Basil Brush: Down with battery hens – so dashed hard to get at

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The Independent Online

The nation's favourite fox has been in hot water. In a programme on CBBC, a Gypsy woman was seen trying to sell him heather and pegs, giving rise to a complaint that he was behaving in a racist manner. Here the IoS imagines how Basil might respond.

Hello fox fans, Basil here. You might have heard that your favourite vulpine friend got in a bit of bother last week for an alleged racist remark about Gypsies. Tosh and piffle, of course, but for a while B Brush Esquire was in danger of having his cravat felt by the rozzers.

Naturally, as a member of a persecuted minority myself – at least until the hunting ban came in – I'm not racist. But these foreigners, they do take liberties, eh? They come over here and eat our swans.... And some of them want to kill us. What did the first terrorist say to the second terrorist? Does my bomb look big in this? Boom boom!

Oh, sorry. But seriously, I'd like to thank those nice people at Independent Newspapers for giving me space to set out my political views in detail. I'm sure you'll find them down to "earth". Which is what we foxes call our burrows. Oh, never mind.... As you may have guessed, I've always been of a conservative bent. In fact, I only got into television, on the David Nixon show in 1967, because I was under the impression I would be appearing with Richard Nixon. At one point, when I got my own show, we were in serious negotiations with Roy Jenkins to appear as my sidekick "Mr Roy". Sadly, the limp-wristed pinkos at the BBC always pooh-poohed me talking about politics, insisting I just told bad jokes.

Anyway, country issues and matters of personal freedom have always been uppermost in the Brush brain. I am concerned about the plight of battery chickens: those sheds are dashed hard to get into, you know. On the other hand, I was right behind that farmer – was it Mr Tony, or Mr Martin? – who shot that burglar while defending his property. Boom boom!

Oh, sorry. Basil's got a bit of the old foot-in-mouth disease, haw haw. But I believe in free speech. Although I do think it's a bit rich that we have that Mr Rowan proposing Sharia in jolly old England, while the Oscar-winning actress Miss Cotillard claims that the World Trade Center explosions were an insurance job. Boom boom! As the actress might have said to the bishop.

Oh, sorry. Anyway, I am a staunch royalist. Indeed, the Queen once suggested Prince Charles wear me on his head. When he told her recently he was sailing to Tobago, she replied, "Wear the fox hat?" Or something like that. Boom boom! I also recently met Mr David at Conservative headquarters to discuss me endorsing the party. I'd even cooked up a slogan about the country needing "a new Brush", and come up with a routine about the credit crunch, promising better "boom boom" under the conservatives than "boom-bust" under Mr Gordon. Unfortunately, Mr David decided that a fox in a monocle and tweeds might be "too posh" for the modern party. I don't know what came over him. Maybe it was something he'd Eton! Boom boom!

Anyway, I'm now in talks with that nice Australian Mr Rupert about extending the Fox Network into China. I fancy a Wedgwood range, myself. Boom boom! Oh, and speaking of Wedgwood, on matters sexual I am a libertarian. You can't be on television with a man's hand stuck up your bottom for 30 years and not be.

So, I hope that's cleared up any nonsense about my being a racist. I realise this article might upset some foreigners and graduates of the state school system, but fortunately they probably can't read English anyway. Boom boom! So pip-pip and cheery-bye, fox fans. As the prostitute said to the very fat man: it's been a business doing pleasure with you. Boom boom! Oh, sorry, can you cut that bit out... ?

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