Campbell, Blunkett and Fayed join the playground skipping circle

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The Independent Online
Doctor, doctor,

Spin me a line.

If I'm ill,

Tell me I'm fine.

Say the same thing

If I'm dyin',

Spin me a line.

JUST ONE of the many modern playground rhymes which seem to be based on modern political reality, as I have found out in my rhyme-collecting in schools round the country. Some of the Labour spin-doctors are even mentioned by name in the odd verse, as in this one:-

Dr Campbell went for a ramble

In a shower of rain.

He shouted and raved

Till the weather behaved

And it never rained again.

It seems extraordinary that Alastair Campbell's legendary rudeness should have percolated through to school children, though it seems to show that education gets through somehow. Indeed, children have their own views on education, as this skipping rhyme demonstrates:-

Homework at morning

Homework at night.

All this homework

Can't be right.

Try this homework

On David Blunkett,

If HE can't do it

We'll just junk it.

I mentioned yesterday a short rhyme about London's new mayor, which prompted one reader to send me this, heard at her local school:-

Oh, who will be boss of London town?

Who will be mayor when the chips are down?

"I," said Ken, "I am the man.

I can rule London if anyone can.

For I was head of the GLC

And everyone remembers me!"

"I," said Jeff, "So please give me

My last chance to make history!

For I was head of the Tory party

And I am rich, and my wife is arty ..."

But when Ken and Jeff had had their say Everybody looked the other way.

All on the left avoided Ken's eye.

All on the right whispered, "Why Jeff? WHY?"

It's nice to see a bit of narrative element in modern playground rhymes, and there's an element of story in the next one too, which seems to be about Tiny Rowland and Mohammed Al Fayed.

Tiny Row had a safe deposit box

In Harrods, where gentlemen buy their socks,

And in this box his secrets lay

And what they were, no one could say

But Harrods belonged to Big Fat Mo

Who (allegedly) longed to know

What Tiny Row had locked away.

And so I'm rather afraid to say

That Big Fat Mo, allegedly,

Got an X-ray scanner to see

(This, we stress, is sub judice,

And belongs to the realm of theory)

Through the walls and right inside

To see what Tiny had got to hide.

All he saw was a billet doux

Saying, "I'm British, unlike you!"

This made Mo as mad as hell,

Saying, "I'll soon be British as well!"

"No," said Tony, "No," said the Queen,

"Being Egyptian's more your scene."

Room for just two more short ones.

Dr Jack banned beef on the bone

Because of a risk

Of a million to one.

Will Dr Jack come smiling through?

No, not by a chance

Of a million to two.

John had a euro,

Shiny new euro,

John had a euro in his hat.

John went shopping

And paid with his euro;

Said the shopman to Johnny:

" 'Ere , what's THAT?"

More one day soon, I hope.

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