Leading article: Oaths of allegiance

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Losing your rag seems to be the order of the week. There have been reports of Susan Boyle, the star of Britain's Got Talent, launching four-lettered tirades in her London hotel. And the Manchester United manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, showed a bit of the fire that had been lacking from his team in the Champions League final when he dismissed a journalist's "bloody stupid question" in the post-match press conference in Rome.

It is often said that obscenities and temper tantrums from public figures coarsen our culture and set a bad example to children. All, doubtless, true. But consider, for a moment, a world in which every figure in public life is a model of decorum, in which no famous person ever loses their temper. Civil? Yes. Boring? Beyond belief.

The truth is that we need some grit in the oyster. It does us good to see people in the public eye flying off the handle from time to time. Britain's got talent, but it also needs a bit of industrial language too occasionally.

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