Peter York on Ads: Trust Shakespeare to cover your car in glory

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Joan blames liberal do-gooders and the liberal chattering classes; in fact, all kinds of liberals who've reneged on traditional values, despised our great men and women of history, and talked-down the huge benefits the British Empire had given to so many darker people. She cited Mayor Giuliani and his reassertion of traditional values through "zero tolerance". That had silenced liberals, which was a good thing in itself.

I suggest she goes to Hastings. What town symbolises better the English spirit? Early resistance to the French. A once-thriving fish trade. Seafront hotels. An Old Town. Just the kind of name to use for a recently-formed IT-based discount insurance company serving the more mature, Blitz spirit-loving members of society and headquartered in Bexhill-on-Sea.

Here's a puzzled man looking through a local directory wondering who he calls for the best deal on car insurance, when up pops an animated knight from the pages and says: "Call me, Harry Hastings." Now that's a masterstroke, even better than Alexander Armstrong (Zander to his friends) conflating Shakespeare and geography, touching your most sacred spots. Harry - voiced by someone sounding vaguely like Stephen Fry at first, but isn't - flies out in a 1920s-ish sports car, wearing chain mail.

Apparently, four out of five applicants could save with Hastings - up to £226 - according to independent research. This sort of thing - animated knights, discount insurance, seafront hotels, Shakespearian references, and Joan herself - remind you what it is to be English. Hastings's main competitors in the discount auto-insurance market, incidentally, are called Admiral and Churchill.

Peter@sru.co.uk

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