Aryan race and thereby wants to exterminate in finest Dalek tradition, everyone.

I was only slightly dissapointed when I found out that most blogs and top lists thereof are based on amount of viewings. Gutted, to put none too fine a point to it. What would a weak contender's piece have said if it had been judged and not quantified on views? "Lately I have been getting slightly irate with my next door neighbour. Apparently he is not from round these parts and doesn't like football. I most heartily disagree with such people being allowed to live in Stoke-Newington when they should obviously all be somewhere else more horrible, like Liverpool."

I myself am of the right leaning persuasion, and believe in a strong state protecting our heritage and national interests, but I don't believe that anyone should be excluded from being British and residing in this country on grounds of such ridiculous concepts that religion and race have bugger all to do with being British. Because, let's face it, they don't. As Bill Bailey states, when push comes to shove most people, when asked, will put their religion as "Jedi". So unless Gordon Brown has a black plastic suit, cape, mask, and a breathing problem...