Wednesday, August 10, 2005

American jets bombed our Scout hut

I HAVE MANY claims to fame, only a few of which can be safely mentioned in a family newspaper.

I’ve eaten beans on toast with Wayne Fontana of the Mindbenders in a TV studio canteen, I’ve been visited in hospital by Sir Matt Busby when I had appendicitis at the age of 14, and I had lunch with John Major the day before he was due to lose the 1992 General Election by a country mile (and then cleaned up at the bookies after he showed me the private poll returns that had him as a clear winner).

But this I have never before confessed: I was in the Boy Scouts with Colonel Gaddafi.

Now don’t laugh. We didn’t exactly know at the time that we were dib-dib-dobbing with a future dictator. All we knew is that Brown Owl introduced a little Arab boy called Muammar one Tuesday night and asked us to look after him. Being good Boy Scouts (albeit the inner city variety) we embraced him to our collective bosom, picked his pocket of his weekly subs and sent him down to the off licence for five Park Drive and a pint of loose sherry. Funnily enough, he always had the best uniform.

Given that we were what could be described as a fundamentalist troop (the 1908 edition of Scouting For Boys was our bible) it is no surprise that little Muammar fitted right in. And a damn fine Scout he became, especially when it came to camping.

When most of the troop were huddling cold and damp under a ragged piece of canvas laughingly described as a “tent”, and pumping desperately at a mediaeval primus stove in a doomed attempt to fry perpetually-raw sausages, Muammar’s patrol luxuriated in a Bedouin-style marquee with fitted carpets, throw cushions, visiting belly dancers, an endless supply of mint tea and a kebab machine.

True, there were concerns when he spent one bob-a-job week’s takings on buying Armalites for his “family” in Dublin, but his perfect performance in his Air Spotter’s badge (speciality subject “Boeing 747 flight paths over southern Scotland”) soon won over any doubters. In the end we were sad to see him go, but when American jets bombed our scout hut, enough was enough.

So it was nice to see that the Colonel has acknowledged his debt to suburban society and Lord Baden-Powell in his soon-to-be-published autobiography. I only hope that he doesn’t hold a grudge about that the Chinese Burn I gave him during an over-exuberant game of British Bulldog.

OF COURSE, this country has a long tradition of training future dictators and imbuing in them a love of our traditions. It is well known that Idi Amin was a star at Sandhurst, but what is less well known is that he was a fanatical Manchester United fan who regularly used to stand in the Stretford End watching George Best and Denis Law. (Ask some of United’s older hooligans and they will recall in awe some of Idi’s terrace antics.)

And we maintain that stance today. Not only were most of the alleged Tube Bombers happily living on state benefits, but we also shelled out to send them on a publicly-funded white water rafting course where they clearly wiled away the twilight hours by discussing how to assemble household explosives.

All those Abu Handsfree characters that Mr Blah is threatening to deport (yeah, right) seem to have more handouts flowing in than the average family of Scousers. (Although given their customary missing limbs, it must be difficult to turn down their disability benefit.)

I think the point I am trying to make is that we have always welcomed immigrants from every nation and have extended to them not just the hand of friendship, but allowed them access to some of this country’s finest institutions. It would be nice to think that they might repay us with gratitude, rather than gelignite.

ISN’T IT time we gave up on the Space Shuttle programme? It can’t be much fun driving round and round the Earth in a clapped-out equivalent of a 1979 Ford Capri held together with sticky tape and chewing gum.

And what was all that nonsense about them not being able to land because it was raining? This is a spaceship we’re talking about. It is full of computers. They’re hardly going to be peering through a set of squeaking windscreen wipers with their headlights on full beam trying to spot something that looks like America, are they?

Mind you, they did have a woman driver in charge and, given the age of some of the astronauts, it’s a fair bet that her co-pilot was wearing a brown trilby and had a tartan travel rug over his legs. It’s just a good job they got them down before they ran out of travel sweets.

Dan Dare never had these problems.

YOU MAY have noticed that last week a gentleman called Jonathan Morton was jailed for seven years for the manslaughter of his wife, whose body has never been found.

So what, I hear you say. Another jobless scrote strangles his dole scum missus in a spat over where the next bottle of cheap wine is coming from. Ah, but Mr Morton is a millionaire architect and as we all know, millionaires don’t go to jail easily.

More importantly, there didn’t seem to be a single shred of evidence that Mr Morton actually killed his wife. Yes, he knocked her about a bit, but then who doesn’t administer the Fist of Matrimony in extreme circumstances?

It has long been an Englishman’s right to murder his wife as long as her body never turns up. It’s enshrined in Magna Carta. We know it, the cops know it, the courts know it. Pig farmers nationwide who take unexpected “deliveries” late at night know it. It’s like a great game. But now something has changed. I blame Europe. And Mrs Blah.

This is no laughing matter. Consider this: your missus runs off with an Polish masseur she’s met at the local health spa, never to be seen again. Her whining sister, who’s never liked you since you passed water in the spare bedroom wardrobe one Christmas, shops you to the police citing years of alleged physical and mental abuse. (For Christ’s sake, it’s called getting married.)

Next thing you know you’re banged up in chokey with a 20-stone cellmate who wears mascara and makes Big Brother’s Craig look butch. Call that justice? I don’t.

O The views of Mr Beelzebub are purely personal and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Editor or staff of this website, of anyone who doesn’t want to stick needles in Craig’s eyes, of anyone who won’t be voting for Eugene on Friday night, or of anyone who can explain that if the Big Brother housemates are existing on a food budget of £1 a day, how come Makosi’s backside is now the size of the Albert Hall?


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