I thought Bernard Manning was dead

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The Independent Online
I RECEIVED a message from the editor of this paper on Wednesday asking me to write something about Bernard Manning, which immediately cheered me up as I assumed Mr Manning must be dead. However, having scoured the papers I see that unfortunately he is still alive and sweating, and going on about niggers again in front of a black policeman. I am sorry that the policeman didn't arrest him for language liable to cause a breach of the peace. However, had he done so he would probably have been branded a spoilsport and hounded out of the police force.

I tend to think that these white supremacists like Terreblanche, the boneheads of the BNP and Bernard Manning are all so revoltingly ugly and unpleasant that they make the best possible advertisement for mixed marriages. Would you prefer your daughter to look like Naomi Campbell or Bernard Manning? If the Tories wish to win the next election they should use the slogan "If you want Bernard Manning as a neighbour, vote Labour".

DURING the election for the Labour leadership I was firmly behind John Prescott, who seemed to have all the fight, charisma, optimism, determination, and humour needed to give the Government a hammering. He was a fine example of True British Grit. A breath of fresh air in a world of grey suits. But the Labour Party in its wisdom chose a clone of John Major. Having seen Prescott on the news last week I haven't revised my opinion. He was as much fun as ever and has even got rid of his only bad point: that dreadful haircut. I was watching with my mother who is a caricature of Middle England and she cackled: "Oh I do like this chap; he's super." This made me more convinced than ever that Labour has made the wrong choice. But it is not too late. There is still time for Tony Blair to do the honourable thing and sleep with Edwina Currie.

A HEADLINE the other day said "Major's Ten Bills To Boost Morale". What a good idea. If the continual cutting back of public services has led to low public morale then simply pass a few feel-good Acts to force people to be happy. The nurses can be pacified by the Hospital Workers Ecstatic at Their Pay Increases Act. The Chirpiness of Children (Schools) Act could require schoolchildren to jump for joy every time water from leaking roofs drips on to their exercise books. Once the General Well-being and Universal Happiness Act is on the statute book it will be time for the Foreign Secretary to introduce his Spanish Fishermen (Friendly Feelings) Proposals. The Home Secretary will be able to score lots of points at the party conference by winning back the disillusioned professional classes with his Prevention of Glumness and Despondency (Middle Classes) Act. Also requiring attention is the fact that people's living-rooms are too small. I discovered this when I read that "more than 7 million people will cram into their living- rooms to watch the Oscar awards ceremony". If people cannot watch television without their living-rooms being crammed this could be put right by a Private Living-rooms (Illusions of Space) Order issued under the catch- all provisions of the Public Malaise (Removal) Act. Watch out Blair, this is an election winner.

MY FRIEND Danny came out of his home yesterday morning and smelt a gas leak, so his wife rang the gas board, which is supposed to zoom out on such occasions. But they didn't turn up. Then on the news there was an item about lots of people reporting emergency leaks but the gas board telling them it was the smell of farm slurry from Holland. This seems a good way for British Gas to save money to shovel at its chairman. I can imagine the conversation: "Hello, I've rung up to report a nasty smell of gas."

"Right, er, let me think now. Have you heard of Holland?"


"And do you know what farm slurry is?"

"Er, not really, no."

"Good. It's farm slurry from Holland you are smelling."

"But Holland isn't that close."

"Well, it's quite windy today. And it's blowing from a Hollandy direction, honest." A good wheeze.