Friday, March 17, 2006

Reconstituted vegetable matter

DESPITE THE existence of some open prisons in this country that make Butlins look like Abu Ghraib, I can’t imagine that life in Belmarsh maximum security jail is a bundle of laughs.

Even so, I always thought that we treated our prisoners fairly and compassionately. Apparently not. The shocking news emerged this week that the preacher of religious hatred, Abu Hamza, has gone on hunger strike after being fed every day with … wait for it … Pot Noodles.

Now I don’t know whether poor old Captain Hook has been stuck on a diet of Bombay Bad Boys or given the decidedly nasty “Seedy Sanchez” Mexican variety, but a clearer example of man’s inhumanity to man would be hard to find. I should imagine Cherie Blah is winging her way to the prison as I write, with her “How to cash in on compo” manual already turned to the relevant page.

But what do you feed a bloke with a hook? Soup is a bit of a non-starter (did you see what I did there?) and mince would be problematic. If the authorities aren’t going to equip the old boy with one of those Swiss Army-type attachments with a spoon and a device for removing stones from suicide bombers’ hooves, then I’m afraid he’s going to have to survive on things like onion rings, doughnuts and Hula Hoops.

ANOTHER SIGN of the imminent breakdown of society as we know it came with the shock announcement this week that the manufacturers of Marmite are to abandon the brown glass jar in favour of an upside-down, plastic, squeezable container.

If there isn’t a law against this, there damn well should be. Marmite is not, by any stretch of the imagination, “squeezable”. It is the wrong consistency. And that means that they’re going to have to meddle with the recipe, or it simply won’t emerge from the container.

And who in their right mind would want to “squeeze” Marmite anyway? Marmite has to be carefully smeared, to near aerospace industry-tolerances, if it is to be edible. Apply it to a butty as you would tomato sauce and you’ll be watery-eyed for a week. They wouldn’t even feed that to Abu Hamza.

Something must be done. One by one our cultural and culinary icons are being eroded by the mad modernisers. Heinz Baked Beans are under attack from the significantly inferior Branston’s, the ill-mannered chav of the haricot world. Only last week I struggled to find a jar of Sandwich Spread in a supermarket. We need action now to prevent Fray Bentos tinned pies and butterscotch Angel Delight going the same way.

THE GOVERNMENT has published its White Paper on the role of the BBC, with Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell (she’s back on the market, lads, and she’s loaded) announcing that the licence fee would remain as the “least worst” way to fund the corporation. Well that’s alright then.

“Least worst”? Is that now the standard of thinking in this administration? Ms Jowell (38-28-36; likes Pina Coladas and getting caught in the rain) also revealed that “entertainment should remain at the heart of the BBC”. Well that’s a blessing as well. What else could have been? Coal-mining? Pot Noodle production?

Of course, it depends what you mean by “entertainment”. I’m not sure I can stand many more Saturday nights of Ready Steady Pop Idol On Ice. What I want are magic moments like that baby elephant getting lost and wandering off into the desert. (Yes, I too had to dash out to make the tea to preserve my manly dignity.)

Or more of Yogi, the only sane chocolate Labrador in the world, who starred throughout last weekend’s Crufts coverage as the companion of a little disabled kid. (He even took his socks off for him. As an overweight and often befuddled middle-aged man, I think a dog that takes your socks off for you would make an ideal Christmas present.)

And I tell you what else we want – an apology. Despite being lavishly funded by public money and despite having enough dosh to “poach” Davina Thingy and Graham Norton on mega-bucks contracts, no-one has ever explained why the pictures we all sent in to the Vision On gallery couldn’t be returned. Why not? It’s not exactly rocket science is it, you mealy-mouthed tightwads.

FURTHER EVIDENCE that most of that extra money allegedly pumped into the NHS has gone on pen-pushers rather than medical staff: A hospital in North Staffordshire plans to make 1,000 workers redundant after running up debts of £17million.

Remarkably, the bloke in charge of doing this was on the radio the other morning insisting that frontline medical services won’t be affected and that the number of doctors and nurses getting the boot would be kept to a minimum – perhaps only a quarter of those going.

