Careless talk

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Rumours. Life, we have to confess, is becoming a little exhausting. No sooner are we back from laying in several gallons of milk and a dozen loaves of thick white sliced than we are dashing out to fill up the car before it's too late. It's all these rumours. There used to be an art to the spreading of a rumour; choosing the right time, the right ear, the right back stairs. Now it's all done with the click of a mouse.

Rumours. Life, we have to confess, is becoming a little exhausting. No sooner are we back from laying in several gallons of milk and a dozen loaves of thick white sliced than we are dashing out to fill up the car before it's too late. It's all these rumours. There used to be an art to the spreading of a rumour; choosing the right time, the right ear, the right back stairs. Now it's all done with the click of a mouse.

How many rickety ancien régimes, staggering from one whisper in the bazaar to another in the coffee house, could have survived e-rumour? Even Mr Tony Blair's shiny administration seems not to be immune. But why are the rumours always so unimaginative?

It's time to introduce the creative, constructive e-rumour. For example: 1) Petrol causes impotence. 2) A man hoarding milk in Bagshot has been taken out and shot. 3) And a man in Virginia Water who was boring on about it all. 4) Copies of The Independent will make superb insulation when the power cuts hit next month. 5) Gordon Brown has a treasure chest of two million thick white sliced in a big freezer in Fife. 6)Public services cost money. Thank you.

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