Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Why we're all going to be as sick as a parrot

WE’RE ALL doomed. And we’re all going to die. Well, we are if you believe what you read in the papers.

Apparently Bird Flu is going to sweep the country causing the deaths of anywhere from 50,000 to five million people, depending on which rag you read. It matters not to the scaremongers that so far only 60 people worldwide have actually died from the bug, and that most of those only caught the disease because they had sex with chickens. (And anyway, wouldn’t bird flu only affect women?)

No, like BSE and CJD, which were predicted to wipe out at least 100,000 Brits a year (actual fatalities since 1990 – 107), a good pandemic trades of the fears of all those people who clog up doctors’ surgeries every time they get a runny nose.

My top medical expert (Doctor Chris of GMTV’s Good Morning) assures me there is nothing to worry about as long as I keep myself regular but the government, ever conscious of its self-preservation, has popped down to the chemists and ordered 14.6 million doses of the anti-viral drug that treats bird flu, enough for a quarter of the population. And no guessing which quarter of the population that will be.

MPs will get it (but not members of the opposition), the Royal Family, the police, the judiciary, and various other “key workers” – it’s the Turkey Army again folks. And don’t think you’ll be able to rampage through Boots to grab your own dose of life-saving vaccine. Plans are already in place for armed guards to protect the stockpiles of drugs.

There’s something very spooky about all this. That George Orwell bloke knew what he was talking about.

OF COURSE the destruction of Aardman Animation’s warehouse is a national tragedy, although the loss of the entire cast of Chicken Run – Feathers McGraw included – might help us stave off the advance of bird flu. But I ask you, what do you expect when you let your dog make the morning toast?

Also melted from the memory is Morph, the plasticine playboy of the Take Hart series. I was a devotee, along with the rest of us of a certain age. But sadly I still bear a grudge against Mr Tony Hart, the eponymous presenter.

Why couldn’t the miserable bastard return those pictures we sent in for display in The Gallery? Didn’t he realise how long it took to compose that portrait of Mrs Thatcher made entirely from pine cones and glitter? Is this what we pay our licence fee for?

BACK TO 1984. It emerged at the weekend that as part of Mr Blah’s drive to restore “respect” to British society, entire families could be rounded up, expelled from the homes they own and banged up on special estates of “neighbours from hell”.

I don’t think I’ve heard of anything so preposterous since his daft plan to make drunks and brawlers pay on-the-spot fines by marching them to the nearest cash machine. (Do you know anyone who’s ever had one? Have you ever heard of anyone getting one? Of course not. It was all nonsense from the start.)

Now I’m all for rounding up tattooed scrotes with ASBOs who are abusing their gift of free council housing and confining them in modern-day concentration camps, but property owners? How does that work then? Who gets the confiscated house? One of NuLabour’s “key workers”? In fact forget about 1984; this is far more like 1938.

IT APPEARS that we must celebrate National John Peel Day. What’s that all about then?

We don’t have a national Nelson Day or Churchill Day. Why should we have a day dedicated to the memory of a monotoned miserablist, most of whose broadcasting was utterly unlistenable?

Those poor Scousers won’t know whether they’re coming or going. They’ve only just finished mourning Mr Peel’s passing in the first place. On top of that it’s also the first anniversary of the demise of Ken Bigley and Emlyn Hughes. Don’t expect Liverpool’s match on Saturday to kick off before six o’clock at the earliest. On Sunday.

WE RETURN, regrettably, to the Turkey Army. It comes to something when the people in charge of creating all these public sector jobs don’t even recognise the jobs they’ve created.

Step forward, Mr Kevin Mitchell, leader of Oxfordshire County Council, who was browsing his organisation’s website when he came across an advert for a “Corporate Social Inclusion Manager” at the not inconsiderable salary of £55,000 per annum.

Slightly baffled by the ridiculous PC job title, he read on: “This is an outstanding opportunity to make a major contribution to policy implementation, performance monitoring and service development. You will be able to maintain an effective balance between support, challenge and influence and be persuasive with senior managers whilst maintaining their confidence.”

Not surprisingly, Mr Mitchell couldn’t work out what the job actually was, nor discover a need for such an appointment, so he made his feelings known and the vacancy was soon removed from the website. But Tony’s soldiers are made of sterner stuff.

Two days later it was back, with the word “corporate” removed and at a slightly lower salary, alongside adverts for “reimbursement administrators” and “human resources assistants”.

Mr Mitchell may have won a small battle, but only one side is going to win this war.

NOW THIS is fun. Connect to the internet (if you’re old or Welsh, get someone to do it for you) and go to

Search for a random name, then make a note of the address. Go to the Post Office (if you can find one) and purchase one of the new 68 pence stamps. Then stick it on a blank postcard and send it to the aforementioned address.

It’s not often we beat Australia to The Ashes, and we shouldn’t let them forget it too soon.

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 tries to explain away the crack cocaine buried in their backyard by blaming it on drug-crazed squirrels, of anyone who doesn’t burst out laughing at a posse of ramblers carrying those Nordic walking pole thingies, or of anyone who can explain to me why every scrote couple appearing on daytime telly has one person carrying a disability benefit stick and the other one collecting cash as their “carer”. And they’re always pissed. At 10am, for God’s sake. That doesn’t come cheap, let me tell you.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, I tried that thing with the Aussies Bazza. I chose a name and place at random giving me list of candidates. There was a little map symbol, so out of curiosity I followed the link. Lucky ex-con lives in a pleasant, leafy suburb north of Sydney, next to the golf-course and quarter of a mile from the beach. Suddenly winning the Ashes doesn't make me feel quite so superior!

12:36 PM  
Blogger BarryBeelzebub said...

Snakes, spiders and Dame Edna as a cultural icon?

If you're that keen, I'll give you the tenner for your boat fare.

3:52 PM  
Blogger phatbobsmate said...

in the words of pythons holy grail - its a sign!
Could it not have been the case that the melt down of one tiny morph person have led us to forsee the melt down of them there chickens. Is this how were to control bird flu. Or was this an attack by the loony animal rights plastercine fringe group?

10:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Is it me or are you still stuck in the seventies, you seem to work a three day week.

Your as hard working as those leather elbow padded unionised asses we call "Public Servants"!

You lucky toad - I`m still stuck here on a 40hour week, bring back hanging then I can cull my boss arf.

7:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Malcontents, and childish appeasement. Just a comment but Morph represented ethnic diversity with his mate Chaz (who he made). Seemed simple enough when I was a nipper. I've since discovered that Chorlton and teh Wheelies was a "front" for the National Front. No wonder I don't have a clue.

9:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I prefer to think the cast of Chicken run secretly emigrated to avoid the threatened Bird Flu epidemic, and the warehouse job was a cover for their escape!

10:03 AM  

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