It doesn’t take a financial genius to ask just what those other 750 staff were actually doing if their departure is going to have no impact on the efficiency of the operation. Perhaps we’ve uncovered the North Staffs brigade of Mr Brown’s Turkey Army.

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's borrowed £14 million off someone and now can't sort out their peerage, of anyone who's not been completely put off lesbian porn by the thought of that Sonia woman out of EastEnders, or of anyone who's ever accepted £2,000 for a week's work and then runs around moaning that their head is now three times the size it should be.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


You missed a Golden [Wonder] opportunity - How does Abu Hamza wipe his bum??? I think we should be told!!!

1:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

With the other hand - DUH!!!!!!!!!!!!

2:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I thought he had a brace of hooks? Perhaps he has a Black & Decker loo roll attachment for one and a wiping attachment for the other - that'd work!

3:00 AM  
Blogger The Weardale Militia said...

Nay lad have you seen the price of Pot Noodles. I was down at the local village shop some weeks ago and at the princely sum of 80 pence I could indulge in a Pot Noodle. Nay lad we can only have these things for Xmas if we are lucky. I sometimes think Mrs Grabitall at the village shop takes advantage of us poor country folks but she is waging her one-woman crusade against multi mega hyper-stores and the seedier express shops affiliated with them. In order to fund this Crusade it costs a little more.

But I digress. Pot Noodles are very expensive so ex bouncer Ababubu Hamza is being spoilt. There are cheaper instant noodles on the market and he should be getting them instead. What about Donner Kebabs ???. Mrs Grabitall sells a fine Cumberland sausage which is easily skewered.

I would think sending a couple of pots to Ready Steady Cook would be a good idea. I have seen Mr A Harris on the neighbours TV and the things he can do with half a potato, a mushroom and a chicken wing beggar belief. Methinks a savoury Pot noodle Vol au Vent with a light Brie Sauce may work.

Better still send the Pot Noodles to me and I will send a Fray Bentos pie. My pies have the ring pull lid on top, no problem there.

3:10 AM  
Blogger BarryBeelzebub said...

Ainsley? He's a better cook than a boxer.

11:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No brace of hooks I'm afraid,In Afghanistan, he sustained the injuries to his hand and eye - apparently clearing landmines for the Mujahideen.
Don't know about anyone else but a job as a Landmine Clearer seems to be less hazardous than having to consume Pot Noodles or getting £2000 for you vital organs shutting down.

12:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Anonymous" is wrong. Quote from Wikipedia: "Abu Hamza lost both his hands and the use of his left eye at some point during the 1990s, and now uses a distinctive hook as his right hand. He claims to have lost his hands and eye as the result of helping clear land mines in Afghanistan left behind by the Soviet Union. Some dispute this claim and offer alternative theories, including that his hands may have been cut off as punishment for theft in Saudi Arabia.[5]. There is also a theory that he received the injuries when a bomb he was making unexpectedly exploded."

3:26 AM  
Blogger said...

Anonymous said...

How does Abu Hamza wipe his bum???

No doubt a publicly funded "anal hygiene technician" is being provided for him.

No expense spared, natch.

3:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's right tell me I'm wrong and Wikipedia is right - yet I quoted from the BBC:

10:35 AM  
Blogger BarryBeelzebub said...

FreeBritannia is closer to the truth than anyone would like to admit.

3:15 PM  
Anonymous tc said...

So would this be a halal turkey army anal hygiene technician then?

4:39 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we should arrange for Capn Hook to burgle Tony Martin's place - that'd sort him out for good!

5:19 AM  
Anonymous Mark T said...

don't joke, I'm sure there IS someone to wipe his bum. It was a story a couple of years ago

5:46 AM  
Blogger rincewind said...

Apparently,these johnnie foriegner god-botherer types wipe their bums left handed, and also without the aid of bogroll. I bet when they get realy good, they can also whistle at the same time....
credit where it's due!

10:50 AM  

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