The Third Leader: Mud, glorious mud

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There is, in my view, one aspect of British membership of the European Union which has been given far too little credit: the commercial verve which we bring to the enterprise. Barely a day passes without news of a product proving that the spirit of the great Victorian entrepreneurs, of Lever, Cook and Cadbury, lives on. Now, yet another new, and somehow apt, name has emerged: Dowse, Colin, puryeyor to the four-wheel-drived - but unlanded - gentry, of spray-on mud.

There is, in my view, one aspect of British membership of the European Union which has been given far too little credit: the commercial verve which we bring to the enterprise. Barely a day passes without news of a product proving that the spirit of the great Victorian entrepreneurs, of Lever, Cook and Cadbury, lives on. Now, yet another new, and somehow apt, name has emerged: Dowse, Colin, puryeyor to the four-wheel-drived - but unlanded - gentry, of spray-on mud.

Indeed. A beautifully simple idea, if you have the vision to understand that most of your feather-spitting fury with Chelsea tractors is the lack of even the slightest courtesy of any pretence that they might possibly be used for the purpose for which they were intended, rather than halting all traffic within a five-mile radius, so as to get Tamsin, or Tabitha, or Whomevera, to the kind of school that insists on that sort of uniform, have you seen the hat?

And, moreover, the vision to see these people need help to deflect such irrational but universal ravings. Spray-on mud. Brilliant. There's more: Mr Dowse is at great pains to stress that spraying mud over number plates to defeat speed cameras is illegal and a disgrace. And more: he even has a mystery ingredient to make his mud stick. Dickens would be in rapture.

Down here, we lack this sort of imagination and drive, or we wouldn't be down here. But I am now wondering if the world is ready for my thorn-proof waxed jacket distressing service, even if the inflatable collies clearly need a bit more work. Oh, and Mr Dowse: have you thought about scenting it?

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