Nuisance caller: getting in with the Euro-sceptics

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"Hi. Is that the European Foundation? I want to make a donation. How do I go about that?"

"We welcome donations in all shapes and sizes. You'd be amazed how every little helps. Every donation, no matter how big or small, gets a personal reply from Bill Cash."

"I've read all about the withdrawal of funding by Sir James Goldsmith. Shocking."

"That particular donation has been replaced - one down, one in. Jimmy Goldsmith was giving money to this organisation long before his Referendum Party was started."

"They're forever scrutinising who is funding you. It shouldn't matter if Colonel Gadaffi was giving you money."

"It's a free society. One good thing is that we now have financial backing from Baroness Thatcher. In the Conservative Party she is seen as the high priestess."

"I think she's a bit out of touch actually. Slightly batty."

"I take on board what you say."

"Well, I'm all for supporting you. What exactly is it that you do?"

"It's all explained in the European Journal. To subscribe costs pounds 20 a year. Aims and objectives include to increase co-operation between independent sovereign states and the European Community and to resist by all lawful democratic means all the moves tending towards the the European Federal or Unitary State..."

"This country was great once, and it's gone wrong because little Johnny Foreigner has been telling us what to do since we joined the Common Market."

"You've been converted."

"I've got something particular I want to donate. A crate of seaside rock. You could send it on to Jacques Santer, with instructions as to where he can stick it."

"Very good. Absolutely. Send it in."

"Up your arse, Jacques."

"Quite."

"What else do you need? I've got a load of old British beef that I've been saving up for a rainy day. You could dump it outside the French Embassy."

"Right. I'm not sure about that. We'll take the rock. We wouldn't want to handle the beef."

"The beef is imminent. If you're going to act on it, it needs to be done soon, because it's going off."

"We will act on the rock."

"I'll bring it round with a Union Jack draped over the box. You don't want the beef?"

"No. Just the rock. That will be super. Thank you."

JOHN HAINE

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