Our contributors predict fireworks tonight

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The Independent Culture
..IT'S GUY Fawkes Night tonight, so I hope you will all be extra careful with your fireworks. No reason not to have fun, of course, but every reason to take precautions. That's why this year there is a public campaign to raise firework safety awareness, which I subscribe to, and many public figures have made their own personal statements in connection with safety on this festive day. In order to help all I can, I am bringing you today just a few of these personal firework mission statements from the celebrities connected with the cause. Please listen to what they have to say.

General Augusto Pinochet: Buenas tardes, amigos. You know, it is a very interesting story, this story of Mr Guy Fawkes and his friends who try to burn down your Parliament. We too in my country have desperate people who try to topple the government, so I was interested to find out how you dealt with Mr Fawkes and his follow plotters, and I am surprised to learn that you tortured them, and then put them to death. Why am I surprised? Because I thought you were against all that sort of thing! What a surprising nation you are.

Jeffrey Archer: Get your lovely fireworks here! Lovely fireworks, cheapest in the street! Come on, ladies, buy your fireworks from honest Jeff! Did they fall off the back of a lorry? Is the Pope an Italian? Same fireworks as to be used in next year's mayoral ceremony!

Greg Dyke: I'm afraid there won't be any fireworks at the BBC this year. We used to have our own successful firework department, but it was sold off by the accountants. Now we buy in fireworks from outside contractors at a rate I consider exorbitant. So no fireworks this year. Next year, maybe. At the moment the place is in a complete mess. But I blame absolutely nobody for this.

Robin Cook: There is only thing that you really have to bear in mind when dealing with fireworks. Remember, if you are selling fireworks to other people, always get a written undertaking that they are to be used only for training purposes, for defence or for straightforward traffic control. That way, if anyone does get hurt you can always duck responsibility.

Delia Smith: Today I am going to tell you how to make a very basic firework...

General Augusto Pinochet again: Yes, hello, me again. One more thing I wanted to say about Guy Fawkes. You know I was saying just now that 400 years ago you were torturing and burning troublemakers? Well, people have said to me, OK, maybe, but that was 400 years ago! Now we are different. So I say to them, OK, when you have Guy Fawkes night, today, what do you do with the model of Guy Fawkes on the bonfire? And they say, well, we burn him. And I say - you see? Nothing has changed! That's all. Have fun, amigos!

Tony Blair: The polls have consistently shown that over 65 per cent of people in this country expect to be hit by a firework before they die, and are in favour of banning them. I therefore aim to introduce a Bill into this Parliament to make hunting animals with fireworks by hereditary peers illegal. If that doesn't boost my popularity ratings, I don't know what will. Byeee!

The Archbishop of Canterbury: You know, I sometimes think fireworks are a bit like humans. Up, up, they go, desperate to reach heaven, but they never make it, do they? I think that's because they're trying to do it unassisted. But with our Lord's help we can all reach heaven. Except fireworks, of course.

Julian Clary: Actually, I get really depressed by watching fireworks. Up goes this fantastic rocket, and a moment later down comes this shrivelled little stick. It's the story of my life.

Prince Charles: Did you know that the minute quantities of ash produced by each firework on 5 November form a cloud of pollution that takes a month to disperse? It's a horrifying thought. And, of course, all that filth doesn't vanish - it just gets shunted on to the Third World. So this year, remember, don't get nasty old environment-hostile fireworks. Get Highgrove Organic Rockets!

Janet Street-Porter: Trouble is, all fireworks are aimed at the young, and youth culture. I now think that is a great mistake. I think you can produce intelligent fireworks for intelligent people. Mark you, I've no idea how. Any ideas?

Gerry Adams: We don't have fireworks in Belfast. Why should we? We've got the real thing.

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