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The first ball of the Ashes series has not even been bowled, but already the mind games have begun.

As the England cricket team was about to fly south for the latest instalment of this ageless sporting rivalry, the Australian cricket team projected the words "don't forget to pack the urn" on to the side of the clock tower of the Houses of Parliament.

Westminster Council is considering legal action. Granted, the stunt was an outrageous liberty. But the answer is not to threaten the Australian larrikins with the force of law. That will only demonstrate that they have got under English skins. The answer is to fight fire with fire. We suggest a projection on to the Sydney Opera House of a red-eyed Andrew Flintoff stumbling out of Downing Street after the 2005 England Ashes victory adorned with the words, "Just imagine what we're capable of sober". That ought to put the wind up 'em Down Under.

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