The Third Leader: James Blond

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The Independent Online

Down here, we have a lot of waterfront to cover. My learned friends above and about me do the deep business; I'm the wide one. Low-fat diets, musicals about Lady Thatcher, Noddy, Tupperware parties: all me. I also keep a watching brief on important social indicators such as, inter multa alia, stretch limousines, non-flying vultures and the James Bond films.

And the latest news from that last is the birth of a movement dedicated to removing the new James Bond, Daniel Craig, before he's even got going. Bond executives are being flurried by e-mails announcing a boycott of the films unless the "short, blond, odd-looking" Mr Craig is replaced.

Well. This is an intriguing development. The Bond camp should be very careful. Unaddressed resentment turns to anger that turns to action that rapidly becomes irresistible. They should remember Prague, Bucharest, Berlin and Kiev: before we know where we are, actors will be running for roles decided by vote. And you know what that means: more acceptance speeches.

If people-power invades film-making, moreover, what will be next? JK Rowling forced to keep writing Harry Potters? Jeffrey Archer ordered to stop? The apprentices firing Sir Alan Sugar? Jamie Oliver the next England coach? The Prince of Wales made Ambassador to China?

A concession is vital. Could Mr Craig be persuaded to speak Scots sibilantly? Or trained to lift an eyebrow, quizzically? Perhaps, but it's the hair colour that seems to have got them going. The mane's blond, a shade which is unfaithful to Fleming, and in alpha male terms hasn't recovered from Michael Heseltine, Dan Quayle or Frank Spencer. Take to the bottle, Mr Craig. Shaken, probably.

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