The dogs bark, but the caravan has moved on
IT’S THE first day of the school holidays and a pall of black smoke hangs over the fields as the amateur arsonists get to work on the newly-built haystacks.
Inside the house, I am shouting at the wireless. You see, I listen to The Archers Omnibus on a Sunday morning. It’s a simple pleasure, and one which keeps me away from the Chardonnay bottle until at least 11.15am.
But some idiot at Radio 4 (and there must be plenty to go at) has decided that what this mainstay of British broadcasting really needs is some of those television-type trailers which reveal upcoming storylines. Hence, six full days before I’ll actually listen to it, I already know that the runaway Ed Archer, whose disappearance has sustained the plot for many weeks, has turned up in Borchester General Hospital.
This simply isn’t good enough. At the time of writing, I still don’t know who’s won the Ambridge Vegetable Olympics, and I won’t until about 10.15 on Sunday morning. Now that keen anticipation has been ruined, leapfrogged even, by the actions of a thoughtless minion at Broadcasting House. I would write to my MP if he hadn’t just started his 78-day holiday.
SPEAKING OF which, if you’re driving towards the Channel ports next week and you find yourself held up by a 23ft Bailey Pageant Champagne caravan driven by an 80-year-old man wearing a Che Guevara T-shirt and a Russian fur hat, be warned.
Do what you usually do and overtake on a blind bend while hurling abuse and empty Red Bull cans at the vehicle and you could find yourself looking down the barrel of a Heckler and Koch MP5 machine gun. Because Margaret Beckett is going on holiday and she’s taking the Special Branch with her.
I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a dafter story. While the world burns, the Foreign Secretary and her resolutely Old Labour husband Leo are refusing to forego their traditional holiday and are heading off on a caravan tour of France. Given the current political tensions, I think we have to agree that Mrs Beckett may well be a terrorist target. We also then have to agree that she requires some degree of protection.
This means the ludicrous situation whereby at least four armed spooks will have to go with her, presumably tagging along in a caravan of their own. With gun turrets on the roof and those special wheels with spikes on that James Bond had on his car.
And that’s just what you need when you’re staggering bleary-eyed across a damp field alongside the N10 on the way to your morning ablutions – a man in a black balaclava laying trip wires across the entrance to the toilet block.
TWO VALLEYS away from my palatial estate is a windfarm. Well, not so much a windfarm as a single wind turbine. It is often turned off because the wind is too strong (no, really), and when it is operating it emits a high-pitched whine, much like the weird-bearded, sacking-clad lentil-eaters who campaigned for its erection.
As with many things environmental, it’s a complete charade. Stuck on a hillside towering over a pretty little village, it doesn’t actually produce enough electricity to power the light in my fridge, but it serves to assuage the middle class Lefty consciences of the kind of people who can afford to live there. It’s gesture politics of the worst possible kind.
Which brings me to Richard Chartres, the Bishop of London, who waited until the start of the school holidays to blithely announce that “flying abroad for a foreign holiday is a sin against the planet”.
The Bish refers, of course, to the damage caused to the environment by the massive increase in cheap flights. Now I’m not an expert in ecumenical events, but isn’t this the same bloke who accepted a freebie cruise around the Med last Easter? When, presumably, he flew there and back?
So where does blatant hypocrisy come on the tariff of mortal sins then?
NOW THIS may seem a little harsh, but why is every pilot who crashes their plane – often fatally - automatically accorded hero status?
“He steered it away from the primary school”, goes the mantra. “Without his bravery, hundreds could have died.”
Well, to a point. Have you ever been up in a light aircraft? Or a balloon? Look down and you will see green fields – hundreds and hundreds of square miles of them. In fact, spotting a primary school amid this green and pleasant landscape and then successfully crashing a plane into it would be a feat of flying prowess worthy of a space shuttle pilot.
Still, I suppose it gives them something to talk about at the funeral.
I’M NOT sure that Vauxhall have got their advertising strategy right when it comes their latest ubiquitous television commercial.
What are they saying? Buy a Zafira and your kids will grow up fat and Northern? Unless you want your child to carve out a career touring working men’s clubs telling jokes, is that really a good selling point? Oh, and suicide bombers will move in next door and scatter broken china on your lawn ...
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 moaning that their runner beans haven't set, of anyone bothering to water the lawn with bath water when Mr Blah's gardener has been caught red-handed with a hosepipe, or of anyone who rushed out and bought an air conditioning unit in the mistaken belief that this is the Ballearics, not Britain.